Uber Freight Provides Capacity in Tight Market

Uber Freight Provides Capacity in Tight Market

December 17, 2018

Land O’Lakes has partnered with Uber Freight, a service from Uber, to gain transportation capacity at potentially better prices.

The spot market for additional transportation has been increasingly tightened due to multiple factors such as driver shortages and increased economic demand for goods.  The result has been an upward pressure on transportation carrier prices over the last 18 months when using traditional transportation brokers.

By using technology via Uber Freight, the company has been able to secure spot transportation capacity at reduced prices.

This post is based on the Logistics Management article, Land O’Lakes lock in Texas-based capacity, by Jeff Berman, November 6, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Chesky.

Discussion Questions:

1. Will success with Uber Freight displace the traditional broker model? Why or why not?

Guidance: Include capacity planning in the discussion. There’s a need for long-term capacity sourced at a reduced price and the addition of short-term capacity to handle immediate demand through Uber Freight.  The instructor could introduce the concept of read/react as a sourcing strategy as applied to transportation capacity.

2. Could Uber Freight be applied to last mile shipping?

Guidance: Students may recognize that last mile shipping could be performed Continue reading

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How Walmart Applies Data Science

How Walmart Applies Data Science

December 10, 2018

Data science is applied at Walmart Labs to sourcing, order/shipment preparation, transportation, last mile/routing/scheduling, and last mile order pick up. Applications include queuing and linear programming.

Check out this Medium article for an informative and high-level overview of how data science applications improve the efficiency and effectiveness of complex supply chain management at Walmart.

This post is based on the Medium article, Data Science in Walmart Supply Chain Technology, by Mingang Fu, November 1, 2018. Image source: Prasit photo/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe how queuing theory is applied to Walmart’s supply chain management.

Guidance: Many students have not considered queuing applications beyond the typical retail service examples. Note that queuing theory is being applied by Walmart to solve last mile order pickup problems.  The instructor could illustrate queuing concepts and terms from the textbook by further discussing the queuing example provided in the article.

2. Describe the application of linear programming in Walmart’s transportation management.

Guidance: Students may not be familiar with more complex linear programming problems such as mixed integer applications.  The instructor may choose to introduce more advanced linear programming methods or simply illustrate with this article the utility of linear programming. Continue reading

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Procurement May Need to Buy a Clue

Procurement May Need to Buy a Clue

November 5, 2018

The procurement function should reduce its focus on cost cutting and place more emphasis on supplier collaboration.

Supplier collaboration can lead to shorter new product development, potentially discover value added opportunities for all parties, and potentially lead to new product development itself.

The key is shared data and analytics in a collaborative environment.

This post is based on the Supply Chain Digital article, From periphery to driving force – procurement tech is enabling innovation, by Alex Saric, October 6, 2018 Image source: Shutterstock / Syda Productions.

Discussion Question:

1. What happens to new product development within a company if key suppliers’ only concern is cost reduction?

Guidance: Students should review new product development and sourcing.  What happens to quality if there is excessive cost pressure on suppliers?  Is there incentive for suppliers to provide knowledge and help if costs are the only concern by the buyer?  The students should see that a cost reduction focus on sourcing can lead to many poor outcomes if not coupled with long term partnership arrangements.

2. Will sharing data and analytical outcomes with key suppliers be dangerous to the company? What incentives could be put in Continue reading

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