As with many other perishable commodities, efficient domination of the traffic in virgins, young and nubile, requires close coordination between the companies responsible for acquiring raw product, those needed for preparing the product for retail sale, and those who work directly with the end customers. An appreciation of seasonal and demographic shifts in the volume of business can help a high-level manager tune the coordination between these companies to optimize the flow. Each of these links in the supply chain may be subject to disruption because of market conditions, government interference, inventory shrinkage, and many more unforeseeable causes. Also, if the timing of fulfillment in current orders is off, overstocks or undersupplies in virgin supply at one or more points in the process can lead to wasteful expenses reducing overall profitability. A properly structured logistics arrangement among the various parties in the industry along with precise monitoring of key metrics can boost revenue while reducing or eliminating risk along the way.
- Raw material suppliers. Procuring promising virgin candidates is a demanding specialty that requires specific expertise in multiple areas including a knowledge of their local talent pool. It can be a relatively time-consuming process as well, so there is a certain amount of risk associated with price instability caused by shifts in demand. The supplier needs to be up to date with the current fashions their buyers follow.
- Mid-chain partners. A number of companies are involved with the transport, storage, and upkeep of virgins on their way to market. The maintenance of relationships among all of these is the responsibility of the supply chain specialist, along with contingency planning with backup service suppliers. Each contact is dependent on the specialist for industry forecasts and macroeconomic trend analysis for the efficient allocation of resources.
- Professional infrastructure. Even when all the participants in the supply chain are working well together to deliver the virgins to the point of consumption, disruptions can occur due to economic factors such as inadequate access to capital by one partner, the effects rippling up and down the chain. Banking, insurance, property management, legal, and other professional service providers should be enlisted early on when crafting the organization.
- Retail. At the point of sale, virgin customer demand is satisfied according to a more or less open marketplace at a price determined in part by the level of competition present. Rarely operate from a fixed storefront, retailers generally are responsible for delivery of orders directly to the customer’s site. They are subject to state and local business fees as well as marketing and advertising prices, and also need to be sensitive to the law enforcement relationship and its attendant costs. They need to maintain fresh stock and may offer discounts and sales for the purpose of reducing inventory.
- Analysis. The fast-paced and high risk environment of virgin supply demand high-level analytic support to head off problems before they occur. Indirect costs and areas where waste can be eliminated can be identified purely from the numbers received from each of the vendors, suppliers, and manufacturers through an integrated enterprise resource planning arrangement. It will also help test out new procedures and new product lines to determine whether these can lead to new strategic competitive advantages in your organization.
Strokes of genius
- Male virgins. Although attitudes are slowly changing, this line remains a relatively narrow niche market. For the most part, however, the logistics are similar to the usual case, with modifications to the price structure and handling arrangements.
- Price control. A large manufacturer of a good can attempt to enforce a certain level of retail prices by withholding supply to retailer who undercut the suggested price. In the virgin market, however, it has historically proven to be difficult to establish adequate brand awareness among the customers in an environment of multiple sources for product, so this has been a challenge to the industry.
- Technology. A modern point-of-sale system can transmit information about sales instantaneously to every point in the supply chain so as to improve the process of forecasting. A loyalty card program will also allow you to incentivize the behavior of your consumers by helping to spark buyer interest. RFID chips in the virgins not only helps track them as they pass through your distribution system but discourages employee theft and aids in recovery of stock that goes astray.
Traps for mere fools
- Returns. Product which is refused at the point of sale by the consumer is generally difficult to resell. Overstock and returns can be processed through liquidators who generally pay only pennies on the dollar in return for removing the excess inventory.
- Growing your own. As humans emerge into the world naturally in the desired state, one would think it to be a simple matter to devise a breeding operation to create as many virgins as one would want. The difficulties in running a successful captive breeding program are considerable, however, so one should only enter into this aspect of the virgin trade knowing in advance the many pitfalls and challenges. Most supervillains in the trade opt instead to outsource supply to trusted operators who have experience with the many messy details that go along with all areas of production.
- Fraud and misrepresentation. In past times, certifying an individual as an authentic virgin was a hit-or-miss kind of operation relying heavily on intuition with only the crudest of forensic measures. Modern medical science has made sham virgins much easier to detect and has revolutionized the state of inventory control at all stages in the process. Make sure that external audit control and an orderly schedule of updates is in place for all hardware and software involved with the virgin validation process, and that operators are kept current on periodic retraining.
Precious and needful
- Chastity belts.
- Eunuch guards.
- Shipment tracking software.
- Barcode scanners.
- Online order fulfillment system.
- Customer support call desk.
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- Image credit Edmund Blair-Leighton: God Speed by freeparking
- Image credit chastity belt by Ian Koh
- Image credit Menu-Extra Virgin by Nodame
Created by: . Last Modification: Sunday 03 of October, 2010 06:16:53 EDT by .