Archives for November 2010

Global Supply Chains for Small Businesses

By Herb Shields | 11/02/2010 | 8:30 AM

Global supply chains have been part of the strategy for multi-national corporations for decades. Today, some of the smallest manufacturers or distributors have supply chains that include off shore suppliers and/or customers. I have worked in a start-up consumer products company so I understand the challenges.  However, there are always new ventures emerging to connect suppliers and customers on a world-wide basis.


I had the opportunity to speak recently with Andrea Williamson founder of a start-up company called Noblivity whose mission is to connect small retailers in the U.S. with global manufacturers of quality products.  Andrea’s business development background includes working directly with independent owners, sales leadership and technology which prepared her to launch Noblivity in 2010.


Noblivity connects the manufacturers and retailers through an on-line members- only platform.  There are currently over 90 brands with over 1200 products offered at wholesale pricing for small retailers.  Noblivity acts as the financial intermediary, holding the payment until the goods arrive and are approved by the customer.  The service is free to the retailer.  Noblivity collects a transaction fee from the manufacturers based on sales.  Noblivity has removed the transaction barriers and added back transparency between the retailers and manufacturers. 


Noblivity’s approach greatly increases the ability of the boutique store to expand its lines beyond what would be possible for the owner if they had to rely solely on trade shows, and trips to Europe and Asia.  From a supply chain perspective, there are shorter lead times and lower minimum order quantities which again provide an advantage to the small retailer.  Visit www.noblivity.com if you want to learn more.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Herb Shields

Herb Shields

Herb Shields has run Chicago-based HCS Consulting since 2000, helping clients across multiple industries and in higher education improve their supply chain strategy and execution. Shields has more than 30 years as an operations executive for capital equipment, automotive, electrical machinery and consumer products companies. As vice president of materials management at consumer goods company Helene Curtis, Shields led the supply chain organization that helped Helene Curtis win "Vendor of the Year" awards from Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp. Shields has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and did graduate work in business at Bowling Green State University.


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