Four Supply Lessons from the World Cup

Visibility isn’t just a key skillset that the best athletes in world leverage on the biggest stages.  Being able to account for, anticipate and react to 21 other elite level performers requires the ability to be aware of and process tremendous levels of information and make instant decisions based on that data.  This skill is illustrated countless times over a 90 minute soccer match.  For more people than ever before, these past few weeks have created the opportunity for them to witness this during the World Cup. 

Visibility is also the key ingredient required for supply chain coordination, especially in times of seasonal peaks and temporary purchasing surges.  Having products in the right place, at the right time is essential to maintain your brand at the height of excitement, during events just like the World Cup. 

When it comes to optimizing your supply chain, there are three things manufacturers, retailers and suppliers and can borrow from the “beautiful game”.

1.)    Agility: The rapidly changing directions and momentum on the field demand agility and flexibility.  Agility allows a defender to stay in position, or a scoring opportunity to unfold.  Agility within your supply chain allows you to make timely adjustments to account for lower or higher demand.  Measuring and monitoring the positions and status of the supply chain means you can make adjustments that will result in the ability to keep within the scale of demand and capitalize on an opportunity.

2.)    Collaboration: Strategically using teammates, an opponent’s tendencies or a particular circumstance within the game can all create a streamlined opportunity to score.  Establishing and operating a network that touches each element with your supply chain can create a higher level of success for each entity.  Collaborating across the full scope of retailers, suppliers and manufacturers by providing visibility and access to key data allows everyone to respond accordingly.  Leveraging your entire logistics community enhances the shortfalls of traditional supply processes and tools.

3.)    Forecast: Watching game film, analyzing lineups and developing a strategy are all steps to forecast an outcome for an approaching match.  Forecasting outcomes for fulfillment operations is key gauging your supply chain objectives.  Precise inventory management ensures that product arrives on time to prevent expensive storage costs as well to prevent a shortage.  Accurate forecasting can only enhance the entire supply chain when implemented correctly.    

4.)    Avoid Waste:  A 90 minute game with a running clock and stoppage time in a game comprised entirely on the legs of its competitors means a streamlined and well calculated approach is necessary.  Maintaining stamina, leveraging every scoring opportunity and traversing the field as efficiently as possible is critical to meeting the ultimate objective.  Through sound supply chain management, waste can be drastically reduced.  Whether it’s squandering resources or inflating costs, not mitigating waste can be as devastating for your bottom line as running out of gas can be at the end of a game.

While the world embraces the excitement and pageantry of the World Cup, there is also quite a bit that can be embraced within your supply chain operations.  With a focus on visibility, Barrett Distribution Centers can help you effectively scale and manage your logistics operations.  For more information on how Barrett can develop and implement a custom supply chain plan, click here.

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