Where’s the Beef? Walmart Knows

Where’s the Beef? Walmart Knows

Walmart is shortening its Angus beef supply chain by eliminating meat processors like Tyson Food Inc. and Cargill Inc. in 500 of its 4700 stores in the United States.

Walmart has developed its own beef supply chain. It is sourcing no-hormone added Black Angus beef from cattle raised by 44 Farms of Texas. The cattle will be slaughtered in Kansas, packaged in Georgia, and sold in 500 Walmart stores in the southeastern US.

Tyson and Cargill will remain the largest beef suppliers to the company, but this move signals Walmart’s interest in gaining complete control of its supply chain, and providing a direct link from cow to plate.

This post is based on the Reuters article, Walmart creates Angus beef supply chain, cutting out meat processor, by Tom Polansek, April 24, 2019. Image source: © America / Alamy

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this move help Walmart gain control of its Angus beef supply chain?

Guidance: Walmart eliminates the use of meat processors like Tyson and Cargill by sourcing Black Angus beef directly from cattle rancher 44 Farms in Texas. The cattle are slaughtered in Kanas and packaged in Georgia before hitting the shelves of over 500 Continue reading

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Seamlessly Made in the USA By Immigrants

Seamlessly Made in the USA By Immigrants

Suuchi Ramesh wants to bring apparel manufacturing back to the US with the help of immigrant seamstresses and technologists.

Ramesh’s supply chain start-up provides custom solutions for the garment industry including her own manufacturing services. Her software uses real-time data to coordinate the supply chain from customers to fabric suppliers and support the flexibility required in this industry.


Video Spotlight: Meet one of Suuchi’s customers


This post is based on the Forbes article, Meet the Indian Immigrant Working to Bring Apparel Manufacturing Back to the U.S., by J. Vinoski, April 1, 2019, and the YouTube video, Inside Suuchi Inc (ft. Irina Kapetanakis, Founder of Obscür Intimates), by Suuchi, Inc., March 20, 2019. Image source: © Michele Constantini

Discussion questions:

1. Why is flexibility a competitive priority in the garment industry?

Guidance: Fashion items have a very short product life cycle. A quick response to changes in demand, i.e. flexibility, is therefore necessary to compete. Unless there is close and timely communication throughout the supply chain, rapid changes in demand at one link of the chain can create a “bullwhip” effect with shortages, delays, and extra inventory, which are all very costly in the garment industry. 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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