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Short Case: European Logistics: Brother International

a) Problems Identified:

Firm had least management resources devoted for distribution system, which resulted in
lag of growth in sales for both finished products and spare parts.
In addition, the products required high amount of after sales service in terms of
maintenance and repair, which was highly affected because of poor companys supply
system. Some parts were so specific that only this firm supplied it.
Level and the cost of inventory was very much high in Europe.
Lack of coordination between the sales offices.
No-one was aware about the clear cause of the problem.
Lack of communication on the order status and back orders; delayed in the process of
order-fulfillment.
Issue with the work culture.
Higher lead times.
Lack of staff in the operations related work.
Issues in the organizations policy.

b) My Recommendations:

Implement ERP or any software, which can coordinate and track orders, thus making the
tracking and confirmation easier.
Hire more employees as a supply chain analyst to figure out problems and to analyze the
problems occurring.
Building leadership skills to motivate people and giving a higher importance to
operations department.
Specific guidelines for dealing with emergency orders should be specified along with
preferred location and mode of transport to be used.
Redesigning the organizational structure and allocating right number of people in right
departments.
Redesigning for the organizations policy.

c) Supporting rationale for recommendations:

It is clearly observed that a single coordinator had a huge responsibility to confirm orders
and then based on that the shipment was done to the local offices. If we plan to
implement a software for the same work, paper work would be reduced, also the lead-
time would decrease hence making the tracking of orders easier.
Since there was a lot of delay in the order-updates and fulfillment, we can hire more
people as a supply chain analyst to figure out the root cause. In the case, one person is
being over-burden with work.
Since people at all levels were demotivated, they needed a leader rather than a manager to
lead the team. Also, the operations department needed to be the highest priority as there
were ample of problems to be solved which can help saving huge costs and also help in
order-fulfillment thus more satisfied customers.
Since emergency orders caused delay of normal orders so a strong recommended
guideline should be made to figure out when we should be dealing with such cases.
Organizational re-structuring would help them figure out the exact number of people
needed for each department and will help assign the roles and responsibilities for each
work to be done. This itself would help solving many issues.
Policies should be set for each type of work to be done and what is one supposed to do in
a particular situation. It will help to keep our goals clear and will help in saving huge
costs.

d) Tools, techniques and approaches for analysis:

We can analyze efficiency rates by measuring the lead times and percentage of times the
order is fulfilled on time. We can also track the area or office where there is maximum
dissatisfaction and because of which we are suffering from loss of sales.
Conduct stock analysis to identify the pile-up of stocks, make transfer decisions based on
the inventory present, and need/demand to other locations.
Cost analysis can be conducted to compare the cost involved if we decision the supply
system on our own vs if we outsource it.
Profitability analysis should be carried out when there is a trade-off between normal
orders vs an emergency case orders.