Turning Beer into Water

Turning Beer into Water

September 29, 2017

Article Title: Anheuser-Busch pauses beer production to send water to Harvey victims

Author of Article: Kavita Kumar

Date of article: August 29, 2017

Source URL: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anheuser-busch-pauses-beer-production-to-send-water-to-houston-hurricane-harvey-victims/

The Anheuser-Busch factory in Cartersvill, Georgia shifted production from beer to water to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey, in a coordinated effort that is part of the company’s emergency drinking water program. This brief article illustrates flexible manufacturing and strategic capacity management. Assemble-to-order manufacturing allows the plant to quickly transition to emergency water canning operations instead of beer production. Since this particular plant has been designated by the firm for emergency water production, it is inferred that strategic capacity management has been considered by the parent corporation in order to accommodate a decrease in beer production by one plant while still meeting targeted beer production goals. It is possible that the plant uses the “plant within a plant” concept.

Discussion Questions
1. What type of manufacturing process does this plant likely use?

Guidance: Focus the discussion on assemble-to-order and customer decoupling point.

2. In order for the company to allow this one plant to produce water instead of beer, what capacity management concepts may have been employed?

Guidance: Suitable Continue reading

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High-Tech Shortages

High-Tech Shortages

September 28, 2017

Article Title: Why There Are Never Enough New iPhones

Author of Article: Christopher Mims

Date of article: September 17, 2017

Source URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-there-are-never-enough-new-iphones-1505649600

This Wall Street Journal article debates why high tech companies, including Apple, continue to experience shortages and delays in new products. Although this practice seems to violate basic principles of customer service, it may well be deliberate. Or at the very least, a mix of planned marketing and risk management, mingled with unplanned yield issues, complicated by the complexity of managing global supply chains. The critical bottleneck for the iPhone X, according to the article, is its OLED screen. Whether the delays are planned or not, one benefit of delayed production is improved forecasting.

Discussion Questions
1.What are the risks of delaying the delivery of the iPhone X?

Guidance: Focus the discussion on shortage costs and service levels.

2. What are the ethical implications of making deals for huge quantities of NAND memory at the expense of smaller players? How does it affect consumers?

Guidance:  The production of iPhones is restricted by the limited global supply of scarce components such as NAND memory and OLED screens.  With its purchasing power, Apple Continue reading

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Amazon’s HQ2

Amazon’s HQ2

September 28, 2017

Title of Article: Amazon plans to build second, ‘equal’ headquarters outside Seattle

Author of Article: Matt Day

Date of Article: September 7, 2017

Source URL: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-plans-to-build-second-equal-headquarters-outside-seattle/

Amazon has outgrown Seattle, and plans to build a second headquarters (HQ2) somewhere in North America. The retail giant plans to spend around $5 Billion on the new headquarters that will be an equal to the one in Seattle, with aas many as 50,000 employees. The article discusses some of the criteria Amazon will use in selecting a location for its HQ2, including incentives to offset building and operating costs.

Discussion Questions

1. What factors should Amazon consider when deciding where to locate HQ2?

Suggestions include factors that impact on employee’s quality of life, such as availability of housing, recreational opportunities, cultural events, sports teams, crime rates, educational opportunities, etc.  Cost related factors, such as cost of office space or land, cost of utilities, overall cost of living, taxes, etc.   Additionally, availability of air travel (especially to Seattle), and ability to attract talent.

2. What problems could occur with 2 corporate headquarters?

Consider what may happen when Amazon gives the opportunity for various teams to move from current Continue reading

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