Disruptions to Tea Supply Chain

Disruptions to Tea Supply Chain

October 21, 2020

Disruptions to the global tea supply chain, from the movement restrictions of the pandemic to weather issues, are causing serious supply problems with tea.

These disruptions, coupled with an increase in tea consumption at home for its health benefits, have resulted in a 50% surge in wholesale prices of tea, a 1.7% cost increase in packaged tea bags, and a 9.6% price increase in liquid tea.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Forbes article, Here Is Why Your Next Cup Of Tea Will Cost More Money, by Lana Bandoim, September 24, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Tatyana Soares

Discussion Questions:

1. What areas of the tea supply chain are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Guidance: The pandemic affects the entire tea supply chain.  The lockdowns disrupted tea leaf-picking during the spring harvest season.  They also delayed shipments by a month.

2. What factors have contributed to a rise in tea prices?

Guidance: The factors include a shortage of tea supply and a surge in tea demand.  Tea supply is Continue reading

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Walmart Drone Deliveries Take Off

Walmart Drone Deliveries Take Off

October 5, 2020

Walmart is partnering with drone delivery provider Zipline to make on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness products in the United States in early 2021.  Zipline is known for medical drone operations in Africa.

Walmart also has a pilot project to delivery grocery and household products with automated drones from Flytrex. This is in response to Amazon obtaining FAA approval to test its own Prime Air delivery drones.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, Amazon and Walmart’s emerging delivery drone battle escalates with Zipline deal, by Riley de Leon, September 14, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Flystock/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  What additional operations processes will need to be designed to support drone delivery for most companies in the future?

Guidance: Students should readily note what can go wrong with a drone delivery.  What happens if a drone malfunctions along the route?  What happens if someone interferes with the drone’s flight path?  How would Continue reading

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Toys R Us Shifts To Fulfillment By Amazon

Toys R Us Shifts To Fulfillment By Amazon

September 14, 2020

Toys R Us went through bankruptcy in 2017, and closed its stores in 2018, but online orders have continued.

Toys R Us has recently replaced Target with Amazon as its e-commerce partner.  Customers shopping at the ToysRUs.com site will be redirected to Amazon for order fulfillment.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Chicago Business Journal article, Target is out, Amazon in as Toys R Us fulfillment partner, by Anne Stych, August 21, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: BK666/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.   Is Toys R Us’ e-commerce partnership with Amazon a sound operations strategy?  Explain.

Guidance: Yes.  By partnering with Amazon, Toys R Us can build on Amazon’s e-commerce prowess to handle customer-business transactions online.  This way Toys R Us can focus on providing customers with a large toy assortment to choose from and leave Amazon to handle the order fulfillment.

2. Comment on Toys R Us’ digital strategy from an operations management perspective.

Guidance: Toys R Us attempted to rebuild its brand by opening two physical Continue reading

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