There was a time when network strategy was relatively stable. Not anymore. The cost and reliability of transportation drives a rethink. For high-value, low-weight items like electronics, it is still economic to transport them zillions of miles and even by air. Low-value, heavy or “fluffy” products need close manufacturing sites. That is why electronics can be made in China. While toilet paper has always been made in plants close to consumers, manufacturers of items like cat litter are now putting plants closer to the cats.
There is another revolution happening – evaluating every shipment to determine the best ship from. Historically, the network was set by a tool like Llamasoft and updated infrequently. This had a Detroit customer’s order of rubber ducks, which are only made in New Jersey, sourced out of Chicago rather than shipping from the Philadelphia DC. It was "too hard" for the forecasting system, TMS etc. to cope with anything different. That has changed. Call me to learn more.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving USA – we have much to be thankful for in this great country!