Lee Wayne Lackey
Spring 2013 – Online Class
21689 – SCM 3301
Introduction to Supply Chain Studies
April 25, 2013
Table of Contents
1. Executive Summary 3
2. Did You Say “Christmas Lights?” 4
3. Change In The Summer of 2009 6
4. A Christmas Light Company is Born 7
5. Voicemail Reminder on Your Phone 8
6. Buying Supplies 9
7. Snow 11
8. End of Season 1 12
9. Season 2 13
10. Supply of Labor 15
11. What’s In Store 16
12. Acknowledgements 16
13. Declaration of Sole Authorship 18
What you are about to embark on in your reading is a firsthand account of what it is like to start a business and to have to deal with aspects of the study of the Supply Chain and the problems that can come about if special care is not taken into account when executing your plan. Several topics regarding Supply Chain are addressed in Institutions of Higher Learning but I believe there is a far more important issue that is not addressed or has the importance placed on it that it deserves.
Planning plays a vital role in regards to the success or failure of a business when dealing with Supply Chain. Even the most well thought our plan may need to be taken to the next level. When making decisions regarding where raw materials will be procured, considerations need to be placed on the “what-ifs” as best as they possibly can.
The example you are about to read is Supply Chain brought down to a relatively simplistic scale. This is a sole proprietor who has come up with the idea for a single end user product (or service in this case) and how even the simplest ideas can be very difficult to travel down the Supply Chain stream and still be able to run a profitable company. The reading also shows, no matter how much is planned, simple mistakes can eliminate a business quickly.
Christmas Lights is about an idea I created over four years ago and the journey from what I thought the business should look like to how it really reveals itself through time - enjoy.
Did you say Christmas Lights? What in the world could someone possibly have to discuss in relation to Supply Chain studies that involves Christmas Lights? As you spend the next few minutes reading these next pages, you will hopefully get a great first person example of how critical the Supply Chain can be to the success or failure of a business; even if that business is one that hangs Christmas Lights on a homeowner’s house. Little did I know that a fear I had 13 years ago would grow and transform into a very lucrative business opportunity that is wholly dependent on managing the Supply Chain in order to not fall flat on your face in the cruel, non-sensitive business world. Yes, even the business of making people happy at Christmas time by decorating their house, trees, sidewalks and front doors can be cruel and unforgiving at times.
Before we get into the hows and the why’s of Christmas Light Supply Chain, it is important to understand the events that lead us to this point in time. Being from Texas, one thing is for sure in the fall and winter months; there are no fall and winter months. Snow is rare and the temperatures dip below freezing for only a few days during the season. Because we do not get to experience true Northern temperatures and seasons, our family really loves the 5 weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It is a time when carols are played on the radio, pine and cinnamon smells dominate the aroma in our house and decorations can be found nearly everywhere you look. We love Christmas so much that 13 years ago when we finally left apartment living and had our first house built, we timed everything in the process of the house to be