Case Studies

Bean There, Returned That

Building its business around high-quality outdoor equipment and clothing, L.L. Bean’s sales channels include seven retail stores, one dozen outlet stores, the Internet, and its nearly 100-year-old catalog. But it’s not just the product that Bean built its reputation on—it’s also the retailer’s 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. The roots of that guarantee trace back to 1912, […]

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Vimal Patel: Taking an Eagle’s-Eye View

When Vimal Patel speaks, everyone listens. As manager of merchandise flow at American Eagle (AE) Outfitters’ Warrendale, Pa., distribution center, his job is to make sure all departments – receiving, replenishment, packing, and shipping – pull together to achieve the facility’s goals. “Every department wants to do well individually, but they don’t always look at […]

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Steve Lash: Loco Like A Fox

“A chicken is actually corn with feathers,” Steve Lash says. He should know. Lash is director of supply chain management for El Pollo Loco, a restaurant chain that built its success on citrus-marinated, flame-grilled, Mexican-style chicken. With more than 360 stores in seven states, and a 12-state expansion underway, El Pollo Loco (Spanish for The […]

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John Rickard: Logistics With a Human Touch

Try this logistics experiment: Drop packages of food from a helicopter onto a field filled with football and rugby players and see if anyone gets hurt. That’s the exercise John Rickard and his associates at the relief agency International Rescue Committee (IRC) conducted in 1999 while laying plans for a humanitarian mission in the mountains […]

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Debbie E. Jackson: Life at the End of the ERP Tunnel

Debbie Jackson is starting to get her life back. It has been on hold since late 2003, while she and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins University endured one of the truly harrowing ordeals of business life: a major ERP implementation. As supply chain procurement team lead for HopkinsOne—the initiative to move all the Johns Hopkins […]

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