No Longer The Aisle of Lost Toys

No Longer The Aisle of Lost Toys

January 8, 2021

What’s old is new again!  Toy makers have enjoyed strong sales as nostalgic parents remember their own childhood favorites and purchase them for their kids.

By October 2020, sales had climbed 18% year-over-year, driven by classics like Barbie, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Lite-Brite, Hot Wheels, and a host of board games and puzzles.

In contrast to other market segments that have suffered in the pandemic, parents looking for open-ended play options that get their kids off their computers and smart phones are willing to spend on toys to keep them busy.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Washington Post article, Mattel forecasts holiday season growth as toy demand surges, by Abha Bhattarai, October 29, 2020; the CNBC article, Mattel forecasts holiday season growth as toy demand surges, by Reuters, October 22, 2020; the New York Magazine article, The Holiday Toys to Buy Before They Sell Out, According to Toy Experts, by Liza Corsillo, December 17, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Continue reading

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Stay-At-Home Improvements Mean Appliance Shortages

Stay-At-Home Improvements Mean Appliance Shortages

December 16, 2020

A surge in home improvement projects and new home construction has created a strong demand for appliances from refrigerators to washing machines. As a result, manufacturers, retailers, shippers, and raw materials suppliers are struggling to keep up with the strong demand.

Amid item shortages, retailers like Lowe’s are shifting from in-store showrooms to direct-to-customer deliveries.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Kitchen appliances and washing machines are in short supply as families stuck inside turn to home-improvement projects, by Graham Rapier, October 23, 2020; the Consumer Reports article, How to Get a Deal During the Appliance Shortage, by Tobie Stanger, December 10, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Corbis/Superstock

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the surge in demand of appliances affect inventory management for manufacturers such as Whirlpool?

Guidance: Appliance manufacturers maintain a low level of inventory to begin with. The level of inventory has remained low despite high production, resulting in order backlog and item shortages.

2.  How does the surge in demand of appliances affect its supply chain?

Guidance Continue reading

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Dock-to-Arm: A Tricky Challenge for the Coronavirus Vaccine

Dock-to-Arm: A Tricky Challenge for the Coronavirus Vaccine

 

We have three promising vaccines. Now the challenge is to distribute them to the masses.

Public health officials and health systems around the world are gearing up for the distribution of the vaccines to their populations. There are opportunities for error at every step of the distribution process, from transportation of the Pfizer vaccine at extremely cold temperatures to final distribution in remote or rural areas. This massive undertaking is going to require synchronized efforts among many different parties. Success will depend on seamless coordination and trust.

 


Video Spotlight: The Race to Move a Cold Chain Vaccine to the Masses


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Now Comes the Hardest Part: Getting a Coronavirus Vaccine from Loading Dock to Upper Arm, by L.H. Sun and F. Stead Sellers, November 23, 2020, and the YouTube video, Inside the Cold, Complex World of Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine into Arms, by The Washington Post, November 24, 2020. Image source: LightField Studios / Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges posed by this colossal distribution effort?

Guidance: There are many challenges associated with this effort. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept Continue reading

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