Supply Chain Solutions: Lead Times That Give You the Chills

Picture this; the sun is shining, you picked up your favorite coffee this morning, and your inventory is on point. You sit in on the production meeting and leave feeling good about how things are running. Everything is on track for next month’s production run! You sit back down at your desk, take a long sip of coffee, close your eyes and smile.

The Supply Chain Problem

Nothing this good lasts very long. Your heart drops to your stomach the moment you open your email. A red exclamation mark and the word URGENT stops your good mood dead in its track. 

Your supplier’s email breaks the disappointing news that your product cannot be picked up today, as was previously confirmed. Even worse, they don’t know when it will be ready.

Does this sound familiar? Did your palms start sweating as you read that? It never fails, everything is going great until it’s not.  Problems are bound to happen sometime, but they still come as a surprise.

In this instance our customer was in for a frigid surprise. The manufacturer had accidentally placed their product in their freezer prior to delivery. They had mistakenly thought that the product would be in their warehouse for several months and froze it to extend shelf life until delivery.

Coming up with a Solution

In that situation you have two options:

Option one, pick up the frozen material with the knowledge that it may become moldy. Unfortunately, in the current season the manufacturer doesn’t have a way to effectively temper the material.

Option two, wait until more product arrives from overseas, which could be 12 weeks (about 3 months). This would shut you down but at least you have product on the way.

There must be another option. Maybe there’s a third option you haven’t thought of.

The SCT customer service rep- “I have some good news!”  Customer- “Fantastic, let me hear it!” SCT Customer Service- “We found the third option!”

Back to Business

The St. Charles Trading Purchasing Manager remembered an IQF (individually quick frozen) opportunity with this customer and offered that as a potential solution. He asked if they could receive the frozen material and store it in their freezer until production.

Turns out, they could! They would temper the material in house prior to every production run. After a phone call to secure a refrigerated truck to transport material, the plan was set. The product was delivered a few days later keeping the customer’s upcoming production on schedule.

Another Supply Chain Problem Solved

The truth is, everything can be going great until suddenly it’s not. When the stressful, heart dropping moments happen you need a partner who understands your company’s capabilities and offers solutions. When you’re partnered with St. Charles Trading, we’ll help you evaluate all the resources at your disposal. Our entire team is here to support you!

How can we support you today? What problems can we solve for you? LET US KNOW.

Ready to talk?

Are you looking for spec sheets, samples or prices? We would love to chat about how we can help.