The webinar was presented by Lynn Cobb, General Manager and Sourcing Lead at Aspire Equine Services Ltd. Lynn’s role at Aspire is to ethically and responsibly source products for the equine industry. The company provide a whole range of products and services to the horse world. One of the main product that her company source and provide is equine bedding in very large quantity. That could be wood chips shavings pellets, cardboard. Her company is growing, they provide more products that horses need.
Before making decision in sourcing, she consider make or buy. A lot of products that her company need to buy because her company don’t have capability to make it such as shavings or wood chips because they come from manufacturing sites. Wood shaving is contributed to sustainability because it is one kind of waste from timber supplier.
When she sources product, she searches the supplier, looks out the market and knows the level of competition in the market. Social media is one fantastic channel in horse world so she can get to know about different suppliers and different products so she can get a list of suppliers that they look like popular. Then she starts evaluating them to know supplier’s expertise and capability. She also considers ethical side as criterion to evaluate suppliers. Horse people are notoriously bad at ordering in advance and they always leave everything in the last minute so her company need to supply in a short notice.
She told about one situation that her company experienced. One manufacturer had a problem in machinery and the production line went down for 3 days and they did not hold a large stock so her company has to quickly find the other supplier to make sure her company did not let the client down. So now her company has dual sourcing, one has to be keep as standby in case the other supplier has any problem. She mentions that having a close relationship with suppliers is very important. She also pays attention in contract and performance review. She does it quarterly by having virtual meeting with suppliers or pop up to the factory. Keeping KPIs to make sure that delivery time, the quality of product are maintained. Her company also welcome feedback from customers to check again the quality of product.