The Peril of One: Architecting a Sourcing Strategy at Edwards Paper Co.
This decision case focuses on a consumer products company, Edwards Paper Company (EdCo), as it redesigns its supply chain for poly-wrap. In response to environmental and corporate changes, EdCo sought greater efficiencies by reducing the number of poly-wrap suppliers from 10 to 1. The case offers students the information used by the consumer products company to reach its decision to move to a single-source strategy. The case provides an opportunity for students to grapple with the benefits and risks of single sourcing both in the short- and long-term. The case emphasizes the need for a dynamic alignment with strategy regardless of metrics developed and utilized. Students should see how EdCo’s change from a commercial, low-cost provider led them to a cost-cutting strategy which aligns well with an entrenched, single-source supplier also focused on cost cutting. However, as EdCo’s strategy evolves and as innovations in poly-wrap technology begin to emerge, prior approaches may require adjusting.