Maria Yee Inc.: Making ‘Green’ Furniture in China Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

In 2008, Maria Yee Inc. occupied a unique position as a premium "green" family furniture maker with two direct-owned factories in China and supply through several big U.S. retailers. Over time, she pursued environmentally responsible principles like using sustainable bamboo and eco-certified wood. She believed in being eco-friendly through thoughtful design and manufacturing, not merely marketing. The business was a leader on environmental initiatives within the furniture industry. But Yee wrestled with how to enlarge and become more mass market while staying true to her values that were green.

Price-competitive was remaining, since environmental innovations like using eco-certified lumber or eco friendly manufacturing procedures tended to cost more. The business experienced difficulties developing a trusted green supply chain in China for wood, bamboo and finishes. It faced the challenge of getting consumers to fully value the environmental benefit of its products. And it was considering the best way to create greater brand awareness and develop new market segments and distribution channels for its eco-furniture. The case addresses the unique challenges while advancing its eco-friendly strategy in reaching its full potential as a business that an entrepreneurial company faces.

PUBLICATION DATE: January 16, 2009 PRODUCT #: SI110-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE

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