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Supply Chain Management Design & Simulation Online

Supply Chain Case Studies

SCM Globe comes with a library of case studies that explore COMMERCIAL , HUMANITARIAN , and MILITARY supply chains. When you purchase an account you have access to all the case studies and their simulations.

The case studies range from relatively simple beginning cases like Cincinnati Seasonings , to quite challenging advanced cases such as Zara Clothing Company , or Nepal Earthquake Disaster Response .  Case studies are laboratories where you apply what you learn in lectures and readings to solve supply chain problems in highly realistic simulations. Each case has a " CASE STUDY CONCEPT " showing the supply chain principles and practices highlighted in that case.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT SCM GLOBE

A map of Spain with a logistics hub circled in green and a manufacturing facility in red. There are arrows pointing at it and lines extending out. There is a data window to the sides.

Case studies presently available in the online library are shown below. You are welcome to use any or all of them. You can also create your own case studies, or we can create them for you. Cases are shown in the three categories. As you work with these cases you will gain an intuitive understanding of supply chain dynamics, and develop the analytical skills for designing and managing real supply chains.

People new to SCM Globe should start with the  Cincinnati Seasonings case study . Work individually at first, not in groups. Each person needs their own account. Do the three challenges shown in the online introduction to Cincinnati Seasonings. That's how you'll learn to use the software, and how to use simulations to analyze and design supply chains. Then you will be ready to work in groups or work on more advanced cases.  Click on the case studies below to see a description and introduction to each case.

Commercial Supply Chain Case Studies

A map of New York with supply chain routes highlighted in blue.

Collaborative Supply Chains

A satellite picture of the Luanda port in Angola showing high lighted routes between locations.

S&J Trading Company – Angola

A screenshot from SCM Globe zoomed out to a scale which shows the 'Java Furniture Company' global supply chain superimposed on a map of the world.

Java Furniture Company – Indonesia

Picture of a map from the SCM Globe app showing the suppply chain route from Cincinnati to Louisville.

Cincinnati Seasonings

Map of a supply chain of the Roman Empire that supplied olive oil to Rome

Supply Chains of the Roman Empire

Silk Road in SCM Globe Simulation

Ancient Silk Road – First Global Supply Chain

A screenshot of the Zara supply chain showing how products flow from factories to stores

Zara Clothing Company Supply Chain

screenshot of Fantastic Corporation's global supply chain

Fantastic Corporation – Global Supply Chain

Simulation on SCM Globe showing Unexpected Disruptions

Fantastic Corporation – Unexpected Disruptions

Humanitarian supply chain case studies.

A map of Dresden with blue and orange lines on it.

Disaster Response Supply Chains: Flooding Scenario

Map of Nepal Earthquake humanitarian facilities

Nepal Earthquake Disaster Response Supply Chain

A satellite image of the Hama Military Airport and the western part of Hama with a route highlighted in blue.

Humanitarian Supply Chains: Syria Evacuation Scenario (CIV and MIL)

Military supply chain case studies.

Satellite picture of the Japanese campaign in Burma.

Burma Campaign – 1944 Invasion of India

Map of Eastern Europe and Russia showing blue supply routes lines, and icons for combat units in Battle of Smolensk 1941

Battle of Smolensk – 1941 Invasion of Russia

Alexander the Great Banner

Alexander the Great Needed Great Supply Chains

New case studies.

New cases are added based on projects we do with instructors, students, and supply chain professionals. Here are the new supply chain models in the library:

  • Local and Sustainable Supply Chains – Blue Ocean Cooperative
  • Aerospace Manufacturing Cluster – Rockford IL
  • Hyderabadi Biryani – Paramount Restaurant 
  • Western Desert War – May 1941
  • Russian Logistics for the Invasion of Ukraine

Interactive Supply Chain Case Studies

Every case study has a main theme or concept that it illustrates. You will be challenged to use knowledge acquired in lectures and readings as well as your own real-world experience to expand and re-design the supply chains in these case studies.

In the commercial supply chain cases you need to improve and expand the supply chains to support new stores and still keep operating costs and inventory as low as possible. In cases that deal with humanitarian or military missions you need to create supply chains to deliver the right supplies to the right locations when they are needed, and do so at a reasonable cost.

A satellite picture of the Luanda port in Angola showing high lighted routes between locations.

We are glad to provide a  free evaluation account  to instructors, students and supply chain professionals interested in exploring SCM Globe simulations — click here to request an account —  Get Your Free Trial Demo  

See SCM Globe pricing for Academic and Business versions of the software.

The best case to start with is Cincinnati Seasonings . After working through the three challenges presented in the online introduction to this case you will be ready to handle further challenges in this case or move on to more advanced cases. Get a quick introduction to working with case studies in “ Working with Case Studies “.

Screenshots of the Cincinnati Seasonings case study in the SCM Globe application.

As problems are found in the simulations, you make decisions about how to fix them. Make changes to your supply chain model in the Edit screen. Then go to the Simulate screen and run a simulation to see the results of your changes. Depending on the changes you make, your supply chain simulation runs for additional days and other problems arise. As you address these problems you see about how supply chains work. Apply what you learn in readings and and lectures plus your work experience to solve the problems you encounter.

Keep improving your supply chain model until you get the simulation to run for 30+ days. Then download your simulation results and create a monthly Profit & Loss Report plus KPIs (as shown below). This provides an objective basis for evaluating the merits of different supply chain solutions.

spreadsheet reporting template showing monthly profit and loss for Cincinnati Seasonings

Monthly Profit & Loss Reports identify areas for improvement. They help you improve your supply chain to keep it running for 30 days and also lower operating costs and inventory levels. You can work on lowering the carbon footprint of your supply chain too. These are the challenges you address in SCM Globe, and they are the same challenges people face when managing real supply chains. What works well in the simulations will also work well with actual supply chains. Skills you develop in working with the simulations are directly transferable to the real world.

NOTE: You can run simulations for longer than 30 – 60 days, but there is usually no reason to do so. This is because most companies do not run their supply chains unchanged for longer than 30 days at a time. They use a 30 day S&OP ( sales and operations planning ) cycle and these simulations correspond to that monthly S&OP cycle. These simulations focus on the tactical realities of operating a supply chain from one month to the next, and finding what works best.

Accessing the Online Library of Case Studies

As shown in the screenshots below, logon to your account and access the case study library from your Account Management screen. Click on the “View Library” button (arrow 1) in upper right corner of the Account Management screen. In the Library screen you see a list of available supply chain case studies; click “ Import ” to load a selected case study into your account; give the imported case a Name , and click “ My Account ” to go back to your Account Management screen.

You are welcome to import any or as many of the supply chain models in the library as you wish. Once you have a copy of a supply chain model in your own account you can make any changes you want to it.

Screenshot of Account Screen and library screen

In Account Management, you “ Create a New Supply Chain ” or work with an existing supply chain by clicking the “ Edit ” button (arrow 2) next to the existing supply chain you want to work on. You can also upload copies of supply chain models sent to you by other SCM Globe users (arrow 3) , and check your account expiration date (arrow 4) .

Use the Default Values or Enter New Data

When you load any of the case study supply chain models from the SCM Globe library, they come with default numbers already plugged in. You can either accept the defaults or do some research to find more current data. This data (like data and prices everywhere) changes all the time.

Look for data on products, facilities and vehicles that are used in your supply chain and see what their specifications and costs are. Costs can vary widely in different parts of the world. Go to websites of commercial real estate brokers in cities of interest and see what you can find out about rent costs:

  • for cities in North America start with www.cityfeet.com
  • and for cities in other parts of the world start with  www.knightfrank.com

Metric System of Weights and Measures

In the case studies all weights, volumes, distances and speeds are expressed using the metric system. The metric system is used around the world in every country except three: Liberia; Myanmar; and the United States. So it is good for supply chain professionals to feel comfortable with the metric system.

Register on SCM Globe for Access to all Supply Chain Simulations

Click the blue "Register" button on the app login page, and buy an account with a credit card or PayPal (unless you already have one). Then scan the "Getting Started" section, and you are ready to start. Go to the SCM Globe library and click "Import" next to the supply chain models you want.

Hacking The Case Interview

Hacking the Case Interview

Supply chain case interview

Have an upcoming supply chain case interview and don’t know how to prepare? We have you covered!

In this article, we’ll cover what a supply chain case interview is, a step-by-step guide to solve any supply chain case, and a comprehensive review of the basics of supply chains.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case interviews quickly, enroll in our case interview course . These insider strategies from a former Bain interviewer helped 30,000+ land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.

What is a Supply Chain Case Interview?

A supply chain case interview is a type of consulting case interview that focuses on evaluating a candidate's ability to analyze and solve complex supply chain-related problems.

In this type of interview, candidates are presented with a hypothetical business scenario or real-world supply chain challenge and are expected to provide structured and logical solutions.

Supply chain cases typically involve various aspects of the supply chain process, such as sourcing, procurement, production, distribution, inventory management, and logistics.

Candidates are often required to assess the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall optimization of the supply chain operations.

To excel in a supply chain case interview, candidates need to demonstrate strong analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and an understanding of supply chain concepts and principles.

They must also showcase their capability to develop actionable recommendations that address the challenges presented in the case.

Candidates should expect to use quantitative analysis, data interpretation, and logical reasoning to formulate their solutions.

Additionally, effective communication skills are crucial to explain their thought process, assumptions, and recommendations clearly to the interviewers.

How to Solve a Supply Chain Case Interview

There are eight steps to solve a supply chain case interview.

Be aware that your supply chain case interview may cover all of these steps, or it may skip some of these steps, depending on what the interviewer wants to focus their time on.

1. Understand the case

At the outset of a supply chain case interview, your priority is to thoroughly understand the context and the challenges presented by the case.

Pay close attention to any clues provided about the company's operations, suppliers, customers, distribution methods, and potential pain points in its supply chain.

Clarify any uncertainties by asking insightful questions that can help you gather relevant information.

By gaining a clear understanding of the case context and objectives, you'll be better equipped to define the problem, formulate a structured approach, and ultimately arrive at effective solutions to address the supply chain challenges presented in the case.

2. Define the problem

Once you have a solid grasp of the case details, move on to defining the core problem or objective that needs to be addressed in the supply chain case interview.

This step involves breaking down the broader supply chain challenges into specific, actionable issues that you can analyze and provide solutions for.

Look for key pain points or bottlenecks in the supply chain process that may be impacting the company's operations, costs, efficiency, or customer satisfaction.

Articulate the problem succinctly and clearly, ensuring that your definition captures the essence of the supply chain issues at hand.

A well-defined problem will serve as the foundation for the remainder of your analysis, guiding your approach and helping you structure your recommendations effectively.

3. Gather information

In the supply chain case interview, the next critical step is to gather relevant information and data that will enable you to analyze the problem thoroughly. This involves seeking clarification from the interviewer about any aspects of the case that are not fully clear and requesting essential data points that are required for your analysis.

Additionally, you may be provided with data, charts, or graphs that simulate the company's supply chain operations.

Your ability to ask insightful questions and extract pertinent information from the available data is crucial at this stage.

As you gather information, focus on understanding the different stages of the supply chain, the key players involved, the flow of materials and products, inventory management practices, distribution channels, and any existing challenges.

Your proficiency in identifying relevant data and using it to build a comprehensive understanding of the situation will set the stage for the subsequent analysis and recommendations you'll provide in the case interview.

4. Analyze the data

With a solid grasp of the information collected, the next step in a supply chain case interview is to analyze the current supply chain operations.

This involves identifying strengths, weaknesses, bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and potential areas for improvement within the supply chain.

Utilize your problem-solving skills to break down the complex supply chain into its various components and assess how each component impacts the overall process. Consider factors such as lead times, transportation costs, inventory levels, demand forecasting accuracy, and supplier relationships.

Identify any patterns or trends in the data that may indicate areas of concern or opportunities for optimization.

This analytical phase requires a structured approach and the ability to connect the dots between different aspects of the supply chain.

Your goal is to uncover insights that will inform your recommendations for enhancing the supply chain's effectiveness, efficiency, and overall performance.

5. Identify solutions

After analyzing the supply chain, the next crucial step is to develop practical solutions and recommendations for improving its efficiency and effectiveness. This is where your creativity and problem-solving skills come into play.

Based on the insights gained from the analysis, brainstorm potential solutions to address the identified challenges or bottlenecks. Consider various strategies, such as:

  • Optimizing inventory management
  • Improving demand forecasting accuracy
  • Streamlining transportation and logistics
  • Enhancing supplier collaboration
  • Implementing technology solutions like supply chain software

Your recommendations should be tailored to the specific issues you've identified and should align with the company's overall goals and objectives.

It's important to think critically about the feasibility of each solution and its potential impact on the supply chain's performance. You may need to prioritize solutions based on their potential benefits and implementation complexity.

Ultimately, your goal is to provide actionable recommendations that can lead to tangible improvements in the supply chain's efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall value to the organization.

6. Evaluate trade-offs

In a supply chain case interview, the ability to assess trade-offs is a vital skill. After analyzing different options and proposing potential solutions, you need to critically evaluate the trade-offs associated with each choice.

Trade-offs often involve considerations such as cost, time, risk, and impact on various stakeholders. Determine which solution offers the best balance between different factors, taking into account both short-term benefits and long-term implications.

For example, a solution that reduces costs might lead to longer lead times or increased supply chain complexity.

Effective trade-off evaluation showcases your analytical thinking, strategic acumen, and the capacity to make informed decisions that align with the broader business objectives.

Your ability to weigh pros and cons demonstrates your capacity to handle the complexities of real-world supply chain challenges.

7. Develop recommendations

In the context of a supply chain case interview, developing recommendations is a crucial step that demonstrates your problem-solving abilities.

After thoroughly analyzing the situation, identifying potential solutions, and evaluating trade-offs, you need to formulate actionable recommendations.

Your recommendations should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the company, addressing the key issues identified earlier.

These recommendations should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), allowing the company to implement them effectively. Consider the potential risks and challenges associated with each recommendation and propose strategies to mitigate them.

Your ability to provide clear and concise recommendations showcases your strategic thinking, practicality, and capacity to drive positive change within the supply chain.

Additionally, crafting recommendations that consider both short-term gains and long-term sustainability demonstrates your understanding of the broader business implications.

8. Quantify the impact

Quantifying the impact is a critical aspect of solving a supply chain case interview.

After proposing recommendations, you need to assess the potential outcomes of implementing these changes.

This involves using relevant metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantify the expected improvements in the supply chain's efficiency, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and overall business performance.

Utilize data and information provided in the case to estimate the potential financial and operational benefits of your recommendations.

By attaching specific numbers to your recommendations, you demonstrate your ability to translate strategic solutions into tangible results. Employ quantitative analysis to showcase the value your proposed changes would bring to the company's bottom line.

This step highlights your analytical skills, business acumen, and capacity to drive measurable improvements within the supply chain operations.

In addition to supply chain case interviews, we also have additional step-by-step guides to: market entry case interviews , growth strategy case interviews , M&A case interviews , pricing case interviews , operations case interviews , and marketing case interviews .

Essential Supply Chain Knowledge You Need to Know

Below are five different topics in supply chain that you should be familiar with for your supply chain case interviews.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert or get very technical with any of these, but it will be helpful to understand what each topic is so that you have an understanding and intuition for solving supply chain problems.

1. Supply chain components

The supply chain is a complex network of interconnected activities, processes, and entities that collaborate to ensure the seamless flow of products and services from raw material suppliers to end customers.

Understanding the key components of a supply chain is essential for anyone looking to grasp the fundamentals of supply chain.

Suppliers : Suppliers provide the raw materials, components, and resources necessary for production. Selecting reliable and quality-focused suppliers is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the supply chain.

Manufacturers : Manufacturers transform raw materials into finished products through various production processes. They play a pivotal role in optimizing production efficiency and ensuring product quality.

Distributors : Distributors are responsible for storing and delivering products to various points in the supply chain. They manage inventory, transportation, and often serve as intermediaries between manufacturers and retailers.

Retailers : Retailers interact directly with end customers, selling products through various channels such as brick-and-mortar stores or online platforms. They monitor consumer demand and provide feedback to other supply chain entities.

Customers : Customers are the ultimate recipients of products or services. Their demand influences the entire supply chain, driving production, distribution, and inventory decisions.

Supply chain example

2. Supply chain activities

Supply chain activities encompass a range of interconnected processes that collaborate to ensure the efficient movement of goods, information, and resources from the initial stages of production to the end consumer.

These activities play a pivotal role in optimizing operations, reducing costs, and meeting customer demands. Let's delve into the key components of supply chain activities:

Planning and Forecasting : Effective supply chain planning involves predicting customer demand, aligning production capacities, and managing inventory levels. Accurate demand forecasting helps prevent stockouts or excess inventory, ensuring optimal resource allocation.

Sourcing and Procurement : This activity involves selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and acquiring raw materials or components. Sourcing decisions impact cost, quality, and lead times, influencing overall supply chain efficiency.

Production : Manufacturing is where raw materials are transformed into finished goods. Efficient production processes, quality control, and lean manufacturing techniques are crucial to meet demand while minimizing waste.

Inventory Management : Proper management of inventory levels is essential to prevent shortages and overstocks. Inventory optimization tools help strike the right balance between carrying costs and meeting customer demand.

Warehousing and Distribution : Warehouses serve as hubs for storing and distributing products. Efficient warehousing operations ensure timely delivery and minimize transportation costs by consolidating shipments.

Transportation : Moving products from one point to another is a critical aspect of supply chain activities. Selecting appropriate transportation modes, optimizing routes, and tracking shipments enhance efficiency.

Demand Fulfillment : Ensuring timely order fulfillment involves coordinating production, inventory levels, and distribution. Meeting customer orders promptly enhances customer satisfaction.

Information Flow : Information is the backbone of supply chain activities. Real-time data sharing across supply chain entities enables informed decision-making, enhances coordination, and minimizes delays.

Demand Management : Managing customer demand involves understanding market trends, analyzing consumer behavior, and aligning production to meet varying demand levels.

Supplier Relationship Management : Nurturing positive relationships with suppliers fosters collaboration and enables agile responses to changing market conditions.

Quality Control : Maintaining product quality is crucial to avoid recalls and returns. Rigorous quality control processes ensure products meet customer expectations.

Reverse Logistics : Managing the flow of goods in reverse, such as returns and recycling, is an emerging aspect of supply chain activities. Efficient reverse logistics processes reduce waste and environmental impact.

Technology Integration : Modern supply chains leverage technology such as IoT devices, RFID tags, and data analytics to monitor operations, track shipments, and optimize processes.

3. Metrics and KPIs

Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential tools that provide quantifiable insights into the performance of supply chain activities. They enable organizations to assess efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions. Let's explore the significance of metrics and KPIs in the supply chain context:

Operational Efficiency : Metrics such as Order Fill Rate, On-Time Delivery, and Cycle Time measure the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment. A high order fill rate indicates efficient inventory management and timely deliveries, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Inventory Management : Inventory Turnover Ratio, Days Sales of Inventory, and Holding Cost per Unit measure how effectively organizations manage their inventory. Optimizing these metrics reduces carrying costs while ensuring product availability.

Supplier Performance : Metrics like Supplier Lead Time, Supplier On-Time Delivery, and Supplier Defect Rate assess the reliability and effectiveness of suppliers. Strong supplier performance enhances production consistency and reduces supply chain disruptions.

Logistics Efficiency : Transportation Cost per Unit, Freight Cost Ratio, and Inbound Freight Cost measure transportation efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Optimizing these metrics minimizes transportation expenses while maintaining service levels.

Demand Forecast Accuracy : Forecast Accuracy, Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE), and Bias measure the accuracy of demand forecasts. Accurate forecasts enable organizations to align production and inventory with actual demand.

Quality Control : Metrics such as Defect Rate, Return Rate, and Customer Complaint Rate assess product quality. Lower defect rates and return rates signify effective quality control processes.

Cash-to-Cash Cycle Time : This metric measures the time it takes for investments to turn into cash flows. A shorter cycle time indicates efficient cash flow management.

Working Capital Ratio : This ratio compares current assets to current liabilities, indicating the organization's liquidity and ability to meet short-term obligations.

Total Cost of Ownership : This metric considers all costs associated with a product's lifecycle, including acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal. It helps make informed procurement decisions.

Supply Chain Flexibility : Metrics like Lead Time Variability and Response Time measure the ability to adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands.

Sustainability Metrics : Environmental impact metrics, such as Carbon Footprint, Water Usage, and Energy Consumption, assess the sustainability of supply chain operations.

Customer Satisfaction Metrics : Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Complaint Resolution Time gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Lean and six sigma

Lean and Six Sigma are two methodologies that play a crucial role in optimizing supply chain operations, eliminating waste, and enhancing overall efficiency.

Lean Methodology : Lean principles focus on identifying and eliminating non-value-added activities, known as waste, from the supply chain.

Waste can take various forms, including overproduction, excess inventory, defects, waiting time, unnecessary transportation, and underutilized talent.

By streamlining processes and reducing waste, organizations can improve lead times, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Six Sigma Methodology : Six Sigma aims to minimize process variations and defects by using data-driven methodologies to achieve consistent and predictable outcomes.

The methodology follows the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) framework to identify root causes of inefficiencies, optimize processes, and ensure sustained improvements.

By reducing process variations, organizations can achieve higher levels of quality and reliability.

Six Sigma projects often result in significant cost savings, improved cycle times, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

The use of statistical tools and methodologies empowers supply chain professionals to make informed decisions, drive continuous improvement, and enhance the overall effectiveness of their operations.

5. Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement is a fundamental concept in supply chain management that revolves around the idea of consistently enhancing processes, practices, and outcomes to achieve higher levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction.

This philosophy emphasizes that there's always room for improvement, no matter how well a supply chain is performing.

Continuous improvement involves identifying areas for enhancement, implementing changes, monitoring the results, and making further adjustments based on feedback and data.

Supply Chain Case Interview Examples

Supply chain case interview scenario #1.

You are consulting for a retail company that operates multiple stores nationwide. The company is facing challenges with managing its inventory levels.

On one hand, excess inventory ties up capital and incurs storage costs, while on the other hand, inadequate inventory leads to stockouts and missed sales opportunities.

Your task is to help the company optimize its inventory levels to achieve a balance between meeting customer demand and minimizing costs.

How to Solve

Begin by clarifying the scope of the problem. Ask questions about the company's current inventory management practices, its supply chain network, and its primary challenges related to inventory levels.

Request historical sales data for the past year, including SKU-level information, lead times, reorder points, safety stock levels, and any available information on demand variability.

Examine the historical sales data to identify demand patterns, seasonality, and trends. Calculate key metrics like average demand and standard deviation of demand.

Determine the safety stock required to prevent stockouts during peak demand periods. Consider factors like lead time variability, desired service level, and demand variability.

Evaluate the company's current reorder points for each SKU. Assess whether they are aligned with demand variability, lead times, and safety stock requirements.

Analyze inventory turnover ratios for different SKUs. Identify products with consistently low turnover rates, as they may indicate excess inventory that ties up capital.

Based on your analysis, propose strategies to optimize inventory levels. This may involve adjusting reorder points, safety stock levels, and batch sizes.

Examine opportunities to reduce lead times in the supply chain. Faster replenishment can reduce the need for high safety stock levels.

Segment SKUs based on demand patterns, product characteristics, and other relevant factors. Tailor inventory management strategies to each segment.

Present your findings and recommendations to the client. Highlight potential cost savings, improved customer service levels, and enhanced supply chain efficiency through optimized inventory management.

Engage in a discussion with the interviewer, addressing any questions or concerns they may have about your analysis and recommendations.

Supply Chain Case Interview Scenario #2

You are consulting for a global consumer goods company that manufactures and distributes a wide range of products. The company is looking to optimize its distribution network to reduce costs and improve service levels.

Currently, the company operates multiple distribution centers (DCs) and warehouses around the world. Your task is to propose an optimal distribution network strategy.

Begin by gathering information about the company's current distribution network. Obtain data on the number and locations of DCs, transportation costs, inventory holding costs, lead times, and customer locations.

Analyze historical demand patterns across different regions and customer segments. Consider factors like seasonality, market growth, and demand variability.

Evaluate the transportation costs associated with shipping products from each DC to customer locations. Consider modes of transportation, distance, freight rates, and delivery times.

Calculate the total cost of the current distribution network, including transportation costs, inventory holding costs, warehousing costs, and any other relevant expenses.

Understand the company's desired service levels for different customer segments. This could involve factors like delivery times, order fill rates, and on-time delivery performance.

Propose alternative distribution network configurations, such as consolidating DCs, opening new DCs in strategic locations, or outsourcing distribution to third-party providers.

Quantify the trade-offs between cost reduction and service level improvement for each distribution network alternative.

Evaluate the benefits of centralizing inventory in a single location versus distributing inventory across multiple DCs. Consider factors like lead times, demand variability, and safety stock requirements.

Based on your analysis, recommend the optimal distribution network strategy that minimizes costs while meeting or exceeding service level requirements.

Discuss potential challenges and risks associated with implementing the recommended network strategy. Consider factors like operational disruptions, IT system changes, and supplier relationships.

Present your findings and recommendations to the client, highlighting the projected cost savings, improved service levels, and overall benefits of the optimized distribution network.

Recommended Case Interview Resources

Here are the resources we recommend to learn the most robust, effective case interview strategies in the least time-consuming way:

  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.
  • Hacking the Case Interview Book   (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.
  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.
  • Case Interview Coaching : Personalized, one-on-one coaching with former consulting interviewers
  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course : Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer
  • Resume Review & Editing : Transform your resume into one that will get you multiple interviews

Land Multiple Consulting Offers

Complete, step-by-step case interview course. 30,000+ happy customers.

How to Solve a Supply Chain Case Study Interview

  • Last Updated January, 2022

Former Accenture

People can be nervous about approaching a supply chain case study interview.

Everyone has some level of experience with marketing and sales because they see these functions in stores and advertisements every day.

The supply chain that gets the product on a store shelf (whether it’s a physical one or digital) can be more opaque.

Supply chain management is the optimization of the process of designing and creating a good or service and getting it to the customer in the most efficient way possible.

Breaking the supply chain down into its component steps will allow you to look at essential parts of the process and uncover which steps may have problems that need to be addressed to better meet customer needs.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The types of business problems that fall under supply chain management,
  • Why supply chain matters,
  • Key factors to consider in a supply chain case,
  • A supply chain case example, and
  • Our 7 tips on answering a supply chain case interview question.

Let’s get started!

What Types of Business Problems Fall into Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management includes:

  • Product development, 
  • Sourcing parts and materials, 
  • Production, 
  • Logistics, and
  • Information systems that support this process.

Each consulting firm breaks down the group of consultants who work on supply chain problems differently. Some firms put the entire process under supply chain. 

In others, “production” problems are managed by an operations practice or service line. The supply chain practice is responsible for issues like:

  • How does a company get the necessary components that go into making its product in a cost-effective and timely fashion?
  • And how does the company deliver that product to the end-customer efficiently and at the required service level?

For example, before a company can manufacture a bike, it needs tires, steel, or aluminum for the frame, the bike chain, etc. To get the finished bike to market, they need transportation to retail stores or a chain’s distribution warehouse. 

For the purpose of this article, we’ll look at the broader definition of supply chain, the entire process from getting components parts, to manufacturing the product and delivering finished goods as cheaply and efficiently as possible while meeting or exceeding service level expectations.

Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.

Why Does the Movement of Goods To & From a Factory Matter So Much?

Moving goods to and from a factory might not seem to be the most exciting thing in the world but it’s fundamental to business success. If you can’t get your innovative new product to market so your customers can buy it, it can’t add value to your bottom line. 

From a financial perspective, there are both inbound and outbound considerations. 

Inbound considerations include:

  • Transportation costs from supplier to factory/warehouse
  • Warehousing cost 
  • Carrying cost of inventory

Outbound considerations include:

  • Transportation costs from factory to customer or store

Let’s look at these in more detail.

Transportation Cost

Transportation costs include both receiving goods from suppliers and distributing them to the customer. There are several factors to be considered when calculating transportation costs, and they may have to be weighed against other factors.

For example, is it more beneficial to use a cheaper supplier that has higher inbound transportation costs? Is it better to use a more expensive carrier service that results in a lower rate of damaged goods or quicker transit time?

Warehousing Cost

The cost of storing inventory, whether component parts or finished products, needs to be considered in effective supply chain management. Warehousing costs can be significant and can be optimized in a number of ways:

  • Only renting the storage space you need and using it efficiently.
  • Optimizing product packaging to reduce the storage space required.
  • Researching less expensive potential warehousing locations.
  • Using a multi-client facility where several businesses share the cost (if not a lot of space is required.)

It’s worth bearing in mind that, like many things in supply chain management, there may be tradeoffs. Cheaper warehousing that’s poorly connected to a company’s distribution network could end up costing you more time and money than more expensive storage that’s well connected. It’s important to optimize total supply chain costs, not each individual cost in the supply chain.

Inventory Carrying Cost

In addition to storage costs, there are several other costs associated with holding inventory. These include:

  • Capital cost . Money that’s been invested in inventory cannot be used elsewhere.
  • Insurance . Storing inventory requires insurance to cover the risk of theft or damage.
  • Risk . Products may decrease in value or become obsolete during the time they’re stored.

Similarly, from a customer service level perspective, there are both inbound and outbound considerations.

  • Factory/production cell downtime due to lack of component parts. 
  • Missed sales due to stockout at retail stores.
  • Failure to meet customer service-level expectations.

In short, inventory levels are about managing supply vs. demand. If there is a problem with inbound supply, production will slow or cease. This is highly inefficient and reduces potential product profitability. 

For example, the blockage of the Suez Canal in early 2021 due to a container ship that ran aground was expected to delay shipment of $9.6 billion in goods a day on the 150+ vessels waiting to travel through the canal according to a BBC article. These delays are expected to cost companies substantial sums due to:

  • Lost sales as customers look to competitors to purchase out-of-stock goods,
  • Production downtime at manufacturers resulting from parts shortages,
  • Higher shipping costs on ships detoured to longer, more expensive sea routes to avoid the canal, and 
  • Higher shipping costs due to a worldwide shortage of shipping containers that was exacerbated by this accident.

Key Factors to Consider in a Supply Chain Case Study Interview

A supply chain process map.

When analyzing a supply chain case, the best place to start is by mapping out the steps parts go through as they come into the factory, go through the manufacturing and quality control processes, and then are finally shipped to the customer. A process map like the one above will help you identify key steps.

Imagine yourself walking the production floor following the process the parts and end-product go through. In a supply chain case with an actual client, you’ll do this.

An effective supply chain moves the various elements seamlessly in the most efficient manner, minimizing waste and maximizing profitability. The flow of information between supplier and buyer, production, and the market should also move freely. This means it can be used to improve supply chain decisions. For example, an increase in orders at Manufacturer A will be communicated to their supplier, Company B, so that they know that they expect a larger than normal parts order and are prepared to fulfill it.

Imagine How Raw Materials Arrive at a Factory and Move Through It

  • What steps are required to get parts into inventory?
  • Where are they stored?
  • How are they moved around the factory?
  • How are they changed to outputs – single step or multiple?
  • Is there an assembly step? A quality control step?
  • How are they packaged and stored?
  • Where and how are they prepared and loaded for delivery to market?

Tip! Look for steps in the process where inventory is piling up. This may be because parts supply or production is unbalanced, reducing efficiency. Find ways to improve these bottlenecks.

Tip! Look for areas where there are significant problems with quality control. Parts or products that need to be sent back to suppliers or go through production rework are opportunities to improve efficiency and quality and, by doing so, save money.

After you have a clear understanding of the company’s supply chain, there are 4 factors you’ll want to dive deeper into to find opportunities to improve efficiency:

  • Operational considerations,
  • Financial considerations,
  • Service levels, and 
  • Matching supply and demand.

Operational Considerations

The best supply chains are highly efficient, which means they have low to minimal waste and consistently operate at optimum levels. This means that labor capacity is well-matched to production requirements.

They are also reliable with robust supplier relationships and an effective transportation solution.

Questions to Ask about Operational Efficiency

  • Product development
  • How well do we understand customer needs and use that insight to develop next-generation products?
  • How efficient are we at designing new products to meet these customer needs?
  • Is there a good split of engineering resources allocated to incremental product improvements versus next-generation product design?
  • Do we regularly review contracts for cost-savings opportunities (both for direct spend on components that go into our end-products and indirect spend on things such as travel and office supplies)?
  • Do we optimize total cost of ownership rather than individual component costs?
  • Is the production process optimized or does work-in-process accumulate behind bottlenecked resources (equipment or employees)?
  • Does the factory experience production shut-downs due to a lack of raw materials?
  • Does the factory experience unexpected equipment downtime?
  • Are employees cross-trained to minimize rework?
  • How efficient is the inbound transportation network? Are raw materials received on a just-in-time basis? How often are there stock-outs?
  • How efficient is the outbound transportation network? Are end products received by customers on time? 
  • Are there product defects or quality issues caused by transport?
  • Information systems that support this process
  • Do information systems support the exchange of data up and down the supply chain to optimize decision-making?

Financial Considerations

There are both fixed and variable costs associated with getting a product to market that should be considered.

Fixed Production Costs

Fixed costs are costs that are independent of production volume (at least over the short term) — for example, factory leasing costs.

Let’s assume a factory can produce a maximum of 10,000 units of a product a year. To lease the factory is the same price whether you produce 1 unit or 10,000 units a year. 

Fixed costs can depend on production volume only when it exceeds a threshold volume.

For example, if sales increase and the business needed to produce 15,000 units a year, the company would need to lease another factory to deal with the increased production. In this case, volume does affect a fixed cost.

Fixed costs do directly influence the cost per unit, however. The higher the utilization of the fixed production volume, the lower the cost per unit. 

For example, if the factory mentioned above costs $10,000 to lease and the factory is producing at its full capacity of 10,000 units, then the fixed cost/unit of output is $1. If the factory is only running at 50% capacity, the fixed costs/unit of output would double to $2.

Variable Production Costs

Variable costs change in proportion to production volume. For every additional unit produced, an additional $x of variable cost is incurred. Examples of variable cost items include raw materials and hourly labor costs.

There are times when rebalancing fixed and variable costs can be an opportunity for savings. For example, is it beneficial to invest in machinery or automation (fixed cost) if it reduces high labor costs? Be sure to look for opportunities like this as well as optimizing fixed and variable costs on their own.

Questions To Ask About Financial Optimization

  • How do increases and decreases in production impact fixed and variable costs?
  • Are there variable costs that fixed costs could replace?  (Example: new machinery that could reduce labor costs as well as total costs of production?)
  • Are there fixed costs that could be reduced through outsourcing? (Example: costs of leasing and managing a warehouse that could be reduced by outsourcing?)
  • Where are the biggest opportunities for financial savings?
  • How could reducing or increasing costs affect other considerations such as operational efficiency?

Service Levels

In supply chain management, the term service level has a specific meaning. It relates to how well inventory levels fulfill customer orders. A good service level is one that can fulfill customer orders without incurring a delay.

This is important because customer loyalty may decrease if products are consistently out of stock.

Questions To Ask About Service Levels

  • What are the clients’ service level expectations?
  • How often are customer orders fulfilled successfully?
  • How would changing service levels affect buyer behavior or customer retention?
  • How would changing service levels increase or decrease costs?

Supply and Demand

Effective supply chain management is about ensuring demand for the product is equaled by supply, at the lowest cost to the business.

If demand is higher than supply, customers could turn to a competitor.

If supply is higher than demand, inventory costs can reduce profit margins. Storing inventory also increases business risk as the product may decrease in value or become obsolete as it waits to reach the market.

Questions To Ask About Supply And Demand

  • What factors influence supply?
  • What factors influence demand?
  • How good is the organization at forecasting demand?
  • How flexible is the organization at changing output (e.g., are workers cross-trained for different production cells?)
  • How well are supply and demand currently balanced?
  • If they are imbalanced, what factors are contributing to this and how can those issues be fixed?

Supply Chain Case Study Interview – A Sample Question

Problem: Intel is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer chips. In 2008, Intel launched its low-cost “Atom” chip . The supply chain costs of Intel’s chips were about $5.50 a chip, which were acceptable for chips that sold for $100 each. For the Atom chips, priced at $20, these costs were too high to generate a profit.

What factors should Intel consider in order to reduce its supply chain costs, and what actions would you recommend as a priority?

Mapping the Supply Chain

Mapping out the supply chain process for Intel’s Atom chip identified several steps that had already been optimized including:

  • Raw material costs, 
  • Packaging costs, and
  • Duty payments.

It also identified that customers required a 2-week service level for receiving orders after a purchase order was submitted. 

However, the order cycle for the Atom chip was 9 weeks. Order-cycle time is the time between when a customer order is received and when the goods are shipped. High levels of inventory were required to ensure that customer service levels could be met despite the long production cycle time.

Because of this, production time/inventory was identified as the key step that had opportunities for improvement.

Identifying Opportunities to Reduce Production Time and Inventory

The process for reducing inventory required reducing the order cycle time to meet the customer’s 2-week required service level. Getting to a 2-week cycle time from a 9-week cycle time was a considerable challenge. To meet this challenge, opportunities to improve order cycle time were addressed throughout the supply chain process. 

As described above, for a supply chain case, there are 4 main factors to consider:

  • Service levels, and
  • Supply and demand.

In drilling down on this case, the following opportunities were identified:

  • Financial: Intel moved to a vendor-managed inventory model where possible to save inventory carrying costs. Vendor-managed inventory is the process of having a parts manufacturer take responsibility for holding the required amount of inventory at the customer location.  
  • Operational: The team was able to identify multiple production process improvements to reduce order cycle time, such as cutting the chip assembly test from 5 days to 2 days.
  • Service levels : As mentioned, the 2-week required service level was not flexible, providing no opportunities in this area.
  • Balancing supply and demand: Intel introduced a formal sales and operation planning process to provide better demand forecasts and time production to better meet demand.

Our 7 Tips on Answering a Supply Chain Case Interview Question

Tip 1: walk through the supply chain process.

Start by mapping out the step-by-step supply chain process.

Understanding how materials arrive from suppliers, the steps to turn them into outputs, and what’s needed to get them to market is an important first step. Once you’ve done this, look for bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the system.

Tip 2: Clarify Your Understanding of the Case 

At the start of any case study, it’s important to make sure you understand the question. This includes any information you’ve received about the case and also what you think you need to do to solve it.

A simple way to do this is to repeat back to the interviewer what you know about the case and what you believe the task to be. This gives them an early opportunity to guide your thinking if you look to be going off track.

Tip 3: Ask Questions

If you don’t understand anything, ask! Even if you feel you should know something, there’s no point wasting time worrying about it. Just ask the question and move on.

Similarly, if there are gaps in the data provided, or you need more information in order to form a hypothesis or conclusion, ask your interviewer for more detail. They may provide further information that helps you choose an approach or strengthens your analysis.

Tip 4: Take Time to Structure your Thinking

Don’t be afraid to take your time when structuring your approach to the case. 

Moments of silence can feel endless in an interview situation, but it’s better to use some extra thinking time and respond clearly and logically than answer immediately in a rushed or haphazard manner.

If you need more time to think, it’s perfectly ok to signpost that to your interviewer by asking for a little more time to organize your thoughts.

Tip 5: Use A Framework

Frameworks are popular with both candidates and interviewers alike as they bring structure to your analysis. 

Case interviews can be daunting, and anxiety can make it tricky to think things through logically. Using a framework provides an anchor to organize your thoughts around and makes it less likely you’ll leave anything out.

In supply chain cases, the supply chain process itself can often be used as your framework.

Tip 6: Share Your Analysis

Speaking of analysis, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts aloud. A case interview should be more of a conversation than an interrogation!

Remember your math teacher always telling you to show your work? The same is true in case interviews.

Explaining your thought process helps the interviewer see how you process and make connections between pieces of information. They may also point out small mistakes in your arithmetic so that they don’t mess up your conclusion.

Tip 7: Provide a Recommendation

At the end of the interview, briefly summarize the information you’ve uncovered about the case and how it’s influenced your thinking. Then clearly state your recommendation for the client’s next steps.

Make sure you also share any other important details, such as any risks associated with your recommendation and how they might be overcome.

In this article, we’ve covered:

  • Which business problems supply chain management covers,
  • The reasons supply chain management is important,
  • The essential considerations of a supply chain case,
  • An example of a supply chain case, and
  • Our top 7 tips for acing the supply chain case interview.

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about supply chain case study interview questions, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s case coaches will answer them. Other people prepping for supply chain case interviews found the following pages helpful:

  • Our Complete Guide to Case Interview Prep ,
  • Case Interview Types , and
  • Case Interview Examples .

Help with Consulting Interview Prep

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on supply chain case study interview questions. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 85% of the people we’ve worked with to get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Tanya was able to get her offer from McKinsey.

4 thoughts on “How to Solve a Supply Chain Case Study Interview”

I need to do a power point for an interview. I have to do a Logistics Analyst Case Study answering questions regarding delivery data for the supply chain and I can’t seem to figure out how to go about answering the questions. I need some professional guidance to help me through the process. Thank you.

Supply chain cases are challenging.

If you’d like an overview of how to approach answering a consulting case interview, our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep is your best source. If you’d like a one-on-one coach for case interviews, including learning how to case in as short as a week, you can apply here .

I would like some more information on supply chain cases – interview’s specifically but not only

Hey, Michael,

Here are a couple publically available cases that might help you: Steel Co. from the NYU Stern 2019 casebook. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AImB14ysaUoYBNw-ArtoCtzZA5cADUhy S.A. Shipping from the McCombs Texas MBA Casebook 2017-2018.

Best of luck on your supply chain case prep!

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We are sharing our powerful strategies to pass the case interview even if you have no business background, zero casing experience, or only have a week to prepare.

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supply chain case study questions

How to Answer Supply Chain Optimization Case Questions in Management Consulting Interviews?

Learn how to ace supply chain optimization case questions in management consulting interviews with these expert tips and strategies.

Posted May 11, 2023

supply chain case study questions

Table of Contents

If you're applying for a management consulting role, chances are you'll encounter supply chain optimization case questions during the interview process. These questions are designed to test your ability to break down complex problems, analyze data, and communicate your thought process clearly to others. In this article, we'll explore the importance of supply chain optimization in management consulting, the different types of questions you may encounter, and strategies for answering them effectively.

The importance of supply chain optimization in management consulting

Supply chain optimization is a critical component of management consulting projects. It involves analyzing the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers, identifying bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the process, and developing strategies to improve operations and reduce costs. A solid understanding of supply chain management principles is essential for consultants working in industries such as retail, manufacturing, or logistics. By optimizing supply chains, organizations can increase profitability, reduce waste, and improve customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, supply chain optimization can also help organizations become more sustainable. By reducing waste and improving efficiency, companies can minimize their environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. This is becoming increasingly important as consumers and stakeholders are placing more emphasis on sustainability and ethical business practices. Management consultants who specialize in supply chain optimization can help organizations achieve their sustainability goals while also improving their bottom line.

Understanding the basics of supply chain management

Before diving into supply chain optimization case questions, it's important to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of supply chain management. This includes the different stages of the supply chain (such as procurement, production, and distribution), the factors that influence supply chain performance (such as inventory management, transportation, and demand forecasting), and the metrics used to measure success (such as on-time delivery rate, lead time, and inventory turnover).

Another important aspect of supply chain management is risk management. This involves identifying potential risks in the supply chain, such as supplier bankruptcy or natural disasters, and developing strategies to mitigate those risks. Effective risk management can help ensure continuity of supply and minimize disruptions to the supply chain.

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The different types of supply chain optimization case questions

There are several types of supply chain optimization case questions that you may encounter during a management consulting interview. These include:

  • Process optimization: How can a company streamline its supply chain processes to reduce costs and improve efficiency?
  • Inventory management: How can a company optimize its inventory levels to minimize stockouts and reduce excess inventory?
  • Supplier selection: How can a company identify and select the best suppliers to work with?
  • Demand forecasting: How can a company improve its ability to predict demand and adjust production accordingly?

In addition to these types of supply chain optimization case questions, you may also encounter questions related to transportation optimization. This could include questions about how a company can optimize its transportation routes to reduce costs and improve delivery times, or how it can choose the most efficient modes of transportation for different products and regions. Another area of focus may be sustainability, where companies are looking to optimize their supply chains to reduce their environmental impact and improve their social responsibility.

Tips for breaking down complex supply chain optimization case questions

When faced with a complex supply chain optimization case question, it's important to break down the problem into smaller, more manageable parts. This can involve creating a flowchart to map out the different stages and processes involved, or developing a hypothesis to guide your analysis. It's also important to ask clarifying questions to ensure that you fully understand the problem and the constraints involved.

Another useful strategy for breaking down complex supply chain optimization case questions is to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most relevant to the problem at hand. This can help you focus your analysis on the most important factors and avoid getting bogged down in irrelevant details. Additionally, it's important to consider the trade-offs involved in any potential solutions, such as cost vs. speed or quality vs. efficiency. By breaking down the problem into smaller parts, focusing on relevant KPIs, and considering trade-offs, you can develop a more effective and efficient solution to complex supply chain optimization case questions.

The role of data analysis in answering supply chain optimization case questions

Data analysis is a critical part of answering supply chain optimization case questions. This involves gathering and analyzing data to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for improvement. Some common data analysis techniques used in supply chain optimization include regression analysis, forecasting methods, and statistical process control.

One of the key benefits of data analysis in supply chain optimization is the ability to make informed decisions based on data-driven insights. By analyzing data, supply chain managers can identify areas of inefficiency and make targeted improvements to reduce costs, improve delivery times, and increase customer satisfaction.

Another important aspect of data analysis in supply chain optimization is the ability to monitor performance and track progress over time. By regularly analyzing data and tracking key performance indicators, supply chain managers can identify trends and make adjustments to ensure that their supply chain is operating at peak efficiency.

How to effectively communicate your thought process in answering supply chain optimization case questions

Effective communication is essential when answering supply chain optimization case questions. This involves clearly articulating your thought process, explaining your assumptions, and presenting your analysis in a logical and structured way. It's also important to use visual aids (such as graphs, charts, and tables) to help illustrate your points and make your analysis more engaging.

In addition to using visual aids, it's important to actively listen to the interviewer's feedback and adjust your approach accordingly. This shows that you are receptive to feedback and can adapt to new information. It's also helpful to practice your communication skills beforehand, whether it's through mock interviews or presenting your analysis to a friend or colleague. By practicing and refining your communication skills, you can effectively convey your thought process and analysis in a clear and concise manner.

Common mistakes to avoid when answering supply chain optimization case questions

There are several common mistakes that candidates make when answering supply chain optimization case questions. These include:

  • Focusing too much on specific details without understanding the bigger picture
  • Jumping to conclusions without analyzing the data thoroughly
  • Ignoring constraints or assumptions given in the question
  • Not communicating your thought process clearly and effectively

Another common mistake that candidates make when answering supply chain optimization case questions is failing to consider the impact of external factors. It's important to remember that supply chain optimization doesn't exist in a vacuum, and external factors such as market trends, economic conditions, and geopolitical events can all have a significant impact on the effectiveness of a supply chain strategy. Ignoring these factors can lead to unrealistic or ineffective solutions.

Strategies for presenting your solutions and recommendations

When presenting your solutions and recommendations, it's important to focus on the key insights and conclusions from your analysis. This can involve prioritizing the most impactful changes, discussing potential risks or trade-offs, and developing a clear implementation plan. It's also important to tailor your recommendations to the specific needs and goals of the organization you're working with.

Another important strategy for presenting your solutions and recommendations is to use visual aids such as graphs, charts, and diagrams to help illustrate your points. This can make your presentation more engaging and easier to understand for your audience. Additionally, it's important to be confident and clear in your delivery, and to anticipate any potential questions or objections that may arise. By being well-prepared and presenting your recommendations in a clear and compelling way, you can increase the likelihood that they will be accepted and implemented by the organization.

Examples of successful supply chain optimization case question responses

Here are a few examples of successful supply chain optimization case question responses:

  • Developing a transportation optimization strategy for a logistics company, which involved analyzing different transportation modes, carrier contracts, and delivery schedules to reduce costs and improve delivery times.
  • Optimizing inventory levels for a retail company by analyzing historical demand patterns, supplier lead times, and storage costs to minimize stockouts and reduce excess inventory.
  • Developing a demand forecasting model for a manufacturing company, which involved analyzing sales data, historical trends, and external factors (such as economic indicators and weather patterns) to improve production planning.

It is important to note that successful supply chain optimization also involves effective communication and collaboration between different departments and stakeholders. For example, a successful optimization strategy may require input from logistics, procurement, and sales teams to ensure that all aspects of the supply chain are considered and integrated. Additionally, ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the optimization strategy is crucial to ensure that it continues to meet the changing needs of the business and the market.

Preparing for supply chain optimization case questions in advance

One of the best ways to prepare for supply chain optimization case questions is to practice using case studies and mock interviews. This can help you develop your analytical skills, improve your ability to communicate your thought process clearly, and familiarize yourself with common supply chain optimization challenges. It's also important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices by reading industry publications and attending relevant conferences or seminars.

In addition to practicing with case studies and mock interviews, it can be helpful to seek out mentorship or guidance from experienced professionals in the field. They can provide valuable insights and advice on how to approach supply chain optimization case questions and navigate the industry as a whole.

Another important aspect of preparation is to have a solid understanding of the key concepts and principles of supply chain management. This includes topics such as inventory management, logistics, and demand forecasting. By having a strong foundation in these areas, you'll be better equipped to analyze and solve complex supply chain optimization problems.

Resources for practicing and improving your skills in answering supply chain optimization case questions

There are several resources available to help you practice and improve your skills in answering supply chain optimization case questions. These include:

  • Case study books and online resources, such as The Case Interview: 20 Days to Ace the Case and Case in Point
  • Mock interview services and coaching programs, such as PrepLounge and Management Consulted
  • Industry publications, such as Supply Chain Management Review and Logistics Management

How to apply your knowledge of supply chain optimization to real-world scenarios in consulting projects

Once you've mastered the art of answering supply chain optimization case questions, you'll be well-equipped to apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios in consulting projects. This may involve working with clients to develop supply chain optimization strategies, analyzing data to identify opportunities for improvement, or presenting recommendations to executives and stakeholders. By leveraging your skills in supply chain optimization, you can help organizations improve their operations, reduce costs, and drive growth.

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  • Procurement

infographic: supply chain management case studies

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What’s Included in SCM Case Studies?

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  • Vendor/service provider profile —brief description of the vendor, reseller, or service provider—or TEC—including contact information

The Benefits of an SCM Case Study in the Selection Process

Because modern SCM software is generally quite complex, it can be difficult for companies to determine which SCM solution is the right one for their needs. Fortunately, there is a lot of documentation and research that companies can reference to assist them. As a category, SCM case studies can be of particular value because they describe how other companies overcame challenges inherent in the SCM software selection process. In the best case, organizations, such as manufacturing and distribution companies, can find SCM case studies that feature companies like theirs with similar needs and circumstances.

How TEC's SCM Case Studies Can Help You Find the Best-Fit SCM Software

TEC is a software service provider; we are not a vendor or reseller. As an industry-leading software advisory firm, we focus on three areas that are of critical importance to our clients:

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TEC case studies show how our advisory services helped companies of varying types, sizes, and industries succeed in all three areas.

TEC’s SCM Software Selection Process

Selecting enterprise software presents some significant issues. The complexity of today’s enterprise software can be a challenge for companies that lack the appropriate in-house expertise. Most companies are unused to cataloging their processes and goals and then matching them to software features and functions. And while vendors sell software every day, companies seldom make a software purchase, giving vendors a built-in advantage when it comes to contract negotiations. Finally, software implementation is a specialty of its own, requiring specific expertise and oversight in this process. As you can see right below, TEC’s software selection process provides assistance in all these areas with a proven methodology developed over hundreds of successful selection projects and implementations.  

  • Assess : Assess the client’s business processes and goals, gaps in key processes, and discover their functional requirements
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  • Demonstration : Assess SCM solution demonstrations scripted to the client’s business processes
  • Proposal : Create and distribute SCM request for proposal (RFP) to vendors to clarify deliverables and project total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Reference : Evaluate SCM vendor and their partner(s) through reference checks from real-world clients on previous projects
  • Contract : Perform contract review and price negotiations on behalf of the client for cost savings
  • Implementation : Perform oversight and monitor the implementation of the SCM application(s) to enable successful transformation and business growth

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By Supplychainopz

Professionals in supply chain management use various methods to determine how to improve the performance of supply chain operations. Analysis of case study is certainly one of the most popular methods for people from business management background. In order to accelerate the learning, this article has gathered 20+ most sought-after supply chain case studies, analyzed/categorized them by industry and the findings are presented.

supply chain case study questions

Boeing wants to encourage more flight frequency and direct route using a smaller capacity aircraft. Then they decide to outsource many things such as the design, testing and production of key components to key industrial partners and try to reduce number of components that go to assembly. The ultimate goal is to finish the final production process within 3 days. Airbus takes a bit different marketing approach. They want to utilize high capacity airplane to help airlines drive the operating cost down. They decide to selectively outsource the production of parts and keep the design and production of key components in-house.

supply chain case study questions

Supply Chain of fashion industry involves a time based competition. Many customers have the unique product needs but a competition is very fierce because of the low barriers of entry. Many new players try to offer specialized products to customers all the time. This section features the supply chain case studies of H&M, Benetton, Zara and Adidas. –  H&M  aims to be the price leader in the fashion market.In order to materialize its vision, H&M tries to eliminate the middlemen in various stages of supply chain and consolidate the buying volumes. Product design is also the central part of its strategies. They don’t try to follow the high fashion designs but try to adopt the street trends which are easier to produce. At the end of the day, they can bring products to market within 2-3 weeks. –  Benetton , in contrast, chooses to have a full control of its production but allow its licensees to operate the stores so they can focus on production and quality control. The reason is that they would like to create the worldwide brand awareness. For fast moving products, they use the production facilities in Europe. Asian suppliers will perform production for standardized products. –  Zara  is very famous for its time based strategy. In order to launch a new product within 15 days, Zara uses a small lot production. A new product will be tested in pilot stores. If product sales is good, a larger batch will be ordered. Otherwise, remaining products will be removed from the shelves and sold as mark-down in other stores. This creates the perception among consumers that Zara’s products are unique and you have to take it while stock lasts. Vertical integration contributes to the success of Zara, they own the majority of its production facilities and stores (this is the reason why Quick Response can be effectively implemented). Its automated distribution centers are strategically located between the center of populations so products are delivered to stores quickly. Zara also works with Air France, KLM Cargo and Emirates Air in order that they can coordinate directly with the airlines to make the outbound shipments to its stores and bring back some raw materials and semi-finished materials with return legs. The last supply chain case study in the fashion retailing industry is  Adidas . In order to cope with changing customers’ demand, they decide to undertake Mass Customization strategy. The whole idea is to develop, market and deliver the product variety that most customers will find what they want. The first steps towards mass customization is to strategically offer the product choices. Too few variations will disappoint a customer but too many variations will simply postpone a buying decision. After that, Adidas asks the same key suppliers to produce custom components in order to achieve the economy of scale. In order to compensate a long waiting time, Adidas uses air freight or courier service. The reason why they can do this is that customized products are sold directly to customers so they have the higher profit margin to compensate the higher transportation cost. Supply chain strategy of the fashion retailing industry is summarized as below,

supply chain case study questions

FMCG industry is typically the products sold to customers at a low cost and will be completely consumed within 1 year. The nature of this industry is the short product life cycle, low profit margin, high competition and demand fluctuation. This section will present the case studies of P&G, Unilever and Coca-Cola respectively. Forecasting and new product introduction has always been the issues for many FMCG companies,  P&G  is no exception. To cope with this, P&G conducts a merchandise testing at the pilot stores to determine the customer’s response to new product before the launch. The result is that the forecast accuracy is improved because a demand planner has an additional source data to make a better decision. Moreover, products can be shipped to stores in-time then lost sales is minimal. –  Unilever  also feels that the competition in FMCG industry has significantly increased. They have to launch the new products on regular basis but the forecasting of new product is difficult. So they create a better classification of new products (base, relaunch, repack, new) using a regression model to identify potential forecast errors for each type of new product. –  Coca-Cola  doesn’t really have many stock keep units when compared with other companies in the same industry. However, products go to over 2.4 million delivery points through over 430 distribution centers. Managing transportation at this scale is the absolute challenge. In order to streamline the delivery, Coca-Cola implemented a vehicle routing software. The reason is that is the software vendor has a very good relationship with Coca-Cola’s legacy ERP software vendor. Moreover, the vendor has a solid connection with the university who can help to develop the algorithm that fits in with the business’ needs. The result is that transportation planners at each distribution center can use the new tool to reduce travelling time/distance on daily basis.

supply chain case study questions

Lean manufacturing concept has been implemented widely in the automotive industry so the case studies about lean manufacturing is very readily available. Due to the increasing competition in the automobile industry, car manufacturers have to launch a new model to the market more frequently. This section will show you how BMW manages a long term planning, how Ford applies lean concept to the new product development and how Hyundai manages the production planning and control. –  BMW  uses a 12-year planning horizon and divides it into an annual period. After that, they will make an annual sales forecast for the whole planning horizon. After the demand is obtained, they divide sales into 8 market and then select the appropriate production sites for each market, considering overall capacity constraints and total cost. As you may notice, this kind of a long range planning has to be done strategically. –  Ford  calls its product development system as “work streams” which include the body development, engine development, prototyping and launch process . The cross-functional team are the experts and their roles are to identify key processes, people, technology necessary for the development of new prototype. Each work stream team is responsible to develop timeline of each process. Detailed plan is usually presented on A3 sized paper. They clearly identifying current issues they are facing with supporting data, drawings and pictures. On weekly basis, they organize a big group meeting of all work stream team to discuss the coordination issues. –  Hyundai  deploys a centralized planning system covering both production and sales activities across the facilities and functional areas. They develop a 6-month master production plan and a weekly and a daily production schedule for each month in advance. During a short term planning (less than one month), they pay much attention to the coordination between purchasing, production and sales. Providing a long term planning data to its suppliers help to stabilize production of its part makers a lot.

supply chain case study questions

Life cycle of technology products is getting shorter and shorter every day. Unlike FMCG, the launch of a new product in the hi-tech industry requires the investment in research and development quite extensively. Then, a poor planning will result in a massive loss. This section will cover JIT and outsourcing by Apple Inc, Supply Chain Risk Management by Cisco System, Technology Roadmap by Intel, Supply Chain Network Model by HP, Mass Customization by Dell and Quality Management by Sam Sung. Steve Jobs invited the Tim Cook to help to improve  Apple’s Supply Chain  in 1998. Jobs told Cook that he visited many manufacturing companies in Japan and he would like Cook to implement the JIT system for Apple. Jobs believed that Apple’ supply chain was too complex then both of them reduced the number of product availability and created 4 products segment, reduced on hand inventory and moved the assembling activities to Asia so they could focus on developing the breathtaking products that people wanted to buy. –  Cisco Systems  would like to be the brand of customer choice so they implement a very comprehensive supply chain risk management program by applying basic risk mitigation strategies, establishing appropriate metrics, monitoring potential supply chain disruptions on 24/7 basis and activate an incident management team when the level of disruption is significant. –  Intel ‘s new product development is done by the process called Technology Roadmap. Basically, it’s the shared expectations among Intel, its customers and suppliers for the future product lineup. The first step to prepare the roadmap is to identify the expectations among semiconductor companies and suppliers. Then they identify key technological requirements needed to fulfill the expectations. The final step is to propose the plan to a final meeting to discuss about the feasibility of project. Some concerning parties such as downstream firms may try to alter some aspects of the roadmap. Technology Roadmap allows Intel to share its vision to its ecosystem and to utilize new technology from its suppliers. –  HP ‘s case study is pretty unique. They face with a basic question, where to produce, localize and distribute products. Its simple supply chain network model is presented below,

supply chain case study questions

From this example, only 3 possible locations result in 5 different way to design the supply chain. In reality, HP has more production facilities than the example above so there are so many scenarios to work with. How should HP decide which kind of a supply chain network configuration they should take to reduce cost and increase service to customer? The answer is that they use the multi-echelon inventory model to solve the problem. –  Dell  is one of the classic supply chain case studies of all time. Many industries try to imitate Dell’s success. The key ingredients of Dell’s supply chain are the partnership with suppliers, part modularity, vendor managed inventory program, demand management and mass customization. Also, you can find the simplified process map of Dell’s order-to-cash process as below,

–  Sam Sung  has proven to be the force to be reckoned with in the hi-tech industry. The secret behind its supply chain success is the use of Six Sigma approach. They studied how General Electric (GE), DuPont and Honeywell implemented six sigma. After that, they have created their own implementation methodology called DMAEV (define, measure, analyze, enable, verify). They use the global level KPI to ensure that each player in the same supply chain is measured the same way. Also, they utilize SCOR Model as the standard process. Any process changes will be reflected through an advance planning system (APS).

supply chain case study questions

The last industry covered here is the general merchandise retailing industry. The critical success factor of this industry is to understand the drivers of consumer demand. Four case studies will be presented, namely, 7-11, Tesco, Walmart, Amazon and Zappos. –  7/11  is another popular case study in supply chain management. The integration of information technology between stores and its distribution centers play the important role. Since the size of 7/11 store is pretty small, it’s crucial that a store manager knows what kind of products should be displayed on shelves to maximize the revenue. This is achieved through the monitoring of sales data every morning. Sales data enables the company to create the right product mix and the new products on regular basis. 7/11 also uses something called combined delivery system aka cross docking. The products are categorized by the temperature (frozen, chilled, room temperature and warm foods). Each truck routes to multiple stores during off-peak time to avoid the traffic congestion and reduce the problems with loading/unloading at stores. –  Tesco  is one of the prominent retail stores  in Europe. Since UK is relatively small when compared with the United States, centralized control of distribution operations and warehouse makes it easier to manage. They use the bigger trucks (with special compartments for multi-temperature products) and make a less frequent delivery to reduce transportation cost. Definitely, they use a computerized systems and electronic data interchange to connect the stores and the central processing system. –  Wal-Mart ‘s “Every Day Low Prices” is the strategy mentioned in many textbooks. The idea is to try not to make the promotions that make the demand plunges and surges aka bullwhip effect. Wal-Mart has less than 100 distribution centers in total and each one serves a particular market. To make a decision about new DC location, Walmart uses 2 main factors, namely, the demand in the proposed DC area and the outbound logistics cost from DC to stores. Cost of inbound logistics is not taken into account. There are 3 types of the replenishment process in Wal-Mart supply chain network as below,

In contrary to general belief, Wal-mart doesn’t use cross-docking that often. About 20% of orders are direct-to-store (for example, dog food products). Another 80% of orders are handled by both warehouse and cross dock system. Wal-Mart has one of the largest private fleet in the United States. The delivery is made 50% by common carriers and 50% by private fleet. Private fleet is used to perform the backhauls (picks up cargoes from vendors to replenish DCs + sends returned products to vendors). Short-hauls (less than one working day drive) is also done by the a private fleet. For long-hauls, the common carriers will be used. There are 2 main information system deployed by Wal-Mart. “Retail Link” is the communication system developed in-house to store data, share data and help with the shipment routing assignments. Another system is called “Inforem” for the automation of a replenishment process. Inforem was originally developed by IBM and has been modified extensively by Wal-Mart. Inforem uses various factors such as POS data, current stock level and so on to suggest the order quantity many times a week. Level of collaboration between Wal-Mart and vendors is different from one vendor to the other. Some vendors can participate in VMI program but the level of information sharing is also different. VMI program at Wal-Mart is not 100% on consignment basis. –  Amazon  has a very grand business strategy to “ offer customers low prices, convenience, and a wide selection of merchandise “. Due to the lack of actual store front, the locations of warehouse facilities are strategically important to the company. Amazon makes a facility locations decision based on the distance to demand areas and tax implications. With 170 million items of physical products in the virtual stores, the back end of order processing and fulfillment is a bit complicated. Anyway, a simplified version of the order-to-cash process are illustrated as below,

Upon receipt of the orders, Amazon assign the orders to an appropriate DC with the lowest outbound logistics cost. In Amazon’s warehouse, there are 5 types of storage areas. Library Prime Storage is the area dedicated for book/magazine. Case Flow Prime Storage is for the products with a broken case and high demand. Pallet Prime Storage is for the products with a full case and high demand. Random Storage is for the smaller items with a moderate demand and Reserve Storage will be used for the low demand/irregular shaped products. Amazon uses an propitiatory warehouse management system to make the putaway decision and order picking decision. After the orders are picked and packed, Amazon ships the orders using common carriers so they can obtain the economy of scale. Orders will arrive at UPS facility near a delivery point and UPS will perform the last mile delivery to customers. Amazon is known to use Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) to handle the sales forecast. Anyway, this must be S&OP process at product family/category level. To compete with other online retailers,  Zappos  pays much attention to the way they provide the services to customers. In stead of focusing on the call center productivity, Zappos encourages its staff to spend times over the phone with customers as long as they can so they can fully understand the customer’s requirements. They also upgrade the delivery from 3 days to 1 day delivery in order to exceed customer expectation.

supply chain case study questions

All case study demonstrates that supply chain management is truly the strategic initiatives, not merely a cost cutting technique. Leading companies have a very strong customer focus because almost all of initiatives are something to fill the needs of customers. Relationship management is the unsung hero in supply chain management. It’s the prerequisite to the success of every supply chain. And at the end of the day, it comes down to the quality of supply chain people who analyze, improve and control supply chain operations. – See more at: http://www.supplychainopz.com/2014/04/supply-chain-management-case-study.html#sthash.MrnrGsyY.dpuf

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Share these free Supply Chain Management case studies with your class 

Engage your students with real-world case studies that provide insights into supply chain practices, challenges, and opportunities. Share each case study with your students by simply copying and pasting the activity page URL into your learning management system (LMS).

Case 1: Rising Health Care Costs And The Role Of Outsourcing And Offshoring In The U.S. Health Care Sector

In this case study, your students will identify factors that are driving the health care costs higher in the United States than in peer countries. They will also discuss advantages and disadvantages of emerging trends in supply chain management such as adopting outsourcing in health care. After reading the case, they are encouraged to create an argument in favor of or against the view that health care offshoring is a threat to the U.S. health care industry.  See case study . 

  • Case 2: McDonald’s Reinvents Itself Again

In this case study, your students will identify factors that are affecting demand management in the fast food industry and evaluate the reinvention strategy that McDonald’s has used to keep their fingers firmly on the pulse of their international customer base. Students will also be asked to advice McDonald’s with regards to future trends and the changes it should consider. After reading the case, they are encouraged to research areas in which the company plans to reinvent itself in the coming years, particularly in light of the appointment of its new CEO and the COVID-19 pandemic. See case study

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Case Study: How Should We Diversify Our Supply Chain?

  • Krishna G. Palepu

supply chain case study questions

A Chinese appliance maker considers expanding production to Mexico.

In the wake of Covid-19’s disruptions, Kshore, a Chinese appliance maker, is thinking of realigning its supply chain. Like many other global manufacturers, it’s being pressured by its customers, which include Walmart and other large retailers, to reduce the time, expense, and environmental impact of shipping goods between countries.

On a trip to Monterrey, Mexico, Kshore’s CEO and COO tour factories that are closer to North American markets—and are impressed by their professionalism. But questions about transportation and staffing give the executives pause. Should Kshore start production in Mexico or consider other countries? Two experts weigh in.

On the sidewalk outside the airport in Mexico City, Yun Liu and Keith Smith, the CEO and COO of Kshore, a Chinese appliance maker with $150 million in annual revenues, waited for their town car. Their journey from Guangzhou, China, had been a long one.

  • Krishna G. Palepu is the Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on globalization, emerging markets, and strategies for multinational and local companies in those markets. He cochairs the HBS executive program Leading Global Businesses.

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During the last decade, a cascading series of unpredictable events—including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, catastrophic storms, disease outbreaks and armed conflicts—has exposed deep fragilities in global supply chains. These events served as initial alarm bells for much greater challenges to come.

Intricately woven supply chains were built on concepts such as just-in-time manufacturing and designed to reduce labor and operating costs. Over the years, companies relentlessly optimized their supply chains to serve markets with relatively predictable supply and demand patterns. However, recent and unprecedented events have shown how these choices have created inflexible supply chains that are brittle under stress.

Breaking a single link in a globalized supply chain can have a ripple effect, impacting customers thousands of miles away from the point of disruption. “Supply chain issues” has become a catchphrase for economic dislocation.

“In recent years, supply chain has gone from the background, something people did not think about, to a boardroom-level topic,” says Rob Cushman, Senior Partner, IBM Supply Chain Transformation. “It’s a concept that people have had very painful personal experiences with. And that’s why thinking about supply chain is pivoting from cost to being about resilience and agility, and ultimately driving growth.”

Cost savings

By deploying a cognitive supply chain, IBM reduced supply chain costs by USD 160 million   and built in more resilience and agility

100% order fulfillment 

Even during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic, IBM maintained a 100% order fulfillment rate of its products to clients

The worldwide reach, size and complexity of its supply chain organization represented a significant challenge as IBM began exploring transformation strategies for delivering a differentiated customer experience to promote customer loyalty and growth. IBM employs supply chain staff in 40 countries and makes hundreds of thousands of customer deliveries and service calls in over 170 nations. IBM also collaborates with hundreds of suppliers across its multi-tier global network to build highly configurable and customized products to customer specifications.

Previously, the IBM supply chain ran on legacy systems spread across different organizational silos, making information sharing slow and incomplete. Employees also performed much of their work on spreadsheets, which impeded collaboration and real-time data transparency.

However, at the same time the IBM supply chain was re-thinking business processes and transforming its technology platforms, IBM was making major strides in AI, cloud, data fabric, IoT, edge computing and other tools. “We saw the advances IBM was making in all these new technologies,” says Ron Castro, Vice President of IBM Supply Chain. “So, we asked, ‘Why not leverage our own technology to move our own supply chain forward?’”

“The principle behind why we embarked on this journey was to answer the question, ‘How can we best react to disruptions to manage resiliency and our client experience?’” says Castro. “We needed to identify disruptions quickly, analyze the data, get insights and decide on the best course of action.”

IBM supply chain management set out a bold vision to build its first cognitive supply chain. The aim was to have an agile supply chain that extensively uses data and AI to lower costs, exceed customer expectations, ruthlessly eliminate or automate non-value add work and exponentially improve the experience of supply chain colleagues.

IBM Consulting® was brought in at the beginning to help develop the processes required to drive the transformation. “We consider ourselves ‘Client Zero’ for IBM Consulting,” says Debbie Powell, IBM Digital Supply Chain Transformation Leader. “We have the technology to do what we need to do. It’s the culture and the processes where change was needed. We also realized that a lot of our knowledge was tribal and often depended on one person. We needed to digitize and democratize knowledge to support decision-making throughout the organization.”

IBM Consulting helped the IBM supply chain team use Design Thinking methods to plan its digital transformation and move from sequential to continuous planning. “We put a lot of effort into agility and a cultural shift to empower people and adjust workflows in a controlled way,” says Matthias Gräfe, Director of IBM Supply Chain Transformation. “We went from a top-down approach to identifying personas from the bottom up, the people that actually make the decisions.”

“Successful digital transformation required us to challenge traditional ways of working that were held sacred for decades and win the hearts and minds of supply chain colleagues for change to stick,” says Takshay Aggarwal, Partner, IBM Supply Chain Transformation.

At a high level, the IBM supply chain digital transformation revolves around building sense-and-respond capabilities. This was accomplished by democratizing data and automating and augmenting decisions achieved by combining cognitive control tower, cognitive advisor, demand-supply planning and risk-resilience solutions. “We view the cognitive control tower as the single source of truth where you have access to all the data and it helps advise the best course of action,” says Castro. “It also helps gather insights from the information quickly across the end-to-end supply chain.”

The cognitive control tower is powered by the  IBM® Cognitive Supply Chain Advisor 360  Solution, which runs on  IBM Hybrid Cloud  and on  Red Hat® OpenShift®  (link resides outside of ibm.com) software. Cognitive Advisor 360 enables real-time, intelligent supply chain visibility and transparency. It also senses and responds to changes in demand as they happen and simplifies the automation of supplier management.

The system uses IBM Watson® technology to enable natural language queries and responses, which accelerates the speed of decision-making and offers more options to correct issues. “I can ask—in natural language—about part shortages, order impacts, risks to revenues and trade-offs,” says Cushman. “There’s a button that recommends actions to solve issues — that’s what Watson does. It’s augmented intelligence so we empower people with better information to make data-driven decisions very quickly.”

“With the cognitive supply chain, we have the benefit of bringing in all these data from legacy systems and internal and external sources, as well as unstructured data, to apply advanced analytics and different elements of AI,” says Castro. “And since the system responds to natural language, think about the power of being able to extract data and get insights and recommendations without having to be an expert in a legacy system or an ERP platform.”

The IBM cognitive supply chain technology architecture also includes  IBM Edge Application Manager ,  IBM Maximo® Visual Inspection  and  IBM Track and Trace IoT —an integrated stack of solutions that connect data end-to-end across the supply chain. “Our procurement, planning, manufacturing and logistics data are connecting in close to real time,” says Cushman. “That’s how we can share inbound information from suppliers, manufacturing status updates with our external manufacturing partners and delivery information with our customers.”

“We’ve added demand sensing, so that the solution pulses the market for changes in demand, predicting the future. We’ve also embedded a cloud-based risk management tool called Resilinc into our procurement and inbound parts management process,” says Cushman. “It essentially uses AI to crawl the web and if there is a disruption, we can take action quickly to secure a second supply source.”

On a minute-by-minute basis, one of the biggest advantages of IBM’s cognitive supply chain is that it provides employees with immediate access to the information they need to read and mitigate disruptions. “There is unbelievable power that comes from taking lots of disparate data and putting it where people can see and understand it,” says Cushman.

“The real-time, single-view of the truth increases the velocity of decisions and leverages rapid response,” says Castro. “It helps us develop ‘what-if’ scenario analysis from a planning perspective all the way through to the execution team and suppliers.”

In fast-moving, real-world situations, quick, informed decisions provide a competitive advantage. “In the past, a major disruption—such as the closing of a major airport—would take days for us to understand the immediate impacts. With our current solution, we have ‘what-if’ capability that brings this analysis down to minutes,” says Powell. “In a supply constrained environment, whoever gets the information first wins.”

Since its cognitive supply chain became operational, IBM has saved USD 160 million related to reduced inventory costs, optimized shipping costs, better decision-making and time savings. “When mitigating a part shortage, it used to take four to six hours per part number,” says Powell. “We’ve brought that down to minutes and made further improvements to seconds.”

“Where’s my stuff?” is a common question in the supply chain industry. Finding an answer can entail hours of phone calls, emails and ERP queries across different geographies. “We’ve built a solution where you can log in and enter an order and you’ll have an answer in about 17 seconds,” says Cushman. “That was an enormous pivot and a powerful change in how we do business.”

By using its cognitive supply chain platform, the IBM supply chain team is also able to create new capabilities much faster. “Years ago, when we started this journey, we needed a long, looping roadmap with one or two years required for major capability upgrades,” says Castro. “With this digital enterprise, we now have teams that complete deployments in two or three weeks. We’ve moved to much more agile development.”

Despite dislocations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, IBM fulfilled 100% of its orders by using its cognitive supply chain to quickly re-source and re-route parts as necessary. “During the last two years, the IBM supply chain did not fall behind. We met our commitments. Everyone else was screaming supply chain issues and we’re shipping products,” says Daniel Thomas, IBM Business Optimization Manager and Chief of Staff. “We delivered on our promises during the height of the disruptive era we live in.”

“Guaranteed supply is important, but many of our clients are also looking for predictability of supply,” says Castro. “The tools we have now help us address both issues. They enable us to manage the demand side to meet the right client expectations.”

“We have a responsibility to inspire younger supply chain leaders who will keep the IBM supply chain at the cutting edge and beyond for years to come,” says Aggarwal. “People entering the work force today have different experiences than previous generations. They are digital natives and expect a consumer-grade experience when managing their work. As we embarked on our journey, we actively engaged them in designing workflows and digital capabilities. There were trials and tribulations and we had multiple failures in design and rollout. Architecting the cognitive supply chain, and learning from failures and successes, made our young leaders champions of the cognitive supply chain and constant innovators of new capabilities.”

“IBM is the only global services company with its own multibillion-dollar supply chain, and we’ve transformed it into a data-driven architecture to drive our business. There’s a richness of experience that we bring to client conversations because we’ve done this work for ourselves,” says Cushman. “It’s all about how a supply chain delivers a differentiated customer experience to enable stickiness and growth.”

“The collaboration between IBM Systems and IBM Consulting teams to transform our own business and demonstrate the power of exponential technologies in supply chain has been one of our finest moments as a company,” says Cushman. “We look forward to sharing our real-world experience and learnings with our worldwide community of customers, partners and clients.”

IBM logo

IBM is an information technology company based in Armonk, New York. Founded in 1911, the company offers hardware, software and services in cloud computing, AI, commerce, data and analytics, IoT, mobile and cybersecurity, as well as business resiliency, strategy and design solutions. IBM has a global workforce of more than 280,000 employees serving clients in over 175 countries through IBM Consulting, IBM Software and IBM Infrastructure.

To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.

Build AI-enabled, sustainable supply chains that prepare your business for the future of work, create greater transparency and improve employee and customer experiences

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights with Watson provides visibility across the entire supply chain.

Sourcing minerals responsibly with blockchain technology

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2022. IBM Corporation, New Orchard Road, Armonk, NY 10504

Produced in the United States of America, July 2022.

IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM Consulting, IBM Watson and Maximo are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at  ibm.com/legal/copyright-trademark .

Red Hat®, JBoss®, OpenShift®, Fedora®, Hibernate®, Ansible®, CloudForms®, RHCA®, RHCE®, RHCSA®, Ceph®, and Gluster® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates.

The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.

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The Supply Chain Management Casebook: Comprehensive Coverage and Best Practices in SCM

The Supply Chain Management Casebook: Comprehensive Coverage and Best Practices in SCM

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Book description

30 up-to-date case studies illuminate every aspect of modern supply chain management

• Risk management, analytics, global supply chain issues, and much more

• Innovative processes, technologies, strategies, and tactics

• An indispensable resource for both students and practitioners

This casebook brings together 30 focused cases addressing virtually every aspect of supply chain management, from procurement to warehousing, strategy to risk management, IT to supplier selection and ethics. A global team of contributors presents key challenges in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to fashion and previews issues ranging from the “limits of lean” to the potential of 3-D printing.

Cases vary in length and complexity, offering maximum flexibility to both instructors and readers; a convenient table provides fast access to specific topics. Qualitative cases are supported by relevant discussion questions and sample responses;  quantitative cases are supported by completed numerical solutions, and, where applicable, associated spreadsheets.

Table of contents

  • About This eBook
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication Page
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • Objectives of the Book
  • Organization of the Book
  • Salvation Army: Origins and Purpose
  • United States Southern Territory and Salvation Army–Dallas ARC
  • Discussion Questions
  • Products and Markets
  • Vertically Integrated Supply Chain
  • The Manufacturing Process
  • Investment in Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR)
  • Stanford Blood Center: “Give Blood for Life”2
  • A Snapshot of the SBC-SUMC Supply Chain in 2006
  • Company Background
  • Financial Risk Management Background
  • The Automobile Industry in China
  • Toyota China’s Production Planning and Demand Management
  • The Company
  • BESSI Leather Goods
  • The Central Role of Planning
  • The Challenge
  • Appendix 7-1 Gantt Chart of the Fashion Product Collection Definition (from Grid Definition to Start of Production)
  • Appendix 7-2 Fashion Product Collection Definitions
  • Appendix 7-3 Demand Forecasting Process
  • Case 9. Multi-Echelon Inventory Decisions at Jefferson Plumbing Supplies: To Store or Not to Store?
  • Introduction
  • The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry
  • The Indian Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
  • Upstream Supply Chain for High-Range Cements
  • Appendix 13-1: Baseline Data and Three Solutions Offered by UPS
  • Organization Background
  • Organizational Structure and Facility Layout
  • Operations Management

Supply Chain Management

  • Two Different Perspectives
  • Overview of Fair Trade
  • The Fair Trade Supply Chain
  • Criticism of Fair Trade
  • Starbuck’s Fair Trade Policy
  • Company Overview
  • The Rebranding Process
  • Background for the Cooperative and the Industry
  • Transaction Costs Approach
  • COAPEL Supply Chain
  • Process Reforms
  • Organizational Operations
  • Case 24-1: Helmets
  • Case 24-2: Puffs
  • Case 24-3: Sirop
  • Case 24-4: Blower
  • Jacket’s Decisions
  • The Meeting
  • Plant Visit
  • Bangalore: City Statistics1
  • Collection of Waste
  • Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • About the Company
  • The Power Sector in India
  • Cloud Computing
  • Supply Chain Structure of CEL
  • Appendix 27-1: CEL’s Balance of Plants Business in the Power Sector
  • Appendix 27-2: Trends in Installed Generating Capacity of Electricity Nonutilities in India from 1970–71 to 2010–11
  • Appendix 27-3: Business Process of CEL Sourcing
  • Spare Parts Supply Chain Management at IGNYS Automotive
  • Industry Background
  • Introduction of the Case Companies
  • Search for an International Partner
  • Joint Business Development and Complementary Service Offering
  • Joint Project Illustrations
  • Mutual Benefits from International Logistics Partnership
  • Classification of Risks
  • General Supply Chain Resilience Model
  • European Case Study
  • Appendix 30-1
  • Financial Times Press

Product information

  • Title: The Supply Chain Management Casebook: Comprehensive Coverage and Best Practices in SCM
  • Author(s): Chuck Munson
  • Release date: June 2013
  • Publisher(s): Pearson
  • ISBN: 9780133367300

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supply chain case study questions

47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

Case interview examples - McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.

One of the best ways to prepare for   case interviews  at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples. 

There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.

The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.

  • McKinsey examples
  • BCG examples
  • Bain examples
  • Deloitte examples
  • Other firms' examples
  • Case books from consulting clubs
  • Case interview preparation

Click here to practise 1-on-1 with MBB ex-interviewers

1. mckinsey case interview examples.

  • Beautify case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Diconsa case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Electro-light case interview (McKinsey website)
  • GlobaPharm case interview (McKinsey website)
  • National Education case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Talbot Trucks case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Shops Corporation case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Conservation Forever case interview (McKinsey website)
  • McKinsey case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • McKinsey live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below

2. BCG case interview examples

  • Foods Inc and GenCo case samples  (BCG website)
  • Chateau Boomerang written case interview  (BCG website)
  • BCG case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • Written cases guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG live case interview with notes (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG mock case interview with ex-BCG associate director - Public sector case (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG mock case interview: Revenue problem case (by IGotAnOffer) - See below

3. Bain case interview examples

  • CoffeeCo practice case (Bain website)
  • FashionCo practice case (Bain website)
  • Associate Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
  • Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
  • Written case interview tips (Bain website)
  • Bain case interview guide   (by IGotAnOffer)
  • Digital transformation case with ex-Bain consultant
  • Bain case mock interview with ex-Bain manager (below)

4. Deloitte case interview examples

  • Engagement Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Recreation Unlimited practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Strategic Vision practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Retail Strategy practice case  (Deloitte website)
  • Finance Strategy practice case  (Deloitte website)
  • Talent Management practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Enterprise Resource Management practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Footloose written case  (by Deloitte)
  • Deloitte case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

5. Accenture case interview examples

  • Case interview workbook (by Accenture)
  • Accenture case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

6. OC&C case interview examples

  • Leisure Club case example (by OC&C)
  • Imported Spirits case example (by OC&C)

7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples

  • Wumbleworld case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
  • Aqualine case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
  • Oliver Wyman case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples

  • Promotion planning case question (A.T. Kearney website)
  • Consulting case book and examples (by A.T. Kearney)
  • AT Kearney case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples

  • Presentation overview with sample questions (by Strategy& / PWC)
  • Strategy& / PWC case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples

  • Case interview example video walkthrough   (L.E.K. website)
  • Market sizing case example video walkthrough  (L.E.K. website)

11. Roland Berger case interview examples

  • Transit oriented development case webinar part 1  (Roland Berger website)
  • Transit oriented development case webinar part 2   (Roland Berger website)
  • 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 1   (Roland Berger website)
  • 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 2   (Roland Berger website)
  • Roland Berger case interview guide   (by IGotAnOffer)

12. Capital One case interview examples

  • Case interview example video walkthrough  (Capital One website)
  • Capital One case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

12. EY Parthenon case interview examples

  • Candidate-led case example with feedback (by IGotAnOffer)

14. Consulting clubs case interview examples

  • Berkeley case book (2006)
  • Columbia case book (2006)
  • Darden case book (2012)
  • Darden case book (2018)
  • Duke case book (2010)
  • Duke case book (2014)
  • ESADE case book (2011)
  • Goizueta case book (2006)
  • Illinois case book (2015)
  • LBS case book (2006)
  • MIT case book (2001)
  • Notre Dame case book (2017)
  • Ross case book (2010)
  • Wharton case book (2010)

Practice with experts

Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.

At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.

If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.

Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!

Case studies and reports for ifm's supply chain solutions

With over 900 satisfied customers and 70k users, our impact is clear..

Explore the impact of our solutions across various industries — from the precision of the automotive field to the rigor of pharmaceuticals.

Hover over our clients' logos to access detailed user reports, informative articles, and demonstrative videos. Uncover how our software and consulting services have addressed specific challenges and enhanced our customers' operational efficiency.

Case studies and reports for supply chain solutions

supply chain case study questions

Procurement Enhancements in SAP Save 150+ Hours a Month

FFF Enterprises achieved a monthly time savings of over 150 hours and a reduction in manual processing time of up to 90%.

supply chain case study questions

Boosting Supply Chain Efficiency for Simpson Strong-Tie

Explore how Simpson Strong-Tie achieved operational improvements across its supply chain by partnering with SAP and ifm.

supply chain case study questions

BHS Corrugated – Inventory under the magnifying glass

ifm's Inventory Management solution helps the Bavarian machine and plant manufacturer reduce unnecessary stock and increase delivery readiness.

supply chain case study questions

Agilent Technologies: Enterprise-Class Demand Planning

With Demand Planning from ifm, Agilent replaced email and spreadsheet-based processes with an automated, future-proof solution.

supply chain case study questions

An SAP add-on helps CLAAS to manage increasing material volumes without extra personnel

supply chain case study questions

The time saved by the GIB software enables Migros to concentrate on the important tasks.

supply chain case study questions

GIB Planning has resulted in quicker and more efficient production line scheduling

supply chain case study questions

BLANCO Professional

BLANCO Professional has optimised the supply chain processes in its three business divisions with a SAP-certified software solution by ifm.

Baier & Schneider (Brunnen)

In our video format 5 questions to, Peter Nickel and Mehmet Kozan from Baier & Schneider explain how they use GIB Suite

Find out how Gigaset took ifms operations solution to the cloud

supply chain case study questions

Monier Roofing Components

Simplification of concern-wide analyses as well as stock and order optimisation with the aid of Dispo-Cockpit modules

supply chain case study questions

The RWB and RAC solutions from GIB have improved the inventory management and reduced operational processing times.

These topics might also be of interest to you:

supply chain case study questions

SAP consulting from ifm

A lot of practical experience and comprehensive knowledge: Our SAP and Supply Chain team advises you with a lot of expertise

supply chain case study questions

The latest success stories

The application reports, case studies and video reports from all industries show how our customers successfully use solutions from ifm.

Logistics and Supply Chain Case Studies

Review our case studies to see how we’ve helped major corporations turn logistical ideas into a reality., leading beverage distributor, penske logistics helps beverage distributor rapidly establish new warehousing operations.

When this distributor had to expand its operation quickly to counter a competitor, they turned to Penske to deploy a customized solution.

Baby2Baby Donation Transportation

Coordination and planning lead to successful transport of $3 million clothing donation.

Penske Logistics worked with Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that provides basic essentials to impoverished children, and Old Navy to transport $3M of clothing donations.

Luxury Product Manufacturer

Penske logistics reduces inventory shrinkage, improves overall inventory management.

A leading producer of fine luxury products required a partner who could improve their warehouse and distribution operations and reduce the theft.

Poultry Supplier

Transporting food items requires extra care and expertise.

Poultry producers, navigate a complex array of supply and delivery challenges to ensure their food arrives fresh, wholesome, and on-time.

Building Products Manufacturer

Customized fleet technology solution.

A leading building products manufacturer sought to streamline its supply chain operations and expand its fleet while improving visibility through the implementation of fleet management technology.

National Wholesale Distributor

A national wholesale distributor case study.

A national wholesale distributor of heating and air conditioning supplies was struggling to manage its complex supply chain and maintain high levels of customer service, which is a top priority.

Looping Process Ensures Continuous Production

Penske collaborated with Novelis to create a closed-loop recycling network that moves finished aluminum coils and transports scrap for new production.

A Global Manufacturer

Optimizing activities in the distribution center.

Penske worked with this global manufacturer to optimize its inventory routing and mode selection and to improve visibility to its supply chain.

Quick Service Restaurant

Food and beverage in-store delivery and warehousing.

Penske helped this restaurant chain get its supply chain fundamentals in place with the right logistics tools, truck driver training and warehousing solutions.

Tier 1 Automotive Component Supplier

Managing the inbound supply chain.

Penske helped this supplier minimize supply chain disruptions by designing a network that optimized mode selection, routing and analysis.

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Lead Logistics Provider
  • Consulting Services
  • Network Design
  • Dedicated Contract Carriage
  • Shared Dedicated Transportation
  • Freight Management
  • ClearChain ® Control
  • Transportation Services
  • Transportation Management Solutions
  • Truckload Shipping Services
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Warehouse Design
  • Warehouse Operations
  • Multi-Client Warehousing
  • Freight Brokerage
  • Freight Forwarding
  • Become a Carrier for Penske

Contact Penske Logistics about our services.

IMAGES

  1. SCM Case Studies With Examples & Solutions

    supply chain case study questions

  2. Supply Chain Case Study Answer

    supply chain case study questions

  3. lecture notes for supply chain management

    supply chain case study questions

  4. Case Study On Supply Chain Management With Questions

    supply chain case study questions

  5. supply chain management case study with questions

    supply chain case study questions

  6. 😍 Supply chain management case studies with answers. Supply Chain

    supply chain case study questions

VIDEO

  1. 4flow challenge U.S.A

  2. Effective supply chain risk and crisis management strategies to overcome unplanned events

  3. Supply chain case study:Blue dart company

  4. Supply chain ZARA case study (lesson learnt PART)

  5. Supply Chain Case Study Blue Dart Company

  6. Ecosystm Leaders BreakFirst

COMMENTS

  1. Supply Chain Case Studies

    Click on the "View Library" button (arrow 1) in upper right corner of the Account Management screen. In the Library screen you see a list of available supply chain case studies; click " Import " to load a selected case study into your account; give the imported case a Name, and click " My Account " to go back to your Account ...

  2. Supply Chain Case Interview: Step-By-Step Guide

    A supply chain case interview is a type of consulting case interview that focuses on evaluating a candidate's ability to analyze and solve complex supply chain-related problems. In this type of interview, candidates are presented with a hypothetical business scenario or real-world supply chain challenge and are expected to provide structured ...

  3. How to Solve a Supply Chain Case Study Interview

    If you have more questions about supply chain case study interview questions, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer's case coaches will answer them. Other people prepping for supply chain case interviews found the following pages helpful: Our Complete Guide to Case Interview Prep, Case Interview Types, and; Case ...

  4. How to Answer Supply Chain Optimization Case Questions in Management

    Supply chain optimization is a critical component of management consulting projects. It involves analyzing the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers, identifying bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the process, and developing strategies to improve operations and reduce costs. A solid understanding of supply chain management ...

  5. SCM Case Studies With Examples & Solutions

    They cover different aspects of supply chain management and feature a broad range of companies and situations. SCM case study examples would include an SCM selection project for a manufacturer, or an SCM implementation for a distributor or logistics provider. SCM case studies also feature TEC's own case studies, showing how we've helped ...

  6. How to Solve a Supply Chain Case Study Interview [2022] (2024)

    Revised on October 10, 2022. An interview is a qualitative research method that relies on asking questions in order to collect data. Interviews involve two or more people, one of whom is the interviewer asking the questions. There are several types of interviews, often differentiated by their level of structure.

  7. Supply Chain Management Case Study: the Executive's Guide

    Four case studies will be presented, namely, 7-11, Tesco, Walmart, Amazon and Zappos. - 7/11 is another popular case study in supply chain management. The integration of information technology between stores and its distribution centers play the important role. Since the size of 7/11 store is pretty small, it's crucial that a store manager ...

  8. Supply Chain: Articles, Research, & Case Studies on Supply Chains- HBS

    Harvard University aims to be fossil-fuel neutral by 2026 and totally free of fossil fuels by 2050. As part of this goal, the university is trying to decarbonize its supply chain and considers replacing cement with a low-carbon substitute called Pozzotive®, made with post-consumer recycled glass. A successful pilot project could jump start ...

  9. 20 Supply Chain Management Interview Questions (With Sample ...

    Supply chain management interview questions. Consider these questions and sample answers to display yourself as the ideal candidate for the supply chain management role: 1. What is supply chain management? This is a basic definitive question that employers may ask to ensure you can describe supply chain management to customers or other employees.

  10. Supply Chain Management Free Case Studies

    Share these free Supply Chain Management case studies with your class Engage your students with real-world case studies that provide insights into supply chain practices, challenges, and opportunities. Share each case study with your students by simply copying and pasting the activity page URL into your learning management system (LMS). Case 1: Rising Health Care Costs And The

  11. Case Study: How Should We Diversify Our Supply Chain?

    Case Study: How Should We Diversify Our Supply Chain? Summary. In the wake of Covid-19's disruptions, Kshore, a Chinese appliance maker, is thinking of realigning its supply chain. Like many ...

  12. Success with Supply Chain Cost Reduction: 7 Mini Case Studies

    Supply Chain Cost Management Results: Deere & Company's supply chain cost-management achievements included an inventory decrease of $1 billion, a significant reduction in customer delivery lead times (from ten days to five or less) and annual transportation cost savings of around 5%. 2. Intel.

  13. Supply Chain Management: Articles, Research, & Case Studies on Supply

    New research on supply chain management from Harvard Business School faculty on issues including what brands can do to monitor their suppliers' factory conditions, how Japan's earthquake and tsunami and caused havoc on retailers and car manufacturers, and the push to improve labor standards in global supply chains.

  14. IBM Supply Chain

    IBM employs supply chain staff in 40 countries and makes hundreds of thousands of customer deliveries and service calls in over 170 nations. IBM also collaborates with hundreds of suppliers across its multi-tier global network to build highly configurable and customized products to customer specifications. Previously, the IBM supply chain ran ...

  15. PDF Case Study for Supply Chain Leaders: Dell's Transformative Journey

    globalization have challenged the singular supply chain. In this case study, Gartner examines Dell's period of transformative change as it segmented customer requirements to create a portfolio of supply chain capabilities that provided multiple offerings focused on cost efficiency, speed to customers, choice of features and personalization

  16. Case Study and Examples

    L'Oréal: A Case Study in Supply Chain Excellence. Supply Chain Shaman. OCTOBER 5, 2018. to This is an example of managing a balanced portfolio and of driving a supply chain revolution. This case study is the best example we have seen of a customer-centric supply chain. In China, for example, more than 40% of the company's business through eCommerce.L'Oréal's Performance Compared to ...

  17. The Supply Chain Management Casebook: Comprehensive Coverage and Best

    Title: The Supply Chain Management Casebook: Comprehensive Coverage and Best Practices in SCM. Author (s): Chuck Munson. Release date: June 2013. Publisher (s): Pearson. ISBN: 9780133367300. 30 up-to-date case studies illuminate every aspect ofmodern supply chain management • Risk management, analytics, global supply chain issues, and much ...

  18. PDF Case Study Research in Supply Chains

    Case Study Research 237 2 Supply Chain Management "The supply chain encompasses all activities associated with the flow and trans-formation of goods from raw materials stage (extraction), through to the end user, as well as the associated information flows. Material and information flow both up and down the supply chain.

  19. 47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

    Case interview examples and sample questions from the leading consulting firms, including McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, PWC, Accenture, etc. ... what questions to expect, how to answer them, example case studies and a preparation plan. Essential reading for anyone applying to a consulting position at Deloitte. Read more . Consulting Dec 23, 2021.

  20. H & M Supply Chain management: A case study

    This paper presents a case study of H&M's supply chain management, focusing on its strategies, challenges, and opportunities. It examines how H&M integrates sustainability, innovation, and ...

  21. Case studies and reports for ifm's supply chain solutions

    Reduction of the short fall margin rate from 8% to 2% and, therefore, creation of a 98% delivery readiness level. With the help of the SAP-certified GIB Suite, logistical processes at Reichle & De-Massari were optimised, therefore increasing delivery readiness. Read more about it in our User Report.

  22. Logistics and Supply Chain Case Studies

    Managing the Inbound Supply Chain. Penske helped this supplier minimize supply chain disruptions by designing a network that optimized mode selection, routing and analysis. Read supply chain case studies about our work with customers to create supply chain management solutions that support long-term growth and profitability.

  23. Supply Chain Management: Case studies

    Case studies can provide: Profiles of real, individual companies, including information about their work processes, relationships. Profiles of industries, including information about the structure of the industry, and the relationships within the supply chain. Numbers and data.

  24. Building Insights Into Supply Chains: A Case Study

    Building Insights Into Supply Chains: A Case Study. June 1, 2024. Tive. For time-sensitive or temperature-controlled cargo, most shippers will agree that high-quality, real-time tracking information is crucial. Though that technology can be expensive, the investment is easy to justify when it could mean the difference between an on-time ...

  25. Case Study: Ryder and Pabst Supply Chain Optimization

    Digitizing the Network: RyderShare™ digitized Pabst's transportation network, eliminating inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Continuous Improvement: Processes were fine-tuned to drive ongoing value and stability. This case study isn't just about logistics—it's about innovation, collaboration, and staying ahead in a competitive market.

  26. Interview Questions and Answers for a Supply Chain Specialist

    Understanding the most common interview questions asked to a supply chain specialist can boost your confidence in your upcoming interview. These questions will typically focus on specific experience, skills, and personal qualities linked to effective supply chain management. Learning more about these interview questions can help you effectively ...