All posts by David Reese

Michigan Supply Chain Series: Fraser Tea

Fraser tea, based in Livonia MI, is a local tea business operating a global supply chain and offering wonderful custom blends of a variety of organic tea. Tom, Bernard, and John Fraser grew up in a family of eleven – all sharing a common appreciation for tea and the culture that surrounds it. Exploring teas turned from passion to a profession when John, Tom, and Bernard after years of study and experimenting with tea decided they could offer healthier, more flavorful options. Selecting the finest tea, using only organic ingredients and a delivery method to preserve the health benefits of the product was their goal.

ASCM Michigan East Chapter sat down with John Fraser to talk about the company. Believe it or not, the local business has a global reach! The founders travelled the world and created relationships with farmers in Taiwan, Nepal, China, South America, and India. John said, “We had to learn the elements of the supply chain, putting in processes and controls. We learned how to bring ingredients from remote locations to Michigan.” In addition to the international supply base, he mentioned that Fraser sources cherries and blueberries from Michigan. They buy spearmint and peppermint from Washington state, supporting domestic suppliers that compete with similar products from Morocco.

Fraser Tea offers many organic tea blends falling into nine categories, like black, white, herbal, and matcha. Interestingly, they use a compostable, non-GMO sachet. They are proud to share that the sachet, tag, and string are all sugar cane based. It’s a new technology they developed with a South Korean partner. John says the packaging is “borrowed from nature and returned to nature.”

John told us the Fraser team did a fantastic job navigating through the COVID pandemic. The company was still young when the pandemic hit but the founders tapped a few key resources to thoroughly understand this challenging business environment. Operating this supply chain is no joke! Fraser Tea takes pride in finding the world’s best ingredients, bought straight from farms all over the world, and then carefully preserving the integrity of the perishable products all the way to Michigan. The organization learned quickly (from scratch!) and then focused on planning near and long-term horizons to limit pandemic disruptions.

ASCM Michigan East thanks John for the opportunity to learn about Fraser’s supply chain and try their products! We recommend the Poppin Chai Organic Black tea (fantastic bold flavor for operating difficult supply chains) or the intriguing Cream Earl Gray Organic Black Tea.

Credit Fraser’s website for some content in paragraph one.

If you or a connection have a good idea for the Michigan Supply Chains blog series, please email

Stay tuned for more ASCM Michigan East blog posts exploring Michigan-based supply chains and visit to explore their teas.

Schoolcraft Launched A Supply Chain Management Program

Did you know Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI launched a Supply Chain Management program in January, 2021? Now, they are entering their third year and the program is picking up steam. Imagine walking across campus to meet with the one of the Head Chef’s of the culinary program, who has three of his key suppliers on the phone discussing the timing, quality, and cost for an upcoming delivery of fresh fish. Students are learning about this type of coordination between supply chain partners and much more.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) focuses on building relationships with suppliers, procuring and moving raw materials, efficiently converting inputs into finished products, and delivering to the customer.

Back in 2018, Schoolcraft College partnered with an advisory board of seven industry leaders, covering automotive, healthcare, logistics and academia, who provided a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience. Together, they reviewed the curriculum and provided input for development. The program has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission, the agency that accredits colleges and universities in a 19-state region of the United States. Now, the college is proud to offer a new, valuable, career-sparking program. Students in the program take introductory, logistics/distribution, purchasing, and operations classes.

All courses will be taught by instructors who combine excellence in the classroom with years of business and industry experience. One of those instructors is Steve Donovan. His most recent industry position was with Yazaki North America, a Tier I automotive supplier, where he was the Manager of Advanced Purchasing. He began work with Schoolcraft in 2018, helping guide the development of the SCM program.

“In Michigan, of course we think of the automotive industry first when we talk about Supply Chain Management, and it certainly is vital here, but Supply Chain Management goes far beyond manufacturing,” Donovan said. “It’s an important component of just about any business, including banking and finance. Supply Chain Management is really a wide-open field.”

About the Offerings

Supply Chain Management Skills Certificate

  • 16 credits
  • Provides introductory view of the total field of Supply Chain Management
  • Provides fundamental skills in business, math, communications and spreadsheets
  • Prepares students to obtain an entry-level position

Supply Chain Management Certificate

  • 32 credits
  • Introduces more concentrated SCM areas such as Supply Chain Logistics and Distribution, and Supply Chain Purchasing
  • Increases knowledge of spreadsheets, communications, and statistics
  • Can help advance the career of someone already in the field or prepare a student for more specialized employment

Supply Chain Management Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree

  • 60-65 credits
  • Prepares students or incumbent employees to become leaders within this industry toward career opportunities from design through to final distribution
  • Students will learn how to effectively manage all activities throughout the SCM industry
  • Includes study of specific key interconnected areas, such as supplier selection and sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing/inventory management, and efficiency in material distribution
  • An internship provides real-world experience in the SCM industry
  • Provides a smooth pathway to a bachelor’s program

If interested, please contact