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Question: angela was at her wits end the cpo was once...

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Angela was at her wit's end! The CPO was once again demanding answers regarding the barrels needed for the company's storage of Bourbon. The demand for Bourbon (especially in the southeastern United States) has continued to surge! All of the distilleries both large and small are feeling challenged by the lack of barrels to store the bourbon in! Both barrel production and the white oak lumber industry are struggling to keep up with demand.

Angela had a dual degree in Marketing and Supply Chain Management from a prestigious University. She thought that a job working for one of the top distilleries of bourbon in the world would be glamorous and she had been bragging to her friends about all of the perks that she received from the company! She didn't realize that her job would be in jeopardy because she was having trouble buying enough barrels to fit bourbon in! How is that even possible? A barrel is a barrel right? What difference did it make if it was white oak or pine? Who cares? Why not keep it in the containers it is brewed in?

The shortage of barrels reflects a supply-chain conundrum. Downstream, barrel makers face a wave of demand because a half dozen established bourbon distilleries and 300 new craft distilleries were increasing production amid a bourbon boom. Upstream, they face a shortage of white oak wood used in barrels because the lumber industry hasn't rebounded from the housing market collapse. The stress on barrel makers has also been driven by the more than 35% increase in bourbon sales in the U.S. since 2010. Including Tennessee whiskey, which also uses new oak barrels, exports topped $1 billion last year for only the second time.

Angela did not understand the market either upstream or downstream! What Angela also didn't realize is that there was a very distinctive process involved in distilling bourbon. She had taken her obligatory "plant tour" so that she could understand the process but really didn't get into a full blown category and spend analysis for the company – which she should have!!! She didn't even realize where the money went! The CPO was actually quite bothered with Angela's performance and hoped that she would be able to "take the bull by the horns" and figure out what needed to happen with the barrels, and with all of the other categories of spend.

What should Angela do in both the short-term and the long-term? Think creatively and try to come up with some good solutions so that she can appease her boss! How can she make her boss happy and keep her college dream job?

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