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Introduction to Logistics/Supply Chain Management

You were recently hired as the VP of Logistics for the ABC Manufacturing Company. This is a new position. During the lengthy interview process, the CEO shared her strategic plans for worldwide growth in the company’s consumer sales. Previously, sales had been confined to domestic sales only. As a result of little staff logistics expertise, the company had kept the traditional logistics model of shipping all finished products from its warehouse and factory location on the East Coast of the United States, even though there was a growing market on the West Coast that competition was serving from a West Coast warehouse. However, the CEO pointed out that despite its national popularity from a feature and quality perspective, it seemed to penetrate poorly on the West Coast because of her need to charge higher prices as the result of higher shipping costs.
The marketing manager tried to mitigate this competitive disadvantage by freight equalization so that end customers would pay the same amount of shipping costs as West Coast competition charged, regardless of where they were located. This met with some insignificant success because timeliness of delivery was another important issue. Therefore, the CEO had asked you, as your first assignment, to write a white paper to address the following specific points. She remembered that you had quite a bit of experience addressing some or all of these issues during your career. As a stickler for formatting, she has specifically asked you to use the following Roman numeral sections and headings in the paper:
Section I: Introduction (300 words)
In general, what are the qualitative pros and cons for domestic sales of having multiple distribution centers and shipping locations in the United States?
In general, what are qualitative pros and cons of having one or more international distribution centers for international sales, as opposed to shipping directly from a U.S. manufacturing location warehouse?
What are the opportunities and challenges of being a supplier to an internationally based mass merchandiser?