This website uses technical, customisation and analytical cookies, both first-party and third-party, to anonymously facilitate browsing and analyse statistics on use of the website. Learn more
At the W’Up Bottlery in Uttar Pradesh, India, Rajat Mehra, director of supply-chain management, mused over the W’Up plant’s supply-chain performance over the peak summer period that had just ended. The W’Up Bottlery, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCBPL), made Coca-Cola and other soft drinks for several regions within the Uttar Pradesh market. While inventories had gone down and fill rates had improved relative to the previous peak-sales season, Mehra was looking for ways to improve performance dramatically. Mehra had heard about the concept of vendor-managed inventory (VMI) that was gaining popularity in the West. Implementing VMI would involve moving away from the current situation in which independent distributors placed orders for replenishment to the W’Up plant, to one in which distributors would instead report their inventory levels directly to the W’Up supply-chain management group. Managers in this group would then decide how much stock to send out to each distributor. Mehra and his team wondered how this idea might be applied to HCCBPL’s highly fragmented supply chain, covering regions where IT infrastructure was sparse or non-existent. See also the B case (UVA-OM-1352).