Chicago Cubs fans have been waiting 108 years for this day. They watched their team celebrate with the official championship baseball cap, and the next morning retail outlets would be slammed with an influx of customers looking to celebrate with their team by wearing the same cap. The winner of the series was not determined until game 7, so how does the manufacturer get the winning team's hats to the retail outlets by the next day? Creating champion caps for both teams would make around half of the merchandise obsolete and be a huge cost and waste.
The answer is a supply chain strategy called Postponement. This is the strategy of shipping unfinished goods from the manufacturing warehouse to the distribution center where it will be stored until order demand is determied. Once orders volume is known the final customization is completed and product shipped to the customers. In this case the hat manufacturer, New Era, produces the hats using a neutral color (grey) with the World Champion embroidery and stocks then in the fulfillment center. They had to have staff on hand waiting until game 7 winner was determined, and then they worked all night adding the Cubs logo to the hats and shipped them off to the retail stores that morning. The strategy of postponement reduces production costs and reduces order-to-delivery-time.
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Bloomberg wrote an interesting article on "How the Cubs Championship Hats get to your Stores so Fast" the Chicago Tribune is reporting that, "World Series Championship Cubs Merchandise is Flying off the Shelves".