Demand for BK’s Impossible Whopper Strains Supply

Demand for BK’s Impossible Whopper Strains Supply

Burger King’s pilot of the Impossible Whopper spread rapidly from St. Louis to three more cities.

This plant-based patty from Impossible Foods has the consistency and flavor of a traditional hamburger.  Burger King has already experienced product shortages in its test markets.

Increasing demand for its plant-based burgers has already led Impossible Foods to add a third shift and build a second production line.


Video Spotlight: Trying Burger King’s Impossible Whopper


This post is based on the CNN article, Burger King is bringing the Impossible Whopper to three new cities, by Danielle Wiener-Bronner, May 14, 2019; and the YouTube video, Trying Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, by CNET, April 1, 2019. Image source: Foodcollection

Discussion Questions:

1. Which inventory management system would be helpful at Burger King to better manage the Impossible Burger product?

Guidance: Students will likely choose the fixed-order quantity system with safety stock.  However, this is a chance to discuss whether this new product is a fad.  Should inventory be managed differently or not?

2. How can Burger King create a competitive advantage with the Impossible Whopper, given that other fast food chains are already sourcing from Impossible Continue reading

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Border Politics Disrupt Mexico-U.S. Supply Chain Movements

Border Politics Disrupt Mexico-U.S. Supply Chain Movements

April 20, 2019

President Trump’s threat to close the Southern border has disrupted supply chains as delays are building for commercial vehicles crossing the border, especially northbound.

Delays of ten hours above normal are reported, and the threat of a total closure is accelerating efforts by shippers in Mexico to get goods loaded and moving.  This, in turn, accelerates the congestion at the border, made yet worse by the reassignment of 750 Customs and Border Protection Agents.

The threat of a border closure- despite assurances it is not imminent- is intended to pressure Mexico to do more to constrain the flow of refugees to the border.  At the same time, the re-negotiated NAFTA deal is pending a House vote, adding further to uncertainty.


Video Spotlight: Ripple effects of a potential Mexico border shutdown


This post is based on the Industry Week article, Mexico Border Wait Times Spike, by Michael Hirtzer and Thomas Black, April 8, 2019, and the YouTube video, Ripple effects of a potential Mexico border shutdown, by USA Today, April 3, 2019. Image source: Rouzes/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What uncertainties are shippers facing on cross border movements between the U.S. and Mexico?

Guidance: The Continue reading

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Strengthening the Supplier Relationship

Strengthening the Supplier Relationship

February 24, 2019

What are your thoughts on supply chain finance (SCF) programs? In these programs, companies extend access to low-cost capital to their suppliers.  The goal is stronger suppliers, with higher production volumes and better production capabilities. The end result is a stronger supplier relationship.

This post is based on the Supply Chain Brain article, Three Cost-Effective Reasons to Invest More in Your Suppliers, by Nathan Feather, February 11, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Ieva Geneviciene.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do a quick web search of a retailer such as Wayfair or IKEA. How would a supply chain finance program improve supplier relations?  Be specific in naming suppliers. (This activity may require a web search of several of the suppliers to the retailer firm chosen).

Guidance: Students choose a retailer and then research at least one supplier to the retailer.  Have students describe how a supply chain finance program would increase production and/or improve production capabilities for the supplier that would benefit the retailer.

2. Why would a supplier be hesitant to accept a supply chain finance program arrangement from a major retailer?

Guidance: Students should consider the risks of being so tightly aligned with any Continue reading

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