1. I think Mr. Kitchens should conduct an evaluation of the other companies prior to contacting American Apparel. By performing an evaluation of the other companies, he will be better positioned to decide on whether to move the company’s account to another supplier if he is unable to get a proper solution to the issues. The current strengths of Trip 7 are that they have a great customer base, many varieties from which to choose, and the company provides good customer service through timely deliveries. The biggest weaknesses include being located so far away from its supplier, only having one supplier with no back-up plan, no direct contact with management of supplier, and bad lead time of supplier.
2. As I have studied the case, I would inform Mr. Kitchen to insist that he is placed through to management. He should require a better lead time on orders and inform American Apparel that he has conducted an evaluation of three other well established suppliers and that he has positioned the company to move the business account if necessary. I would tell him to have quotes from the companies that he has evaluated for negotiation purposes and to give an effort in trying to reduce the price of the price of 72 shirts to be more in line with the other companies’ prices, plus the need for guaranteed on time deliveries.
3. I think that Trip 7 can prevent supply chain uncertainties by moving their business account to one of the other suppliers that is more closely located and that make the customer a priority. I personally think that since the company has such a large account and many customers that that could split the business off into two suppliers, giving them a back-up plan just in case of emergency orders and the in ability of one of the suppliers to make deliveries in a timely fashion.