Futbol teaches us many things: the importance of practice, a unique sense of satisfaction that comes from being part of a team, and the joy of competition. English soccer leagues also provide another lesson: the worst performers are relegated to the lower divisions at season’s end, and the best performers in the lower divisions are promoted to top-tier competition. This is a great metaphor for managing supply chain supplier partners.
The best retailers annually promote and relegate suppliers. Sometimes the best dropship suppliers are brought up to wholesale relationships (Premier League). Other times, wholesale suppliers not cutting the mustard are relegated to dropship fulfillment (2nd Division). If a retailer has a marketplace, smaller suppliers can be further relegated and vice versa.
Side note: did you know that the phrase “cut the mustard” has its origins in harvesting mustard as a crop? Apparently, it was tough work requiring very sharp tools, and if they were blunt, they couldn’t cut the mustard. You’re welcome.
Anyway, it’s about performance. It’s about putting the best products in the right positions on the field for your customers. That’s how you win, day in and day out.
If you want to maximize ecommerce profitability, hit the record button for season 3 of Ted Lasso to watch later, then focus your attention on analyzing which of your suppliers are worthy of promotion or relegation. A more agile supply chain and ecommerce victory awaits.
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