AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Pare down your service providers. Keep the ones you retain on a short leash. Make all of your management decisions in-house.
These maxims comprise the working credo of John Wade, Simpsonville, S.C.-based director of global transportation for Wilson Sporting Goods. Wade is the first to acknowledge that such thinking runs counter to the whole-hog outsourcing being done increasingly by companies that can't be bothered with logistics headaches. "I believe that you can't turn over certain responsibilities to outsiders," he said, "however useful they may be."
The extent of Wilson's supply chains suggests that Wade might want all the help he could get. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of sporting goods hardware. Wade's office has to coordinate the shipment of product from plants in Asia and the U.S. to all of Wilson's U.S., European, and Latin American retailers.
Central Focus. "We don't differentiate between domestic and international shipments," Wade told American Shipper. "Our focus is on getting product to the customer. International shipments just require more paperwork than domestic ones. By planning in advance, we can meet an overseas retailer's 'need date' for product just as we do for customers in the U.S."
Wilson's plants offshore -- in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan -- produce baseballs, baseball gloves, basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, tennis rackets, racquetball rackets, and footwear.
In the U.S., Wilson makes golf balls in Humbolt, Tenn.; golf clubs in Tullahoma, Tenn.; golf bags in Springfield, Tenn.; footballs in Ada, Ohio; tennis balls in Fountain Inn, S.C., and sports uniforms in Sparta, Tenn.
"Each plant in the U.S. makes one item," Wade said. "From our office, we handle the importing of leather and other materials from the Far East to our American plants. …