Case Study:

Mastering the Crisis: Revolutionizing Supply Chain Efficiency in a Pandemic

YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE: A family-owned furniture retailer was confronted with a dire challenge during the pandemic. With a staggering backlog of $75 million and the bullwhip effect wreaking havoc on inventory, costs, and capacity, the company was forced to face these unprecedented times head-on. The surge in container costs from $4k to $32k only amplified the urgency to rectify supply chain inefficiencies.

IconWE MEET YOU WHERE YOU ARE AT: The retailer found itself in a precarious position as the pandemic-induced backlog and escalating costs due to the bullwhip effect threatened its operations. It became imperative for the company to reevaluate and transform its supply chain strategies to mitigate these issues and ensure future sustainability and growth.

IconPICK A STARTING POINT:The Vice President of Supply Chain spearheaded an initiative to train 30 leaders within the organization, focusing particularly on the supply chain team. This effort aimed to create a structured plan to tackle various aspects of the supply chain, culminating in the development of eight comprehensive plans targeting specific operational areas.

IconCONDUCT A WORKSHOP: Strategy and Collaboration: Training and Planning: The team underwent extensive training to gain the necessary knowledge and tools to understand and improve the supply chain processes. Implementation of PDCA Rhythms: Adopting PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Adjust) work rhythms, the company ensured a systematic and continuous approach to improving its operations.

Supply Chain Case Study


To address these challenges head-on, the company embarked on a journey to implement advanced data analytics tools, integrating them with the work measurements aspect of their method. This step allowed the company to:

  • Develop base and management models, significantly expanding work measurement capabilities.
  • Achieve real-time visibility and enhance performance management, thereby enabling robust exception management.

Expand And ScaleExpand And Scale

The strategic approach to rectifying the supply chain issues yielded substantial results:

  • The backlog was reduced to below historic levels within a 14-month timeframe.
  • Inventory saw an $11 million reduction within just 8 months.
  • Distribution Center costs were cut by 5% in 2022, with further reduction of 14% in 2023.
  • The implementation of advanced data analytics tools provided enhanced management and visibility across the supply chain.
  • To date, six of the eight targeted plans have been completed, with the initiative starting in October 2021.
  • The company effectively balanced staffing levels and labor hours to revenue, thus providing the capacity for further growth.

In a time of crisis, this furniture retailer demonstrated the transformative power of strategic focus, training, planning, and technology integration in overhauling its supply chain operations. By proactively addressing the pandemic-induced challenges and leveraging innovative tools, the company not only navigated through the crisis but also set new standards for operational efficiency, cost reduction, and overall excellence.

Supply Chain Case Study
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