Ramping Up Retail’s Rapid Response Capability

Ramping Up Retail’s Rapid Response Capability

Retailers can take some immediate actions to improve their supply chains during the pandemic, to create a rapid response capability.

Some of those actions include overriding algorithms to redirect inventory to high-density areas, daily meetings with suppliers, suppliers delivering directly to stores, a reduction in product variety, and a relaxation of same-day/next-day delivery requirements.

See the Supply Chain Digital article for additional recommendations by McKinsey & Company that focus on suppliers, merchandising, distribution, logistics, and fulfillment.


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the Supply Chain Digital article, COVID-19: five priorities for retail supply chain, by Georgia Wilson, April 3, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Travel mania/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Why does the Supply Chain Digital article mention a focus on reducing product variety for suppliers?

Guidance: Guide students thru the model in the article by highlighting that fewer products means faster response throughout the Continue reading

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3D Printed Swabs to Reduce Shortages

3D Printed Swabs to Reduce Shortages

Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based 3D-printing company, is preparing its Ohio manufacturing facility to supply 100,000 swabs per day to stem the shortage of this key component of COVID-19 test kits.

These swabs will first be sent to partner hospitals that helped develop and design the swabs.  A plan is at work to access the distribution channels of 3,000 hospitals in the U.S. so that Formlabs can supply the much needed component of the COVID-19 test kits for widespread testing of the disease.


Video Spotlight: Hospitals face shortages of medical supplies as US cases spike (Mar 20, 2020, Fox News)


This post is based on the Tech Crunch article, 3D-printing company Formlabs expects to bring new swabs for COVID-19 to market, by Jonathan Shieber, March 25, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Jonathan Parry/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Formlabs in a position to address the shortage of medical supplies of COVID-19?

Guidance: Formlabs has the 3-D printing technology and ISO-135 controlled facility to manufacture test swabs, a key component of COVID-I9 test kits in high demand but short supply.  With more COVID-19 test kits, more testing can be done Continue reading

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