Out with the Old, in with the Cloud

Out with the Old, in with the Cloud

October 1, 2017

Article Title: 4 ways your legacy supply chain systems are costing you money

Author of Article: Margaret Harrist

Date of article: September 13, 2017

Source URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2017/09/13/4-ways-your-legacy-supply-chain-systems-are-costing-you-money/#2c437f1c7e72

Legacy supply chain issues include  lack of agility, lack of timely information flow, limited ability to incorporate new technologies, and technology security risks.  Agility requires the supply chain to close the gap between forecasted and actual demand.  Despite the name, a supply chain isn’t linear, it’s a global network, ‘an interconnected web, with the customer in the center.’

Discussion Questions
1. What can be done to improve forecasting accuracy above 90%?

Guidance: The discussion should include qualitative techniques and collaborative forecasting.

2. How can the bullwhip effect be minimized?

Guidance: The discussion can be geared toward understanding the bullwhip effect, and how collaborative forecasting and communication within the channel can minimize the effect.

3. Using the Supply Chain Framework, how can the bullwhip effect be minimized for each of the four strategies?

Guidance: This is a broader discussion to include the technology and information flow requirements for each strategy.

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Steelcase Runs Circles Around Waste

Steelcase Runs Circles Around Waste

October 1, 2017

Article Title: How Steelcase’s Initiatives Support a Circular Economy

Author of Article: Mallory Szczepanski

Date of article: September 6, 2017

Source URL: http://www.waste360.com/waste-reduction/how-steelcase-s-initiatives-support-circular-economy

An estimated 8.5 million tons of furniture waste goes to landfills annually. According to Steelcase, the root cause is “an economic model that is built on taking, making, and throwing away.”  This Grand Rapids, Michigan furniture designer and manufacturer is looking for ways to enhance an organization’s bottom line, and open up new ways to conduct business.  Their Eco-Services and Phase 2 programs help companies evaluate their furniture inventory for opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the benefits to companies of participating in the Eco-Services or Phase 2 programs?

Guidance: Discuss the concepts of triple bottom line/sustainability, of waste management, leaning a business.

2. How could the Steelcase initiatives be applied to other business uses?

Guidance: A great opportunity to re-imagine/brainstorm ways to repurpose waste or excess inventory. Steelcase has found a way to turn the concept of reducing furniture waste into a business opportunity.

3. What is the tipping point for you or your organization to pay more for products that have a positive Continue reading

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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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