I’m a sucker for provocative headlines. So when I saw the headline “Drug gangs taking over US public lands” on Comcast’s Web site today, I just had to check out the article.

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While I expected to be shocked with the details of the story, I was a bit surprised that the story discussed the sophistication of the marijuana supply chain. To illustrate this point, here are some excerpts with associated supply chain principles in parentheses:

  • “Mexican drug gangs are quietly commandeering U.S. public land to grow millions of marijuana plants and using smuggled immigrants to cultivate them…Growing marijuana in the U.S. saves traffickers the risk and expense of smuggling their product across the border and allows gangs to produce their crops closer to local markets.” (Consider logistics risks when designing or redesigning your supply chain)
  • “Distribution also becomes less risky. Once the marijuana is harvested and dried on the hidden farms, drug gangs can drive it to major cities, where it is distributed to street dealers and sold along with pot that was grown in Mexico.” (There are usually multiple modes of transportation available – choose the best one)
  • “When the harvest is complete, investigators say, pot farm workers haul the product in garbage bags to dropoff points that are usually the same places where they get resupplied with food and fuel.” (Identify synergies in inbound and outbound logistics)
  • “Vast amounts of pot are still smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. Federal officials report nearly daily hauls of several hundred to several thousand pounds seized along the border. But drug agents say the boom in domestic growing is a sign of diversification by traffickers.” (Geographically diversify your sources of supply to mitigate risks)

You gotta wonder if these Mexican drug gangs have a Chief Supply Chain Officer. Because drugs continue to be a big problem in the USA, he or she seems to be doing a good job for his or her employer. Everyone – neighborhood residents, drug users, and even the press – seems to know where drugs are being bought and sold except law enforcement.

That’s baffling.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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