Constraints on Sunsweet Grower’s Supply Chain
The constraints of the supply chain of the Sunsweet Grower exist in control of the supplies. For long, Sunsweet Grower did not control its supplies especially during high peak seasons when the demand is more than the supply of the cooperative. Other constraints included line utilization and scheduling processes.
Effects of the Constraints
The constraints of Sunsweet Grower’s supply chain affected the cooperative in various ways. The cooperative encountered different problems because of these constraints. Firstly, the cooperative could not control its supply because of the factors determining the supply. These factors include the growing season and the weather, while the market sets the demand. Because of these constraints in the supply chain, Sunsweet Grower could not effectively schedule and plan its production and the distribution of products to a different location. The production and distribution of products was a complex operation that saw the cooperative spending extra revenue pay employees to work overtime in order to fulfill the orders of the cooperative.
Sunsweet Management of the Supply Chain
In order to address the concern of managing the supply chain, the cooperative employed an S&OP program that sought to balance the demand and supply. The program enabled the cooperative routinely deal with unexpected events including production disruptions, supply shortages and unanticipated demands. The cooperative managed its supply chain with the paper spreadsheet before implementing the S&OP program (Upton and Singh). As the business became complex, the system became inadequate. Planners of the cooperative spent extensive periods to manage the spreadsheets and perform organizational tasks like cost analysis. The cooperative adopted the Zemeter S&OP approach of managing supply chain. The Zemeter replaced the old system of spreadsheets and allowed for efficient systems of managing the supply chain.
Impact of the S&OP Program on managing the Supply Chain
Implementation of S&OP program took place in five phases and helped Sunsweet to manage its supply chain in different and better ways. Demand visibility was the first phase of implementation. This phase involved building better decision making and communication at each level. Demand planning was the second phase, and it involved provision of a routine demand plan, tracking and maintaining improvements of the plan. This demand-planning phase encompassed the implementation of early-warning systems that dispensed e-mail alerts to appropriate employees in various circumstances (Partridge). The third phase of implementing the S&OP program was inventory. There was an adoption of new systems of inventory. The new system calculated used and inventory data on inventory history to predict problems and detect trends. Supply planning was the fourth phase. In this phase, Sunsweet added a module of Supply Planner to enhance the effectiveness in planning across the supply networks. Finite scheduling was the last phase of the implementation. This phase dealt with the operational activities at the headquarters by handling overtime and downtime, changeovers, material availability and fruit-size issues among others.
In order for Sunsweet to ease its supply chain concerns, the cooperative has to redesign its organizational structure to come up with a decentralized structure. The decentralized structure will enable employees to perform duties in various sectors. That is; employees have roles and functions in their areas of expertise and provide reports on their progress. This structure also allows for easy channelization of ideas on the issues facing the cooperative.
Partridge, A. R. "Managing a Customer-Driven Supply Chain - Inbound Logistics." N.p., Web. <http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/managing-a-customer-driven-supply-chain/>.
Upton, H., and H. Singh. "“Balanced S&OP: Sunsweet Growers’s Story,." N.p., 1 Mar. 2007. Web.