Microsoft Pushes Paid Family Leave Down the Supply Chain

Microsoft Pushes Paid Family Leave Down the Supply Chain

September 13, 2018

Offering better employee benefits is now a requirement for Microsoft’s suppliers and business partners.

The benefits include a minimum of 12 weeks paid leave for new parents in addition to providing 15 days of paid sick or vacation time.  The policy demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the people who work for the company and its supply chain partners.

This post is based on the CNBC article, Microsoft will start requiring partners and suppliers to offer paid family leave, and it will help cover the costs, by Sara Salinas, August 30, 2018. Image source: © travellinglight / Alamy.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for Microsoft requiring its suppliers and business partners to implement a better employee benefits policy?

Guidance: These reasons include: recognizing people as the key to Microsoft’s success; ensuring companies that are doing business with Microsoft also place the same value on its human capital; increasing Microsoft’s competitiveness with a healthy workforce.

2. What are the costs and benefits of the new paid parental leave benefit requirement for Microsoft’s suppliers and business partners?

Guidance: Paid parental leave increases labor costs but increases productivity, increases morale and lowers turnover rates.  It Continue reading

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Drones in the Warehouse

Drones in the Warehouse

September 7, 2018

Digital inventory management in warehouses is made possible by “plug-and-play aerial robots”.  Warehouse drones can be trained to scan and track inventory much faster than humans.

The resulting inventory information is uploaded to the cloud for warehouse/inventory management synchronization.  With better inventory tracking at warehouses, inventory moves faster throughout the supply chain, adding values to companies that invest in digital inventory management technology.


Video Spotlight: Digital Inventory – PINC


Businesses are exploring drone use throughout the supply chain. Check out previous OM in the News posts about last-mile delivery and medical deliveries to geographically isolated regions.

This post is based on the Supply Chain 24/7 article, Can Warehouse Robots Help You Manage Inventory Better?, by Matt Yearling, July 14, 2018; and the YouTube video, Digital Inventory – PINC, by PINC, May 16, 2018. Image sources: Getty Images/iStockphoto, ©DreamPictures/Blend Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the operational benefits of digital inventory management?

Guidance: A list of benefits are included in the article, including 24/7 operation, faster scanning, higher accuracy, reduction of operational expenses, improvement on employee safety, better understanding of inventory levels, and faster inventory movement throughout the supply chain. Students may identify other Continue reading

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Zippin Along With Checkout-Free Retail

Zippin Along With Checkout-Free Retail

September 7, 2018

No more waiting in retail checkout lines or self-scanning. That’s the selling point of Zippin’s next-generation checkout-free software platform.

Retailers can deploy the Zippin platform and offer “frictionless shopping” for customers, according to the company.  After downloading the Zippin app and choosing their preferred payment method, customers can “zip in and out” with their purchases, and there’s no need to spend time in a checkout line.


Video Spotlight: Introducing Zippin – Checkout-Free Shopping


The wave of options for checkout-free shopping is growing. Check out previous OM in the News posts about Amazon Go and Walmart.

This post is based on the PR Newswire article, Zippin Launches Next Generation Checkout-Free Technology Enabling Retailers to Quickly Deploy Frictionless Shopping, by Aimee Groves, August 20, 2018; and the YouTube video, Introducing Zippin – Checkout-Free Shopping, by Zippin, August 19, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / LADO.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does Zippin’s checkout-free technology work?

Guidance: Zippin uses overhead cameras and smart shelf sensors to track when and which products are picked up and put back and placed in the shoppers’ virtual chart.  A Zippin app contains the store QR code which identifies customers entering the store. Continue reading

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