Mining for Data Gold with Supply Chain Metrics

Mining for Data Gold with Supply Chain Metrics

October 7, 2017

Article Title: Hidden sources of better supply-chain performance

Authors of Article: Per-Magnus Karlsson, Shruti Lal, and Daniel Rexhausen

Date of article: September 1, 2017

Source URL: http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/hidden-sources-of-better-supply-chain-performance

Companies can dig deeper into operational data to create more precise metrics for continuous operations improvements.  The authors warn against relying solely on high-level cost benchmarks to identify performance gaps.  They suggest three principles to guide executives to gain insights for competitiveness through better data.

This article helps further the understanding of the role of data analytics in (1) relating OM and competitiveness, and (2) shaping the future of OM.

Discussion Questions
1. In what ways can operational data and metrics be used to reveal a company’s performance gap?

Guidance: The article provides several examples. This article can be used in the chapter on operations strategy and competitiveness.  Specifically, a data analytics approach can guide executives to determine which competitive priorities beyond cost (e.g., flexibility) are important.  An operations strategy that focuses on specific competitive priorities can then be formulated accordingly.

2. According to the article, “Data analytics is of particular relevance to the future development of OM”. Why might this be the case? Continue reading

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Water Risk For a $5 Trillion Industry

Water Risk For a $5 Trillion Industry

October 6, 2017

Article Title: Nestle, Coca-Cola top list of companies disclosing water risk

Author of Article: Anya Khalamayzer

Date of article: September 14, 2017

Source URL: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/nestle-coca-cola-top-list-companies-disclosing-water-risk

Summarizing the key points from the 2017 Feeding Ourselves Thirsty report, this article relates specifically to OM in that it identifies a shortage of water and pollution of water as a risk to the sustainability of operations in the $5 trillion food and agribusiness industry. This risk is not just operational, but reputational, and has marketplace, regulatory, and litigation risks attached to it.  Nestle and Coca Cola earned the highest scores for their water risk management programs, while Chiquita earned only 1 point, given its lack of transparency.

Discussion Questions
1. Examine all the ways in your personal and professional life, you either consume or come in contact with items that consume water in the manufacture of them. Discuss what impact a shortage of water would have on you and the products both personally and professionally.

Guidance: This open-ended question can be used to encourage class discussion in process management, process improvement, ethics, productivity, product redesign, triple bottom line, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable supply chain.

2. Discuss what your Continue reading

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Biometrics May Reduce Lines at Airport Security

Biometrics May Reduce Lines at Airport Security

Article Title: Passing Through Airport Security with the Touch of a Finger

Author of Article: C. Martin

Date of article: September 8, 2017

Source URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/business/airport-security.html

A company called Clear is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in US airports to implement biometrics. The plan is to reduce congestion at airport security checkpoints. The biometrics involved are fingerprints and iris scans, and they would help some flyers bypass the document-verification step of the TSA’s screening process. The roll-out has been slower than expected, but 24 airports are currently using Clear’s technology.

Discussion Questions
1. What challenges does Clear face in implementing this new technology?

Guidance: Possible discussion areas include hacking concerns, potential liability issues, how fast the product can be rolled out, acceptance of the technology by flyers, training workers at security checkpoints, and maintaining the technology.

2. Passengers require a speedy screening process and tight airport security. What are some of the technical requirements for Clear’s product?

Guidance: A good opportunity to incorporate House of Quality. Can discuss service quality, and the benefits of lead time reduction.

3. What might a process flow chart look like for TSA screening with and without the Continue reading

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