Keeping an Eye on Supply Chain Trends in 2020

Keeping an Eye on Supply Chain Trends in 2020

February 6, 2020

The growth of online shopping has exerted new pressures on supply chain managers.  The outlook in 2020 is the increased application of technology to achieve faster and smarter performance in the supply chain.  This must be accomplished without raising costs or reducing variety and, at the same time, address the growing pressure for greener methods.


Video Spotlight: The Future of Supply Chain


This post is based on the Supply Chain Brief article, Top Five Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2020, by Joe Harris, January 7, 2020; the Fortune article and video, Delivery Is Getting More Complex, but Will Soon Be Faster and Cheaper, by Hamid Moghadam, September 1, 2017; and the YouTube video, The Future of Supply Chain, by KPMG US, August 22, 2019. Image source: Design Pics / Kelly Redinger.

Discussion Questions:

1. What role will technology play in the years ahead, in improving supply chain performance?

Guidance: Technology will play multiple roles, including automating warehouse functions, artificial intelligence for warehouse planning and design, developing pre-fill order solutions to accelerate delivery, and designing packaging for material reduction, reuse and/or recyclability.

2. What consumer expectations are driving these changes in supply chain Continue reading

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Is Walmart Adopting a More Responsive Supply Chain Strategy?

Is Walmart Adopting a More Responsive Supply Chain Strategy?

June 10, 2019

Walmart is starting next-day delivery to catch up with Amazon.

Walmart is expected to have higher costs since all items are not stocked in a fulfillment center closest to the customer.  To reduce these inventory costs, the company will seek to stock items in regional fulfillment centers based on local market needs, and will impose a minimum dollar amount of $35 for orders.

The program rolled out to Phoenix and Las Vegas first, with Southern California next in the lineup.


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the CNN article, Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery. Look out, Amazon, by Nathaniel Meyersohn, May 14, 2019; and the YouTube videos, Walmart launches free next-day delivery by Fox Business, May 14, 2019; and How Walmart is taking on Amazon, by CNN Business, May 17, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / sirtravelalot

Discussion Questions:

1. What impact does next-day delivery speed have on smaller retailers?

Guidance: Students should recognize that customers are expecting next-day delivery as an order qualifier in the future.  If delivery speed becomes the domain of the major retailers, what can a Continue reading

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