Mona El Fadly: Spinning Off the Supply Chain

Mona El Fadly: Spinning Off the Supply Chain

Menna Kamel (Strategist and Business Development Specialist, Egypt) and Ali Awni (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-583-4.ch016
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This case examines a business in the food catering industry and demonstrates the importance of supply chain practices even to an entrepreneur’s small business. The business is legally registered as ‘El Yosr Food Corner’ and has been operating in Egypt since 1997. It provides standardized as well as customized home-made oriental dishes at competitive prices. By 2009, the surge in the growth of the business had strained the company’s operational capabilities in various ways. Furthermore, the business had encountered a number of hitches as a result of inefficiencies in supply chain management. Menna Reda, El Yosr’s consultant, was called in to advise the enterprise owner and managing director, Mona El Fadly, of the proper course of action to address these challenges.
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In October 2009, Mona El Fadly, the owner and managing director of El Yosr Food Corner, a privately owned food catering business in Cairo, Egypt, swiftly grabbed her records of purchase orders made to ‘Sawaris supermarket’. As she flipped through the dozens of daily receipts, trains of thoughts ran through her mind. The business had been experiencing some difficulties over the past few months, from surges in demand to a mismanaged business-supplier relationship.

As El Fadly jotted down the last item in a customer’s phone order, Menna Reda, El Yosr’s consultant and an El Yosr customer, arrived at the company and their meeting was about to start. Reda had volunteered to work on this assignment; after the business’s high-pressure operations had sparked her attention. Indeed, stress was very much a part of the atmosphere at El Yosr, so much so that El Fadly’s kitchen operations might well be mistaken for an emergency surgery in a hospital.

Over the past couple of months, Reda learned during the meeting, El Fadly’s business had witnessed a set of unfortunate events. The business had delivered three late orders - in fact, over three hours late each. El Fadly had also received a customer complaint regarding a batch of rock-like biscuits. The stuffed biscuits in question were considered the business’s flagship brand in Maadi, a suburb of Cairo. The occasional unavailability of critical ingredients at her suppliers’ retail stores added to the frustration, to say the least. In the past, the company had handled a much smaller number of orders and operated on a narrower scale. Today, with the ever- increasing items on the menu, the limited storage areas and the need to maintain strict freshness standards, something had to be done concerning business-supplier collaboration, and specifically, collaboration with El Yosr retail suppliers such as ‘Sawaris supermarket’.

A few hours later, Reda came out of the company and smelled the warm breeze of kofta being grilled in the outdoor area of the company premises. As she walked away, she mentally reviewed the notes she had taken during the meeting, looking for answers to the two vital questions plaguing El Yosr: Could the company grow further with the current processes in place? Or had the company “outgrown” its existing processes?

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