Tag Archive: costco

Walmart & Costco Moving Towards Farmer-to-Shopping Cart Strategies

May 1st, 2019

 

Walmart & Costco Moving Towards Farmer-to-Shopping Cart Strategies

The squeeze continues. During my Aerospace & Defense speech recently on the Resilient Supply Chain, the concept of vertical integration arose as Boeing and Airbus are expanding and squeezing the middle in a noteworthy fashion. Similarly, according to Journal Star Walmart and Costco are moving to eliminate the middle man by moving towards farmer-to-shopping cart strategies.

Walmart started bottling milk in its new Indiana facility. This move eliminated Dean Foods and their 100 dairy farmers and replaced them with 30 farmers and cooperatives. Walmart is controlling the entire supply chain from farm to shopping cart including transportation, a vertical integration strategy rarely seen to this extent and scale in agriculture. Similarly, Costco established a chicken farm to grow, slaughter and distribute chickens in Nebraska, eliminating suppliers like Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride. Both of these initiatives could create significant disruption as well as opportunity.

Are you staying comfortable, waiting to be disrupted or taking the proactive approach to create disruption?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Getting to the top and/or to a comfortable position and riding the wave isn’t a viable strategy if you wish to be around for the long-term. Stay up-to-speed on what is going on with your industry, competitors, customers, suppliers, region and more. Don’t hide your head in the sand. Instead, choose to take the realistic yet optimistic view and turn it into reality.

In addition, start looking at how to build an agile and resilient end-to-end supply chain. There is no telling when your supply chain might be squeezed or something will change. The more agile and resilient you become, the more successful you’ll be! If you’d like some tips for managing disruption, take a look at our resilient supply chain series.



Amazon Fears Driving Supplier Price Concessions at Costco

March 29th, 2018

Amazon continues to wreak havoc on supply chains worldwide.  A client that does not compete directly with Amazon forwarded an article on Costco’s new price pressures on suppliers in response to Amazon concerns.  She said that these types of industry moves were creating disruption and price pressure in her industry, even though unrelated to consumer products.  Thus, we better pay attention!

 

According to an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, Costco’s remarks were the first time a retailer in their coverage has explicitly admitted exacting price concessions from suppliers. That is a BIG deal!  Costco’s CFO has said the brands need to come down in price because they are losing market share. Between these savings from the brands and some Costco savings, consumers are seeing significant savings. Actually, this seems to be right on. I used to buy my Mom’s Starbucks coffee through Amazon until Costco started to carry it. They will put it on promotion once in a while at a great price vs. Amazon and other retailers. My Mom stocked up! Are you thinking about these impacts?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
The article talks about impacts on consumer giants such as P&G and Nestle.  Clearly, these suppliers will be looking for options to increase margin. They are likely to try to pass it on to their suppliers, ask for internal improvement ideas and the like. Are you in the consumer products supply chain? Are you thinking about innovations and improvements to propose?

However, even if in an unrelated industry (such as our client), you are likely to experience impacts.  How will you respond to customer requests based on perceptions created by the Amazon Effect? Have you thought about how to suggest alternatives to reducing price?  On the other hand, are you meeting with your suppliers to discuss win-win strategies to proactive address these industry trends?

No matter your industry, are you considering innovations, automation and technology to reduce costs to remain competitive?  Why not be in front of this wave so that you can be the market leader in your niche instead of racing to catch up? It always puts you in a worse position!

 

 



Walmart Raising the Supply Chain Metrics Bar

August 11th, 2017

One of my clients forwarded this Business Insider article about Walmart’s supply chain metrics. Walmart is not only requiring an increase in OTIF (on-time-in-full) delivery performance but it also will charge penalties for suppliers that don’t live up to the metric! Creating an efficient supply chain is critical for Walmart, so they are taking this proactive stance. This is prevalent throughout our manufacturing and distribution clients – regardless of industry.

OTIF

Time is ticking – do you know your OTIF score?


For example, in aerospace, there are very similar supply chain metrics and penalties. If we want to grow our businesses, we must develop excellence throughout our supply chain. Just think, there is no way to deliver on-time if our carriers aren’t on-time. There is no way for our carriers and shipping departments to meet their goals if manufacturing isn’t on time. And, there is no way for manufacturing to produce on-time if our suppliers aren’t on-time…and so on.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

First, if this type of supply chain metric isn’t on your customers’ scorecards, you can expect it will be there in the future. Don’t wait until it is a request – be proactive.  And, if you already receive these types of scorecards from your customers whether or not they are passing on penalties, pay attention. Whether you become a value-added partner and grow the business together will depend on how well you perform. OTIF is becoming “the metric” for measuring on-time delivery performance.  

With that said, I’ve found that being proactive with your customers on the details of this metric can be beneficial as well. For example, if you shipped product on-time but there was a delay in your customer’s receiving department, most customers will adjust the score. With dollars and partnership status at stake, this can be crucial.  

Of course, find out how well you are performing. Dig into the metric calculation and, most importantly, the root causes for your successes and failures. I bet you’ll find a wealth of information in what is most important for you to raise the bar with your supply chain performance overall. Make it visible so that your team knows how well they are performing in your customers’ eyes. Encourage ideas and suggestions for improvement and watch those OTIF scores rise!   

 

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