GSCM 206 Darden’s Global Supply Chains Case Study 1

GSCM 206 Darden’s Global Supply Chains  Case Study 1



  1. What are the advantages of each of Darden’s four supply chains?
  2. What are the complications of having four supply chains?
  3.  How do Darden’s four supply chains compare to those of other firms, such as Dell or an automobile manufacturer? Why do the differences exist, and how are they addressed?

Darden Restaurants (subject of the Global Company Profile at the beginning of this chapter), owner of popular brands such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, requires unique supply chains to serve more than 300 million meals annually. Darden’s strategy is operations excellence, and Senior VP Jim Lawrence’s task is to ensure competitive advantage via Darden’s supply chains. For a firm with purchases exceeding $1.5 billion, managing the supply chains is a complex and challenging task.

Darden, like other casual dining restaurants, has unique supply chains that reflect its menu options. Darden’s supply chains are rather shallow, often having just one tier of suppliers. But it has four distinct supply chains.

First, “smallware” is a restaurant industry term for items such as linens, dishes, tableware and kitchenware, and silverware. These are purchased, with Darden taking title as they are received at the Darden Direct Distribution (DDD) warehouse in Orlando, Florida. From this single warehouse, smallware items are shipped via common carrier (trucking companies) to Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52 restaurants.

Second, frozen, dry, and canned food products are handled economically by Darden’s 11 distribution centers in North America, which are managed by major U.S. food distributors, such as MBM, Maines, and Sygma. This is Darden’s second supply line.

Third, the fresh food supply chain (not frozen and not canned), where product life is measured in days, includes dairy products, produce, and meat. This supply chain is B2B, where restaurant managers directly place orders with a preselected group of independent suppliers.

Fourth, Darden’s worldwide seafood supply chain is the final link. Here Darden has developed independent suppliers of salmon, shrimp, tilapia, scallops, and other fresh fish that are source inspected by Darden’s overseas representatives to ensure quality. These fresh products are flown to the U.S. and shipped to 16 distributors, with 22 locations, for quick delivery to the restaurants. With suppliers in 35 countries, Darden must be on the cutting edge when it comes to collaboration, partnering, communication, and food safety. It does this with heavy travel schedules for purchasing and quality control personnel, native-speaking employees onsite, and aggressive communication. Communication is a critical element; Darden tries to develop as much forecasting transparency as possible. “Point of sale (POS) terminals,” says Lawrence, “feed actual sales every night to suppliers.”

Case Study paper is to consist of the following components:

  1. Title page and two written pages with no more than 500 words.
  2. Answers to individual questions (as assigned) Each assignment will have specific questions you need to address. You should create a sub-headed section for each one.
  3. References/Appendix (if required) These are not research papers per se, so you may not have the need to cite outside sources. If you do, however, they should be identified on a proper reference page. Similarly, if you are required to do calculations and choose to perform them on a separate page, you should include them in an appendix.
Content  24  80%
  • Required questions are answered in an accurate and appropriate manner.
  • Adequate support is given for recommendations.
  • Calculations (where required) are performed correctly
Grammar and Spelling  3  10%
  • Paper is well written and reflects college level writing.
  • Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed and spelling is correct.
  • Sentences are written in a complete, concise manner, and sentence transitions maintain the flow of thought throughout the paper.
Formatting and APA Usage  3  10%
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