Medical Supplies Plagued by Shortage

Medical Supplies Plagued by Shortage

March 20, 2018

Hurricane Maria highlighted a growing issue with medical supplies. The pharmaceutical industry is plagued by quality issues, manufacturing problems that are kept secret, and supply chain disruptions.

In previous posts, we talked about hospitals’ responses to the IV bag shortage. But according to the FDA, Hurricane Maria’s damage to the production infrastructure on Puerto Rico affected dozens of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Months later, 10 drugs are still in short supply.

This post is based on the CBS News article, Why so many medicines are in short supply months after Hurricane Maria, by Walecia Konrad, Feb 12, 2018. Image source: Peopleimages / Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. What are the considerations a pharmaceutical company should contemplate when choosing a manufacturing location?

Guidance: Students should review location analysis, manufacturing strategies, and quality management.  If there is time or perhaps a homework assignment, students could be asked to research the pharmaceutical industry for the suppliers of, and demand for, IV saline or another generic medicine.  Consider assigning a two-page report: page one is background on the locations, supply chain network, quality issues for their assigned medicine; on page two, recommendations to improve quality, change locations, identify Continue reading

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Is Apple Pulling the Plug on Samsung?

Is Apple Pulling the Plug on Samsung?

February 26, 2018

Apple gained a key advantage by offering the iPhone X with OLED screens. And the screen is also one of the reasons for the hefty price tag.

Interestingly, the sole source of supply for the screens is Samsung, one of Apple’s biggest rivals. As a sole source provider, Samsung gains insights into its competitor’s sales, while generating revenue from those sales.

Now, Apple is dropping its orders by up to 50% this quarter, leaving Samsung with extra capacity for OLED screens. And it leaves us all wondering, what’s the next move for these tech giants?

This post is based on the Forbes article, Apple’s Cunning iPhone X Plans Are Causing Problems for Samsung, by Ewan Spence, February 19, 2018. 

Discussion Questions
1. What are the potential issues with this type of sourcing strategy?

Guidance: Obviously, one of the issues for the customer, is giving a competitor access to projected sales.  Most organizations don’t like to share this information.  With a single source of supply, a company is also vulnerable because there isn’t a backup supplier.

Samsung won the business as the only available choice at the time of the iPhone X introduction, but Apple Continue reading

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