International trade has resulted in the movement of goods across the globe. Faster communication has enabled many companies to remain largely competitive, by delivering customized products on time. International trade relies much on the supply chain, which largely encompasses the distribution of goods to the final consumers…
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Supply chain management has become an important topic of concern for many companies, who rely on getting a huge market for their highly competitive products. Supply chain management helps in the proper management of resources and a far more efficient way of distribution. Supply chain management is a fast and emerging concept in the distribution of goods in supermarkets. Huge international corporations such as Dell, Kodak, Gillette, Unilever and Wal-Mart have all introduced SCM. Therefore, I, as an SCM consultant have been asked to analyze the supply chain management of the fashion department of the Co-Op supermarket, and address and provide a few solutions to the concerns of the board of directors, which are quite valid.
Fashion has an allure for many women in the United States. Therefore, the fashion department of the supermarket has done quite well. However, with the recent awareness of the problems of environment, many women have become largely concerned about the origination of these fashion products. Hence, supermarkets are faced with a dilemma. They have to remain competitive, offer low prices to customers and respond to certain other needs of customers, quite unrelated to the specification of the product, itself. The Supply Chain Management is an issue of such vital importance because the globalized world that we live in, has spurred off many benefits, as well as many problems. Market segmentation has occurred, where many consumers may become concerned with the environment. Co-op supermarket has an ethical policy, which takes many preferences of the consumers. Customer responsiveness is quite significant; therefore, consumer feedback has to be integrated into daily operations (Wisner, Tan & Leong 2008, p. 26). The board of directors has become increasingly concerned over the channel of distribution of the fashion products, since they are manufactured in China, and are shipped across the globe to the United States. The concern is quite logical and merits consideration. According to Wisner, Tan and Leong, in their book “Principles of Supply Chain Management”, the greening of supply chains is important, because they suit the particular needs of the customers, especially in the case of Co-Op supermarket. Code of ethics is an important component of the workings of the Co-Op supermarket, the company prides in it. Therefore, ethical policy needs revision if the customer preferences have to be catered. The book mentions that the entire chain of distribution from storing, packaging, repackaging, transit and delivery have a significant threat to the environment. The threat to the environment comes in the form of air pollution, congestion, global warming and other forms of industrial pollution. In the case of shipment, whether by air or by sea, pollution is created, which inevitably leads to Global Warming. The fashion products can also be not manufactured in the United States, since the production can become highly expensive, because of expensive labor. However, products in China are manufactured quite cheaply. Therefore, even at the cost of ethical policy, the supermarket cannot forgo its competitiveness in the market. Moreover, the supermarket cannot only stock products from the native country, because this denies consumer the choice and variety of different products. Therefore, the supermarket is faced with a dilemma. If it is to maintain a market of the fashion products, it needs to address the concerns of many consumers who like to preserve the integrity of the
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