Global Supply Chain Strategy Case Study: Worldwide Distribution
Orders entered in a given country for products, parts and consumables would be split into many component orders and then forwarded to other countries and continents for fulfillment.
Our firm was engaged by a worldwide corporation to streamline the incoming flow of orders and the outgoing flow of products.
The corporation produced industrial equipment, parts, consumables, and supplies in many plants on multiple continents. The equipment covered multiple product lines and was the result of numerous acquisitions over many years. Each business had different customer requirements to satisfy, including supplying some of their products to other businesses within the corporation. Products were sold around the world to customers by independent entities as well as owned subsidiaries. The organization of the company was in constant flux due to the complexity of the company, the products and the evolving markets. This meant that personnel, processes and systems were constantly changing.
Orders entered in a given country for products, parts and consumables would be split into many component orders and then forwarded to other countries and continents for fulfillment. Customers would sometimes receive many shipments over a long span of time in response to an order and requirement for material. The complication of the entire supply chain limited the implementation of any single solution.
Our firm mapped the process and developed a strategy for streamlining the flow of information from order origination back to the warehouses and plants responsible for supplying the products. We also developed a new strategy for the physical movement and delivery of goods. Both of these strategies were then used as a guide for decision making in each business and on each system and process. The company was able to agree, for the first time, on a method for moving forward and was able to make coordinated decisions on system investments, order processing methods, and physical handling and shipping. The strategy developed was used for a number of years as the overriding direction for further developing the business.