2018 Supply Chain Predictions

2018 Supply Chain Predictions

January 10, 2018

What’s on the menu for 2018?  Expected supply chain management trends include:

  • increased supply chain visibility software use
  • the disruptive impact of the sharing economy of supply chain distribution networks
  • the increased need to improve supply chain speed (the so called “Amazon Effect”)

This post is based on the Supply Chain Digital article, Supply Chain – Predictions for 2018 Trends, by Greg Kefer, December 8, 2017.

Discussion Questions
1. Why is “supply chain visibility” a necessary ingredient to modern supply chain design?

Guidance: This is a thought question for students to discuss.  Some possible answers may include the need to coordinate with suppliers and distributors,  ability to better operate strategic sourcing efficiently, empower mass customization throughout the system, decrease inventory levels, avoid back orders, etc.

2. How could Uber and similar “sharing economy” outfits disrupt current logistics operations?

Guidance: This is a thought question for students to discuss ideas.  It may be helpful to start the discussion by illustrating that small packages could be delivered in local locations cheaper and faster with Uber perhaps than FedEx.  Ask students for an example of how warehouse space could be in someone’s unused garage for inexpensive Continue reading

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Anheuser-Busch Tanks Up With Tesla

Anheuser-Busch Tanks Up With Tesla

December 20, 2017

Article Title: Anheuser-Busch Turns to Tesla for Huge Semi-Truck Order

Author of Article: Chris Morris

Date of article: December 7, 2017

Source URL: http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/anheuser-busch-tesla-semi-trucks/

Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for 40 Tesla semi-trucks.  AB is the second company reported to place such a large order; trucking company J.B. Hunt also placed a pre-order for as many as 40 trucks.

What is unique is that the semi-truck is all electric with a 500 mile range, and offers autonomous driving.  Anheuser-Busch plans to keep the driver in the truck, primarily to unload the beer.

Discussion Questions
1. Why would Anheuser-Busch pre-order the new Tesla semi-truck?

Guidance: You can begin with reducing their carbon footprint.  As the article mentions, they have a goal of reducing their carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.  It also offers many advanced safety features, and promises a 20% reduction in cost over the standard diesel truck.  With the autonomous driving feature, the driver might be eliminated in the future–further reducing costs.

2. Should the driver be eliminated at some point in the future as the autonomous driving technology matures?

Guidance:  At some point, the technology will make the Continue reading

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Best Buy’s Holiday Sprint

Best Buy’s Holiday Sprint

December 20, 2017

Article Title: Best Buy’s Distribution Centers Work Around The Clock For Holiday Sprint: Best Buy’s Logistics Will Soon Be Tested By a Crush of Shoppers

Author of Article: Kavita Kumar

Date of article: November 21, 2017

Source URL: http://www.startribune.com/best-buy-s-distribution-centers-work-around-the-clock-for-holiday-sprint/459221513/#1

This article looks at preparations that Best Buy is making to handle the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Best Buy is anticipating a 15% increase in online sales for Thanksgiving Day. Online sales currently represent about 13% of Best Buy sales, with the percentage increasing. Best Buy is also facing added stress to their distribution systems as they compete with Amazon. They are working to match Amazon’s two-day shipping, and in 40 marketplaces are offering same day delivery, again in response to Amazon. They are accomplishing this through three-party delivery firms.

Best Buy is using several tactics to meet this increased demand on distribution centers. The article mentions increased inventory, pre-packaging items for shipment, increasing capacity by operating 24 hours a day versus normal 10-12 hours a day, and the use of software to determine from where the items are shipped.

Discussion Questions
1. Should Best Buy be competing against Amazon by offering 2-day delivery, Continue reading

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