Look, Up in the Sky – It’s a Car!

Look, Up in the Sky – It’s a Car!

September 19, 2020

Flying cars by 2023?  That is the hope of Japan’s SkyDrive project which just conducted Japan’s very first manned flight of an “eVTOL,” or electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.

The aircraft, dubbed the “SD-03” is the world’s smallest eVTOL developed to date, requiring the same amount of space as two parked cars.  Originally funded by big name companies like Toyota, Panasonic, and Bandai Namco, a video-game developer, SkyDrive just received fresh funds from other groups, including the Development Bank of Japan.

Over 100 flying car projects are in the works worldwide, but very few have gotten off the ground with a person inside.  SkyDrive’s recent test at Japan’s Toyota Test Field lasted about four minutes and flew a few feet off the ground.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fox Business article, Japanese flying car company conducts successful test flight, by Greg Norman, August 28, 2020; the CNN article Japanese company successfully tests a manned flying car for the first time, by Lauren M. Johnson, September 1, 2020; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Chesky/Shutterstock

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DoorDash Delivers: Groceries

DoorDash Delivers: Groceries

August 31, 2020

DoorDash is providing on-demand grocery delivery with its DashPass service.

Customers can place orders with participating grocery retailers and have their orders delivered within an hour. The DashPass service is an end-to-end online grocery solution including ordering, fulfillment, and delivery, extending its meal delivery and last-mile delivery services.


Video Spotlight: How to Get Groceries Delivered DoorDash, 7-Eleven, Target, CVS Delivering  (Apr 2, 2019, News Today)


This post is based on the Supermarket News article, DoorDash makes foray into on-demand grocery delivery, by Russell Redman, August 20, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Maria Sbytova

Discussion Questions:

1.   What are the implications of DoorDash’s DashPass service for operations management?

Guidance: DoorDash’s DashPass is an end-to-end grocery solution including ordering, fulfillment and delivery.  As such, DoorDash will need to expand its suppliers to grocery retailers and adapt its operation to include online ordering and fulfillment.

2. Comment on DoorDash’s DashPass service from a service design perspective.

Guidance: From a service design perspective, DoorDash’s DashPass is an expansion of its meal and last-mile delivery services to on-demand grocery ordering and fulfillment services.  It is a service design Continue reading

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Fast Food Breakfasts Slow Down

Fast Food Breakfasts Slow Down

August 17, 2020

Fast food breakfast sales slumped early in the COVID-19 crisis as work commutes halted and breakfasts were eaten at home.

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin’ are still struggling to win back customers in the early hours of the day, though sales at other times of day are improving.  Restaurants are scrambling to realign their employees’ schedules, menu forecasting and design to the “new normal.”


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Breakfast sales at fast-food giants like Starbucks and McDonald’s “dried up” during the pandemic, by Kate Taylor, August 3, 2020; the Food and Wine article and video, Quarantine Could Crown a Winner in the Fast Food Breakfast Wars, by Mike Pomranz, Aug 3, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: SEG – ALL

Discussion Questions:

1.  What scheduling challenges has the breakfast slump posed?

Guidance: As compared with past demand patterns, 9:30am and 2:30pm are now the peak times at Starbucks, and with more customers wanting afternoon snacks, Continue reading

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