Photo appears courtesy of Trending Topics 2019. It's #flashbackfriday! Since I just went shopping for my third graders' school supplies, I thought now was a great time to reprint our "back to school" blog. Enjoy! Ever wonder how all those school supplies make it into the extremely crowded "back to school" area of Walmart? The process involves a tightly connected network of buyers, suppliers, EDI providers, teachers and 29 million households. The "back to school" supply chain probably starts sometime in the spring, when buyers all over the US predict what will be most in demand for the coming school year. Will the pre-sharpened Ticonderoga pencils be available or not? Will pencil top erasers be on the supply lists? And will there be enough glue sticks for the two dozen each parent will be required to buy? As I walked around Walmart this year, frantically looking for everything on my twins' supply lists, it occurred to me none of these people have any idea what led up to this chaos.
This blog was reprinted with permission by ENAVATE and was written by ENAVATE's Head of Marketing, Patric Timmermans. When leaders of the distribution world gathered earlier this year in Washington, D.C., for the annual National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) conference, disruption was the order of the day.