The Empowerment Plan (D): Supply Chain Management at a Manufacturing Nonprofit

by: Rashmi Menon

Publication Date: June 3, 2019
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-229-142

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain, Social Impact

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Teaching Note

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This case (Case D) is part of a series of four integrated cases about The Empowerment Plan (TEP), a Detroit-based nonprofit that worked to break the cycle of homelessness through training, employment, and job placement. Founded in 2012 by Veronika Scott, TEP recruited employees through homeless shelters and provided them with training, education, and full-time employment manufacturing sleeping bag coats. The specially designed coats were distributed free of charge to the homeless population.

Case D discusses the raw materials used by TEP, how the materials are sourced, challenges in managing the supply chain—such as reliability, quality, and sustainability—and minimizing the total cost of production. Additionally, the case examines the benefits and challenges of using donated raw materials within a supply chain. It is most appropriate for a class session focused on supply chain management.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand the issues in supply chain management for a nonprofit.
  • Describe how to manage risk in a supply chain.
  • Describe how to choose suppliers and what relationships to have with them.
  • Identify corporate social responsibility and describe how to ensure that a supply chain is sustainable.