It's hard to believe that in the same month Elon Musk successfully launched a car into space, KFC managed to run out of chicken. And the reason the UK public failed to get their hands on southern fried snacks? A new 'deal' and a change of supplier, simple as that.
This article by Su-San Sit on the CIPS website highlights just how important supply chain management is and the dangers of moving away from a perfectly good supplier that has a history of delivering a quality service in an attempt to cut costs.
As the old adage goes you get what you pay for and whilst the activity associated with managing complex supply chains isn't always visible to the end user, when things go wrong it can have a detrimental impact on a business and reputation.
So whether you sell chicken in a bun or complex industrial electronic machines, you need to make sure that your supply chain is robust enough to meet the needs of your customers. Of course, there will always be suppliers out there that are cheaper than those you use now but are the risks and potential rewards really worth it?
Virginia Spiegler, senior lecturer in operations and supply chain management at the University of Kent, said the case highlighted the importance of logistics operations, which are frequently and unfairly regarded by many companies as non-value adding.