Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How it gets there

I spent a little while in the Philippines, a country beset with typhoons, floods, and washed out roads.  During a visit to a mountainous area where it was difficult to get people let alone building materials, I wondered how do they get large amounts of items from here to there.  Certainly over the period I spent in the country I knew how everyday household items and food in its rawest forms traveled from one place to another.  Furniture was not much different.  There is no IKEA in the Philippines, furniture is pre-built, ready for installation and available at the nearest market area.  My own furniture was delivered the usual way, via truck.

Vehicles were often loaded heavily with people and or things.  The IKEA concept of flat packaging to transport items to the store and also to the purchaser's destination has value that I can see being useful in the Philippines.  Difficulty however would be the weight of shipments that IKEA uses in order to maximize shipping costs, particularly outside of Manila in the provinces where roads have weight restrictions and may have one lane bridges.

Certainly supply chain management is not lost on government, business or academia.  In the last five years the Philippine Management Review has published two articles written by Ma. Gloria V. Talavera discussing 1) the applicability of SCM and  2) a survey of supply chain operations in the Philippines.

My intent over the next several weeks is to figure out how to get it there with a focus on logistics.


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