Putting S&OP on the Fast Track

A.T. Cross was facing inventory management and demand forecasting challenges that threatened to stall growth and profitability. The solution: a fast-track S&OP initiative that resolved disconnects in planning processes, dramatically reduced finished goods inventory, sustained service levels, and lowered supply chain costs.

By ·
Download Article PDF

A.T. Cross, maker of A.T. Cross brand pens and other fine writing instruments and accessories, has been transforming itself and its product lines over the last few years. Between 2005 and 2007, the company completed a fundamental overhaul of its product line, bringing award-winning and innovative designs to market and breathing new life into a once old and tradition-bound product line.

As part of this transformation, A.T. Cross introduced 25 percent of its product mix as innovation, built a growing direct-to-consumer business, and opened new geographical regions through the U.S., Europe, and Asia. During this same period, it also moved its manufacturing and assembly operations from Lincoln, R.I., headquarters to a company-owned plant in China.

This aggressive transformation began paying off. The company experienced steady growth in a flat-to-declining market, and its new products and channel expansion promised an even more profitable future. By late 2007, however, inventory levels and product/channel complexity led to significant inventory imbalances. Thrust into the realities of managing a global supply chain, fast-moving, on-demand, consumer goods market, management realizes that the longer supply chain and historic planning practices brought with them a distinct set of challenges.

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
eBook: Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration is More Important Now
Explore the benefits of supplier collaboration including sharing demand forecasts, faster reactions to demand or capacity changes and well-coordinated product launches.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
While Amazon’s recent bid to purchase Whole Foods made mainstream headlines, the e-commerce giant will still need to adhere to time-tested realities. Any way you slice it, the integrated U.S. cold chain requires optimized service from existing ports, 3PLs, cold storage warehousing, transportation providers and high-value vendors.
Improving 3PL Management: Glanbia Adds Muscle to Logistics
Why Retail Supply Chain Transformations Fail - and how to get it right
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...