Swimming Pool Shortage Stymies Aggregate Planners

Swimming Pool Shortage Stymies Aggregate Planners

August 19, 2020

Those looking for an above ground pool to keep the family swimming during the pandemic may be left high and dry till at least March of 2021.

Companies like Doughboy, whose above ground pools retail for between $5,000 to $19,000, faced production stoppages and materials shortages during the early months of the COVID-19 lockdown.  Now they are racing to keep up as more Americans than ever want the convenience of a backyard pool to stay cool and entertain the kids, and retailers have waitlists that stretch till spring of 2020.

Outdoor patio furniture companies have faced similar challenges.


Video Spotlight: Pool Shortage  (June 16, 2020, WCIA News)


This post is based on the Fox Business article, Swimming pool buyers beached by back orders through 2021, by Jeanette Settembre, August 1, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Ingram Publishing/SuperStock

Discussion Questions:

1.   In forecasting terms, what type of variation does the COVID-19 pandemic represent?

Guidance: No one could have envisioned the COVID-19 pandemic that hit in early 2020 or the lockdown that would follow.  As such, these are called “irregular variations” in time series analysis forecasting, Irregular variations Continue reading

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Inventory Throughput is Key for E-Commerce Warehouses

Inventory Throughput is Key for E-Commerce Warehouses

August 1, 2020

The rise in e-commerce has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-commerce requires three times the warehouse space over brick-and-mortar retail operations.  A real key to managing a warehouse efficiently is inventory throughput.  Wayfair, for example, focuses on throughput and uses a chase demand strategy to staff warehouse operations to obtain efficiency.


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, Prologis: Demand for warehouse space will rise alongside e-commerce growth, by Matt Leonard, June 18, 2020, and  the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: vitpho/123RF

Discussion Questions:

1.  Wayfair uses a chase demand strategy to staff the warehouse operations.  What other aggregate planning strategies could Wayfair employ?  Is the chase demand strategy the better option?  Why or why not?

Guidance: Students should consider all the aggregate planning strategies in the textbook.  Lead the discussion by Continue reading

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Will Beauty Bounce Back?

Will Beauty Bounce Back?

May 29, 2020

Will beauty bounce back?  In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, many people are not spending as much time or money on some of the daily routines like shaving, hair styling, or elaborate makeup.

Many beauty purchases revolve around going out and socializing, which the current crisis has curtailed.  Forecasting for the beauty industry in the upcoming months may prove challenging, as so much remains up in the air.


Video Spotlight: Huda Kattan: Coronavirus has fundamentally changed the beauty and blogging businesses (Apr 24, 2020, Yahoo Finance)


This post is based on the CNN article, Our grooming habits are changing, by Fiona Sinclair Scott, May 6, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Plush Studios/Blend Images LLC

Discussion Questions:

1. What changes in demand have the beauty industry experienced in recent months?

Guidance: Sales of some beauty products are down, including color cosmetics, fragrance, and lipstick, as women spend more time at home, and public mask-wearing becomes commonplace.  At the same time, sales of eye makeup on retail sites is up, with Alibaba reporting 150% increase in mid-February.  Since the eyes are the most visible facial feature Continue reading

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