OPEMAN Grainger Distribution System

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Analytics Exercise: Distribution Center Location

Grainger: Reengineering the China/U.S. Supply Chain

W. W. Grainger, Inc. is a leading supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products to businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico with an expanding presence in Japan, India, China and Panama. The company works with more than 3,000 suppliers and runs an extensive Website (http://www.grainger.com) where Grainger offers nearly 900,000 products. The products range from industrial adhesives used in manufacturing, to hand tools, janitorial supplies, lighting equipment, and power tools. When something is needed by one of their 1.8 million customers it is often needed quickly, so quick service and product
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It would then be directly stocked in the Kansas City distribution center and used to replenish the warehouses. They expect that very little would need to be shipped back to the Los Angeles warehouse after the new system was operating for about six months.

Grainger management feels that it may be possible to make this change, but they are not sure if it would actually save any money and whether it would be a good strategic change.

Specific Questions to Address in Your Analysis:
1. Relative to the U.S. distribution network, calculate the cost associated with running the existing system. Assume that 40 percent of the volume arrives in Seattle and 60 percent in Los Angeles and the port processing fee for federal processing at both locations is $5.00 per CBM. Assume that everything is transferred to the Kansas City distribution center by rail, where it is unloaded and quality checked. Assume that all volume is then transferred by truck to the nine existing warehouses in the United States.

2. Consider the idea of upgrading the Los Angeles warehouse to include a distribution center capable of processing all the volume coming into the United States. Assume that containers coming into Seattle would be inspected by federal officials (this needs to be done at all port locations) and then immediately shipped by rail in their

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