Delivering consistent quality locally
Most consumers walking into a supermarket or retail store tend to take for granted the consistent quality and pricing of their favourite fruits and vegetables.
When there is news of forest fires and dry weather in places like California and British Columbia where some of our fresh produce are grown, not everyone thinks of how they are able to buy the same fresh produce weekly or enjoy the same meal at a favourite restaurant without interruption.
All this is possible because of an important function of business called supply chain management. Ensuring delivery of consistent quality in a timely manner at an acceptable price is the challenge all businesses have to meet.
An organic berries company is able to supply fruits grown in family farms to supermarkets all year round by sourcing from a large network of family run farms across North and South America. Cost savings is achieved through bulk delivery of produce to central locations for redistribution to individual supermarkets at strategic times to achieve maximum cost and exchange rate savings.
Sourcing for produce worldwide requires a PEST analysis to be carried out to understand the local political, economic, social and technological factors that impact on the quality and price of products.
We hear the advertisement of an American burger chain that proudly announces, “We serve 100% Canadian beef sourced locally. This must be good for the local economy. This action of sourcing locally is also a prudent supply chain practice that helps a global business to manage cost and avoid the impact of currency fluctuations on local pricing of products.
Adopt the following competitive governance practices in managing your supply chain:
Supply chain management is a team effort that requires everyone in the business to be involved.
All departmental teams including finance, operations and marketing teams should coordinate work efforts to ensure delivery of consistent quality in a timely manner at a predictable cost over the long term.
Factors like import cost and an understanding of climate fluctuations that affect delivery cost have to be calculated to ensure the product is sourced from the right supplier from the right country.
A local retail shop that sells a variety of teas and coffees sourced from all over the world has been successful for years because of the local owner’s knowledge of the exotic tea leaves and coffee beans stocked by the store.
Customers get an intimate insight as to the flavours and aromas they can expect from their purchases.
This shop owner is good at making suggestions as to which blends could best satisfy the customer. He is able to do this because of the deep knowledge of teas and coffees he picked up from the wholesale supplier he has an established relationship with.
The wholesale supplier’s team of specialist travel the world markets and plantations gathering knowledge and getting to know the growers and transport companies. They also have a professional team to advise on cost accounting, cross-border import logistics, legal compliance and other necessary aspects of international trade.
With the support of international business specialists a local shop can deliver world-class quality and satisfaction to customers.
International Business Consultant
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