Supply chain management (SCM) is a crucial process for a company where steps take are taken to deliver a good or service. Benefits to the supply chain management contribute to helping create an integrated company where reducing costs is a priority. SCM is a network of companies such as, suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers that improve an industry. The footwear industry involves operating a global supply chain and this paper covers the purpose and value of each link of the supply chain. Manufacturer
Aerosoles provide women an alternative shoe made for comfort, variety of styles, and quality. Aerosoles brand delivers its’ reputation as the leader in the shoe industry, known for innovation made with quality materials. Aerosoles stands by its’ core values of quality, style, comfort, and real value (Aerosoles, 2014). Aerosoles brand shoes manufactured in China where each shoe are built from the bottom up with various raw materials to construct diamond patterns, Stroebel, and Stitch and Turn (Aerosoles, 2014). To further explain, diamond flex soles absorb shock, that enhance a cushioned comfort that bends and flexes with the foot.
This concept is famously named the Stitch and Turn, where the soles are so flexible they twist and fold (Aerosoles, 2014). Aerosoles brand also offers the Stroebel construction where nothing lies between the sole and the shoe, giving the customer the tennis shoe comfort. Thus, raw materials used to provide the base of comfort, constructed uniquely to offer the ultimate comfort and flexibility (Aerosoles,2014). As a result, Aerosoles brands constantly strive to make a better shoe and achieve the commitment that exceed expectations through evolving technology and customer feedback (Aerosoles, 2014).
Aerosoles distribution network is worldwide where transporting the products require extensive logistical efforts. For example, increased costs impact outbound shipping bound for United States destinations. To further explain, the move to North and South China are farther away, and transportation infrastructure that does not exist creates a logistical challenge (Dubin, 2009). Nate Herman, senior director of AAFA states, “Eighty-six percent of all footwear sold in the United States comes from Southern China because huge ports located nearby can accommodate ships and ship volumes” (Dubin, 2009). Some roles of the footwear distributions are as follows, arranging international shipments of products from China, establishes relationships with retailers, provide ground transportation of products to retailers, receives payment from retailers for delivery of products, and provide logistical support.
Additionally, software applications assist business planning, tracking and smooth processing from development through delivery (Duggan, 2014). In spite of transportation challenges, safety regulations require considerable effort as well. Footwear manufacturers require hazardous solvents and adhesives not be used to reduce safety problems especially in the new factories. Matt Priest, President of Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) states, “Keeping new factories updated on safety issues requires considerable effort” (Dubin,2009). Given these points, distributors serve as the middleman where accurate and efficient distribution management systems are critical to the success of the supply chain.
The last link of the supply chain is the retailer. Retail management plays an important role in the supply chain process. Retailers must establish the optimal supply chain capabilities, constantly improve merchandising processes, and efficiencies to remain competitive. Specifically, Aerosoles brand retailers must consider other competitive brands in comfort footwear. Competitive brands like Clarks, Hush Puppies, and Rockport all provide the same benefits. With that in mind, advertisement is key to a successful business, advertisement helps a business establish and maintain distinct identity, enhance reputation, encourage existing customers to buy more products, build sales to boost bottom line, and promote business to customers, and investors (SBA, 2014). Retailers are responsible for determining the product selection, in fact, Aerosoles carry differentiated lines which showcase key best sellers (Aerosoles, 2014).
Other key roles of the retail supply chain include, sales representatives responses to customers needs by processing transactions and helping customer decide on a product. Lastly, the supplier connects directly to the customer where product satisfaction fulfills their needs. This includes quality, timeliness, ease of access, and commitment of conditions (MSG,2014). With over twenty five years of experience in creating shoes, Aerosoles continue to innovate and lead in the shoe industry (Aerosoles, 2014). Aerosoles can be found in over one hundred outlets and stores in the United States. In fact, Aerosoles are sold abroad in over fifteen countries including China, Hong Kong, Phillipines, Israiel, Thailand, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Turkey, and India ( Aerosoles, 2014).
In order for a business to achieve marketing success, supply chain management must support different links of the process. Thus, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers play important roles to a thriving business. Equally important to note, each link of the supply chain require careful planning and promotion to reduce unnecessary waste and costs. All in all, shifts in global manufacturing, rapidly changing customer demands, and inventory complexities in the footwear industry; Aerosoles is a leading brand.
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