Eastman Tritan

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This case is used in Darden's Supply-Chain Operations elective. The field-based case gives supply-chain educators the ability to teach the newsvendor model with pricing under a capacity constraint using real-life decisions. By 2005, Eastman Chemical Company, based in Tennessee, had created a new specialty plastic, Tritan, which demonstrated heat resistance and durability properties that might allow Eastman to compete in the lucrative polycarbonate plastics market. Development of this product was a major breakthrough for both Eastman and the broader chemical industry. The Eastman specialty plastics team had to contend with numerous challenges, however, before producing Tritan at full scale. First, Eastman had to commercialize a completely new material that only had been produced in the lab; second, the team had to develop a supply chain to manufacture a new component (monomer) and a new product (polymer) simultaneously; and finally, it had to analyze market entrance options given capacity constraints. Thus, the specialty plastics team faced several dilemmas: who should the initial launch partners be, given Eastman's limited manufacturing capacity, and how aggressively should Eastman price Tritan, given that price would drive demand in the launch markets and in new markets?
Case Number: OM-1494
Author: Raz, Gal
Kraft, Tim
Elias, Allison
Type: Case
Length: 15 pages.
Category: Operations Management:Operations Planning
Operations Management:Product Development
Operations Management:Supply Chain Management
Version: 2.0
Published: 04/05/13
Revision Date: 11/20/14
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