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Owner and President Ted Montague was sitting at his desk on the second floor of the small Groveport, Ohio plant that housed Peerless Saw Company and its new subsidiary, Peerless Laser Processors, Inc. As he scanned over the eight-page contract to purchase their third laser system, a 1200 watt computerized carbon dioxide (C02) laser cutter, he couldn't help but reflect back to a similar situation he faced three years ago in this same office. Conditions were significantly different then. It was amazing, Ted reflected, how fast things had changed in the saw blade market, especially for Peerless, which had jumped from an underdog to the technology leader. Market data and financial statements describing the firm and its market environment are given in Exhibits 1 and 2.

History of Peerless Saw Company

Peerless Saw Company was formed in 1931, during the Great Depression, in Columbus, Ohio, to provide bandsaw blades to Ford Motor Company. It survived the Depression and by 1971, with its non-unionized labor force, it was known for its quality bandsaw and circular saw blades.

But conditions inside the firm warranted less optimism. The original machines and processes were now very old and breaking down frequently, extending

Sources for the Readings and Cases are given in the Sourcenotes at the end of the text.

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