National Importers - Business Consulting Project


Project Details

Project Client: National Importers
Project Description: Strategic Sourcing Plan
Students: Kiersten Brethour & Jin Sandhu
Term: Spring 2014
BCIT Program: International Business Management

National Importers caters to the needs of mainstream grocery, mass, club, and drug channels across Canada and the US. Its customers include Target, Wal-­Mart, London Drugs, and IGA Foods. National Importers’ vendors are located across the globe and they have multiple distribution centers in Canada and in the US.

After nearly 70 years in the industry, National Importers’ edge comes from staying on top of global food market trends. This success has allowed National Importers to continually build on their success; utilizing opportunities to strengthen their own and their customers’ ability to remain competitive, meet consumer needs, and be able to anticipate and respond to market trends and changes.

National Importers’ management team recognized the opportunity to strengthen their supply chain and risk management specifically related to their house brand products. The purpose of this project was to create a sourcing strategy for National Importers’ house brand products and to understand how changes in the trade and regulatory environment in Canada would be impacting National Importers in 2015.

The BCIT student consultants investigated the current situation in order to understand the extent to which the current sourcing strategy was negatively impacting the firm. The root cause was identified and alternatives created and evaluated. A strategic sourcing strategy would best be able to meet the needs, current objectives, and future goals of the firm.

A strategic sourcing strategy was developed and customized for National Importers’ specific needs regarding food and health safety and duty rate regulations. The strategic sourcing strategy was anchored in purchasing best practices including identifying vendors, vendor selection, and refinement of the current vendor performance monitoring. The student consultants applied Canada’s changing food and health safety regulations to National Importers vendor selection and vendor performance monitoring. This strategy was applied to two house brand commodities in order to demonstrate its implementation.

Utilizing duty values from 2013, the student consultants determined what the bottom line impact would be on National Importers with Canada’s changing duty rates. Current, future, and potential Free Trade Agreements were also identified in order to demonstrate where alternative sourcing could be procured. The study identified cost savings from the upcoming CKFTA and CETA.