Supply Chain Example
Begin by reading the First activity in Module 5 and the material immediately below. You should
also review the supply chain PowerPoint in Module 5. Although Wikipedia should be used
cautiously, in this case their SCM article may be helpful.
Supply Chain Management
The global economy, advanced planning techniques, and technology have changed what we once
called “logistics” into the science of SCM. SCM is managing both the upstream (where a firm
finds materials and supplies) and the downstream (where it sells and/or ships products) “chain”
of suppliers, sellers and partners. Some firms, such as Wal-Mart owe much of their success to
SCM and logistics. Wal-Mart is considered a world leader in managing their supply chain using
advanced logistics and IT systems.
A major change in SCM is the emergence of “third-party logistics suppliers” aka “3PL” firms.
The most widely known of these is UPS, whose new tagline is “what can Brown do for you”
focuses not on delivering packages, but on SCM.
How about a KFC Shrimp Burger?
Truly global firms find that they must adapt the products they sell to meet local market
conditions, which may include legal, cultural or physical requirements. This often requires
developing new products or components to meet local needs. Product adaptation is changing the
physical product, creating a new product or changing other parts of the marketing mix to meet
local needs and requirements.
o Changing the name of the product is often not enough, in many cases the product itself
needs to be modified. Some examples:
o McDonald’s has burgers in India – but no beef. It’s consumption is taboo. Instead, you’ll
find tofu or chicken.
o Wal-Mart sells live fish, turtles and frogs in their China stores – not as pets but for dinner
o American appliance manufacturers had to adjust the size of their home machines – many
urban European kitchens were too small for our large appliances.
You will follow a format similar to the “do first” assignment at the beginning of Module 5. Make
sure that you have completed that exercise before attempting this component of the marketing
There are TWO parts to this component.
In about 2-3 paragraphs provide a high level view of your supply chain. Consider what you will
need to successfully take your product to market and where you might encounter breaks or
obstacles in the chain.
You should also address the issue of what type of suppliers you might need and where they are
located. What issues do you anticipate? Do not forget to consider political, trade and social
issues. If you need a steady supply of coffee or chocolate, will you buy only Fair Trade? Are
there child labor issues? Import restrictions?
You will create Word chart with three columns:
If you are not familiar with these terms, visit the activity in Module 5.
For each of the columns, identify 4-5 items that you will need for a complete supply chain.
Bullets are fine, but make sure that you are clear.
In the last row, list your typical end user. Are you direct to consumer or are you selling to a
retailer or wholesaler? In some cases, you may have an entirely different end user.
Your chart will look similar to this:
SUPPLY CHAIN FOR PRODUCT ABC
Up stream Mid-stream Down stream
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