Microsoft Pushes Paid Family Leave Down the Supply Chain

Microsoft Pushes Paid Family Leave Down the Supply Chain

September 13, 2018

Offering better employee benefits is now a requirement for Microsoft’s suppliers and business partners.

The benefits include a minimum of 12 weeks paid leave for new parents in addition to providing 15 days of paid sick or vacation time.  The policy demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the people who work for the company and its supply chain partners.

This post is based on the CNBC article, Microsoft will start requiring partners and suppliers to offer paid family leave, and it will help cover the costs, by Sara Salinas, August 30, 2018. Image source: © travellinglight / Alamy.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for Microsoft requiring its suppliers and business partners to implement a better employee benefits policy?

Guidance: These reasons include: recognizing people as the key to Microsoft’s success; ensuring companies that are doing business with Microsoft also place the same value on its human capital; increasing Microsoft’s competitiveness with a healthy workforce.

2. What are the costs and benefits of the new paid parental leave benefit requirement for Microsoft’s suppliers and business partners?

Guidance: Paid parental leave increases labor costs but increases productivity, increases morale and lowers turnover rates.  It Continue reading

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New York’s Oat Milk Shortage

New York’s Oat Milk Shortage

September 3, 2018

In 2016, New York City was introduced to Oat Milk. This environmentally friendly product has no added sugar, and less water.  However, its popularity has grown so fast that New York City has run out. Oatly, the company that makes Oat Milk, can’t keep up with demand.

It’s the second most popular milk alternative in Europe. Similar shortages have occurred in Sweden and the U.K.


Video Spotlight: The Latest Trend: Oat Milk


This post is based on the New Yorker article, Hey, Where’s My Oat Milk?, by Antonia Hitchens, August 6 and 13, 2018; and the YouTube video, The Latest Trend: Oat Milk, by The Doctors, April 4, 2018. Image source: © SDM IMAGES / Alamy.

Discussion Questions:

1. What operations management concepts should Oatly re-evaluate in regards to this shortage?

Guidance: Obviously, Oatly should look at their forecasting methods.  The company was unprepared for the rapid increase in Oat Milk’s popularity.  This would be a good place to talk about different types of forecasts.  One of the problems is that this is a new product.  As a result there is a lack of quantitative sales data.

Capacity planning would be Continue reading

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