I am the end user in many different supply chains. I am the market.


Today I am ready to buy a shirt.  I want to buy a shirt fashionable-enough to wear to my office job and functional enough to wear on the weekend.  I want it to be made from eco-friendly materials and be able to withstand the rigors of my washing machine — simple care.  I want a durable, low maintenance shirt.

Who’s got one?

There are more than a handful of companies that sell the kind of shirt I have in mind. Those companies hoping to win the competition for my spending cannot get me to part with my dollars unless their supply chain is capable of delivering me the right product at the right price.

In other words, a supply chain won’t be successful unless it can get the right product, at the right price, to the right market, thereby meeting the needs of customers. What needs?  Quality, the time and location of delivery, and price to list a few.  And, if that’s not enough, along the way, that supply chain is going to have to be flexible and adaptive enough to respond to any changes in demand.  They are inevitable.

Did in mention that I don’t want a solid color shirt?  I’d like plaid.

So, even if the supply chain is focused on getting me the right products at the right price, the supply chain will lose the competition for my business if new products cannot be developed faster than its competitors and if problems cannot be quickly identified and resolved.

Some supply chain manger somewhere must have a headache.  Whew.  All this for a simple shirt… but it also applies to the new skateboard, bicycle and car I want to buy…


About Author

Mark Schmit

Mark Schmit has served multiple roles while with MEP and is currently the National Accounts Manager. In this role he is responsible for developing partnerships with both the public and private sector entities. Mark identifies new business opportunities that leverage state and federal funding with the goal to improve the competitiveness of US-based manufacturers. His major area of focus is supply chain improvement.

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