Case Number: 5-104-010, Year Published: 2004
HBS Number: KEL036
Distribution Channels, Supply Chain Management, Inventory Control, Logistics, Information Management
Michaels Craft Stores is the largest arts and crafts retailer in the United States and in the world. Its CEO, Michael Rouleau, wants to expand the chain to 1,000 stores by 2006. The key constraint is the lack of sophistication among Michaels' supplier base, which is made up of over 1,000 suppliers, many of which are small, creative companies with little computer or logistics knowledge. This results in high costs of running Michaels' supply chain. The case describes the company's efforts to build the sophistication of its suppliers through educational "Vendor Flow Training" courses that teach suppliers how to adopt state-of-the-art practices for improved efficiency in supplying their channel.
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