Society for Case Research Spring Conference MBAA

Experience level: 
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Robert G. Edmonds, Cornelia McCarthy, Nina Timonina

Sentron Blinds Mexico: The Challenge in Expanding Internationally

This descriptive case study reflects a real-life situation in which one of the author’s was personally involved. The name of the organization and those of the principals involved have been disguised; the original organization is no longer in business. Sentron Window Corporation grew from a small entrepreneurial, family-owned venetian blind manufacturer into a highly successful importer and manufacturer of hard window treatments with a dominate share of the United States market. It had annual sales growth of 20 to 30% per year for over a decade and distribution for its varied window products was found in every major retailer in the United States including Walmart, Home Depot, K Mart, FW Woolworth and numerous regional mass merchants. The firm had annual sales exceeding $130 million a year. However, Sentron’s decision to expand into international manufacturing by building a greenfield manufacturing plant in Reynosa, Mexico proved not only challenging, but in the end, also risky to the profitability and very survival of the firm itself.