No introduction needed. You’ve heard of her. You’ve watched her. And if you’re a fan of "My Life on the D-List," you’ve witnessed Kathy Griffin poke fun at her. Love her or hate her, Oprah knows how to sell a product. Every year (since ’97), many wait in anticipation for the revealing of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” This year’s special, two-part episode was dubbed the title “Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things” to mark her final season and bring the “bigger is better” theory to a whole new level. Not one, but two audiences went home with a combined total of 45 different products. A studio audience is approximately 275 people. Just imagine footing that bill. I've always wondered what goes on behind the scenes of this particular episode.

What impact does this single episode have on companies' supply chains? How much lead time does a supplier receive before the show airs? Are suppliers compensated for the products they distribute? Or do they donate the products and in turn get the best marketing message ever? I guess that would be a fair tradeoff. I never thought I would find myself relating Oprah to supply chain management, but then again, there is a first for everything.

This year, a Seattle-based company by the name of Beecher's received recognition for having the "world's best" mac & cheese, according to Oprah. Apparently, Oprah's team gave Beecher's about 6 weeks to prepare for an assumed increase in business. A hiccup may likely occur in this company's supply chain as its mac & cheese's main ingredient (the cheese) needs to age for 18 months before preparation. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes along like this, your company’s supply chain will need to be revamped. Your supplier relationships will be tested and will need to undergo evaluation, especially if you are a regional company like Beecher's that suddenly gets thrown into the national spotlight.
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Kathleen Jordan

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  1. Excessive tiredness is called fatigue and is one of the classic symptoms of diabetes and many other illnesses. Most experts believe it is due to insulin resistance. If the cells do not get enough glucose , they will tire out. At the same time , the glucose level in the blood will be higher than normal so blood flows less well, which could also be tiring. Hypoglycemia can also cause fatigue.
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  2. Oprah is a source of fatigue.