Electric Car Market Charges Ahead

Electric Car Market Charges Ahead

September 6, 2019

The electric car market is expected to overtake combustion engine vehicle sales in another 20-30 years.

Currently, even the lower cost electric cars are still more expensive than similar sized combustion engine vehicles. The upper end of the price range for electric cars is naturally limited by a small market.

The key to growing electric car sales will be tied to lower battery costs, which is starting to take place, along with the development of mass market vehicles. New electric cars are much faster to design and build, given fewer parts needed to operate an electric vehicle.

In addition, VW and GM are starting to develop fast-charging stations in a nationwide network to encourage consumers to confidently drive an electric vehicle almost anywhere. This infrastructure is needed to spur sales and helps address consumer concerns over the limited range of electric vehicles. The overseas markets are likely going to mature sooner than the US market for electric vehicles.


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, The great electric car race is just beginning, Continue reading

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The Barcode Turns 45

The Barcode Turns 45

July 20, 2019

June 26, 2019 marked the 45th anniversary of the barcode.

The barcode first appeared on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum that was scanned in Troy, Ohio at the Marsh Supermarket.  Barcodes are now an integral part of our lives, being scanned over 6 billion times each day.

The barcode was originally used in the supermarket industry to reduce checkout times, and improve accuracy.  Today, its uses extends beyond the checkout line. We use them for health care, supply chain management, admission to movie theaters, and driver’s licenses.  Despite its age, the barcode is still useful today.


Video Spotlight:  45th Anniversary of the Barcode’s Debut


This post is based on the PR Newswire article, GS1 US Celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the Barcode’s Debut in Retail, by GS1 US, June 24, 2019; videos and infographics celebrating the anniversary, history, and current state of barcodes by GS1 US, June 24, 2019; and the YouTube video, 45th anniversary of the Barcode’s Debut, by GS1 US, June 26, 2019. Image source: jamie_cross/123RF.

Discussion Questions: 

1. What are the benefits of barcodes?

Guidance: They reduce errors, are easy to use, inexpensive, and provide Continue reading

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iPhone Production Doesn’t Have To Stay In China

iPhone Production Doesn’t Have To Stay In China

June 30, 2019

The China-U.S. trade war has disrupted traditional supply chains with threatened (and partially implemented) tariffs on hundreds of Chinese exports.  The 25% tariff would impose a severe tax on Apple’s iPhone, its “most profitable product”.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as the Taiwan contract manufacturer Foxconn, is the primary partner for Apple products.  According to their semiconductor division chief Young Liu, Hon Hai has sufficient production capacity outside China (estimated at 25%) if Apple asks its partner to relocate production outside of China.

Such a relocation for final assembly is described as “easy”, but not so the full production of components that go into the final product.  It would likely mean moving other assembly from non-U.S. companies back into China.  Currently, Foxconn is testing quality for mass production of the iPhone XR near Chennai.  Further, there is the future prospect of the Wisconsin plant to further diversify some aspects of the iPhone production.

To date, Apple has not announced any plans for such a change in its production strategy, but further uncertainty regarding the tariffs could change that.


Video Spotlight: Apple Doesn’t Need to Make All iPhones for U.S. in China


This post is Continue reading

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