Canadian Springs’ supply chain consists of the following elements: procurement, inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and customer service. Procurement involves acquiring all the equipment and raw materials needed to produce bottled water. This consists of the purchase of plastic water bottles, spring water, coolers, cups and micro filtering equipment. In order to streamline procurement, the organization needs to monitor stock movement (Lambert and Stock, 2010). The internet has assisted the company in carrying out this function through internet enabled tracking so as to increase shelf availability.
Inbound logistics refer to the transportation of goods within the company premises. Canadian Springs moves unfiltered water from their storage area to the water filtration unit and the reverse osmosis unit. It needs to label its products and these must be moved from processing. The products ought to be stored at a warehouse in the company premises, and this necessitates some movements, as well. Internet enabled lead management has helped the company in reducing lead times for raw materials in the inbound logistics.
Operations involve transformation of the unfiltered and un-bottled spring water into filtered and bottled spring water. For this to occur, the unprocessed mineral water must be taken to the filtration unit where workers alter its constituents. In order to ascertain that the water has met certain standards, the company must do quality tests of its various batches.
Outbound logistics involve the transportation of the final products straight to the consumers. The company has a myriad of distribution centers located throughout Canada. It transports the bottled water to these distributors who then sell the product. Furthermore, the organization has liaised with leading retailers in the country. Transportation of their water to these retailers also forms part of the outbound logistics system. The internet assists clients who buy directly from the organization by allowing them to view delivery schedules and track their order progress. Conversely, Canadian Springs can also track the movement of bottled water in its various distribution centers. This allows the company to replenish supplies.
In the company’s supply chain, sales involve all the activities that it carries out in order to match the customer’s need to the services that the company offers. Traditionally, Canadian Springs made sales to retailers and distributors. However, the internet has altered these efforts by facilitating online order placement. Now customers can view desirable products – such as demineralized or filtered spring water- and make their placements online. Customers also make internet payments (Canadian Springs, 2011).
Lastly, the company carries out after-sale services. This entails showing the customer how he or she can reap maximum benefits from the product. The organization answers customer service queries through its website and personal collaborations. Clients may also learn about delivery schedules from the internet (Turabian, 2009).
The supply chain would change if Canadian Springs placed its products in reused bottles because the customers would become suppliers. Instead of having a linear supply chain, where the firm starts with procurement and ends with outbound logistics, it would have a closed loop supply chain. However, the firm would still require spring water suppliers; the only difference is that this time the company would not work with mineral bottle suppliers. Nonetheless, it would need to offer customers an incentive by introducing a refund system. The internet can assist the company in marketing the new system, and in the tracking of bottles.
Canadian Springs (2011). Online tour.
Lambert, D. & Stock, R. (2010). Strategic logistics management. London: McGrawhill
Turabian, E. (2009). Electronic commerce: A managerial perspective. NY: Prentice Hall