New York’s Oat Milk Shortage

New York’s Oat Milk Shortage

September 3, 2018

In 2016, New York City was introduced to Oat Milk. This environmentally friendly product has no added sugar, and less water.  However, its popularity has grown so fast that New York City has run out. Oatly, the company that makes Oat Milk, can’t keep up with demand.

It’s the second most popular milk alternative in Europe. Similar shortages have occurred in Sweden and the U.K.


Video Spotlight: The Latest Trend: Oat Milk


This post is based on the New Yorker article, Hey, Where’s My Oat Milk?, by Antonia Hitchens, August 6 and 13, 2018; and the YouTube video, The Latest Trend: Oat Milk, by The Doctors, April 4, 2018. Image source: © SDM IMAGES / Alamy.

Discussion Questions:

1. What operations management concepts should Oatly re-evaluate in regards to this shortage?

Guidance: Obviously, Oatly should look at their forecasting methods.  The company was unprepared for the rapid increase in Oat Milk’s popularity.  This would be a good place to talk about different types of forecasts.  One of the problems is that this is a new product.  As a result there is a lack of quantitative sales data.

Capacity planning would be Continue reading

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Zipline Drones to the Rescue

Zipline Drones to the Rescue

April 15, 2018

Zipline, which launched its drone delivery service for life-saving blood supplies in Rwanda in October 2016, now reveals the next generation of autonomous drones, the fastest commercial drones on earth.

With about a 30 minute delivery time, blood can now quickly reach a population of 10 million people who utilize hospitals and clinics across the rugged and mountainous country.  Drones are launched from a distribution center, and the fixed-wing planes cruise at speeds of about 101 km/h to their destinations where the boxed blood is then parachuted to the ground.

With a top speed of 128 km/h, they are four times faster than traditional quadcopters, and their range is much greater.  The new drone will make it possible to launch a fulfillment order within one minute of its receipt, as compared to the previous ten minutes, and the number of daily delivery flights will increase from 50 to 500.

Zipline, whose logistics were mapped with help from UPS, has saved many lives since its inception by delivering critical blood in a timely way.

This post is based on two articles: DroneLife.com’s 1 Minute Fulfillment. 101 KPH Delivery. Zipline Announces New Drones, by Miriam McNabbon, April 4, 2018, Continue reading

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Is Apple Pulling the Plug on Samsung?

Is Apple Pulling the Plug on Samsung?

February 26, 2018

Apple gained a key advantage by offering the iPhone X with OLED screens. And the screen is also one of the reasons for the hefty price tag.

Interestingly, the sole source of supply for the screens is Samsung, one of Apple’s biggest rivals. As a sole source provider, Samsung gains insights into its competitor’s sales, while generating revenue from those sales.

Now, Apple is dropping its orders by up to 50% this quarter, leaving Samsung with extra capacity for OLED screens. And it leaves us all wondering, what’s the next move for these tech giants?

This post is based on the Forbes article, Apple’s Cunning iPhone X Plans Are Causing Problems for Samsung, by Ewan Spence, February 19, 2018. 

Discussion Questions
1. What are the potential issues with this type of sourcing strategy?

Guidance: Obviously, one of the issues for the customer, is giving a competitor access to projected sales.  Most organizations don’t like to share this information.  With a single source of supply, a company is also vulnerable because there isn’t a backup supplier.

Samsung won the business as the only available choice at the time of the iPhone X introduction, but Apple Continue reading

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