BathKing Industries (BKI) is a maker of bathroom add-ons that sells their products generally to the huge home centre chain retailers; Home Lager, Lowe’s, and their smaller opponents. Chip Norek, the leader of the company, has a decision to make with respect to BKI’s distribution system. A tiny chain customer has recently wanted that BKI reduce circuit time simply by shipping purchases directly to their particular stores. Currently, BKI’s national distribution centre processes and ships a weekly buy for each in the chain store’s three local distribution centers via national truckload providers.


From there, the item is transferred to individual retailers by the chain’s private fleet. The new system would involve each store ordering individually and BKI processing and delivering each order to a store within five business days.

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Joe Rutner, the direct of strategies, has decided that the fresh system will result in higher order processing and freight costs. Norek wasn’t happy with this kind of news and feared that other stores might make related requests later on, so he asked Rutner to develop a plan to satisfy clients without drastically cutting BKI’s margins.

Rutner designed a potential six-facility regional syndication center network for BKI, with the distribution centers being located in high-demand areas inside each location. Rutner outlined the benefits of this pitch, including faster order processing, lower gets costs, and a decrease in inventory. Norek is skeptical of the plan, but a decision must be made.

1) Examine the logistics service and cost limitations imposed upon BKI by the chain store’s request. To be able to satisfy the ask for, BKI will probably be forced to procedure smaller, case-quantity orders for every single store versus pallet-quantity orders from the RDC’s. Because the organization only distributes products by pallet at the moment, the new system will require significant changes to the order digesting and happiness processes which can be currently set up. In addition , they will have to employ more costly less-than-truckload service intended for delivery due to reduced travel efficiencies. The latest system only has three delivery points, meaning BKI can send a large volumeof products on the given truckload. If they begin delivering directly to stores, they will have a much bigger number of delivery points and stay forced to deliver a much small number of items on a given truckload. These constraints will increase both order processing costs and freight costs.

2) What is your thoughts and opinions of Later on Rutner’s pitch for establishing a series of company-owned RDCs? I actually do not go along with the establishment of RDCs, although there happen to be benefits to the proposed program. A decentralized inventory placing strategy like the one Rutner has proposed may help to reduce consumer delivery costs and buy cycle time. Also, mainly because product is located closer to demand points, it is usually readily sent to meet customer requirements. However , I believe the cost of such a program outweigh the rewards in BKI’s case. Even more facilities inventory products can bring about higher managing costs, the chance of product damage, product pilferage, and additional costs of operating/leasing the facilities. In addition , average inventory amounts may rise because every facility will have to hold its level of safety stock. The reason for my disagreement with Rutner’s pitch lies in the subsequent excerpt in the case: “The company is definitely straining to generate enough item to meet dealer demand. 

If BKI is attempting to produce enough product, not what they should do is push toward a decentralized syndication system. This will require those to forecast and look after levels of inventory at multiple locations, without doubt resulting in écart in some parts and disadvantages in another. If they could produce enough product to take care of adequate numbers of safety stock at each position I would support the decentralized approach; yet , this is naturally not the case. The drawback while using current centralized system is the long distance to customers, which may be to blame for the extended cycle times stores are experiencing. Nevertheless , BKI realizes benefits from centralization including higher control over products on hand and decreased demand variability due to risk pooling. This approach supports higher in-stock availableness, though there exists a need for less safety inventory.

3) In the event that BKI moves forward together with the RDC prepare, what service ownership framework do you recommend? Why? In the event BKI determines to move frontward with the RDC plan, I recommend the utilization of agreement facilities. With this possession structure, another company gives a combination of syndication services that BKI has traditionally presented. BKI would be able to buy the solutions on an as-needed basis, relieving capital expense in exclusive distribution services. In addition , short-term commitments to get capacity keep maximum division network overall flexibility.

If require shifts to a different region, BKI would not become locked to a long-term rental or service ownership. Underneath this ownership structure, the organization would not have to manage employees issues connected with owning and operating the facility. In such a case, distribution could become a changing cost activity that is manage by authorities, allowing BKI to focus on its normal business activities. Because the company would not necessarily have a great deal of encounter or knowledge in the syndication and storage sector, I believe the utilization of contract establishments to be the ideal course of action.

4) Develop a method map describing the product and information runs in Rutner’s proposal.

*Based on the data given in the case, I assumed that the national distribution center would not anymore operate underneath the proposed program.


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