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Top 10 Blunders #10 – Overestimating Internal Expertise

Over time, supplier networks expand to growers in other regions and countries, regulation becomes more cumbersome, and customer requirements become more complex.

Despite these added complications, many produce organizations try to handle all aspects of supply chain management in-house.

Resources become stretched thin, and teams find themselves short on critical expertise and systems. Eventually, problems become overwhelming and service failures occur.

Trying to go it alone is noble but very risky. Supply chain leaders must rationally evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their processes, people, and technology. Where capabilities fall short of requirements, external resources should be called in.

Well-established logistics service providers can provide an array of delivery, storage, processing, and technology solutions to supplement internal capabilities.

This allows the company to focus its internal supply chain expertise on core issues. The only caveat is companies must devote resources to managing outsourced activities.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.


Dr. Brian Gibson is executive director of Auburn University’s Center for Supply Chain Innovation and a former logistics manager. He is coauthor of Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective (10th ed.) and active in supply chain executive education, research, and consulting.