Samsung: Another Blockchain Convert

Samsung: Another Blockchain Convert

Samsung Electronics Co. is planning to cut shipping costs by 20% with the use of a blockchain ledger system to track its global shipments.  The blockchain system reduces documentation costs, shipping paperwork, and time to coordinate with port authorities.

(Check out previous OM in the News posts on blockchain’s use in increasing food safety and transparency, and reducing counterfeit goods and forced labor.)

This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Samsung Jumps on the Blockchain Bandwagon, by Sam Kim, April 15, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff.

Discussion Questions:

1. What benefits does the blockchain ledger system have for Samsung’s global operations?

Guidance: This ledger system will enable Samsung to track global shipments worth tens of billions of dollars a year, cut shipping costs by 20%, reduce lead time between product launches and shipments, and better respond to competition and customer demand.

2. What impacts does blockchain have on information management in manufacturing supply chains?

Guidance: Transactions are recorded, verified and shared more securely, efficiently, and cost effectively.

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Levi’s, Lasers, and Reduced Lead Time

Levi’s, Lasers, and Reduced Lead Time

Levi’s Project FLX uses lasers to give its jeans the worn-in finish.  The technique is not only faster but also more environmentally responsible as it cuts the finishing time from minutes to seconds and involves less chemical formulations.  As a result, the lead time for decisions on jeans is shortened, which allows for on-demand manufacturing and local production.

This post is based on the Engadget article, Levi’s uses lasers to give your jeans an eco-friendly finish, by Jon Fingas, March 5, 2018. Image sources: kadmy/Getty Images and C Squared Studios/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. What are the strategic implications of Levi’s Project FLX with respect to product design?

Guidance: Reduces finishing time and cost; lower environmental impact because fewer chemicals are used; technological innovation means that lasers replace a previously labor- and time-intensive finishing process.

2. What makes Levi’s Project FLX a technological innovation in jean manufacturing?

Guidance: Laser technology automates the labor intensive “worn-in” finishing process, saving production and lead time.  It also allows custom-designed jeans, on-demand manufacturing and local production.

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