Brand-Centric Supply Chain Management

by Todd McDonald on November 2, 2011

What do Tylenol, Mattel and Toyota have in common? All are companies that have experienced serious issues with product quality that put their brand’s reputation at risk. Looking at just a few examples such as these it is clear that among other things, a company’s supply management can play a critical role in enhancing, protecting or even destroying its brand equity. To that end, Protecting the Company’s Brand*, a recent article in ISM’s Inside Supply Management provides some sound guidance for supply managers – summarized below:

  1. Understand key brand attributes and critical activities that impact the brand and make it unique.
  2. Examine how supply management can directly support or improve the brand image (e.g., sourcing higher quality components, providing faster delivery, ensuring sustainable supply chains).
  3. Thoroughly examine suppliers, keeping in mind it’s not enough to review only first-tier suppliers, and choose only those that have similar core values and can support the brand image.
  4. Work with selected suppliers to manage commodity volatility and develop a business continuity plan to minimize potential disruptions that could impact the brand.
  5. Continually monitor supplies for negative changes in performance.

At TEQ, these are steps we help our clients with everyday. What are some of the steps you take when it comes to supply chain management and protecting brand equity?

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