When most people think of Microsoft, they certainly think of the world’s largest software company. But they may not be aware of the importance the company has always placed on the building and selling of physical products and bringing them to distribution channels.
From floppy disks holding the first version of Windows in 1983 to the creation of the mouse, Microsoft has long been creating and distributing software and hardware via various methods. This has given the company a unique perspective on the connection of the physical supply chain with the software world.
“We’ve always understood the need to manage the physical and digital supply chains in concert,” Supply Chain Industry Manager Peter Vanderminden (recently retired) says. “Another aspect has been securing the digital supply chain, pioneering the creation of serial numbers for software products to be sure they are authorized and legitimate products, protecting against counterfeiting and hacking.”
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Some might see gardening as a simple pastime. Retirees are often known to spend a lot of time gardening in their backyards, cultivating tomatoes or pretty flowerbeds. But even if it is just a hobby for some, all the people who are interested in gardening combine to make it quite a big business. In fact, more than 70 percent of U.S. households spend time and money taking care of their garden or lawn, which gives the entire market a value of more than $433.5 billion, according to the National Gardening Association. That shows the market is much more than just tomatoes and retirees.
L&L Nursery Supply Inc. understands the market’s enormous value, in large part because it has seen so many of the industry’s ups and downs. Established in 1953, L&L started by developing redwood containers for garden centers in Southern California, but since then has grown to become the West Coast’s leading distributor of home and garden products. It is the company’s knowledge of the market and dedication to service that helps L&L grow its customers’ business.
Read more: L&L Nursery Supply Inc.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Katun Corp. is an alternative supplier of compatible imaging supplies, photoreceptors and parts for the office equipment industry. With more than three decades of experience and more than 6,000 products to choose from, the company processes and ships orders for more than 13,500 dealers and distributors in 138 countries. “No other aftermarket company in the imaging industry can match the depth and breadth of our product offering across many different machine platforms,” the company says.
Katun’s “best-to-market” philosophy means that a product will not be brought to market until the company is sure it meets customers’ performance expectations. “Unlike some other suppliers, who in their rush to be first to market either release a product before it is fully developed or use paying customers as their testing grounds, Katun thoroughly tests every product before it is made available for sale,” the company says.
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Jackson Health System’s supply chain is continuously improving competency and adding staff with construction experience to prepare for $1.4 billion in capital projects over the next decade. “The opportunity is tremendous for us,” Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer Rosa Costanzo says. “We developed a construction procurement team within our division and have teams training and providing informational expertise to make sure we are successful.”
The Miami-based healthcare delivery network has been a central provider of medical services and healthcare leadership for residents of Miami-Dade County and beyond for nearly a century. Jackson Memorial Hospital, a world-class regional center of specialized care that functions as the primary teaching hospital for the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, is the centerpiece of Jackson Health System.
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The nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food company wants to become even larger. Goya Foods in April opened the doors of a new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in Jersey City, N.J., as part of a $500 million global expansion planned over the next 10 years.
The new center includes a 600,000-square-foot distribution warehouse and 42,000-square-foot corporate office space. In addition to the center in Jersey City, the company also recently renovated a 240,000-square-foot production facility in Secaucus, N.J. In total, the company invested $250 million to build or renovate nearly 900,000 square feet on 58 acres of land in the state.
Read more: Goya Foods
ESCO Corporation prides itself on being a global company that still has the ability to meet regional and local needs. “We’re very focused on meeting customer expectations,” says Jon Owens, COO of the Portland, Ore.-headquartered company. “All of our divisions try to be as close to the market and as close to our customers as possible so we can have the best information about the demand for our products going forward and make adjustments as necessary to align with that demand.”
The company operates 80 locations on six continents, including 25 manufacturing sites. The manufacturing sites supply both large distribution centers as well as smaller sites known as ESCO supply & service locations. These locations are strategically located near large customers or in parts of the world where ESCO’s products are in high demand, and offer service and products specific to the needs of those customers and regions.
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A diversified holding corporation, Cogeco Inc. (Cogeco) is a leading telecommunications and media company in Canada. Based in Montreal, Cogeco provides residential and business customers with television, Internet and telephone services through its two-way broadband fiber networks. It also provides business customers with information technology services, and it operates 13 radio stations across Québec and an out-of-home advertising business specializing in the public transit market.
“We provide customers with flexibility and extensive product offerings, and we are a very community-minded and customer service-focused organization,” Chief Procurement Officer Erin Geldard says.
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Despite being a global company specializing in infrastructure for the energy, power generation, aerospace and defense industries worldwide, CIRCOR International did not begin efforts to unify its international supply chain until late 2013. That was when the new President and CEO Scott Buckhout joined CIRCOR International and hired Sumit Mehrotra as vice president of the company’s global supply chain.
“The story here is that this company has been a public company for 16 years now, but it was running until about 2013 more like a holding company,” Mehrotra relates. CIRCOR International has facilities strategically located around the world and sells its products through more than 950 distributors to approximately 7,000 customers in 100-plus countries.
Read more: Circor International Inc.
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