Trucker shortages affecting supply chains

Trucker shortages affecting supply chains

July 19, 2018

OM in the News has previously posted about the national trucker shortage. The saga continues, and looks to worsen: there are 63,000 positions unfilled this year, and the number is expected to more than double in the future.

This is a challenging problem, especially since almost every item that is sold in the U.S. is transported by truck at some point.  Trucking companies are raising wages to the $60,000 – $70,000 range, with full benefits and signing bonuses, even for new trucking school graduates.  Those ready to work are snapped up quickly.

The dangerous and demanding nature of trucking makes it difficult to attract qualified workers despite the promise of generous compensation.  Rising wages are being passed along to consumers as transportation costs increase distribution costs and force companies to raise prices.

Delivery delays have become common, affecting inventory management and product availability.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, America’s severe trucker shortage could undermine the prosperous economy, by Heather Long, June 28, 2018. Image source: Rouzes/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the trucking shortage impact manufacturers or other businesses?

Guidance: Trucker shortages mean businesses are finding it difficult to find Continue reading

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Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Shortage

Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Shortage

July 18, 2018

What happens when Chick-fil-A has no chicken?

In Texas, Chick-fil-A had to temporarily close two restaurants because an issue was characterized as a “delivery delay.”  This problem was much smaller than the KFC chicken shortage in the UK earlier this year, when almost all of its restaurants were shut down for lack of its key ingredient, but it none-the-less disrupted the organization’s operations in a very significant way.

In an unrelated issue, in mid-June, In-N-Out shut down in Texas due to an unspecified problem with the quality of its hamburger buns.

This post is based on the Inc.com article, Oh No, Chick-fil-A. First KFC, Then In-N-Out. Now You Too?, by Bill Murphy, Jr., June 30, 2018. Image source: Livingpix/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this article pertain to operations strategy and the socio-cultural dimension of the external environment?

Guidance: While the causes behind these product shortages have not been clearly identified, the issue of stockouts may become more widespread in the future due to the shortage of qualified truckers in our nation.  Trucking is often viewed as a dangerous and difficult occupation, and companies are struggling to find enough drivers.  Even one cancelled or Continue reading

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Continuing Safety Problems in the Food Supply Chain: Pre-Cut Melons, Veggie Trays

Continuing Safety Problems in the Food Supply Chain: Pre-Cut Melons, Veggie Trays

July 15, 2018

Safety related problems continue with our food supply chain.  Cut melons were recently recalled across 8 states with over 60 people becoming ill due to a salmonella outbreak. Del Monte’s pre-packaged veggie trays accounted for over 200 cases of infection by the Cyclospora parasite  in June and July.

Safety and recalls in the food supply chain were featured in a previous OM In The News blog.  Other recent issues include an April recall of over 200 million eggs over salmonella fear, Kroger’s recall of over 35,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with hard pieces of plastic, and in May, a recall of romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona area impacted over 20 states.

These continuing safety problems bring to light problems in our food supply chain.

This post is based on the CNN.com post, Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Pre-Cut Melon, by Susan Scutti and Jen Christensen, June 9, 2018; and on the Food Safety News article, Two dozen more confirmed in parasite outbreak linked to Del Monte (no author cited), July 7, 2018. Image source: Purestock/SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What should be done to ensure the safety of our food?

Guidance: You Continue reading

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