Supply chain Management
The case discusses about the operation of the world’s largest convenience store chain Seven-Eleven in Japan, and the way it became Japan’s top leading super market chain. Seven–Eleven started its operation in Japan in November 1973 under an area licensing agreement between Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd., and The Southland Corporation. With more than 15,500 stores worldwide, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd (SEJ) franchises 6,900 stores in Japan and most of the remaining stores located in North America. SEJ has maintained the top position in convenience stores in Japan for twenty years since it opened its first store in downtown Tokyo in May 1974 under the strong leadership of Mr. Suzuki (Chairman and CEO of SEJ). The retail chains total sales including franchise stores in 1997 were $16 billion with record net profit of $550 million, making it the largest retail chain store in Japan. It also had the highest average sales per store per day among the three leading convenience store chains SEJ, Daiei Convenience Systems and Family-Mart. SEJ's commanding market position and outstanding performance has been largely due to its pioneering innovation in rationalizing Japan's convenience retail industry. The convenience store concept is brought to Japan by Southland Corporation, which provides SEJ with the necessary know-how to get started. However, SEJ's innovation in supply chain management soon placed it far ahead of Southland in both profitability and business process technology.
1. A convenience store chain attempts to be responsive and provide customers what they need, when they need it, where they need it. What are some different ways that a convenience store supply chain can be responsive? What are some risks in each case?
A convenience store can be more responsive by doing exactly what Seven-Eleven Japan is doing; many locations, rapid replenishment, appropriate technology deployment, and an equally responsive supplier. As