Whole Foods and Prime Time Delivery

Whole Foods and Prime Time Delivery

February 17, 2018

Amazon is piloting free delivery within two hours from a Whole Foods location for Prime members. One hour delivery will also be offered for $7.99.

This post is based on the CBS News article, Amazon to deliver Whole Foods groceries for Prime members, by Aimee Picchi, February 8, 2018. 

Discussion Questions
1. What additional capacity will be required for Amazon to offer fast delivery? How can this additional capacity be generated without requiring significant resources?

Guidance: This is a thought question for students to discuss.  Students should note the use of technology to quickly schedule and route truck deliveries, possible changes to service design within Whole Foods to free personnel to drive the trucks, and potentially outsourcing to a 3PL to implement the shipping service.

2. How does Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods change the supply chain system for Amazon?

Guidance: Students should be asked to explore the differences in inventory perishability between Amazon’s traditional products and grocery products.  How does perishable inventory impact the design of a lean supply chain?

 

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Dr. Alexa to the Rescue?

Dr. Alexa to the Rescue?

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have vowed to attempt a disruption of health care with an extensive use of technology. According to this New York Times article, their vision is already a reality in China.

Technology companies such as Alibaba and Tencent are developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic tools to assist overburdened physicians. Setbacks in telemedicine and online drug sales did not discourage Alibaba from forging ahead with AI software for CT scan interpretation and for diagnosis assistance.

Tencent has been engaged in similar initiatives. Not only has the technology brought more efficiency in large hospitals, but it has also expanded the access to care in small, rural areas.

This post is based on the New York Times article, Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have, by S.-L. Wee and P. Mozur, January 31, 2018.

Discussion Questions

1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology as a diagnostic aid?

Guidance: Advantages: better utilization of health care staff capacity, more accurate diagnoses, increased patient access to healthcare, lower costs, higher consistency of treatments for given condition, more convenience for patients, less wait for appointments and test results, etc. Continue reading

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