No chicken at KFC: A logistics debacle?

Joyce A. Young, Indiana State University, Kuntal Bhattacharyya, Indiana State University
January 19, 2021
North America
Marketing & Sales, Operations, Strategy & General Management
3 pages
supply chain management, physical distribution, franchising, third party logistics
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
Average rating: 

This critical incident describes a situation faced by Meghan Farren, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC in the UK. When she learned of missed chicken deliveries to several restaurant locations, it surfaced as a delay from a traffic backup involving two accidents. On that same morning, DHL launched its new delivery service, becoming KFC’s sole logistics provider for UK and Ireland. The accidents had masked what was about to come. DHL had failed to deliver chicken as promised. Approximately 800 KFC locations closed their doors having run out of chicken. For Farren, the crisis could cripple the chain and damage the relationship with its franchisees. While KFC looked to DHL to fix the supply problem, Farren was primarily concerned about the franchisees. Students are asked to recommend actions Farren can take to mitigate the ongoing damage to the franchisees and assist them in welcoming customers back to stores when reopened.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic components of a logistics system
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of advantages and disadvantages of using a third party logistics provider
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the decision criteria relating to the selection of a logistics provider
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between logistics and marketing channels management
  5. Develop a response to repair relationships with marketing channel members