IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA is partnering with Ori, an American startup, to offer robotic furniture that fits a bed, couch, desk, and storage in less than 115 square feet of space.

That’s an ideal solution for small apartment dwellers.  With a push of a button, a bed can slide under the unit or a desk can be retracted to open up floor spaces, turning limited quarters into smart spaces.


Video Spotlight: Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments


This post is based on the Engadget article, IKEA is working on robotic furniture for small apartments, by Christine Fisher, June 5, 2019; and the YouTube video, Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments, by NJ.com, December 22, 2017. Image source: Ingram Publishing

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors that drive IKEA to create a line of robotic furniture?

Guidance: Ori is a technology start-up that has designed furniture for modern living in very small spaces. Ikea wants to take advantage of the urban living trend where space is valuable and scarce, and people struggle with the challenge of small apartment living.

2. What is the operational significance of IKEA’s robotic furniture?

Guidance: The robotic furniture represents IKEA’s latest innovation in Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
Walmart’s Bricks-and-Mortar Footprint VS Amazon

Walmart’s Bricks-and-Mortar Footprint VS Amazon

Did you know 90% of Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart? To compete with Amazon, Walmart is leveraging its physical footprint. Its strategy includes:

  1. doubling stores as warehouses, allowing online shoppers to order at the last minute and pick up orders from self-service stations
  2. using machine learning techniques to restock frequently ordered items and prevent stock out
  3. equipping employees with an optimization app that charts employee’s shortest path to fulfill eight different orders at once
  4. using robots to stroll around store aisles to alert a store employee to restock items
  5. using robots to unload trucks and sort boxes, giving priority to out of stock items for easier re-shelving

This post is based on the Fast Company article, The clever way Walmart is trying to beat Amazon, by Katharine Schwab, March 19, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Jojje

Discussion Questions:

1. What operations strategies does Walmart use to compete with Amazon?

Guidance: Building on its vast physical presence, Walmart is competing with Amazon for online shoppers in two areas: delivery and ordering.

Walmart uses its warehouses for last-mile delivery saving storage and delivery costs while providing online shoppers with convenient and fast order fulfillment options.  Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
Diamonds at Rock-Bottom Prices

Diamonds at Rock-Bottom Prices

February 21, 2019

World-famous diamond company, De Beers, attempts to put competitors in the budding lab-grown diamond business out of work by drastically undercutting their prices.

High quality lab grown diamonds look identical to the real thing, but they offer a special appeal to some consumers, especially Millennials, who want stones that are obtained in ethically responsible and sustainable ways.

Diamonds grown in the lab also sell for substantially less.  Whereas a mined one-carat diamond might carry a $6,000 price tag, a one-carat lab-grown stone averages $4,200.

However, De Beers prices its Lightbox lab-grown line at an average $800 per carat, hoping to further differentiate lab-grown diamonds from “real” diamonds to preserve their status and appeal and also to drive the competition out of business.


Video Spotlight: Are lab-grown diamonds here to stay? (video is included in the article)


This post is based on The Star Online article, Lab-grown diamonds are forever too!, no author given, January 26, 2019; and the Yahoo Finance article, Lab-grown diamonds will survive Big Diamond’s attempt to kill them, startup says, by Zack Guzman, January 14, 2019. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Charles D. Winters.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why do some customers prefer lab-grown diamonds? Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter