Managing the supply chain to meet customer needs
A Warburtons case study

Page 1: Introduction

It is easy to take for granted everyday fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) such as bread. When consumers go to a corner shop or the supermarket, they simply expect these products to be there and to be freshly baked. An average family will probably replace their supplies of bread several times a week.

Behind these consumer needs for fresh products, there is a complex process of production. In the case of bread, meeting these needs is not just dependent upon a bread manufacturer. The process starts with the farming of the wheat. This is then milled into flour before being baked into the bread, packaged and distributed to stores to be made available to the consumer.

This case study focuses on the second largest grocery brand in the UK - Warburtons. The company is also the largest wrapped bread brand in the country, with a market share of 25.2%.

With a headquarters in Bolton, Lancashire, Warburtons employs approximately 5,000 people in 14 bakeries and 15 distribution depots. Over 800 of these workers have been with the business for more than 15 years. Every day more than two million bakery products are made and distributed around the country. This ensures that many thousands of retail outlets have freshly baked products daily.

Warburtons is a family business with family values. The fifth generation of the family is dedicated to the tradition of baking, which goes back more than 130 years.

Long term planning

Warburtons leading position in the market is underpinned by the company's dedication to supply continuously high quality bakery products, whilst investing in innovation and new product development. Every organisation has to plan for the future.

The key areas of Warburtons long-term plan are to:

  1. focus on quality by baking the best quality bread every day

  2. drive sales
  3. run efficient bakeries
  4. manage costs
  5. invest in people working within the business.

To do this Warburtons has taken a sustainable approach to running the business. This means that Warburtons adopts practices that can continue long into the future by managing the supply chain to meet customer needs. This involves such things as using sources that minimise the impact on the environment for future generations.

However, for Warburtons, it also includes developing long-term relationships with its stakeholders to ensure the supply of quality products for the foreseeable future.

Warburtons | Managing the supply chain to meet customer needs

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