marketing operations fundamentals

Ben and Jerry’s has a build-to-stock supply chain. A build-to-stock supply chain involves the customer having no say in the overall make of the product one will buy while in production, but the costumer does have a choice in the products (flavors) they buy. The relaters of Ben and Jerrys ice cream pints use historical sales to predict a future demand of each flavor. The manufacturers use the data to estimate how much of each flavor they should make. In a simpler form, the product is already made and on the selves before the customer has made their purchase. Build-to-stock is an appropriate method because Ben and Jerrys ice cream pints require no customization, and they can use a wide range of sales data to predict yearly production rates and sales.   

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In 2014, Ben and Jerrys became a fair-trade company. To do this they had to start from the bottom of the supply chain. Starting with the upstream process, B&J had to research and move to new suppliers who provided ingredients and materials that aligned with their values. According to the factory director, Rob Bellezza, the company also started following a “hub system” in which “key ingredients are shipped to a central distribution center… allowing for shorter lead times…”.  St. Albans Cooperative Creamery in St. Albans, Vermont buys milk sold from hundreds of local farms in which it is than processed into condensed milk and cream. The dairy is then shipped to St. Albans and Waterbury Vermont where it is saved until demand requires it to be turned into ice cream. Other key ingredients such as egg yolks and cane sugar await in the factory from other suppliers until they meet the dairy at the blend tank to be produced into ice cream. The base mix is pasteurized, flavored, frozen, and assembled based on the demand of each flavor and how much needs to be produced. The downstream process than starts with the packaging and distribution of the pints to retailers. The ice cream is shipped to retailers globally by refrigerator trailers to supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and any other ice cream friendly vendor. Retailers selling the pints use their sales to predict a demand and production amount for Ben and Jerrys.  

Supply Chain Diagram  


Key Partnership 
Up Stream 
Down Stream 
Supply Chain Aligned with Competitive Priorities  
Supply Chain and Corporate Social Responsibility  

Value Creation Process 

Process Description 
Process Diagram   
Worker Skills 
Key Performance Measures & Results 
Innovation and Learning Perspective & Results 
Internal Perspective & Results 
Customer Perspective & Results 
Financial perspective & Results