Spartan Building Products
(6 pages of text)
The logistics analyst at Spartan Building Products, a large, national distributor of building materials, needs to prepare a report analyzing the company’s logistics practices. Management is particularly concerned about the high cost of servicing customer deliveries. Students are asked to evaluate factors contributing to the logistics problems at Spartan, including freight costs and the sales mix. Students will analyze the cost implications of supporting a broad product line and servicing customer orders that have a small dollar value.
This case can be used as an introduction to supply chain management in a core undergraduate or MBA operations course. The importance of logistics at Spartan makes it an effective case to demonstrate the contribution that the supply chain function can make to an organization. The strategic marketing issues relating to customer focus and target customer markets underscore the need to balance the competing objectives of the marketing and supply chain functions. Finally, the implementation issues force students to consider how to manage a significant organizational change process. An important message is the need for congruence between marketing and supply chain activities within the organization. The multi-functional nature of the issues in this case makes it a good candidate for team teaching by operations and marketing instructors.
Canada, Large, 2015
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