Zenith Case Study

1947 Words 8 Pages
In looking back, from the original patent issued on the tension rod mechanism in the early 1990’s through 1996, it could be argued that the company was resting on its laurels. Functional silos plagued this somewhat small corporation which crippled information flow and visibility. The senior management team were tenured sales folks who were customer facing and only made an appearance when we missed a shipment. The only numbers that were being tracked where dollars shipped and daily attendance rates; the company was literally operating by the seat of its pants. In 1996, a technological breakthrough swept the retail industry when “Walmart makes Retail Link and EDI available via the internet and begins using the Internet as an application platform”. …show more content…
With the tension rod mechanism patent about to expire and retailers pushing to lower their inventory (dollar) levels, Zenith’s ability to survive was going to be based on its adaptability; simply put a long term strategy change was needed and it was needed quickly. To give some context, Zenith was comprised of 50% imported finished goods and 50% manufacturing on-site. Of the finished goods that were manufactured on-site, 75% of the raw materials that went into those finished goods came from overseas vendors with lead-times that ranged anywhere from three to eight months! If we were able to implement an industry leading supply chain strategy, by leveraging some of the things we have learned from our largest customer Walmart, we would be able to launch a two-front attack. First and foremost, it would allow us to position ourselves to successfully land more shelf space, across existing and new retailers. The retail world, especially home organization and bath storage, hold bi-annual line reviews with very strict timelines. More often than not, our lengthy lead-times limit our ability to handle supply chain disruptions and/or unannounced ads which leave our customers with little to no confidence in our ability to support. This was a critical step because we knew we needed to enter new markets to make up for the eventual end of the cash cow that was our tension rod market share. Secondly, as …show more content…
In building on what we learned, with the help of IT we established a sales and operations planning (S&OP) dashboard. One key element in this, not to be overlooked, as this was the first enterprise-wide analytics system implemented, whereas the roadmap was all departmentalized spreadsheets which were prone to errors. Data was compiled at the SKU level which allowed us to identify how product categories were performing at each customer. POS data that came in via electronic data interface (EDI) would automatically lock in to project how we were performing against plan and using Bayesian Inference we were able to update our stakeholders as to any revisions on our initial

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