A team at UNC/Duke, working on behalf of UNICEF, offered the following suggestions in a 2008 report to improve Plumpynut's supply chain:
• Begin producing Plumpynut regionally and in individual countries at risk, thus reducing the cost of delivery and speeding up delivery
• When shipping, ship by sea to avoid higher costs of air delivery
• Locally, provide drivers with cellphones and rapidSMS, a low-cost, easy-to-understand way of reporting delivery and inventory
• Call upon funders to underwrite the depoting of buffer stocks to speed delivery in emergencies and avoid stockouts
• Improve data collection by asking countries to use simple spreadsheets, examine climate forecasts for
threat of drought, and share data with manufacturers
As a result of their report, the number of suppliers increased from 1 to 14; costs went down thanks to local production; UNICEF increased the volume of its shipments by more than double while bringing
costs down 10%; and delivery times were shortened.
So what does all of this have to do with our lessons for the week? The articles we read raised the following questions for me in relation to Plumpynut:
1. Similar to the model IKEA uses, could competition be raised among local trading markets?
2. If a higher purchasing commitment from the U.S. government provided high volume incentives, could cost-saving technology and equipment be added to increase supply chain efficiency?
3. In line with P&G's strategy, can Plumpynut put in place a better system to assess daily demand?
On a completely different note, I wanted to learn a little more about Peter Drucker this week. The following are three key facts that I learned:
* He won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.
* His 1954 book The Practice of Management was voted the 3rd most influential management book of the 20th Century.
* Asserted that companies work best when they decentralized.