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An automotive parts distribution industry fairy tale: The curse of the 194 bulb

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 06:00
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Everyone has heard the story of the “Princess and the Pea,” where the tiny little pea caused complete turmoil. The setting of my exhaustive narrative is far different, yet the simplicity of a seemingly minute problem yields equal chaos. So, in fairy tale fashion, let us begin.

Once upon a time, there was an auto parts distribution system whose footprint was indeed vast by any reasonable measure of size. The wizardry of technology buzzed along expanding the possibilities of acquiring even more shoppes and outlets to distribute necessities and luxuries as the vehicle owners within the kingdom desired.

Verily, all was as it should be. We were a happy and well sated lot, replete with fat mufflers, spinners on our wheels, and brakes that stopped our iron beasts with ease. Our stores of goods held within the halls of the warehouses were bursting at the seams Yea, our kingdom flourished.

For as much as our rosy cheeks represented our joyous contentment, the tired feet and calloused toes of the special-order picker from the castellated warehouse foreshadowed downtrodden times approaching. It was inevitable and even foretold by the witches of standard packaging, that some day a garage keeper would wreak havoc.

“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, he knowest not to order not just one, but a pack of double! Revolt we say, will happen on that day! The warehouse manager will come under the picker’s club, dare not a store run out of a 194 bulb!” The “Curse of One-Ninety-Four” was an ominous dark cloud that every store manager worked diligently to avoid coming to fruition. But alas, a new store manager of a remote village, named Sir Oops, failed to submit his stock order and the wheels of fate commenced to turn. 

On that day of destiny, came a man with a license plate torch that plagued his chariot. Within the village there was a garage keeper whom specialized in these types of concern, so the man took his car to the garage keeper. Whence inspected, and the torch having expired, the garage keeper brushed the mouse away from his electronic crystal ball to envision that his supplying store was found to be lacking sufficient stores, but his warehouse was shown to have 10,290 of bulb 194. In haste, he overlooked the standard packaging of 10, and summoned a quantity of one by clicking the magical ‘send’ icon. He assured the man with the afflicted chariot that the part would arrive in the morrow, and his ailment would surely be cured.

Sir Oops in like fashion paid little attention, and stamped the edict with his approval, and presented his servicing warehouse the humble request. Through the internet the order made haste, and arrived at the orb of the special-order picker. Armed with his magic wand, the picker made his way thru the cavernous shelves only to discover the standard pack of 194 bulbs was 10, and by Royal Decree, he could not pick just one, but there was another that would suffice, and that was a double pack, Ye Olde Blister Pack.

The picker asked himself, “Pray tell, why did thou not order 10? Or even the 2-pack? Oh well, I must zero pick thine order, but possibly will call and inform yon store manager!” 

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