Where’s the Beef? Tyson Juggles Capacity

Where’s the Beef? Tyson Juggles Capacity

August 29, 2019

Fire at a Tyson Foods beef processing plant has affected the company’s ability to maintain supply.  The plant processes 6% of the fed cattle in the US.

Processing capacity in the US is nearly maxed out, so the dip in capacity will increase beef prices nationally.  Tyson is working to move production to other sites.


Video Spotlight: Tyson Foods CEO: Raising Expectations | Mad Money | CNBC


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, Tyson shifts production after plant fire to ‘keep supply chain full’, by Emma Cosgrove, August 13, 2019, and the YouTube video Tyson Foods CEO: Raising Expectations , by CNBC, November 2, 2017. Image source: Foodcollection.

Discussion Questions:

1. What capacity management strategies should Tyson employ now?

Guidance: Students should recognize the need for back up sites or arrangements.  Ask students to describe how outsourcing arrangements might be used to acquire short term capacity with smaller meat processing facilities.  Do any small processors exist?  If not, what other arrangements can be made at the remaining Tyson plant to increase capacity or raise production?  Is the remaining plant operating 24/7 already?  Can some beef processing Continue reading

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Inventory Management Needs An Overhaul

Inventory Management Needs An Overhaul

November 11, 2018

It’s a classic conflict: Operations wants to drive inventory down. Sales and Marketing want excess inventory to satisfy unexpected customer demand and avoid stock-outs.

Modern inventory management software alone cannot reduce excess inventory because of the continued fear of stock-outs. It’s time for some changes in inventory management.

This post is based on the Logistics Management article, Inventory Management 101: Time to step up to the plate, by Bridget McCrea, October 4, 2018 Image source: Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images.

Discussion Question:

1. If safety stock recommendations generated by inventory management technology solutions are ignored, what policy could be implemented to reduce safety stock or dated inventory items at a company like L.L. Bean?

Guidance: Students should review inventory management concepts.  Students should find a retailer and perform a quick internet search on that company.  Ask the students to develop a process to identify categories of retail inventory based on importance to customer satisfaction.  This might include a discussion of ABC inventory analysis.

What should be the policy to reduce safety stock for broad categories based on ABC analysis?  How should Sales and Marketing teammates be involved in setting safety stock policy?  Continue reading

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Saline bags, stat!

Saline bags, stat!

Article Title: U.S. Hospitals Face a Shortage of This Most Basic Necessity

Author of Article: R. Langreth and C. Koons

Date of article: November 14, 2017

Source URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-14/this-simple-lifesaving-liquid-is-suddenly-in-short-supply

This BusinessWeek article describes the shortage of small saline-solution bags for hospitals across the country.

A limited number of suppliers, quality problems, legal probes into possible price-fixing, and the destruction of factories by Hurricane Maria have contributed to a dangerously short supply of the bags which are used to administer hundreds of different medicines. Inventory levels of many essential drugs are also very low, making it difficult to respond to sudden disasters.

To cope with these problems, hospitals are trying to change the drug delivery system from injectables to alternatives. However, this process is complicated because it involves a redesign of the workflows.

Discussion Questions
1. When there is uncertainty in lead times, organizations carry higher levels of safety stock. Is it an option here?

Guidance: Discuss the limited supply of bags in the country and the perishability of injectable drugs. Both make it impossible to order large quantities and keep high levels of safety stock. Moreover, “hoarding” drugs in short supply compounds the problem. Discuss the Continue reading

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