Supply Chain Management

Supply Chains are all of the organizations, people, and processes that are involved in the sourcing, creation, distribution, and consumption of your product or service. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the effective design, operation, and improvement of this network of organizations and people that may exist on a global basis.

Most organizations have only given serious attention to their supply chain in recent years. Previously, individual organizations were only concerned about their own operations, those that they owned and controlled. Now it is recognised that the product or service that the end customer receives will be influenced by actions across the whole supply chain, and that the success of individual supply chain organizations is strongly influenced by the actions of the other supply chain members. Supply chain management is based on this understanding and is focused on maximizing the performance of the whole supply chain.

In business everything is about the bottom line, how can you come out on top at the end of the day?? In order to do that you need to have a great customer experience, a great employee experience and you need to achieve great results. In order to achieve those results you need to keep your customers happy and delivery what they need when they need it. Norwell Dairy is the largest dairy supply company in all of North America selling and servicing approx. 1700 dairy customers in Ontario. They have four locations across Ontario with the head office being in Drayton. Each location has their own warehouse but all shipments are sent to the head office and distributed from there. Over the years Norwell has worked to implement a plan that works best for all their warehouses, trucks, service and sales team to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding inventory. NAV and Mobile NAV were put in place as an ERP system to help keep track of all the parts and improve the overall supply chain and inventory which meant getting to proper parts to customers faster.

Google is the number one internet search engine use worldwide, even to the point of becoming a verb for searching information online. Anything you could possibly think of is available at your fingertips, whether it’s information regarding research, looking for recipes or images, to locating and identifying nearby businesses.

Today’s marketplace is highly competitive. In order to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of the competition, companies must think of innovative ways to streamline their operations, increase efficiencies, and optimize productivity. One such aspect of achieving greater efficiency is through good supply chain management practices. Not super sexy, but super important, supply chains and supply chain management are topics that your business should be constantly evaluating!

Every organization must deal with the management of a supply chain to some extent. Often, the production/distribution of commodities does not operate at the hands of one person or group, but multiple people working together, across different locations and with expertise to produce and deliver a product to the consumer. In turn, with so many people across the supply chain to manage and coordinate with one another, social media has become a powerful tool to successfully organize logistics for any given organization.

Supply chain is where 80% or more of any company’s costs and risks lie. It also presents a window of opportunity that can produce great results when right sort of interventions are geared towards it. This can help the companies to stay competitive and focused. British supermarket retailer ASDA is one of the examples that revolutionized its supply chain management and saved £11 Million along with reduction of CO2 by 35,000 tons so far. About ASDA ASDA Stores Ltd is a British supermarket retailer with its headquarter located in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The company was found in 1965 and since then have become a subsidiary of the American retail giant Walmart. It was estimated to be the second largest supermarket chain in Britain between 2003 and 2014 by market share and is currently third behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The vision ASDA was not naive to the fact that as one of the largest retailers in Britain, whatever they do will have an impact on the sector. They take this responsibility very seriously therefore they devised three aspirational goals that guides all their work, To be supplied by 100% renewable energy To create zero waste To sell products that sustain people and the environment. Julian Walker-Palin, head of corporate sustainability at Asda, said: “At Asda, our approach to sustainability is based on the belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand. After all, wasting resources means wasting money – and we hate waste of any kind.” Challenge: Since 2005, ASDA has worked towards minimizing environmental impact of their operations. This saved them £80m that was invested into delivering lower prices to their customers. They saw great benefits from adopting sustainable measures with cost savings of 101-126Million Euros and a sizable resource efficiency.  Being aware of the influence they had across their supply chain and with the knowledge that 90% of their environmental impact lies within their supply base, ASDA thought of devising a mechanism that would help their over 300 suppliers find efficiencies in resource management and build resilience.

Nespresso has been an extraordinary coffee provider for people in Europe since 1986. Even though it took them 15 years to come to the US and then Canada, their ability to adapt to the different coffee drinker (creating the “american size”) has enabled them to become a staple high standard brand in the US and now Canada. The company has proven to understand and care about their sustainability, both by developing a robust self sustaining program for their growers in Sudan and more recently with the development of their “Red and Green bag” recycling system. The program gives Nespresso club members a prepaid red postage bag for their capsules. The bags can then be dropped off at any Canada Post. The capsules are received, emptied and the aluminium is recycled while the contents can be composted.

With over 3000 Americans dying each year from food borne diseases and 128, 000 being hospitalized,  keeping the fresh food supply safe is an enormous challenge. Verizon Enterprise has taken the initiative to bring light to the issue of food safety, as well as the current technical and process challenges that continue to impact humans and our fresh food supply. The issue is so large, that to put it in pure economic terms, the USDA estimates the amount of food loss in the U.S. alone each year totals more than $161B.  And the industry simply accepts these losses as the cost of doing business. Verizon became involved in sensor and tracking technology a couple of years ago when they sat down with healthcare customer and asked them how they could help them be more efficient and effective with their business. They started to hear recurring themes in the pharmaceutical space about needing to be able to track in real time shipments of medicines that are compliant with the federal government regulations. They wanted to know the progress, the location, the temperature and a variety of other information that is required as they ship product around the US. They realized they were uniquely positioned to get involved with asset tracking in a bigger way. The soon translated these learnings from Pharma to food by talking to fisherman who were losing money because so many different people were involved with the farm-to-fork delivery of their product. Food quality is important, but if something happens to the fish during transit, the fishermen get blamed. Fishermen were looking for ways to protect the quality of what they deliver. Verizon understands the importance of tracking the temperature of fish from its catch to either the restaurant or retailer. Temperature control of fresh seafood (or any other perishable) is critically important for food safety. In fact, researchers have found that one of the largest challenges associated with food safety and food waste is related to controlling and monitoring the consistency of food temperatures throughout the cold chain.

Getting people to give blood is a challenge. Asking is hard enough, but actually getting people to do it, frankly is quite a challenge. In 2014, statistics revealed that blood donations in England and North Wales were down 40% from the previous decade. National Health Service (NHS) Blood and Transplant knew it needed to do something to reverse this trend. Enter the ” Missing Type” campaign. A team from creative agency WCRS and PR firm MHP collaborated to create a disruptive campaign to trigger conversation and initiate behavior change. This was about creating new donor registrations, not simply “raising awareness”.

The Goofie Newfie Pub and Grill in Fergus Ontario, is an amazing small town pub bringing the distinct feel of Newfoundland to the heart of Ontario. From the Fisherman (wood carved statue) greeting you when you first walk in, to the boats hanging from the ceiling, the warm feel of “Newfie” hospitality is engrained in this one of a kind pub. Don’t let the “small town pub” fool you, the feel and homeliness is not the only thing they bring “to the table“ from Newfoundland.

With produce coming from all corners of the globe to large grocery chains, many are yearning for a return to knowing who grows their food, what goes into growing it, and wanting to make it a sustainable enterprise. New Zealand company Ooooby (an acronym for Out Of Our Own Back Yards), prides itself on its mission to not only make local food easy to receive for customers, but to make it affordable as well — all while giving the growers a fair amount of pay. The way Ooooby operates, is that customers will place an order for the produce they want on Ooooby’s website. From there, orders will be processed and boxes will be filled with fresh produce from local growers, and hand-delivered extremely quickly. Local growers can range from someone who has a large backyard full of lemons, to a full-scale farmer with a wide array of produce — all can contribute the Ooooby system and reap the benefits.

IKEA has a reputation of creating functional, modern, quality and affordable products. Products offered are available for any part of a home from bathroom, living room, bed room to kitchen and more. They not only offer furniture but they also offer accessories to compliment any room in any home. IKEA is a Swedish-founded Dutch-based company that has 355 in 29 countries. The popular furniture store has a vision “to create a better everyday like for the many people”. Some of the key factors that contribute to IKEA’s successful supply management is their affordability, quality and availability.

What do you do when you feel a little down? Sit on a sofa and stare at the wall? Go on the treadmill and think “gosh, what am I doing here”? Or, do you do what I do, and make sure you get your hands on some really, really, good chocolate? Born and raised in Germany, I know what really, really, good chocolate tastes like, and I don’t hesitate to drive a long way to get it. When I finally get home with my treasure and start to unwrap the silver paper carefully from the bar, I already start to feel better.  When I break off the first row and hear the distinct cracking sound and see that the edge of the break is smooth and without crumbs, I know this is going to be delicious. When I inhale the scent deeply and get ready for the ultimate intense experience, my palate gets excited. I close my eyes, put the first piece into my mouth and let it melt slowly. I make sure that every single taste bud has a chance to experience the creamy yummyness. Gosh, it’s heaven.  I have to tell you, there is only one chocolate that melts that way and qualifies to be called really, really, good – and that is chocolate from Lindt! “Lindt is the best. Their chocolate is so creamy and they offer a broad variety of interesting flavours you don’t find anywhere else.”  Ulrike Voigt, Chocolate Connoisseur

You would think that creating a proper Supply Chain that benefits Creative Casuals customers, would have been an easy task to do, but it took many long years to create what is a very well run efficient company. Creative Casuals is a promotional marketing company who has grown from a single person cottage industry to a mid size company with many employees, an embroidery and screen-printing department and three locations. The main office and production warehouse is in Listowel On, with sales offices in Kincardine and Stratford. Mari-Lou Lowry Started Creative Casuals after graduating from design school. She knew she wanted to start a viable business that could withstand the test of time. The company needed to be vibrant and grow with the ever-changing environment of technology today. 29 years ago when it all started there were no computers, no fancy communication tools except a telephone and fax, but that never stopped Creative Casuals from exploring everything they needed to become a multi functional promotional company. Mari-Lou knew she would need to diversify with percentages of accounts in corporate sales, team and school sales, and also contract wholesale embroidery and screen-printing. Mari-Lou was aware to not to put all her eggs in one basket in case the market trends changed. As we all know one of the first things to disappear off a tight business budget is promotional marketing products. Creative Casuals realized they needed to look at the supply chain management carefully to succeed.

Most people consider social media to be platforms for dialogue between themselves and their closest friends and favourite social influencers. Of course, marketers and organizations use social media to promote products and brands, communicate with customers, and gather data from their target audience. It’s not surprising that discussions involving the application of social medias rarely focus on supply chain and distribution implications; however, this function within a business and between businesses can benefit almost infinitely from a strong network of social media and communication platforms. Many companies are beginning to look to other areas of their business to either cut costs or earn more income, and their supply chain has become an increasingly popular source for such activity. One company capitalizing on this newfound value centre is SDVI, a resource management company that helps media and entertainment companies organize their data and information supply chain to improve the agility and efficiency of their media infrastructures (Market Wired, 2016).  

Creating a supply chain that is both efficient and properly managed can be difficult. Between ensuring visibility across channels, product development, customer service and accurate inventory management, maximizing the performance of a company’s entire supply chain can be complicated. For a company like Ryder, though, supply chain management is what the company excels at. Ryder is a Fortune 500® commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation and supply chain solutions company. With over 50,000 customers, Ryder boasts a 99% on-time delivery rate, 80+ years of experience and a fleet of more than 230,000. Ryder has been recognized for its industry-leading practices in third-party logistics, environmentally friendly fleet and supply chain solutions, and world-class safety and security programs.

Toronto’s Furniture Bank moves people in countless ways. Their mission, to bring gently used furniture (for free) into the lives of people transitioning out of homelessness; newly-landed refugees; people transitioning out of abusive situations; and more, is no easy task. Through partnerships with 1-800-GOT-JUNK (a waste-collection organization which often comes across gently-used furniture and housewares), You Move Me (an associated moving company), and others, Furniture Bank is able to meet the demands of this important community service. Added to this chain is a long list of social service agencies whose role it is to identify clients in dire need of furnishings. From the moment a citizen picks up the phone and asks how they can contribute their used furniture to Furniture Bank, the wheels are set in motion with the associated ‘supplier’: The pickup and delivery of furniture to Furniture Bank, the sorting and curating of the materials, the partner agencies identifying candidates/families in need, and clients/families visiting Furniture Bank and selecting the furniture that will bring dignity to their homes and their lives. Some more on Furniture Bank’s daily mission: Martin’s Story

“There aren’t many organizations globally that source their raw material from their friends and neighbours.” That was how Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) opened his remarks during the Queen’s Health Policy Change Conference Series in Toronto last summer. CBS manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all the provinces and territories (excluding Quebec). It may seem odd to classify blood as a raw material to be processed, but that’s exactly what it is. And in 2016, those friends and neighbours Sher mentioned supplied more than 1.2 million units of these products. But reaching that level isn’t easy, given that one in every two Canadians is able to donate, but only one in sixty actually does. And every year, almost 40% of donors stop giving due to changing eligibility requirements, attrition and other reasons. With a relatively small pool of ‘suppliers’, every donation counts and every missed or cancelled appointment is a lost opportunity to not only replenish the supply of blood products, but to provide vital data that helps hospitals determine inventories, schedule procedures and ensure an adequate supply of products for emergency use. Social media campaigns have been used in various industries, from pizza producers to newspaper publishers, to collect data and improve supply chain efficiency. In this case, CBS uses data gathered from social  and other digital tools to guide its recruitment and retention campaigns.

Adidas’ and FIFA’s relationship dates back 47years, and since 1970 Adidas has been supplying the official match ball for all FIFA World Cup™ matches. The partnership was recently extended until 2030 granting adidas the Official Partner, Supplier and Licensee rights for the FIFA World Cup™ and all FIFA events until 2030. The announcement was made during a ceremony in Moscow by Thierry Weil, FIFA Marketing Director and Herbert Hainer, Adidas Group CEO. Adidas wants to preserve its position as the number one seller of soccer gear worldwide. In 2010 Adidas, was the first and only outfitter and licensee to disclose the list of suppliers/factories involved with the production of World Cup products of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Adidas Supply Chain Structure Adidas is currently outsourcing most of the production to more than 1,000 independent factories from around the world. Adidas products are manufactured in 63 countries and supply chain is global and multi-layered with different types of business partners, some are directly contracted factories, while others are not. The top five countries per region and by number of supplier sites in 2016 were: The Americas (26%): United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and Mexico. Asia (64%): China, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia and Japan. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (10%): Germany, Turkey, Italy, Spain and South Africa.  The Power of Social Media and Supply Chain Management Adidas has launched a #allin campaign on Twitter. The official World Cup 2014 soccer ball named the Brazuca was given its own Twitter handle (@brazuca) generating over 139,000 followers. The Adidas Football YouTube channel has 350,000 subscribers and is host to various videos showcasing Lionel Messi, featuring the new Battle Pack cleats that were launched in conjunction with World Cup content. One of the videos features the Brazuca that was fitted with cameras into the ball that was sent on a World Journey. In 2014 World Cup in Brazil the Adidas football Facebook page had over 17 million likes, containing pictures promotions, video links. Some of the promotions included signed soccer balls by designated players that could be won by customers by following Adidas soccer related Twitter accounts. This was a way for Adidas to connect to their customer base, fans and anyone interested in Soccer. Adidas is using Social Media to Improve Supply Chain Management The Sports Retail Industry is a highly competitive market and it is very important for companies to… Read more »

In 2014 a global movement started #whomademyclothes. Fashion Revolution  is a not for profit Community Interest Company based out of the U.K.. Since 2014 it has held an annual social media campaign #whomademyclothes in April, on the anniversary of the devastating 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in which 1,134 people were killed. The social media campaign calls on clothing brands to take responsibility and demonstrate transparency for their supply chain management. Social media has enabled a global conversation on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for socially conscious consumers who are actively seeking out sustainable fashion and the demand for transparency. Eileen Fisher Inc. is a clothing brand that is managing their supply chain.

October 2017, McDonald’s brought back a rare condiment from the 1990s at the beginning of the month, but the promotion ended in protests and sky-high secondary markets. (Kalvapalle, 2017) McDonald’s is an American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain. It was founded in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, USA. In 1948, they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand, using production line principles. Today, McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest restaurant chains, serving approximately 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across approximately 36,900 outlets as of 2016. McDonald’s primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken products, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes and after facing criticism for the unhealthy nature of their food, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit. A McDonald’s restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. According to a BBC report published in 2012, McDonald’s is the world’s second largest private employer (behind Walmart with 1.9 million employees), 1.5 million of whom work for franchises. (Wikipedia, 2017)

It’s the wold’s most valuable sports brand. And it all began when founder Phil Knight decided to start selling track shoes out of the trunk of his car in 1976. Today, Nike is a global athletic shoe and apparel juggernaut, with a brand value of nearly $15 billion U.S. But a string of public controversies in the 1990s and early 2000s over the working conditions at some of Nike’s factories around the world threatened to derail close to 20 years of brand building in one fell swoop. Allegations of child labour, poor wages and dangerous working conditions at various locations in its global supply chain triggered widespread protests and seriously threatened Nike’s very existence. And while the company initially denied any claims of wrongdoing, further damaging its reputation, it eventually responded with humility and transparency. Today, Nike makes its supply chain practices transparent and available online and uses social media in various forms to actively listen to and engage with its stakeholders in order to influence where and how its products are designed and manufactured – all critical elements of effective, and modern, supply chain management.

Papa John’s Pizza has been using social media channels to help educate customers where products and ingredients are coming from, and creating time effective ordering options available on channels. Aside from social channels, the company has also used a collaborative technology solution to help support the efficiency of the supply chain. The company outsourced the supply chain needs to Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software company, to help create more time effective and cost saving inventory management. Eric Hartman, Senior Director of Logistics said, “Manhattan solutions allow us to manage inventory levels accurately, efficiently and more dynamically based on actual need—and that has resulted in our being able to reduce overall inventory levels (Manhattan, 2013)”. Using the collaborative software has also provided better solutions to inventory transportation. The software can optimize routes, improving on-time store deliveries, and the overall performance of their fleet (Trebilcock, B., 2014, October). Customer service relies on the speed of the supply chain to help get their products to customers in an effective way that will save time and money.  “Implementation of Manhattan’s solutions has provided unprecedented visibility along with reduced expenses, improved efficiency and productivity in every part of the supply chain (Manhattan, 2013)”. Papa John’s wants to ensure that its “fast food” moves just as quickly throughout every level of the supply chain.

Innovation is the hallmark of internet startups. When Karl Seibrecht co-founded Flexe, a company that many call the Airbnb of warehouses, he had recognized a problem for many companies and came up with an innovative solution. Clients of Flexe can add empty warehouse space that they may have to a registry and clients looking for space can search to find a good match. This is very similar to the Airbnb model of people renting out their spare room or their house on a short-term basis. Karl Seibrecht commented to Fortune.com, “At any given moment there are many, many businesses out there that have too much space, while other businesses don’t have enough.” (Morris, 2015)

Social supply Chain management is becoming more of a success tool. It seeks to incorporate social network, social interactions and social data with customers, stateholders and business owners in resulting in an improved customer service. In most supply chains, the following factors are important; Cost Quality Speed    

Social media is about building relationships, and it can be used in a supply chain to build and grow communications among trading partners. Information and knowledge gathered from the use of social media by supply chain partners can provide insight into various issues. Social media allows supply chain participants to monitor supply chain events and transactions to keep everyone up-to-date with current situations, such as a delay in shipping or a carrier failed to pick-up a shipment. Providing companies with more timely and insightful information about risks and events, enabling them to make corrective action sooner – minimizing the impact of a supply chain disruption. Despite all the major advances in supply chain management and technology in recent years, most restaurants and their suppliers still don’t have a single, integrated, real-time view of supply and demand when working together in an enterprise. The lack of visibility creates a fractured supply chain; one in which the restaurant operator and its suppliers do not operate in sync, resulting in bloated inventory, excessive waste, supply uncertainty, and poor customer service for all parties concerned. So in many ways, the restaurant industry is defined by paradoxes. Consumers want quality food at affordable prices. Product freshness is a must, regardless of seasonal variability. Cost and customer service come bundled – not à la carte. Here’s how procuring works at a typical restaurant. At the end of dinner service, the chef or sous-chef compiles a list of everything they will need for the next day’s service. Once there are tallies, the chef calls and leaves messages with orders for delivery. Some restaurants order from separate companies for produce, meat, fish, dried goods, and cleaning supplies. Others make one call to a large all-purpose company, such as Sysco or Gordon Food Service – (you know those big trucks you see across the country). Although these companies may get the lowest prices and deliver everything at once, they rarely have the best product.