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  • 02-09-2012 5:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Hmmm.... using two users. That's a bit cheap.

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 02-09-2012 5:16 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    tournedos:
    Also, I can assure John != Jonathan

    Just so that there's absolutely no confusion ............. the operator "!="  means "is not equal to".

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 02-09-2012 5:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    tournedos:
    Also, I can assure John != Jonathan

    Just so that there's absolutely no confusion ............. the operator "!="  means "is not equal to".

    So John is not Jonathan?

     

    That's good to know! 

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 02-09-2012 5:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    tournedos:

    beocool:
    Surprise So only development and marketing left in Finland?

    Nokia's R&D has been spread out for a long time, particularly at the Networks division which was combined with Siemens.

    This downsizing (practically closing down) of the factory is somewhat relevant in this thread, as this Salo establishment can be seen as the spiritual home of the entire mobile communications branch. It started over there as a joint venture between Salora (a TV & radio manufacturer) and Nokia (then making anything from cables to rubber boots to minicomputers) in 1979. Lately, they have been assembling some of the small series higher end models and prototypes. Ever since Mr. Micros Elop managed to kill the smart phone sales at least temporarily last year, the bulk of the operations has been in cheap phones - the components are made in Asia, the markets are in Asia, no sense in shipping stuff back & forth. Even the new plant in Romania (built after closing down Bochum, Germany) has gone.

    Those buyers won't give a crap about where the phones are made or don't even know. The African farmer who gets to charge his phone weekly at the town only cares that the phone works for a long time and survives the occasional drop.

    BTW, Huawei and ZTE are completely Chinese, and they have a large and growing share in mobile data communications (think 3G modems), and also phones particularly at their local market. I'm sure many of their engineers have received their education for free in Finland.

    Also, I can assure John != Jonathan. Moderators can see the IP addresses anyone used for posting, so that trick wouldn't get you very far; it has been previously used a few times in heated topics, though...

    EDIT: I guess I need to add that "!=" is programmerspeak for "not equal". Sorry if I fooled you Andreas!

    You did! Laughing

    I thought you had a slip and put in an extra space.

    I don't speak "programmer". Laughing

     

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 02-09-2012 6:11 AM In reply to

    • symmes
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz, sorry, but I don't read your rehashed points.  Hope I didn't miss anything of substance.  Ever notice that most HBR and Sloan business articles are merely trailers for books that simply rehash the core points from the article?  Rest assured I have really thought about the core points you made a long time ago, and know all of your message I need to know (That's right, my need to buy is far more important that your need to sell).

    You appear to know how you wish it were, supported by hundreds of microdots of data that you have shaped into a worldview.  If, at 27, you are able to figure the whole thing out then you might consider getting off your tail and actually implementing it.  The world is tough and unreliable for the vast majority and it is only those with huge passion for making things better who force change into the system.  It's a lot easier if you own the organization you want to change, btw.   

    So get off the BeoTrain, put on the ruby slippers and start your trek down the yellow brick road.  If you make it to Oz, nobody will be more proud of you than I.   

    Otherwise, get a university professor job and write a book or 20.  Check out the 4 C's of effective written communications.        

     

  • 02-09-2012 6:15 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    symmes:

    @John.  Great summary and question.  The answer is Asian.  RR is German, and they were smart not to call it a 9-Series.  Pull the German bits out and you have a couch.  So is Mini.  Chrysler is Italian.  

    I am impressed with the fortitude and intelligence behind so many of the postings, and have learned a lot, little of which matters.  Having been bought and sold in corporations a scary number of times, I am comfortable, though not necessarily always happy, saying that ownership is everything.  It is painful to have your culture ripped out from under you, but that doesn't change the reality of the business dynamics.

    People can argue their points until they turn blue.  Doesn't change anything.  Some people need to meet a few REAL Mergers & Acquisition guys.  Scary smart and (and callous) dudes (and dudettes).  Reality bites.  

    B&O Play STRATEGY is a winner.  Sorry to disappoint the haters.

     

     

    This is complete rubbish.

    I could engage in a lengthy argument with you and completely disprove and take apart everything you've said....

    ....but I really cant be ars*d due to the fact that my time and effort is better used elsewhere.

     

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 02-09-2012 6:32 AM In reply to

    • symmes
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    @bentleyman. It would be just like dkatz' and tod/paul's arguments. Conceptual fluff. Save your breath. 

  • 02-09-2012 6:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    burantek:

    symmes:

    @John.  Great summary and question.  The answer is Asian.  RR is German, and they were smart not to call it a 9-Series.  Pull the German bits out and you have a couch.  So is Mini.  Chrysler is Italian.  

    I am impressed with the fortitude and intelligence behind so many of the postings, and have learned a lot, little of which matters.  Having been bought and sold in corporations a scary number of times, I am comfortable, though not necessarily always happy, saying that ownership is everything.  It is painful to have your culture ripped out from under you, but that doesn't change the reality of the business dynamics.

    People can argue their points until they turn blue.  Doesn't change anything.  Some people need to meet a few REAL Mergers & Acquisition guys.  Scary smart and (and callous) dudes (and dudettes).  Reality bites.  

    B&O Play STRATEGY is a winner.  Sorry to disappoint the haters.

    Thank you!

     

    Is this a joke or what?

    Is 'The Sun' tabloid newspaper australian because it's owned by Murdoch....?

    Or is it an American publication due to the fact that it's owned by News corp based in the US?

    Or is it a British tabloid newspaper....?

    According to your idea, it's either Australian or American due to either the country of birth of it's controlling shareholder, or due to where News Corp has it's base for corporate/taxation reasons....

    Obviously it's neither. It's a british tabloid newspaper as anyone will tell you.

    Your point doesn't stand up.

    Case closed.

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 02-09-2012 7:53 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    I would prefer to limit the discussion to B&O who are a Danish owned company with premises in Denmark and Czech and who outsource production of some lower priced items to Chinese third parties. They have recently suffered some financial difficulties and undergone some restructuring to try and improve the operating margin such that they actually begin to make a profit.

    Should they produce the outsourced product in Europe and increase the price to maintain the margin or are you happy that they achieve this margin by manufacturing in a low cost region and charge the current price? (Of course the great unknown is how much the price would have to increase for a European version of, say, the BS8 to maintain the necessary margin).

    I have assumed that, because of the financial situation, reducing margin is not an option.

     

    All other comments about all other companies are superfluous and in no way help answer the question..

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 02-09-2012 7:55 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    How british is a car whose engine and body is made in Bavaria (Phantom)? Not to mention electronics and parts from suppliers from all over...

  • 02-09-2012 8:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    I would prefer to limit the discussion to B&O who are a Danish owned company with premises in Denmark and Czech and who outsource production of some lower priced items to Chinese third parties. They have recently suffered some financial difficulties and undergone some restructuring to try and improve the operating margin such that they actually begin to make a profit.

    Should they produce the outsourced product in Europe and increase the price to maintain the margin or are you happy that they achieve this margin by manufacturing in a low cost region and charge the current price? (Of course the great unknown is how much the price would have to increase for a European version of, say, the BS8 to maintain the necessary margin).

    I have assumed that, because of the financial situation, reducing margin is not an option.

     

    All other comments about all other companies are superfluous.

     

    Yes I agree Punch,

    In answer to your posed question, if things stay as they are i.e. Danish owned company with premises in Denmark/Czech who outsource a few lower end products to China I think thats fine and acceptable.

    As long as they dont decide to outsource more and more of production over time, and essentially become a 'Made in China' company. This would be a terrible shame imo.

    The fact that sites like this exist in the first place, with passionate followers of the brand is due, in large part, to the history and historical image of the brand. If B&O decided to shift production totally to 'Made in China' that image/exclusivity and brand loyalty of many B&O customers will no doubt be damaged irreversably, and a company the size of B&O could not possibly compete in the mid-market electronics industry (there's way too many much much larger players in the middle ground stakes) B&O would simply get swallowed up by a larger player and that would essentially be bye bye Bang & Olufsen, in all but name probably.

    The fact that sites like beoworld and to a lesser degree beocentral exist is testiment itself to the great brand image B&O have fostered and earned/credited with in it's 87 years of history. I doubt very much that say, Toshiba, or Aiwa, or JVC have dedicated discussion forum sites like we do here.. The reason is B&O is a special brand. Lets keep in that way.

    Agreed?

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 02-09-2012 8:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    raveny:

    How british is a car whose engine and body is made in Bavaria (Phantom)? Not to mention electronics and parts from suppliers from all over...

     

    Rolls-Royce Phantom VII, 2003 to present

    Not officially a Phantom VII, but this first generation of Rolls-Royce with BMW ownership is often known by this moniker. With an all aluminium chassis and rear hinged doors like the Phantom VI it is instantly recognisable as a Rolls-Royce. The engine and body are made in Germany, but the final assembly is undertaken at Rolls-Royce's new Goodwood facility. BMW have set a lifetime limit of 10000 Phantoms, and in March 2007 the 3000th Phantom rolled out of Goodwood.

    In the modern age, this is the best we could have hoped for. Despite German ownership, BMW are making considerable efforts to keeping Rolls-Royce a british product. I respect BMW for this and it shows that even a huge german multi national have recognised the importance of maintaining the image and exclusivity (and are respecting the English heritage as much as one could hope for) of the marque. If it was ALL about profits alone, they could shift production to a much cheaper place, not set any production limits, perhaps introduce a RR'Play' range of more affordable cars for the 'masses'.....

    But they are not doing that......ask yourself why.. 

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 02-09-2012 2:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    "B&O Play strategy a winner."

    That remain to be seen.  I would suggest that over the long term it is a loser, but in the short term may make some money.  Its a bad move to use the B&O name in the brand.  It suggests that the product is of the quality of Bang & Olufsen, when it is not.  Rolex does not have the Rolex name in Tudor, why because not not a Rolex, although Tudor is a good watch and made in the same plant.

    China can make some great products.  But there products are mainly throw away products.  iPod $150, when it breaks cost more to repair, it hits the trash pile.  Computers, are outdated as fast as they are made, it breaks buy new and upgrade.  $1000 TV brakes outside of warrenty period, most folks would also move it to the junk pile, as they can buy new of just a little over the repair.  $10,000 TV you get repaired.

    When this China stuff starts to break and it will, as everything breaks. With a larger sales volume of the lower priced items more breaks will occur this is going to give the nameplate Bang & Olufsen a bad name as over-priced junk and once that happens the only B&O market will be on Ebay.

    By the way, what is my Designed in France, Made in Peru LaCoste Shirt?

    And personally I do not like that they are made in Peru.  Why because I paid a premium to have a shirt made in France.  Did the price of the shirt go down when production moved to Peru.  Of course not.  The only thing that happended is the margin want up for LaCoste,  and I am sure some CEO is making a nice bonus for that.

    I cannot speak for how B&O sells in the rest of the world, but at least in the USA they need to change there sales model back to pre B2B.  We went from 2 stores in my city selling B&O to Zero. (I live in a city with 1.3 Million).  The closest B&O B2B store was 70 Miles a way and its now closed.  That makes the closest store 200 miles away.  Not actually the way to sell product.  If B&O does read this you need to go back to B&O shops inside other store and get better market spread.  I am not driving 200 miles just to get product. 

  • 02-09-2012 4:05 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Bypahtec – B&O has already outsourced its entry level products to china. So it HAS happened... unlike in the case of Lotus being bought out by a Chinese company which hasn't happened.

     

    Bayerische – Right now they don't, if they do in the future, then I will not be buying Nokia anymore.

     

    Puncher – It's not about “owning the building” it's about having your own manufacturing plant. That in essence technically disqualifies it from being considered outsourced. My point as I have mentioned in the previous posts is that when you have your own factory, your own workers that you trained yourself (whatever the length of time you spent training them) on your own product line. Then they will be much better at making that product. This is my opinion but this explains why most high end, high quality and professional manufacturers do not outsource.

     

    They would definitely be more “real” B&O as B&O would actually be producing it, not the Chinese company that produces it FOR B&O right now... Producing something means manufacturing it, and if your company is not manufacturing it then you are not producing it, someone is producing it for you! Designing and sending spec sheets is just that and no more, you leave the rest up to a different company that you put 100% trust in and hope that they have similar standards, ideals, etc...

     

    The reason it's “OK” to produce anywhere in the EU is because you have EU labour laws and EU wages which are fair for each region or country. If B&O opens their own factory in China, pays fair wages to their employees with benefits and fair working hours, etc... Then I will definitely respect them more, however at that point they would be stupid to spend all that money investing in another country whose future is uncertain. Much safer to just invest in Czech or anywhere in the EU where you have their protection. I think it would be too costly to relocate and pretty pointless just to save a few dollars an hour but with many additional risks compared to the safety of just manufacturing in Czech for five times less than Struer.

     

    Symmes – Thanks for your encouragement! Having received my Masters a year ago I've always wanted to do a PHD but have to support my mother, pay off student loans and pursue my career dreams for now. Perhaps one day I will become a professor or perhaps a CEO of a company if I get an MBA instead and pursue that path... Check out Riccar (that went back to manufacturing in the US after outsourcing), American Apparell and other companies I mentioned that decided to manufacturer in the US or their own countries ;-)... There are many company CEOs who share my views from small to big!

     

    Puncher – It's been a tough time for many companies since the financial crisis and all companies have their ups and downs. Some choose to outsource and create lower end goods in order to gain a hefty profit, others choose to weather the storm and perhaps produce in Czech with a lower margin but still a decent one considering they would sell just as many units. Again the success in number of sales for the BS8 and Beolit 12 has been exactly the iPod integration and sales in Apple stores, not the fact that they outsourced. Granted they would have made a lower profit margin producing it in Czech, they still would have made enough profit to survive. I think a lot of it has to do with Tue's decision, perhaps there were people in B&O who fought against his decision, we don't know. Another factor is worrying about upping share prices so they must have been considering a higher profit for this as well...

     

    Bentleyman – Although I still feel that B&O could have produced the BS8 and Beolit12 in Czech at a lower profit margin and still made some money. I agree with everything else you said. For me this move alone still damages B&Os reputation, although far from completely. 

     

    Wesheltonj – Couldn't agree with you more! You seem to summarise many of my points better than I do.

  • 02-09-2012 5:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    I know I said I wouldn't repost in this thread, but I just want to be clear that I only have one username and one account.

    I do not post under another name.

    My B&O: 2009 Catalogue and Pricelist

  • 02-10-2012 3:41 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:

    The reason it's “OK” to produce anywhere in the EU is because you have EU labour laws and EU wages which are fair for each region or country. If B&O opens their own factory in China, pays fair wages to their employees with benefits and fair working hours, etc... Then I will definitely respect them more, however at that point they would be stupid to spend all that money investing in another country whose future is uncertain. Much safer to just invest in Czech or anywhere in the EU where you have their protection. I think it would be too costly to relocate and pretty pointless just to save a few dollars an hour but with many additional risks compared to the safety of just manufacturing in Czech for five times less than Struer.

    So it's quite OK to pay Czech workers a lot less than their Danish counterparts but entirely unfair to pay Chinese less than Czech employees!Confused How do you know that the wages paid by the Chinese assembler are not "fair for the region"? Following your reasoning then everyone should be paid at Danish rates or else you accept that labour rates are determined by local economic conditions and a good employer will pay good wages - relative to the local average, even in China.

    I still don't think you get the significance of manufacturing in China - it's not "a few dollars", there's a huge difference. It's not unknown to be able to source a complete assembly or product for less than the raw materials or components can be bought in Europe! I'm not suggesting that is the case here but it serves to show that the cost advantages can be compelling.

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 02-10-2012 6:42 AM In reply to

    • moxxey
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    I still don't think you get the significance of manufacturing in China

    Crikey, is this discussion still going? I'm sitting here enjoying my BV10, listening to my BS8, and wondering what all the fuss is about. Panicking they are about to fall apart any minute, clearly. I barely dare touch my BS8 is so shoddily put together. I've noticed that the solid aluminium is porous, too. Need to be careful around water. If only they'd use Danish-grade aluminium.

    Life is full of unanswered questions! So glad Dkatz is here with factual answers to them all.

  • 02-10-2012 4:37 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    So it's quite OK to pay Czech workers a lot less than their Danish counterparts but entirely unfair to pay Chinese less than Czech employees!Confused How do you know that the wages paid by the Chinese assembler are not "fair for the region"? Following your reasoning then everyone should be paid at Danish rates or else you accept that labour rates are determined by local economic conditions and a good employer will pay good wages - relative to the local average, even in China.

    I still don't think you get the significance of manufacturing in China - it's not "a few dollars", there's a huge difference. It's not unknown to be able to source a complete assembly or product for less than the raw materials or components can be bought in Europe! I'm not suggesting that is the case here but it serves to show that the cost advantages can be compelling.

     

    Puncher – I am not just talking about pay-scale. I am talking about working conditions, labour laws, etc... Look at this article for example: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092277/Apple-Poor-working-conditions-inside-Chinese-factories-making-iPads.html

    I never said that everyone should get paid in Danish wages. Denmark is an expensive country, so is Norway, Sweden and Finland hence why manufacturing wages are higher there than mainland Europe. Czech is a lot less expensive so under the Czech wages which include direct and social benifits people can live fairly well as compared to China as Czech is much more developed than China is and the wages are more fairly distributed.

    I know that in Czech the workers work under EU Labour Laws. B&O is not their employer in China so they have no control over what goes on there. And actually the wages in China are some of the LOWEST in the region, hence why everyone outsources there. If you look at Taiwan for example the minimum wage there is around $8.68 an hour which is about 5 times more than in mainland China! The higher quality of Taiwanese manufacturing compared to Chinese is exactly why the high end mechanical keyboards (among other computer components) that cost $100-200 are manufactured in Taiwan and not China and also why there are so many electronics/computer companies coming out of Taiwan and not mainland China. Quite often when electronics and computer companies are stuck between choosing high cost manufacturing in the US/Europe/Japan, or low quality in China, they will choose Taiwan as the middle ground.

     

    Perhaps one of the reasons why many Chinese products are worse quality is exactly because the whole product will cost less than materials alone in Europe as they won't use the same quality of materials. Although this is harder to tell apart when it comes to things like computers and iPods, it is much easier to tell apart in woven materials such as Chinese cashmere or silk as compared to Italian silk or Scottish cashmere as an example. Given time I am sure China will up its manufacturing quality if it ever grows into a developed country. This isn't just about China, it's about all developing countries as China is not the only country that products are outsourced.

     

    I am not alone in my thinking, there are millions like me (including the half dozen or so that backed me up in my postings). Perhaps many won't care that the iPod is made in China, but they certainly would if their precious Lamborghini or Ferrari (or their McIntosh, Dali or other SQ audio) were and many do and will care if their B&O products that they paid thousands for, turn out to be made in China... that will be a turn off to many to say the least. Let's just hope that they don't outsource all their products, before I or many others completely lose respect for them.

     

  • 02-11-2012 4:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:
    The higher quality of Taiwanese manufacturing compared to Chinese is exactly why the high end mechanical keyboards (among other computer components) that cost $100-200 are manufactured in Taiwan and not China and also why there are so many electronics/computer companies coming out of Taiwan and not mainland China. Quite often when electronics and computer companies are stuck between choosing high cost manufacturing in the US/Europe/Japan, or low quality in China, they will choose Taiwan as the middle ground.

    If you kept to acknowledged facts instead of making stuff up (such as above) and repeating those as supporting your views, perhaps people would take you more seriously.

    Dkatz:
    Although this is harder to tell apart when it comes to things like computers and iPods, it is much easier to tell apart in woven materials such as Chinese cashmere or silk as compared to Italian silk or Scottish cashmere as an example.

    You mean the Chinese have outsourced silk manufacturing to Italy? They did pretty well themselves for a couple of thousand years.

    -mika

  • 02-11-2012 5:27 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    I really, really should have known better than to come back and post again!Huh?

    Here are a few quotes from the B&O Play announcement of the "Play TV" thread -

    - Based on Bang & Olufsen’s core values such quality materials and elegant design, the B&O PLAY line will consist of stand-alone products, with a wider appeal and lower prices. (Dkatz - note the lower price requirement)

    - The classic Bang & Olufsen brand will continue to exist and represent luxury electronics products.

    - Bang & Olufsen will not compromise on core values such as quality materials and design, and promises to never use words such as “aluminum look" or “high-gloss plastic”. If a B&O PLAY product looks like it is made from aluminum, it is made from that material. Bang & Olufsen has a code of not reducing material quality in order to reach lower price points.

    - "B&O PLAY is based on the same legacy and the products are made by the same engineers. Therefore B&O PLAY is an honest Bang & Olufsen product,"

    The intentions are clear in that the products will still be made of good quality materials etc.

    That's me definitely done this time, I'm off back to the real world, I hope everything in Wonderland goes well.

    If anyone finds me posting on this thread again then please shoot me!

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 02-11-2012 6:11 AM In reply to

    • moxxey
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    tournedos:

    Dkatz:
    Although this is harder to tell apart when it comes to things like computers and iPods, it is much easier to tell apart in woven materials such as Chinese cashmere or silk as compared to Italian silk or Scottish cashmere as an example.

    You mean the Chinese have outsourced silk manufacturing to Italy? They did pretty well themselves for a couple of thousand years.

    I was told recently that the Chinese are extremely good at certain types of knitting, particularly with silk and cashmere. In fact, they have weaves that better those elsewhere, which is a reason why Armani and others moved their knitwear manufacturing to China.

    You'll find a lot of "Scottish cashmere" isn't made in Hawick these days. Edinburgh Woollen Mill makes their stuff in....China.

  • 02-11-2012 8:49 AM In reply to

    • KMA
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    • Joined on 08-13-2007
    • Posts 101
    • Silver Member

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    - Based on Bang & Olufsen’s core values such quality materials and elegant design, the B&O PLAY line will consist of stand-alone products, with a wider appeal and lower prices. (Dkatz - note the lower price requirement)

    - The classic Bang & Olufsen brand will continue to exist and represent luxury electronics products.

    - Bang & Olufsen will not compromise on core values such as quality materials and design, and promises to never use words such as “aluminum look" or “high-gloss plastic”. If a B&O PLAY product looks like it is made from aluminum, it is made from that material. Bang & Olufsen has a code of not reducing material quality in order to reach lower price points.

    - "B&O PLAY is based on the same legacy and the products are made by the same engineers. Therefore B&O PLAY is an honest Bang & Olufsen product,"

    I'm sure Dkatz will soon argue that this is just company propaganda, to maintain promise of quality and safeguard B&O's brand, and we should not buy into it. I mean, there are no honest companies, especially those that outsource. It's all just deceitful propaganda.

    /sarcasm

    KMA

    Current setup: BeoVision 10-46 (grey speaker cover, AR, motorized stand) with Apple TV 2 (FireCore), Sony BDP-S780, Mac Mini, BeoLab 11 (silver), Beo5, BeoSound 8 (red speaker covers). Accessories: A8 Earphones, wine bottle coasters.


    B&O product history, in chronological order since 1990, after the onset of the treaded BeoVirus (I tend to upgrade/change my setup "infrequently"): BeoSystem 2500 (with blue speaker covers), BeoLink 5000, BeoSystem 7000 (complete; silver/black), BeoLink 7000, RedLine 60.2, BeoVox Penta, BeoVision MX4000 (black, motorized floor stand), BeoCord VX5000 (black), BeoSystem 4500 (complete), BeoCenter 9500, BeoLab 8000, BeoLab 6000, BeoVision Avant (original, 28" AR, VHS, green), BeoCenter 2300, BeoVision 3-32 (grey speaker frame, AR, motorised cabinet), DVD1 (grey), BeoCord V8000 (grey), Beo4, BeoSound Ouverture (w/ floor cabinet stand), BeoVision Avant RF (grey, 32", AR, VHS), BeoSound 9000, BeoCenter AV5 (blue), BeoVision 1 (yellow, motorized floor stand), Beo1, BeoSound Century (yellow), BeoCenter 1 (blue, AR, motorized floor stand), BeoSound 1 (silver, floor stand), BeoVision Avant RF DVD (grey, 32", AR), BeoVision 7-32 MkI (AR, motorized floor stand), BeoLab 3 (black), BeoSound 2, BeoVision 10-40 (grey speaker cover, AR, motorized stand).

  • 02-15-2012 2:54 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
    • Not Ranked
      Male
    • Joined on 10-25-2007
    • San Francisco, CA, USA
    • Posts 70
    • Bronze Member

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

     

    Tournedos – I am not making stuff up. There are many companies who choose to outsource their higher end products to Taiwan rather than mainland China. If you look at higher end computer products, including high quality mechanical keyboards that cost $100-200 they are made in Taiwan and not mainland China. It's the same story with many GPS systems, and with a really professional scanner I own that was a few thousand dollars when it came out. 


    The Chinese have not outsourced silk manufacturing to China. They were famous for it for thousands of years but it doesn't mean they have the best mills available or that they are the best at it. Following the “cultural revolution” many craftsmen were killed off or their businesses taken away from them. There are not many craftsmen left in China that spend one year to produce silk fabric as they do in Japan for example. In Japan fabric for a single kimono can take a year to produce, and the attention to detail and quality is unparalleled. In China it's more about mass production and cheap silks rather than a focus on quality and you would be very hard pressed to find silk with the same attention to detail. China is perhaps now the worlds most industrialized country, and even though Japan and Italy had their own industrial revolutions, they kept hundreds of thousands of their own craftsmen instead of persecuting them!


    Puncher – This is just B&Os own propaganda. You tell me to back up my statements with fact and then spew their advertising on me as proof of quality? My point AGAIN is that the price point is NOT LOWER than comparable portable products they have released in the recent past (BS1, BS3, etc...)  Intentions for quality and what actually comes out of it are different. In my perception it is far and between the quality of other products they are producing. They even admit that it's not a luxury product by saying “ The classic Bang & Olufsen brand will continue to exist and represent luxury electronics products.” meaning the Play brand is not that...


    Moxxey – Armani outsourced not because China has better weaves but because like many clothing manufacturers they wanted to save on cost. If you look at Wool as an example the finest micron wools that win awards every year are always New Zealand and Australian Merino Wools, which are often milled in Italy. These are the ones that win the gold prizes, not Chinese wools. As far as silks go , look at the attention to detail of Kimono milling in Japan where it takes upto a year to make fabric enough for one person, the rope is died by hand, and the machine used is one from the middle ages where the silk is lined up to the pattern and corrected by each thread. I don't think any other country in the world uses these types of machines.


    This is exactly why Japanese denim is considered the best. Where Levi's and other companies have outsourced and mass produce jeans in horrible quality. Japanese brands are often produced using the Selvedge method which takes 10 times longer to produce using special machines that were produced before WWII. They also make their jeans from died rope, often with natural local indigo, and quite often their jeans are raw. Dior and a few other western fashion brands see this and actually produce some of their Jeans in Japan as well. Where as most western manufacturers took to cheaper worse quality manufacturing after WWII, Japanese brands stayed with the higher quality, traditional methods of denim manufacturing.


    China might have had excellent quality craftsmen before the cultural revolution and they might have a few now. But these are not the mass produced goods you buy such as the BS8 and Beolit 12. Neither are they the 99% of mass produced products you buy from the store or from brands, etc... The best Lacquer produced used to be in China maybe 1000 years ago, but today it is from Wajima where they take years to make on lacquered image on a bowl or plate for example with techniques such as Makie or Chinkin. It's the same with fountain pens where Japanese use traditional techniques to produce them such as in the Nakaya pen company that hand grind their nibs from 18k-22k gold and then make by hand the pen from ebonite, wood, or even tortoise shell. The list goes on and on and there are not any offerings I have seen even close to this quality from China. In fact Denmark is known for some of the highest quality audio manufacturing just like the products I mention Japan is known for or Harris Tweed in Scotland, etc... This is what made B&O what it is in terms of quality.


    The Scottish cashmere I buy is Made in Scotland not in China. There are maybe some brands that have outsourced to China though. There are still many Scottish mills available. Some wool such as Harris Tweed is actually protected by the government and has been partially subsidized, in fact it cannot be called Harris Tweed unless it is hand woven by local craftsmen in the Outer Hebrides from local wool.


    KMA – I don't think that it is deceitful propaganda but a company must sell its products and what better way to do this than to justify their new move to a lower end product line... Do you personally believe everything a company says? I never buy stuff based on marketing hype or company advertising, in fact I sometimes do months of research before I buy something and even then I ussally have to see it and test it and feel it...Many companies say that they are better than a competitor such as one vacuum advertisement I saw "Better than Dyson" well I don't even think Dyson is that good and that vacuum was just pure crap. Miele on the other hand never advertises that they are better than Dyson, but they just are without having to say it....

     

     

  • 02-18-2012 3:32 PM In reply to

    • Philippe
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-16-2007
    • Toulouse, France
    • Posts 321
    • Bronze Member

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    There is one point that I'm bothered about regarding this outsourcing trend and I don't recall anyone really mentioning it (sorry if I miss it somewhere in this 500+ posts thread): the B&O workers, the force that helped B&O become the brand we now know.

    I mean, what have these people become?! If so many products are now produced in the Czech facility with local workers, and on an extended step in China, what's left then in Denmark (apart R&D)? Have the workers in B&O factory been fired since then? If a majority of B&O products is outsourced, I'm assuming it's the same for the taskforce that was behind it, right?

    Do people know if there were any lay-off plans at B&O's factory? In my eyes, that would be what's most shameful, cause it wouldn't be just about products, but human lives who contributed to forge a brand and pushing up to the level we know. And that would be sad...

  • 02-18-2012 4:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    One more thing about China.  As I have said before they make good in the trash can products.  As an example.  My 4th in under a year Samsung BD-D7500 Blu-ray player has just bit the dust.  These are $350 US each, that 4 in under a year.  And they only reason to buy this china crap, is because its PUC code for B&O.  It mounts real nice to my Beovision 10 with my STB brackets and looks good, but that just it, it only looks good.  I just hope that Samsung makes its panels better then their blu-ray players.

     

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