Friday, March 25, 2011

Product replacement on our HDPE 1 gallon containers

Here's how the change starts... we place an order with a manufacturer for a product that has not only been selling but increasing in sales over the past couple years.

Then instead of being notified of the lead time, the manufacturer notifies us that they are discontinuing that product and have no replacement. The tool is old and there are no investment plans to replace it unless we buy some crazy amount that would stock our shelves well into our golden years of retirement. Doesn't seem like a huge deal but in the time between when we placed our PO and were notified, 5 customer orders came in. So now we are also behind the eight ball so to speak. 

Not a big deal right? We can just source a similar product for replacement through a different vendor. Simple...unless your buyer of 25 years just left the company (and the snow) to move to Florida! So simple turned challenging quick and turned into a 5 month process to source and actually receive the product in to fill what is now many more customer orders, or shall I say back orders!

This is likely a problem met by distributors much more often in this age of high MOQ from the vendor and JIT on the customer end. Fortunately I am writing this as 873-0000 replacement containers are being received in our warehouse and will be ready for shipment on Monday. Have a nice weekend!

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