Social and traditional media are abuzz today reflecting on a new twist to the potential category of most popular stolen goods.  Apparently thieves have been targeting Tide laundry detergent and police nationwide are trying to figure out why.

A posting on the Seattle Post Intelligencer blog, among others, features video and narrative reporting noting that thefts of Tide laundry detergent have become so rampart that some cities have special task forces established to thwart continued incidents.  Apparently Tide has become either a form of currency on neighborhood streets or has found other black market uses, possibly linked to the drug trade.

Who knew!

Of more interest are reports that a Minnesota resident has been accused of stealing $25,000 worth of Tide from a local Wal-Mart over the last 15 months without store inventory systems alerting to the loss.  If this turns out to be valid, it certainly raises red flags of concern among risk control and inventory management professionals.

This story comes on the heels of our previous Supply Chain Matters commentary related to reported supply shortages limiting the market introduction of the new Tide Pods product.  Perhaps P&G public relations has found a new silver bullet in explaining to consumers why Tide can be in short supply these days.

Oh yes- a memo to Wal-Mart inventory management: you may want to recheck physical store level informational and transactional integration to individual point-of-sale systems. Also to P&G Tide demand planning: product demand is better than your systems are reporting.

There is never a dull moment in today’s world of supply and inventory management.

Bob Ferrari