No Robot Takeover in the Warehouse!

No Robot Takeover in the Warehouse!

Warehouse workers are quite confident that robots will not replace them … at least, not yet.

Part of their jobs involves precision work that robots do not have the dexterity or range of motion to perform. To warehouse workers, the greatest potential for robots is to assist them with physically demanding or unpleasant tasks.

Supervisory work also seems immune to a robot takeover.  Moreover, the high cost of robots rules out their use in small- to medium-volume operations.

At least for now.

This post is based on the NPR article, ‘Don’t Think a Robot Could Do This’: Warehouse workers aren’t worried for their jobs, by A. Selyukh, January 25, 2018.  

Discussion Questions

1) What is the primary reason warehouse workers feel that their jobs are secure? Should they feel that way?

Guidance: Discuss the present vs. future of robots in warehouses. The robots with which workers are familiar are still unable to do many of the picking and packing tasks they perform. Therefore, their jobs appear to be secure for the time being. However, the development of skilled robots, the need for greater efficiency, and the falling costs may threaten many of those jobs in the Continue reading

Facebook
Google+
http://ominthenews.com/tag/logistics/page/11">
Twitter
Ikea Downsizes New Stores

Ikea Downsizes New Stores

January 23, 2018

Ikea’s newest stores have smaller footprints, from pop-up sites, to stores under 10,000 square feet. That’s a big change, compared to the 25,000 square feet of traditional stores.

It’s all part of a new service design for Ikea.  In the past five years, the retailer has seen a decrease in younger couples shopping at the traditional large stores.  As e-commerce has grown for competitors, Ikea is moving to test smaller stores with technology enhancements, increase staffing to give a more personal experience, and compete in the e-commerce channel.

These pilot programs illustrate the need to rework their supply chain to support multiple distribution channels in the future.

This post is based on the Bloomberg article,  The Tiny Ikea of the Future, Without Meatballs or Showroom Mazes, by Carol Matlack, January 10, 2018.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the order qualifiers and order winners being addressed in each of the new retail channel outlets being piloted by Ikea?

Guidance: Review order winners/qualifiers. Students should then apply the order winner/order qualifier concepts to each retail channel outlet being piloted.  Are there multiple ways to address each qualifier?  How would Ikea evaluate the effectiveness of each Continue reading

Facebook
Google+
http://ominthenews.com/tag/logistics/page/11">
Twitter
Truckers, C’mon Back

Truckers, C’mon Back

The current demand for truck drivers is high. Or is it turnover that’s the problem? Or freight to carry?

A combination of driver shortage, high turnover, stressful life, and stagnant pay have contributed to a widespread rush to lure new drivers with financial incentives. If the shortage persists, the imbalance between supply and demand in this labor market will cause disruptions in the supply chain.

This post is based on the USA Today article,  Trucking Firms Offer Up to $8,000 for Drivers to Ease Shortage, by T. Evanoff, December 26, 2017.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the reasons for an apparently short supply of drivers?

Guidance: The main reasons seem to be low pay, demographics, difficult living conditions, and lack of privacy. The pay has been relatively flat since the 1980s, and like in many other industries, it has not fully recovered from the negative effect of the great recession. The large trucking companies’ hiring of inexperienced drivers seems to have heightened that effect. Many drivers are baby boomers and are retiring, further exacerbating the shortage. Truck drivers work many hours and are away from home most of the time. The addition of cameras in the cabins Continue reading

Facebook
Google+
http://ominthenews.com/tag/logistics/page/11">
Twitter