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The United States military has for a long time been faced with numerous challenges in its endeavor to ensure that it procures the required supplies in order to be able to meet its great demand for the various commodities. Therefore, there is a need to address the challenges that the army has been facing in the process of procuring these provisions. “From Factory to Foxhole” is an article that deals with the problems the US Army faces in the process of acquiring these provisions and the steps that can be put in place to ensure that the procurement process is timely and that the amount of money used in the procurement process is also significantly reduced. Indeed, the heavy expenses at the Department of Defense (DoD), can be attributed to the logistics support department and the policies that have been put in place to guide the acquisition and supply of the components that are required by the soldiers serving in the US Army (Wang, 2000).

It is important to note that a difference does indeed exist between the commercial and the military procurement procedures. Therefore, the challenges that are faced by the military are unique and should therefore be addressed as such. The entire system needs an analysis that is referred to as from factory to foxhole. The efforts put in place to improve the logistics system included the purchasing and supply management (PSM) procedures, an integrated approach to the supply management to ensure that there is an increase in stock availability and also ensure that ultimately, the total cost is lowered. There is a need to analyze the military supply chain in relation to the use of the traditional supply chains that focus on physical efficiency or the supply chains that are based on the Just –in –time manufacturing (JIT) as is practiced by the Toyota Company. These systems can ensure that there is efficiency in physical planning and they usually respond to the surges in demand and therefore demand is actively managed (Folkeson & Brauner, 2005). The military supply chains, on the other hand, are designed to be highly responsive to changes in demand and are able to handle any sudden surges in response to an unpredictable demand.

Repair parts are some of the commodities that are very high in demand with the military, and usually they are supplied to the military by sole-source suppliers who do not deal with the commercial markets. Thus, in relations to this, various initiatives were employed to address the challenge of supply, including the velocity management to speed up flow in the supply chain as well as measuring the logistics performance of the army accurately (Folkeson & Brauner, 2005). Furthermore, efforts were put in place to adopt the JIT principle for the purpose of ensuring that the overall delivery was improved and that the wastes in the process were eliminated to increase efficiency.

Sourcing plan for MATTEL's new Barbie dolls in 2012

Mattel Inc. deals with the design, manufacture and marketing of various toy products. The following is the sourcing plan that will be used for Barbie fashion dolls in 2012. The sourcing plan should first of all include an in-depth market analysis to determine the demand for the dolls in the market; this will help to determine the regions in which the demand for the product is most pronounced. It will also help to determine the supply to be directed to each region and the designs to be used in relation to the prevailing demand in each of these regions; there shall be recruitment of suppliers to enable Mattel to successfully distribute its products in these regions (Johnson, 2001). The plan should also incorporate the decision on whether to produce short-life or long-life dolls as well as the amount of capital to be invested in these toys. By investing in short-life dolls that require less capital investment, Mattel will reduce the risks involved and it will also be able to push some of the risks to the suppliers. The cost analysis will include the efforts to balance the production and supply costs with the income that is attained from the products. The supply will be managed to ensure that the demand for the dolls will increase considerably and in the long-term, the excitement generated by these brands will be considerable enhanced (Johnson, 2001).

The criteria for selection of the suppliers will be based on some very critical factors, as this will enhance the outsourcing capabilities of the organization which can be effectively used to enhance productivity. The suppliers should be able to effectively understand the market and to effectively market its products to ensure that the level of customer awareness of the dolls is increased. The suppliers should also be able to provide the required market information to ensure that any shift in production that may be necessary will be implemented in a timely manner (Johnson, 2001). With the use of these strategies, the organization will be able to have in place a system that will enhance the production, distribution and the entire supply chain process.

Code of conduct to manage the social and environmental responsibility

It is very important to ensure that the suppliers and producers of any commodities carry out their activities in a way that will ensure that due consideration is given to both the society within which they live, as well as the environment. Both parties shall always carry out their business activities with the highest levels of integrity in the production and supply of the commodities. The production process shall be carried out with due consideration for the environment in terms of the by-products, such as gases that are likely to cause carbon emissions which may contribute to global warming. There shall also be a clear plan to ensure the use of a material that is easily recyclable with clear instructions on how to dispose of them. The suppliers will also ensure that they observe all the required standards for the handling of the products and they shall inform the consumers on the need to properly dispose of the waste in an environmentally responsible manner. With the observation of this code of conduct, both the producers and suppliers will live in a socially and environmentally friendly world.

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