Samsung: Another Blockchain Convert

Samsung: Another Blockchain Convert

Samsung Electronics Co. is planning to cut shipping costs by 20% with the use of a blockchain ledger system to track its global shipments.  The blockchain system reduces documentation costs, shipping paperwork, and time to coordinate with port authorities.

(Check out previous OM in the News posts on blockchain’s use in increasing food safety and transparency, and reducing counterfeit goods and forced labor.)

This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Samsung Jumps on the Blockchain Bandwagon, by Sam Kim, April 15, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff.

Discussion Questions:

1. What benefits does the blockchain ledger system have for Samsung’s global operations?

Guidance: This ledger system will enable Samsung to track global shipments worth tens of billions of dollars a year, cut shipping costs by 20%, reduce lead time between product launches and shipments, and better respond to competition and customer demand.

2. What impacts does blockchain have on information management in manufacturing supply chains?

Guidance: Transactions are recorded, verified and shared more securely, efficiently, and cost effectively.

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Apple: Clean Energy Leader

Apple: Clean Energy Leader

Apple is sourcing 100% renewable energy to power its facilities, including its headquarters in California, its data centers, and retail stores in 43 countries.

The sources of renewable energy are solar, wind, biogas fuel cells, and micro-hydro generation systems that use turbines in free-flowing waterways to supply clean energy.

In addition, 23 of its manufacturing partners will be producing Apple products with 100% clean energy.  In so doing, Apple establishes itself as the leader in 100% reliance on clean energy to power all production across its supply chain.

This post is based on the ABC News article, Apple’s headquarters, facilities now powered by 100 percent renewable energy, by Andrea Miller, April 12, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Ververidis Vasilis.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the significance of Apple’s effort in sourcing 100% renewable energy to power its facilities?

Guidance: Apple’s internal operations are sustainable; Apple is joining with other technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in mitigating energy security, climate, and air pollution health issues associated with fossil fuels

2. What is the significance of Apple’s effort in having its manufacturing partners commit to producing Apple products with 100% clean energy?

Guidance: Apple’s Continue reading

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Shortages at Tim Hortons in Canada

Shortages at Tim Hortons in Canada

A supply interruption at the Guelph, Ontario distribution center left more than three-quarters of Tim Hortons’ 1,750 franchisees in Ontario scrambling to source some of the unavailable items from third-party retailers such as Walmart, instead of buying them directly from head office as part of the franchise agreements.

However, Ontario franchisees are worried about losing sales. Some of the items on shortage are Tim Hortons branded coffee and tea, and those aren’t available at Walmart.

This post is based on the Financial Post article, Buy from Walmart, Ontario Tim Hortons franchisees told, as a shortage hits Guelph warehouse, by Hollie Shaw, April 16, 2018. Image source: Erik Isakson/Blend Images LLC.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why does Tim Hortons require its franchisees to buy items directly from its head office?

Guidance: Centralized purchasing (should) enable lower costs, standardized quality, improved inventory control, and more efficient sourcing.

2. How could Tim Hortons improve the relationship with its franchises?

Guidance: Suggestions may be to decentralize purchasing for items that are non-essential to restaurant operations such as vinyl kitchen gloves and garbage bags; build long-term partnership relationship with franchisees by involving them in strategic decisions such as changing menu items.

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