The First Day of Christmas: Sub-assembly sourcing for Avian / Arboreal Composite Products

(12 working days to Christmas – so here’s part 1 in our special procurement best practice series. Whilst we hope you  might find them vaguely amusing, each one will, believe it or not, illustrate a serious procurement / supply chain issue)!

To: Mike Greene                                                  From:    Peter Smith

Date: December 7th, 2012

Topic: Sub-assembly of Avian / Arboreal Composite Products

As you know, we have had a request from Production to source a pre-assembled avian / arboreal composite product – a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Apparently, the health and safety problems with manufacturing this in-house are just too horrible to contemplate.

Notwithstanding the issues we still need to resolve around specification, delivery schedules, and bird seed, the purpose of this note is to outline the sourcing strategy and invite comment.

It is clear that there are two separate elements to the product:

1. A Partridge

2. A Pear Tree

We have already run sourcing exercises to choose a supplier for each of these elements. So our options now appear to be to ask the Partridge supplier or the Tree supplier to carry out the assembly, or contract with a third party to do that. The disadvantage of the third option is it will require additional transportation, with the risk that  the bird and / or the tree suffer stress and degradation en-route. It therefore seems sensible to contract with one of the component suppliers to perform the assembly work.

Whilst we could run a full optimisation / market informed sourcing exercise here to establish the optimum solution, it seems clear to me that the Partridge is the critical item within the portfolio – “top left” in Kraljic terms. We believe therefore that the Partridge supplier is more likely to understand how to incorporate the tree in the final product – in a manner satisfactory to the Partridge – rather than trusting the tree supplier to handle the bird.. We were slightly disturbed when we phoned the tree supplier to discuss the activity and the MD’s first comment was “is it stuffed?” She showed a certain lack of enthusiasm when we explained that no, it certainly wasn’t. This option will also avoid additional Partridge logistics.

We therefore propose that

1. We will negotiate a contract with the Pear Tree supplier to establish the commercials for their item.

2. We will negotiate a similar deal with the Partridge provider, including a fee for the assembly work.

3. The Partridge supplier will be responsible for the overall scheduling and logistics (including liaison with the tree suppler) and delivery to us by December 25th.

Comments welcome!


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First Voice

  1. eSourcingSensei:

    Peter I am really going to look forward to these twelve………however there is for me an issue with the Partridge being found in the tree

    Look up any information about the Partridge and it will tell you it is “ground nesting” – so the tree is a foreign resting place for it – and is “seed eating” – so would have little or nothing to sustain itself if it was residing in a Pear Tree

    I think therefore the Partridge from the song was extremely unlikely to be in a Pear Tree and in fact as it is there EVERY day of the twelve days (think of the song lyrics) it would not have survived and probably would have died within the first 4 to 5 days without food (seed) to live off and of course a distinct lack of water

    So BAH HUMBAG I will purchase the stuffed partridge (that is the soft toy version stuffed with wool) and simply tie it onto the tree removing any real need for a “live” bird and no need to qualify the tree supplier to be trained in placing the Partridge into the tree or the additional logistical requirements that would then be required.

    In fact I would like to study the specification again – Was the Partridge required to be alive?

    Merry Christmas Everybody LOL LOL LOL 🙂 🙂

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