Next Big Thing? Driverless Delivery with Amazon Scout

Next Big Thing? Driverless Delivery with Amazon Scout

February 10, 2019

Your Amazon Prime packages will soon be delivered to your doorstep by Scout, Amazon’s new six-wheeled autonomous delivery robot.

Amazon is field testing Scout in Snohomish, Washington, to ensure its bot can navigate sidewalk chaos and street traffic. The company is betting that Scout will make last-mile package delivery cheaper, faster, and more efficient.


Video Spotlights:


This post is based on the Wired article, The Prime Challenges for Amazon’s New Delivery Robot, by Matt Simon and Arielle Pardes, January 23, 2019; and the YouTube videos, Amazon Scout, by Amazon, January 23, 2019, and Amazon Scout will usher in the age of autonomous delivery, by TWiT Netcast Network, January 28, 2019. Image source: Tetra Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the benefits of employing robots to deliver packages?

Guidance: Multiple benefits come to mind. It can make the last-mile delivery from a transportation hub to customers’ homes cheaper, faster, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. It may make economic sense to augment a human delivery fleet with robots.

2. What are the challenges for Amazon’s delivery robot?

Guidance: The robot Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
The $25 Aspirin at Your Local Hospital Is A Tough Pill to Swallow

The $25 Aspirin at Your Local Hospital Is A Tough Pill to Swallow

Why do we pay outrageous prices for common drugs?

This question is on everyone’s mind and has spurred a flurry of bills and proposals to tackle the issue. The problem is multi-pronged with questionable negotiations, obscure reimbursement schemes, and controversial rebate deals poisoning a supply chain that financially rewards some players at the expense of patients.

For additional information on challenges and potential solutions, check out the nonpartisan organization, National Academy for State Health Policy.


Video Spotlight: Here’s Why Drug Prices Are So High


This post is based on the Washington Post article, Why Prescription Drug Prices Have Skyrocketed – and Why the Government Needs to Take Action, by R. Feldman, November 26, 2018; and the YouTube video, Here’s Why Drug Prices Are So High, by CNN Business, April 24, 2018. Image source: Fancy/Veer/Corbis/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. According to the Washington Post article, what are some of the reasons for high drug prices?

Guidance: A few of the reasons include a system that favors more expensive drugs over cheaper ones; increased demand through Medicare prescription drug coverage; drug companies that artificially inflate discounts with higher prices; health plan structures that allow for some payments Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
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.

Facebook
Twitter