If you watched the Grammy Awards this year, you may have seen a rather unusual commercial from Chipotle. The 2-minute spot was the 18-year-old company’s first national ad. Ever. It got its start on YouTube where it currently has more than 5 million views. During the spot, a farmer questions the industrialization of his industry and attempts to return to the simple farming life. He gets a little help from a retailer who has the same notion.
The commercial made we wonder about the business of logistics and if we could rewind the supply chain. With all of our technological advances, our real-time expectations, and just-in-time orders, is it possible? Our manufacturing and distribution models were created to provide better access to the goods we need, but in the chase to be better, faster, and more efficient, did we ever stop to consider if our industry was heading in the right direction?
Maybe going back to the start isn’t realistic for distribution. Customer expectation levels are too high, margins are too small and delivery windows are too narrow. But perhaps the increasing awareness that the supply chain is a vital contributor to the success of a product will allow manufacturers, 3PLs and retailers to work together more closely to create a system that is better for everyone.