A supply chain consists of a network of companies linked together by physical, information, and monetary flows. When supply chain partners work together, they are able to accomplish things that an individual firm would find difficult, if not impossible, to do. Few cases illustrate this better than the situation faced by LeapFrog in August 2003.9,10
LeapFrog, which describes itself as a "leading designer, developer and marketer of innovative, technology-based educational products and related proprietary content,"11 had just introduced a new educational product called the Little Touch LeapPad. The distinguishing feature of the LeapPad, whose target market was toddlers, was that it combined high-tech materials and sophisticated electronics to create an interactive "book" that made appropriate sounds when a child touched certain words or pictures.
1. Draw a map of the supply chain for LeapFrog, including the retailers, Capable Toys, and suppliers of key materials (i.e., Tyvek). Which supply chain partners are upstream of LeapFrog? Which are downstream? Which partners are
first tiersuppliers? Second tier suppliers?
2. What data ultimately led to LeapFrog's decision to increase production levels of the LittleTouch LeapPads? Where did these data come from? How long after interpreting these data did LeapFrog start talking with Capable Toys about increasing production levels? Was it days, weeks, or months?
3. What part of the production process limited output levels at Capable Toys? How did Capable respond to the challenge?
4. What were some of the material sourcing challenges Leap Frog and Capable Toys faced? How did they resolve these problems?
5. What type of logistics solutions did LeapFrog use to get the toys to the stores on time? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions? If it had been August rather than December, what other options might LeapFrog have used?

  • CreatedApril 10, 2015
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