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Download The Furniture Wars: How America Lost a 50 Billion Dollar Industry epub

by Michael K. Dugan

The book offers an insider's critical look at the impact of globalization on the American furniture business, an industry that went from making 'world class' products to shutting down plants in 5 years. With tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars at stake, the industry was taught a painful lesson. The failure to learn from the experience will result in more losses for the furniture business and other industries as well, making this book particularly relevant to our times.
Download The Furniture Wars: How America Lost a 50 Billion Dollar Industry epub
ISBN: 1439225109
ISBN13: 978-1439225103
Category: Business
Subcategory: Management & Leadership
Author: Michael K. Dugan
Language: English
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (March 26, 2009)
Pages: 450 pages
ePUB size: 1755 kb
FB2 size: 1153 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 860
Other Formats: lit mobi doc txt

Overall very informative and should be required reading for anyone thinking of entering the industry. I found the first half of the book to be an excellent read. The second half was harder to read because the theme was becoming repetitive (not that this was historically inaccurate, just getting boring to read at that point). I was surprised at how little of the book was allocated to Asian imports (the final chapter), as this was the primary factor in the death of (most) American furniture manufacturing. I suspect that this is because the author had been retired from the industry at that point and was more of an observer than insider after 2005.
If you want an inside look at America's furniture industry, this is one of the available works on the subject. This book goes beyond a mere academic treatment of furniture makers' infighting and the effects of globalization on the industry--you'll also be afforded a look "under the tent flaps" of some of the personalities involved. I found book-wide them of "combat....war....skirmishes..." etc a bit tedious after a while...I think the author over-plays the metaphor. A good read for business students and those in the industry.
It was suggested in the book Factory Man that I read first. I would suggest for those interested in the history of the furniture industry to read the The Furniture Wars first, and then move on to the Factory Man.Both books will give you great insight on how our American Furniture Manufacturers have one by one moved to China, Vietnam, and other Asian counties where the labor is cheap, and factory regulations are virtually non-existent or very weak at best.This along with our great country losing another unique American manufacturing segment and 10,000's of 1000's of jobs!
The content of this book is excellent and was the information that I needed. However, I made the mistake of buying the kindle edition. It is riddled with typos. Every time the author used 'off' it was printed 'of'. This slows down reading every time it happens. Many more typos were in the book. It is not a quality product. A more serious concern with the kindle edition is that there are no page numbers. If you need to cite a quotation from the book, you cannot. I bought the kindle edition because it was quicker to get and cheaper. Since I needed the page numbers, I had to turn around and also buy the paper book. What a waste of money. Kindle should be reserved for novels and light reading, not anything serious.
Captain America
It is clearly an insider's view, but reads almost like a personal diary. There might be an issue with the download - the word "off" has been misspelled over 50 times; "then" is written as "ten", etc. Also, the "You should have known better" attitude is both demeaning and annoying. Finally, please explain to the author that referring to himself in the third person is awkward.
The book helped me understand the old-line furniture industry better and really even post-industrial America better. I've been in the industry for 30+ years, but always sourced product mostly through furniture channels outside the "briar patch" of N Carolina and Mississippi. The world he describes I was just in touch enough with to know what he was talking about, yet not really understanding completely until I read all the twists and turns found in his book. The fact that I could be in the business, but not be up on all the insiders and outsiders, is a testimony that the industry is bigger than he portrays in his book. The recent bankruptcy of Furniture Brands made more sense to me because I read the antecedents up to about 2007 in his book. The thing that annoyed me a little about the book was that my e-book had lots of typos or mis-spellings, way more than I've experienced in any other book I've bought. Still, all in all, a good read.
As a former long time supplier to the furniture industry, Author/Professor Mike Dugan gives the reader an historical account of his view of the Furniture Industry of which he was an integral part from the late 60s through 2009.

Mike recounts his story from a 1st person perspective only with the added touches that comes from an initial outsider who through his career marketed and oversaw furniture operations, both under his direct supervision, and as a competitor brought in initially from outside the good old boy network that spawned the furniture industry's southern roots after World War II..

Mike's acumen and insight tells the story of intrigue within and outside the industry as entrepreneurs. financial holding companies and large conglomerates like General Mills over estimated their abilities to manage and grow the furniture industries individual plants and market niches into larger profit centers...

Primarily, I got the message that there was not much trust within the industry as the changes started in 1970's the original owners either retired or sold off to large conglomerates that did not understand their market niches and became lost in a sea of sameness that allowed China and those off-shore take the opportunity to fill a void from leadership lacking in the US from an industry that was always fragmented.

Mile gives excellent personal and side bar anecdotes to the emotional undercurrents throughout this time, comparing many times to Sun Tzu's The Art of War, coming I think from his historical background in the Liberal Arts field and writes with a flair that reflects history and lessons in business that remained unlearned during the tumultuous time that lead to the Asian Invasion....
I think Mike Dugan has done a great job at given a view of the furniture business and how different it is than other industries. I think that many in government would benefit from Dugan's description on how China has taken over one of our oldest industries. We have countless unemployeed because of thisIt doesn't read like the typical business book. Comparing the furniture business to the "briar patch"gives great insight into the industry's challenges.This would be a great book for all college business majors & Harvard MBAs. They would have inside knowledge of the lies taught in school.