Posted On September 19, 2016
What’s grocery shopping like at your house?
Chances are, it’s more complicated than you realize.
When you need a few boxes of mac-n-cheese, some lunches for the kids, supplies for your weekend barbecue—you know, basic needs—you probably visit the supermarket located just a few miles from your home. That’s where, more than likely, you spend most of your grocery budget. However, when you need 100 rolls of toilet paper, an industrial-size can of green beans, or enough razors to shave a small bear, chances are you visit a warehouse store located a little bit further from home. From a strategic perspective it just makes sense to purchase some things in bulk quantities, even if you have to drive a little further to do it. How did you learn this strategic fact?
Probably the hard way.
Then there are those moments when you need hypo-allergenic, gluten-free, soy-based peanut butter to make snacks for your child’s class. Or those moments when you decide you want an elk burger, because you watched a Food Network show that featured elk burgers, and they looked really good.Where do you find specialty products like that? Chances are you won’t find them at your local supermarket or in a warehouse store. You may need to visit a health-food store, a specialty shop, or perhaps take up elk hunting. According to research, most shoppers–75%–shop at two or more stores. That means that when it comes to the food in your fridge and in your pantry, most homes use a fractured supply chain.
What is a fractured supply chain?
It means you’ve taken a strategic approach to sourcing your inputs from different suppliers to manufacture the end product—in this case a healthy, happy, well-fed home.
However, ask anyone who has managed a fractured grocery supply chain, and they will tell you that even if it’s worth it, it is complicated and time consuming. Now imagine being a plastics processor who manufactures parts for the interior of a car. You may be sourcing molds, plastic resin, and a variety of other inputs from suppliers across the world. That type of fractured supply chain is incredibly complex. Managing a fractured global supply chain is sort of like managing a fractured grocery supply chain for your home.
Except a lot more money is at stake. And there is a lot less room for error.
In fact, managing a fractured supply chain is one of the largest logistics challenges facing businesses in 2016, according to consulting firm PwC. The mix of on-shoring, near-shoring, and off-shoring nodes within your supply chain creates tremendous challenges—and tremendous strategic opportunities.
What does it take to turn a supply chain challenge into a strategic opportunity?
The right logistics partner—a logistics partner who operates with an extreme focus on operational excellence. Flat World Supply Chain and the Flat World family of companies is that partner. We:
- Improve your transportation cost structures, and deliver value to you and your customers.
- Provide technology solutions that improve your team’s productivity and efficiency.
- Ensure actual costs meet expectations, and align those costs to your business activities.
- Provide regular reporting and data metrics.
- Continuously review and adjust when needed to ensure your transportation strategy is bringing value to your business.
Because if a fractured supply chain goes wrong at home, and no one gets their favorite flavor of Gatorade, things will still basically be okay. No one loses their job, and companies won’t go bankrupt.
The same can’t be said for the fractured global supply chain that keeps your company in business.