Buyers that rely on a single supplier or single region for supply can subject themselves to numerous risks, including above-market rates, political shocks as well as quality and reliability issues. Expanding a company’s supplier base often allows these and other risks to be spread out and mitigated in part.However, expanding the supplier base can take a lot of time and sometimes travel to find the right suppliers.
Enter Plaid Enterprises, Inc.
Plaid Enterprises, Inc., headquartered in Norcross, GA, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse manufacturers of creative do-it yourself products. The company was facing a number of supply-related challenges, namely because the company was overly reliant on suppliers in China.
Plaid was dealing with extremely long lead times for iron-on products, strong dependency on Chinese wood supply, increasing prices for paint brushes, difficulty in finding qualifying alternative supply sources outside of China, and difficulty in assessing the capabilities and reliability of sellers on Chinese internet sites.
What did Plaid Enterprises do? The company started using Ariba Discovery to locate sellers outside of China. The service's simplified posting process enabled Plaid Enterprises to quickly find sellers near and far for a broad range of products. Plus, many of the suppliers on Ariba Discovery have already been vetted by other buyers on the Ariba Network. Through Ariba Discovery, Plaid Enterprises was able to find a local supplier for their iron-on products that was only a few minutes away from their office in Georgia.
“Posting my buying needs on Ariba Discovery has been a huge success. I was able to discover a supplier that was right below my nose. Not only did I achieve huge savings and significantly improved quality, I can now market our products as 'Made in America' – it’s a win all the way around." Leanne Melton, Strategic Supply Base Manager, Plaid Enterprises.
As a result of relocating part of their production back to the United States from China, Plaid Enterprises achieved cost savings of 34 percent and reduced lead times from 120 days to 30 days. A positive win all around for Plaid Enterprises.
Download the Plaid Enterprises Case Study.