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Surplus Styles is a manufacturer of hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and hair gels. The...

Surplus Styles is a manufacturer of hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and hair gels. The company, located in Southern California, bottles the shampoos and other various hair products in their manufacturing plant, but sources the content from a number of chemical suppliers. The company has historically competed on cost and has used competitive bidding to select suppliers and award yearlong contracts. The Director of Sourcing, Derick M. Frizzle, has managed the competitive bid process for the past 10 years, having moved up the ranks from purchasing. He was particularly proud that the company was cost-competitive in its market segment. One recent day the president of the company, Frederick Davenport, called for a meeting with Mr. Frizzle. Derick could tell from the tone of Davenport’s message that the meeting would be accompanied by less-than-stellar news. As Derick took the infamous ride up the wood-paneled elevator with green marble floors to the top of their office building, he contemplated what he could have possibly done wrong. He had followed the same type of supplier bidding process for years and the company was doing well financially. He was anxious to hear what Davenport had to say. Derick entered Davenport’s vast office, a room highlighted by ceiling-to-floor windows. He could see Mr. Davenport sitting at the end of the long, dark wooden table, with each one of his two aides accompanying him on each side. The man on the right was Bo Jenson and the woman on the left was Gertrude Masterson; neither were taken lightly within the company. Derick could always tell when it was going to be a bad day. ‘‘Darn hippies,’’ Davenport rumbled. ‘‘Bo and Gertrude have some troubling news. This swing towards animal rights and ‘quality goods’ is about to cost me a lot of money,’’ Davenport continued, making mocking ‘‘bunny ears’’ with his bulbous index and middle fingers. ‘‘Apparently, market trends are changing again and not for the better.’’ Davenport continued to explain that there was going to be a change in the competitive strategy of the firm. The competition in the haircare market had become fierce and there was a greater focus on quality. Specifically, the recent trend in animal rights and natural, organic products meant ensuring that the shampoo content did not go through animal testing and that it was ensured to be hypoallergenic. The current products were produced to compete for price and did not agree with the new demands. Davenport wanted to see products on the retail shelf with this quality standard as soon as possible. ‘‘Do it,’’ Davenport continued and sat back down. This concluded the meeting. Luckily Mr. Frizzle had an easy exit as he had only gotten one foot in the door before his task was demanded. Derick M. Frizzle was rather pleased with his new detail as he cared greatly for nature and had always refrained from purchasing his own company’s products due to their lack of consideration for both the individual and the environment. However, Derick was now confronted with a problem. His current suppliers offered the lowest cost in the business and would likely not be able to provide the needed quality assurances. His expertise had been in procuring the least expensive ingredients available and he did not know where to begin changing his sourcing practices.

CASE QUESTIONS

1. Identify the steps that Derick should take to solve his problem.

2. Should Derick ask for the required changes from the current suppliers? If they do not comply, should he solicit new suppliers? How might he do this?

3. Should Derick go through competitive bids in the future? If so, should he do it for all purchased products or just some products?

4. What are the differences when looking for suppliers to meet cost standards versus quality standards?

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Answer #1

1. Derrick should take to solve his problem.Derrick should firstly identify the factors that this organic process would entail.He has to ensure that whatever adjustments in the supply chain strategy he will implement should drive and support the business strategy as a well designed supply chain can provide competitive advantage. In order to continue leveraging the competition and maintain the same path of gaining costs reductions and compete on a cost productivity advantage he can opt to increase sales volumes or utilize an efficient supply chain network. Efficient apply chain network can increase efficiency and improve productivity as such reduce overall cost per unit. He should research potential suppliers assess the cost of possible outsourcing also identify key tech oenology to assist with this new direction. Establishing and building new relationships through the supply chain will be paramount since the Strategy has now changed. Investigating the competition, possible merchants and associated costs of other suppliers should be an avenue to pursue as even though the focus was initially on costs the priorities have now shifted as organic and CEO friendly rodents are more expensive than regular products. Getting all aspects of the chain aligned and workable to fit the modified supply chain design should take precedence.

2. It is definitely k for Derrick to ask for the required changes from the current supplier. He has maintained and fostered a relationship with them over the years and this can also be viewed as part of building further relationships in the supply chain. If they are not familiar with organic CEO roundly products they could be afforded the first opportunity to continue business provided they are willing to facilitate the request. This can mean new future potential business for them as well. If they do not comply then he reserves the right to research and seek out other possible vendors. This new direction of organic products that the company has undertaken comes with great responsibility as the company’s bottom line is dependent on it. The company with the help of Derrick has in the past successfully competed on cost and has used competitive bidding to select suppliers and award yearlong contracts. He should be able to procure the same with the new specifications and supply chain design.

3. Based on the high level of competitive environment experienced in today’s marketplace garnering a sustainable competitive advantage is definitely a priority for companies. Even though organic products are more expensive he should still try to minimize costs. Utilizing a competitive bid process in the future could be recommended for Derrick as this strategy has worked effectively in the past for the company. This can be used for obtaining the best products at cheaper costs. Continuing on the same path should assist him to maintain and align all factors such as costing, innovation, distribution, and product quality and customer service as part of the supply chain strategy.

4. The quality of a product is usually lacking if costs is the only thing a company is focused on. Most companies who compete on costs are only focused at offering the lowest price possible. This strategy requires going to the cheapest suppliers rather than focusing on gig quality components.

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