National Coin Shortage

National Coin Shortage

August 2, 2020

It’s understandable that COVID-19 may cause people to panic and buy a variety of supplies like toilet paper.  It’s also understandable that the demand for masks and hand sanitizers has skyrocketed — potentially for the foreseeable future.

But, a coin shortage?

A combination of events related to the COVID-19 lockdown have greatly impacted the national coin supply chain.  No one issue has caused the shortage.  To begin, the Mint has reduced the production of coins to protect workers.  Additionally, with many stores and restaurants closed, the circulations of coins back to the banks has slowed.  With many states re-opening businesses, the demand for coins has spiked, while there is limited supply.

The result has been a national coin shortage.


Video Spotlight: Coinstar CEO on America’s coin shortage amid the pandemic (June 25, 2020, CNBC Television)


This post is based on the NY Post article, National Coin Shortage Has Retailers Pleading for Exact Change, by Noah Manskar, July 1, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Glow Images/Glowimages RF/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  How does this coin shortage impact operations?

Guidance: Obviously, this can make cash transactions more difficult. Continue reading

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The Vaccine Supply Chain

The Vaccine Supply Chain

July 27, 2020

Many people claim that for the world to return to normal, a successful vaccine must exist.  Tremendous resources are being applied to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Some are even showing sign of success in early trials.

However, the development of the vaccine isn’t the only problem.  A supply chain to deliver the vaccine world-wide will be needed.  This might be more of a challenge than the development of the vaccine.

A vaccine supply chain faces many problems, some of which are unique from the supply chains of normal products.  Yet, finding solutions will be necessary for the world to return to normal.


Video Spotlight: COVID-19 Research and Analysis with Northeastern Experts || Vaccine Supply Chain (June 24, 2020, Northeastern)


This post is based on the European Pharmaceutical Review article, The Extra Mile: Preparing A Supply Chain for A COVID-19 Vaccine, by Madhav Durbha, June 29, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: TRBfoto/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  What problems will the vaccine supply chain face?

Guidance: It is not just the vaccine that must be provided.  Vials to store the vaccine, and syringes to Continue reading

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Map Your Supply Chain

Map Your Supply Chain

Supply network mapping is labor intensive but can reduce risks to supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 to earthquake damage.

Most companies do not map their network and do not know how to mitigate risks when a crisis unfolds.  Another reason the mapping proves helpful is removing the focus from lowering procurement costs to better understanding critical suppliers at many levels upstream.

To reduce the labor costs involved in mapping, focus on key components from a bill of materials, such as the top five products by revenue, and then drill down to the raw material vendors.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Supply Chain Digest article, Supply Chain News: Coronavirus Again Illustrates Need for Mapping Your Supply Chain, Harvard Business Review Article Says, by SC Digest Editorial Staff, April 6, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: ConceptCafe/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  Supply chain mapping for a retailer could be beneficial.  Draw a supply chain map for a grocery store chain.  What are missing items from your supply chain map that Continue reading

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