New Player in Food Blockchain

New Player in Food Blockchain

January 27, 2019

The World Wildlife Fund-Australia has distributed a supply chain tool using blockchain that can help make tracking of food items transparent.  The tool uses QR codes that are distributed to client corporations to facilitate tracking.


Video Spotlight: Bait to Plate: Using Blockchain in the Tuna Industry


This post is based on the Coin Telegraph article, WWF Launches Blockchain Tool to Track Food Along Supply Chain, by William Suberg, January 17, 2019; and the YouTube video, Bait-to-Plate: Using Blockchain in the Tuna Industry, by WWF-Australia, July 31, 2018. Image source: Westend61/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this supply chain tool for WWF-Australia promote social responsibility for corporations that choose to participate? How does this encourage non-participating firms to join the WWF-Australia supply chain tool?

Guidance: The first part of the question is to stimulate a review of the Triple Bottom Line.  The challenge will be focused on the second question posed.  Ask students to consider what pressures a non-participating firm may face in the long run, assuming the QR system becomes more commonly accepted by major food suppliers.  How else can non-participating firms be encouraged to participate in this system?  Are there Continue reading

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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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