Bacon Donuts or Optimized Supply Chain?

Bacon donuts are savory and delicious, just like optimized supply chain

Bacon Donuts
Bacon Donuts. ROSCO

When your supply chain is optimized, you are getting your customers what they want – when they want it – and spending as little money as possible getting that done. 

When you’re eating a bacon donut, you’re not doing any of that. 

However, the genius of mixing the savory goodness of bacon with the melt-in-your-mouth sweetness of a glazed donut – what could be more optimized than that?

Can you tell the difference between a bacon donut and optimized supply chain?

  It may not be as easy as you think.

Bacon donut or optimized supply chain?  You have multiple products that need to be delivered.  You can either deliver them one at a time or consolidate your delivery. 

Answer: Bacon donut.  While consolidating freight is a common logistics tool, what we’re talking about here is putting bacon and a donut together in the same mouth-watering delivery. Bacon and donuts, people.  And, yes, consolidating your freight may save you money on both shipping costs and the receiving costs associated with unloading freight, and putting bacon on a donut saves nothing except the energy it would take to lift a donut and then lift a bacon slice.  

But consider that - logistically speaking - consolidating freight, while saving money, can also take longer, since you'll often need to wait for products to become available to consolidate.  That extra time may not be worth the cost savings.

 And a bacon donut?  Well, it could very well speed up your next visit to a cardiologist.  

Bacon donut or optimized supply chain?  Once your product has been delivered, there's a chance it will be returned - at which point you'll have to decide whether you send it back after reworking it or deliver replacement products.

Answer: Bacon donut.  Reverse logistics may include managing your customer's return and rework process - but chances are you're only planning to use your reverse logistics process on less than 10% of what you ship.  Bacon donuts, however, are almost guaranteed to always come back.  

Sure, a proper reverse logistics program will accept a return, process a customer credit and manage your customer's resupply.  Reverse logistics processes require the integrated, cross-functional planning and execution of supply chain, warehousing, customer service, shipping and accounting departments.  Reverse logistics requires precise communication between you and your customer. Once consumed, bacon donuts may come back without notice.  

Bacon donut or optimized supply chain?  Consistently meeting your customers' needs across all customer satisfaction metrics.

Answer: Bacon donut. 100% customer satisfaction should be the goal of any company and its optimized supply chain.  That means delivering the right products in the right quantities, on-time and with the correct specification and documentation - every single time.  If that's not the goal of your supply chain, you need to follow the lead of the bacon donut.

 Bacon donuts satisfy 100% of the time (okay, after the third one is a single sitting, you might disagree - I'll give you that).  

How does your supply chain achieve 100% customer satisfaction?  Start by communicating with your customers.  Are they giving you forecasts or, even better, long term blanket orders?  What is there forecast accuracy?  Can you look at history, competitive landscape and market trends to demand plan?  Are you managing your lead times?  All of this will help you meet you customers' needs.  Or you can just deliver a baker's dozen bacon donuts.  

Bacon donuts win every time.