Supply Chain International : A Competitive Advantage For The Company

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Chris Fraser, President, Supply Chain International, VF Brands is faced with a challenge to create a competitive advantage for the company by making its supply chain more efficient and robust in terms of speed to market, material utilisation, lower inventories, less work in process and lower cost to quality. VF’s coalitions were pleased with the quality and reliability of service they received from sourcing. VF had driven down cost by continually expanding their supplier base to ever lower cost locations enabling VF to hit corporate margin targets of 10-15%. At his juncture, Fraser and Green began exploring the next possible actions to take for making the supply chain more efficient.
To exploit the
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Immediate issue: On a Importance/Urgency matrix the immediate issue can be assessed as low on urgency since in the current situation VF is doing pretty well with its current sourcing strategies and methods. However it can be assessed as high on importance better sourcing strategies can free up capitol locked in huge inventories and also increase market responsiveness enabling the company to exploit the lost opportunities due to long and inflexible sourcing time lines.
Basic issue: If we discuss the basic issue again is high on urgency since it was critical to get a buy from different stakeholders in the company to set the future strategic sourcing direction of the company since scaling up needed time and the roadmap to change needed active cooperation. It can also be assessed high on importance since it was evident from the industry trends that the future competitive advantage would no longer come from finding low cost locations but from managing the whole supply chain in a more efficient manner. It was also importance to make the supply chain robust to wither the effects of 2008 like economic crisis situations.
We can start by making a note of a few industry trends which are relevant to the case:-
Trends in the Apparel Industry
A major trend in the apparel industry was growing power of large mass retailing chains in the
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