BEGINNING OF ASSIGNMENT BRIEF
The grocery retail company
You work for a global sourcing company as a key account manager. Your main responsibility is to manage the sourcing and distribution of fruits on behalf of a UK- based grocery retail company (of your choice), as well as several other retail companies in mainland Europe. The retailer has many grocery stores in major and small cities across the UK. Fresh fruits are one of its most popular and profitable products. The fruits sourced by your company are normally processed and packed in factories outside of the UK (which you don’t own).
These are then shipped to and stored at a UK warehouse (which you do own). From the warehouse, fresh fruits are delivered either to the retail company’s distribution centres ("crossdocking”) or directly by you to some of their retail stores. Your company is liable for any damage, shrinkage and waste generated in the processes of storing and delivering fruit to the retail store. You are also responsible for ensuring all fresh fruits are sold at profitable prices (in the retail store) and that their “sell-by” date has not expired. Your company does not own any farms or fruit processing / packaging factories. The processed / cut fresh fruits for the retail company are currently supplied by rival food processing companies who source their own fresh fruits.
Motivated by the need to provide more choice to meet customer needs, the retail company would like to source several new varieties of overseas fruit. The retail company aims to use a greater variety of reliable suppliers of quality fresh fruits. They have identified that greater product variety (consumer choice) is a major factor in attracting shoppers into their stores. At the moment your company does not own any processing and packaging factories, but the retail company would like your company to consider this option (processed/cut fresh fruits), if it is going to make the offering of new fruits hard for the other grocery retail companies to compete. The retail company may consider sourcing new varieties of fruits from their existing fresh fruit processing (cutting) suppliers and your direct competitors, if your company is not able to provide them with a competitive offer / solution. Based on a market research study by the (retail) company, you have obtained information regarding different varieties of fruits currently being sold by the retail company (both sourced from your company and competitors (see Table 1). The retail company is not sure which new varieties of fruits to offer and ask you to come back with a solution / suggestion.
What is the assignment about?
• Key account manager of a global sourcing company (client = a UK-based grocery retail company) – Your company does not have farms – Your company does not have processing/packaging facilities – Your company owns a warehouse in the UK – You ship your products to the UK retailer from your UK warehouse • The retailer wants to offer more choices (varieties) of fruits in their retail stores • The retailer already sourced many fruits from your company and your competitors (see table 1) • The retail company is not sure which new varieties of fruits to offer and ask you to come back with a solution / suggestion
• Produce a 3,000 words report for your managing director (excluding references and appendix) which addresses the following five tasks
1. Conduct research which investigates the suitability of two new types of fruit that you are intending to source to the retail company. For each fruit choose two separate countries of origin. Critically support your choices with both practical evidence and relevant theoretical arguments.
2. Suggest suitable volumes, packaging solutions and transportation mode(s) (i.e. air, sea, rail, road, etc.) for the importing of the two fruits (from overseas farms or suppliers at the selected countries to a suitable UK location, and potentially to other European retail customers). Support your suggestions with convincing theoretical/practical arguments.
3. Suggest suitable port(s) of export in the selected countries and the port(s) of import in the UK. Critically support your suggestions with convincing arguments and additional information about each port.
4. Identify, using a process diagram, all the parties, main activities and documentations required for managing the imports of the two fruits all the way from the suppliers or farms in the selected countries to the central warehouse in the UK. Consider processing / cutting by your company if there is advantage.
5. Critically identify and discuss governance mechanisms for the ethical and environmental issues as a result of the sourcing solutions for the two fruits.
How will the assignment be assessed?
• Demonstrate the ability to investigate and choose suitable fruits for the retail company (20%);
• Demonstrate the ability to choose appropriate volumes, packaging solutions and transportation mode(s) and explain your choices with convincing arguments (20%)
• Demonstrate the ability to choose suitable port(s) by suggesting suitable port(s) with convincing arguments and additional information about each port (10%)
• Demonstrate understanding of import and export process, documentation requirements, outsourcing by identifying all main parties, activities and documentations involved using a diagram (20%)
• Demonstrate understanding of ethical and environmental issues and suitable governing mechanisms for the sourcing solutions (20%).
• Present a professional report using academic references according to the Harvard style (10%)