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Canadian company Transformix knows the secret to making manufacturing work – add value and have a good neighbor. Everything else will take care of itself. So when the tsunami hit Japan, Transformix CEO Peng-Sang Cau did not worry about the impact. She bought more supplies. Ms. Cau does not worry about from where her parts come. She is too busy guiding the company in what it does best, which is utilizing intellectual capital to design high speed manufacturing equipment prized by other companies, particularly those in the United States.


  1. We typically think of productivity as an internal element that creates a competitive advantage. For Transformix, it is something different. What is it?
  2. What is Transformix’ competitive advantage as a middle player in the supply chain?
  3. Discuss how Transformix blends manufacturing and service technology to add value.
  4. Use Figure 18.2 to analyze Ms. Cau’s decision making following the March 11 disaster in Japan.

SOURCE: R. Blackwell, “Canadian Manufacturers Find a Niche Supplying the Intellectual Part,” Globe and Mail (Retrievable online at

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