Putting Out The Fire For Ford’s F-150 Supply Chain

Putting Out The Fire For Ford’s F-150 Supply Chain

A fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant in Eaton Rapids, Mich revealed just how fragile supply chains can be. It stopped production of Ford’s F-150 due to a lack of critical parts from this supplier.

The F-150 is Ford’s most popular and most profitable model.  In addition to Ford, other auto manufacturers have been impacted as well, including BMW, Chrysler, GM, and Mercedes-Benz.

At first, Ford believed the factory fire would stop production for weeks or longer. With Meridian’s help, and the rescue of specialized tooling that wasn’t damaged in the fire, Ford cobbled together a new worldwide supply chain for the affected parts on its F-150.

At the time of the May 18th article from Detroit Free Press, Ford expected to re-start production within a few days.

This post is based on the Detroit Free Press article, From panic to triumph: Behind the scenes of Ford’s epic F-150 restart, by Phoebe Wall Howard, May 18, 2018, and the NPR.org article, Ford Halts Production of F-150s After Fire At Supplier’s Facility, by Camila Domonoske, May 10, 2018. Image source: Iconotec/Glowimages.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why did a fire at one supplier force Ford to temporarily halt Continue reading

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End of the Great KFC Chicken Shortage of 2018?

End of the Great KFC Chicken Shortage of 2018?

April 30, 2018

Have you been following The Great KFC Chicken Shortage of 2018? See previous OM in the News posts (KFC’s Chicken Shortage and What the Cluck Happened to KFC?) for more of a background, but to recap: In February 2018, KFC was forced to close over 700 restaurants in the United Kingdom due to a shortage of chicken.  The problem resulted from switching suppliers from Bidvest to DHL and Quick Service Logistics (QSL).

Two months after the shortage, problems continue.  As of April 21, 2018, approximately 400 of KFC’s 900 UK restaurants have a full menu in place.

That leaves approximately 500 restaurants with a partial menu, and KFC is predicting 98% of the menu will be available by early May.

According to a spokesperson from Bidvest (the original and now-rehired supplier). “Every KFC restaurant that Bidvest Logistics services will be on full menu from Tuesday, April 24.” DHL did not respond to a request for comment.

This post is based on the Telegraph article, Less Than Half of KFC Sites Have Full Menu Months after Delivery Fiasco, by Bradley Gerrard, April 21, 2018. Image source: Dima Fadeev/ 123RF.

Discussion Questions:

1. What sort of Continue reading

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Shortages at Tim Hortons in Canada

Shortages at Tim Hortons in Canada

A supply interruption at the Guelph, Ontario distribution center left more than three-quarters of Tim Hortons’ 1,750 franchisees in Ontario scrambling to source some of the unavailable items from third-party retailers such as Walmart, instead of buying them directly from head office as part of the franchise agreements.

However, Ontario franchisees are worried about losing sales. Some of the items on shortage are Tim Hortons branded coffee and tea, and those aren’t available at Walmart.

This post is based on the Financial Post article, Buy from Walmart, Ontario Tim Hortons franchisees told, as a shortage hits Guelph warehouse, by Hollie Shaw, April 16, 2018. Image source: Erik Isakson/Blend Images LLC.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why does Tim Hortons require its franchisees to buy items directly from its head office?

Guidance: Centralized purchasing (should) enable lower costs, standardized quality, improved inventory control, and more efficient sourcing.

2. How could Tim Hortons improve the relationship with its franchises?

Guidance: Suggestions may be to decentralize purchasing for items that are non-essential to restaurant operations such as vinyl kitchen gloves and garbage bags; build long-term partnership relationship with franchisees by involving them in strategic decisions such as changing menu items.

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