Burt’s Bee Supply Chain Management – Case Study Analysis

Burt’s Bee Supply Chain Management - Case Study Analysis

Answer 1: Opportunities Revealed in the Case

Burt’s Bee is one of the most crucial and prominent American companies which deals in personal care products. In the year 1997, when the entire world facing some critical consequences due to the Asian financial crisis. In this critical time period, the company had to face some critical challenges and issues. However, in such critical scenario also, the company can have some positive aspects. There are a number of different positive factors, which can be revealed on the basis of SWOT analysis of the company. The SWOT analysis of the company can be presented as below:

SWOT analysis:

Strength

  • The company has loyal customer base which helped the company to win the competition in the market.
  • In the time period of 1997, the company used to have some crucial Market share leadership which helped the company to have edge over its competitors.
  • The company pursue effective brand equity in the market, which distinguishes itself within market place[1].
Weakness

  • The weak supply chain of the company is quite critical problem for the company.
  • Pricing policy of the company can be proved quite critical weakness for the company. In regard to this, the overall prices of the company’s product are quite higher in comparison to the other products[2].
Opportunities

  • The primary market for the company at that period of time was quite emerging and potential for the company that provided it some intensive amount of opportunities.
  • The company has started to expand itself in the abroad market for the purpose of diversify risk related to external environmental trends[3].
  • The overall operational framework for the company has become quite innovative in an existing period of time, which helped it to be differentiated among its competitors.
  • The company has also employed some crucial and new technological measures for the purpose of improving the capabilities of its supply chain that can be proved effective for future perspective[4].
Threats

  • Volatile economic conditions of the market can be considered as one of the prime threat for the company in existing  period of time as Asian market were facing some critical issues related to sustainability due to global downturn of economies.
  • Intensive competitions provided by giant players of personal care products and its related industry such as Johnsons & Johnsons and Neutrogena can be considered as one of the prime threats for the company[5].
  • Due to high operational cost it would not be easy for the company at low cost competition in the market place.

On the basis of this SWOT analysis, it can be revealed at time of financial crisis in the year 1997, where there is high degree of volatility in the market place, the company avails some crucial opportunities such as level of competition in the market have become quite low because high degree of market volatility has made the kept the small scale competitors away from the competition. In addition to this, economic downturn in the Asian markets has led to decrease the bargaining power of suppliers of the region, which is proved quite effective for the company to have low cost raw material for the production[6].  In this way, it can be revealed that at the period of 1997, the company has availed some positive and opportunistic business conditions.

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Answer: 2

Components of Supply chain of Burt’s Bee:

Supply chain management can be revealed as one of the major requirement from the perspective of the long term success of the company. In relation to this, Burt’s Bee which is one of the prime business organizations operating in personal care products industry, the role of supply chain management becomes quite effective. The company is quite concerned with the performance of its supply chain network. There are some crucial components of the existing supply chain management. For instance Planning is the utmost component of supply chain management of the company. The planning related to supply chain is done effectively by the top level management within the organisation[7].
The second component of the supply chain of the company is the Sourcing of the material from the side of supplier. For handing its suppliers in the most effective manner, the company have recently undertaken an integrated information system through which there can be direct communication of warehouses and production units of the company with external suppliers of raw material can be established[8]. This direct communication will be proved quite helpful the company to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of supply channels of the company. The third component of the supply chain management is production or manufacturing of goods, which is undertaken by the business organisation in its well equipped and efficient production units.
Another crucial component o the supply chain of the company is delivering and distribution of different manufactured products to the end consumer[9]. Under the scope of this component, there are a number of different crucial layers of supply chain such as distributor, wholesaler and retailer work for the company. The last crucial and essential component of the supply chain of the company is the returning of goods. In this context, the company creates an effective and flexible supply chain in which, it can also accepts its defected product from the side of customer through retailers and distributors[10]. In this way, it can be stated that the company is pursuing a comprehensive supply chain with a number of different components.

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Challenges faced by the company

For the purpose of being successful in the market place, any company requires to develop an effective reach to its customers that can only be possible with the help of effective supply chain. However, development of supply chain of the company is not an easy task for the management as there can be a number of different issues associated with the supply chain. In the context of Burt’s Bee, it can be reflected that in journey of transiting from start-up to a high potential growth firm with over $10 million in sales, some critical challenges can be faced. Some of critical challenges are presented as below:

(1) Scalability

The first and foremost challenge faced by the company is related to the high degree of scalability of the business operations of the organisation. In existing period of time, the company has approached different markets across the globe and have been expanded to the significant level in terms of geographical regions or product offerings. In regard to this, high degree of scalability for the operations of the company makes the supply chain of the company multilayered and more complex[11]. In this regard, the proper management of such highly complex multilayered supply chain can be considered quite critical.

(2) Sustainability

Another critical challenge for the company is related to the lack of sustainability within supply chain-related activities. There are different critical logistic processes that take place in the supply chain processes for the company that can be proved quite a critical problems faced by the company as such processes can lead to harm the environmental pollutions. In the large size companies issues related to sustainability, which can be emerged due to different types of differentiated and widespread business operations, ate quite critical and challenging aspects for the company[12].

(3) Integrity

In such well spread business operations of the company, maintaining integrity among various functions of supply chain and related activities can also be considered as one of the prime challenges faced by the company. The absence of proper integrity harms the information flow illustrated in the existing supply chain of the company. In relation to this, the company requires effective and innovative communication across different components of supply chain of the company[13]. The implication of an intensive and integrated management information system is required from the side of the top level management of the organization.

(4) Inclusion of innovation

Another crucial challenge faced by the company is related with the inclusion of innovation within operational framework of the organization. For the purpose of implying any new strategy or a new technique, the organization is required to make some changes in its existing operational framework. However, the employment of such changes in the operational framework of the organization is not an easy task for the management as different issues such as lack of resources, need of training and resistance shown by employees towards changes are generally faced by the business organisation[14].

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(5) Competitive pressure

Increasing pressure from the side of competition is also one of the prime concerns for the management of Burt’s Bee. There are multiple world level competitors of the company such as Johnsons & Johnsons and Neutrogena have already employed some crucial and innovative techniques for the purpose of enhancing the efficiency of their existing supply chain[15]. In this scenario, it will be proved quite hard for the company to make changes and improvements in its supply chain for matching the steps of competitors.
These are some of the critical challenges faced by the company which are needed to be addressed in the most explicit manner for the purpose of being successful in the external marketplace.

References

“Burt’s Bees Builds Collaborative Forecast with Atlas Planning”. Johan Galt. Last Modified 2013, Accessed December 15, 2013, http://www.johngalt.com/customers/burts_Bees_consumer_centric_planning.shtml
Alkon, Alison Hope. Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy. University of Georgia Press, 2012.
Autry, Chad W. and Thomas J. Goldsby. The Definitive Guide to Modern Supply Chain Management (Collection). FT Press, 2013.
Dayan, Nava and Lambros Kromidas. Formulating, Packaging, and Marketing of Natural Cosmetic Products. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Howson, Cindi. Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App. McGraw Hill Professional, 2007.
Lamb, Charles W., Joe F. Hair and Carl McDaniel. MKTG. Cengage Learning, 2013.
Landrum, Nancy E. and Sandra Edwards. Sustainable Business: An Executive’s Primer. Business Expert Press, 2009.
O’Reilly, Joseph. “Snapshot: Cosmetics And Skin Care”, Last modified January 2010, Accessed December 15, 2013, http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/snapshot-cosmetics-and-skin-care/
Schermerhorn, John R. Management. John Wiley & Sons, Limited, 2007.
Stair, Ralph M. and George W. Reynolds. Principles of Information Systems. Cengage Learning, 2011.
[1] Cindi Howson. Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App. (McGraw Hill Professional, 2007).
[2] Dayan, Nava and Lambros Kromidas. Formulating, Packaging, and Marketing of Natural Cosmetic Products. (John Wiley & Sons, 2011).
[3] Schermerhorn, John R. Management. (John Wiley & Sons, Limited, 2007).
[4] Alkon, Alison Hope. Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy. (University of Georgia Press, 2012).
[5] Chad W. Autry and Thomas J. Goldsby. The Definitive Guide to Modern Supply Chain Management (Collection). (FT Press, 2013).
[6] Alison Hope Alkon. Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy. (University of Georgia Press, 2012)
[7] Dayan, Nava and Lambros Kromidas. Formulating, Packaging, and Marketing of Natural Cosmetic Products. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
[8] Ralph M. Stair and George W. Reynolds. Principles of Information Systems. (Cengage Learning, 2011).
[9] Cindi Howson. Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App. (McGraw Hill Professional, 2007).
[10] “Burt’s Bees Builds Collaborative Forecast with Atlas Planning”. Johan Galt. Last Modified 2013, Accessed December 15, 2013, http://www.johngalt.com/customers/burts_Bees_consumer_centric_planning.shtml
[11] Charles W. Lamb, Joe F. Hair and Carl McDaniel. MKTG. (Cengage Learning, 2013).
[12] Nancy E. Landrum and Sandra Edwards. Sustainable Business: An Executive’s Primer. (Business Expert Press, 2009).
[13] Joseph O’Reilly, “Snapshot: Cosmetics And Skin Care”, Last modified January 2010, Accessed December 15, 2013, http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/snapshot-cosmetics-and-skin-care/
[14] “Burt’s Bees Builds Collaborative Forecast with Atlas Planning”. Johan Galt. Last Modified 2013, Accessed December 15, 2013, http://www.johngalt.com/customers/burts_Bees_consumer_centric_planning.shtml
[15] Ralph M. Stair and George W. Reynolds. Principles of Information Systems. (Cengage Learning, 2011).

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