Conversation hearts, or Sweetheart Candies, have been a staple of Valentine's day snacking for over 100 years. The chalky, sugary confections have drawn fans for decades, with many people saying Valentine's day wouldn't be the same without them. But you may have noticed yesterday that these sweets were missing from the shelves, and are nowhere to be found among the discounted heart-shaped treats this morning. So what happened?
In short, supply chain issues happened. Necco, the company which has long been in charge of manufacturing the classic candy, had been fighting the pressure of reduced sales and quality control issues for years, resulting in lost income and high costs. In July of 2018, the company was purchased by Spangler, with the intent of continuing the production of the Sweetheart Candies. However, it quickly became clear to Spangler that there were issues involving the integration of Necco's supply chain into its own. These issues continued to plague the company throughout the preparation for Valentine's day, ultimately meaning the company was unable to bring the candies to market.
Integrating supply chains can be a difficult process, and a failure to adequately plan and prepare can mean huge setbacks, like the ones Spangler experienced. The process requires gathering and analyzing data ahead of time and developing processes to adequately connect people and data through both chains to form a seamless supply network. To ensure this integration is efficient and painless as possible, the utilization of a supply chain solution like Routeique can be incredibly beneficial.
Fans of the Sweetheart Candies can take comfort knowing that this isn't the end for the treats, Spangler aims to have the supply chains performing efficiently in time for production for Valentine's day 2019. Until then, it remains to be seen how this year's blunder will affect their company, and their customer loyalty, moving forward.