VW Partners with Amazon Web Services

VW Partners with Amazon Web Services

Volkswagen (VW) is in partnership with Amazon Web Services to link more than 120 VW factories to 1,500 suppliers and 30,000 plants worldwide via a cloud-based software and data portal.

The “industrial cloud” digitizes factory processes from stamping to painting to maintenance.  Supplier partners use an app store approach to share and contribute software applications.  Amazon provides support services, including data analytics and computing.


Video Spotlight: VW and Amazon team up to create an industrial cloud (Mar 28, 2019, Arirang News)


This post is based on the IT News article, VW sees Amazon-built ‘industrial cloud’ as future B2B marketplace, by Paul Lienert, July 24, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / vectorfusionart

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the strategic implications of VW’s industrial cloud?

Guidance: The industrial cloud integrates VW factories with its suppliers and plants to digitize processes and improve supplier relationships.  The cloud technology better positions VW to compete on responsiveness, quality, and flexibility.

2. What role does VW’s industrial cloud play in its supply chain operation?

Guidance: The industrial cloud enables VW to address the barriers to integration of suppliers by sharing data Continue reading

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National Coin Shortage

National Coin Shortage

August 2, 2020

It’s understandable that COVID-19 may cause people to panic and buy a variety of supplies like toilet paper.  It’s also understandable that the demand for masks and hand sanitizers has skyrocketed — potentially for the foreseeable future.

But, a coin shortage?

A combination of events related to the COVID-19 lockdown have greatly impacted the national coin supply chain.  No one issue has caused the shortage.  To begin, the Mint has reduced the production of coins to protect workers.  Additionally, with many stores and restaurants closed, the circulations of coins back to the banks has slowed.  With many states re-opening businesses, the demand for coins has spiked, while there is limited supply.

The result has been a national coin shortage.


Video Spotlight: Coinstar CEO on America’s coin shortage amid the pandemic (June 25, 2020, CNBC Television)


This post is based on the NY Post article, National Coin Shortage Has Retailers Pleading for Exact Change, by Noah Manskar, July 1, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Glow Images/Glowimages RF/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  How does this coin shortage impact operations?

Guidance: Obviously, this can make cash transactions more difficult. Continue reading

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Inventory Throughput is Key for E-Commerce Warehouses

Inventory Throughput is Key for E-Commerce Warehouses

August 1, 2020

The rise in e-commerce has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-commerce requires three times the warehouse space over brick-and-mortar retail operations.  A real key to managing a warehouse efficiently is inventory throughput.  Wayfair, for example, focuses on throughput and uses a chase demand strategy to staff warehouse operations to obtain efficiency.


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, Prologis: Demand for warehouse space will rise alongside e-commerce growth, by Matt Leonard, June 18, 2020, and  the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: vitpho/123RF

Discussion Questions:

1.  Wayfair uses a chase demand strategy to staff the warehouse operations.  What other aggregate planning strategies could Wayfair employ?  Is the chase demand strategy the better option?  Why or why not?

Guidance: Students should consider all the aggregate planning strategies in the textbook.  Lead the discussion by Continue reading

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