OMGT2221: Giorgio Maggiali was becoming increasingly frustrated. As director of logistics for the world’s largest pasta producer: ntroduction To Logistics And Supply Chain Management Case Study, RMIT, Singapore

Subject OMGT2221 Introduction to Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Barilla Case Study

Giorgio Maggiali was becoming increasingly frustrated. As director of logistics for the world’s largest pasta producer, Barilla SpA (interpreted as “Inc.”), Maggiali was acutely aware of the growing burden that demand fluctuations imposed on the company’s manufacturing and distribution system. Since his appointment as Director of Logistics, he had been trying to make headway on an innovative idea proposed by Brando Vitali, who had served as Barilla’s director of logistics before Maggiali.

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The idea, which Vitali called just-in-time distribution (JITD), was modelled after the popular “just-in-time” manufacturing concept. In essence, Vitali proposed that, rather than follow the traditional practice of delivering product to Barilla’s distributors on the basis of whatever orders those distributors placed with the company, Barilla’s own logistics organization would instead specify the “appropriate” delivery quantities—those that would more effectively meet the end consumer’s needs yet also would distribute the workload on Barilla’s manufacturing and logistics systems more evenly.

For two years Maggiali, a strong supporter of Vitali’s proposal, had tried to implement the idea, but now, little progress had been made. It seemed that Barilla’s customers were simply unwilling to give up their authority to place orders as they pleased; some were even reluctant to provide the detailed sales data upon which Barilla could make delivery decisions and improve its demand forecasts. Perhaps more disconcerting was the internal resistance from Barilla’s own sales and marketing organizations, which saw the concept as infeasible or dangerous, or both. Perhaps it was time to discard the idea as simply unworkable. If not, how might Maggiali increase the chances that the idea would be accepted?

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