DHL Optimizes Packaging for e-Commerce Warehouses

DHL Optimizes Packaging for e-Commerce Warehouses

February 23, 2021

DHL has developed a set of algorithms that determine the best fitting box for each order, which ultimately arrives at the boxing strategy that minimizes shipping costs.

DHL found an expected cost savings of 5%– 7% on annual shipping costs, when the system was tested in  e-commerce warehouses across three different industries in October 2020.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, How DHL optimized packaging at warehouses to cut shipping costs, by Matt Leonard, January 12, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Source: B4LLS/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  What other benefits, aside from shipping cost savings, will DHL’s carton optimization system provide?

Guidance: Potential topics are “green” sustainability contributions by avoiding excess packaging, and because of optimizing carton sizes, potentially less warehouse space being used to store prepared shipments.

2.  Ask students to explore packaging options on the web.  Discuss the many Continue reading

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Repurposing Unused Capacity for Vaccination Sites

Repurposing Unused Capacity for Vaccination Sites

February 17, 2021

Mall retail store vacancies are at historic highs of 10.5%.  Meanwhile, vaccination sites require significant parking spaces near major transportation routes, with room for a large number of vaccinated patients to wait the required 15 minutes after treatment while under observation for allergic reactions.  Colder weather makes indoor facilities ideal for this 15-minute waiting period.

Empty mall space is an ideal solution for local health departments to utilize for vaccine administration.  As such, mall owners across the country have been partnering with local health departments.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNN article, Vaccination megasites pop up in empty malls, by Parija Kavilanz, January 15, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Francis Zera/Spaces Images/Blend Images LLC

Discussion Questions:

1.  Choose a local mall that students might be familiar (or draw a typical mall layout on the Continue reading

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Do Detailed Contracts Make for Better Supplier Relationships?

Do Detailed Contracts Make for Better Supplier Relationships?

February 15, 2021

Building a strong relationship with suppliers is important, but in the event of questions or disagreements, we rely on the contract. Any supply chain contract should include these 5 key areas:

1) Protection of confidential information and defining ownership of intellectual property

2) Detailing quality and materials requirements

3) Protection of your intellectual property from counterfeits

4) Promotion of contractual performance

5) How to terminate the contract


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Supply Chain Brain article, Five Key Provisions You Should Have in Your Supply-Chain Contracts, by Hannah Genton, January 10, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: in-future/iStock/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  Does a detailed contract, with strong performance standards for the supplier, help or hurt the long-term relationship between supplier and buyer?

Guidance: Students are likely to think an overly specified and stringent contract sets the tone for a negative relationship, as they often have not yet developed the ability to differentiate between Continue reading

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