West Marine Case Essay

1210 Words Feb 29th, 2012 5 Pages
West Marine Case
West Marine, a large boating and fishing retailer with over 300 stores in North America with more than 50,000 products is planning the acquisition of BoatU.S. and the subsequent integration of the two supply chains. Although the management of West Marine has made significant progress in the implementation of CPFRprinciples over the six years since the E&B Marine acquisition, there are still qualms about how well the current Supply Chain and planning process can incorporate BoatU.S.'s product line. Each company maintains 750 suppliers with only 100 in common (or ~13%), with only 20% of products in common.BoatU.S. does not provide forecasts to suppliers or participate in any other CPFR activities as does West
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brand line. The benefits to implementing such a comprehensive S&OP and CPFR plan are clear in the literature such improved customer satisfaction, increased in-stock percentages (2-8%), and inventory reductions of 10-40%. (Lapide) These benefits will be a crucial help to the BoatU.S. brand and better align them with their competitive competencies. Which includes catering to a more sophisticated boater who highly values customer service. Improving in-stock percentages will solve a current problem in BoatU.S.’s stores with high volume/high margin items missing from stores; perhaps adding to customer service as well. (p.21) Also, the reduction in inventory will contribute to relieving the dilapidated distribution center in Maryland. Giving management time to evaluate the need for a new better planned warehouse, or renovate the current one for more efficient operations.

Recommendations and Justification of Decision
Our team proposes West Marine’s management proceed with the acquisition of BoatU.S. and immediately devise and implement a strong Sales and Operations Planning strategy to strengthen the internal demand planning and forecasting within BoatU.S. To accomplish this, top management must take a top-down as well as a bottom-up approach with clear financial performance goals. First, comprehensive information systems must be installed to collect accurate point-of-sale and warehouse data and report

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