Called Shot

Wal-Mart is renowned for its supply chain forecasting but we never realized it extended to baseball.

This year’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals annual conference Oct. 2-5 in Philadelphia coincided with the National League divisional playoffs matching the heavily favored Phillies against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The games must have been on the mind of Greg Forbis, Wal-Mart’s senior director of inbound general merchandise transportation, when he spoke at a late-afternoon session just an hour before the series’ second game.

Discussing Wal-Mart’s supply chain, he noted that the retailer sends virtually all its merchandise through distribution centers but sometimes uses direct-to-store delivery for goods that move in large seasonal quantities or are in urgent demand.

Forbis, an Arkansan by way of Missouri, offered a topical example: “When the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series this year, all of that product, all of those t-shirts, are going to go direct-to-store because they have to be there the next morning.”

His remark drew chuckles from the audience and a scattering of applause from Cardinals fans, including a Journal of Commerce reporter on the front row.

-- Contact Joseph Bonney at jbonney@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter @josephbonney.

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