“The Most Comfortable Shoe in the World”

“The Most Comfortable Shoe in the World”

A former pro-athlete from New Zealand teamed up with a friend to develop shoes made of wool. The project was crowdfunded and resulted in a machine-washable, wool sneaker that has been labeled “the most comfortable shoe in the world.”

Product sales have exceeded expectations. They value their customers’ input and continue to improve the design of the shoe.

This post is based on the CNN article, Allbirds Is Shaking Up Footwear With Machine-Washable Wool Shoes, by A. Garcia, January 17, 2018.

Discussion Questions

1) Compared to a lightweight leather sneaker, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the Allbirds sneaker?

Guidance: Link this discussion to Garvin’s dimensions of product quality. Advantages to mention: perceived quality (multiple redesigns), features (breathable, machine-washable, etc.), performance (comfort), conformance (multiple redesigns). Disadvantages: less durability (wool is probably not as durable as leather), unknown consistency due to age of company, unknown serviceability due to novelty of product.

2) What external factors did the developers see as opportunities?

Guidance: Discuss the market factors that made consumers embrace this product. Demographics: young and older people are attracted to the novelty and comfort. Psychographics: environmentally conscious individuals like the sustainability of the product; active individuals Continue reading

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Water Risk For a $5 Trillion Industry

Water Risk For a $5 Trillion Industry

October 6, 2017

Article Title: Nestle, Coca-Cola top list of companies disclosing water risk

Author of Article: Anya Khalamayzer

Date of article: September 14, 2017

Source URL: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/nestle-coca-cola-top-list-companies-disclosing-water-risk

Summarizing the key points from the 2017 Feeding Ourselves Thirsty report, this article relates specifically to OM in that it identifies a shortage of water and pollution of water as a risk to the sustainability of operations in the $5 trillion food and agribusiness industry. This risk is not just operational, but reputational, and has marketplace, regulatory, and litigation risks attached to it.  Nestle and Coca Cola earned the highest scores for their water risk management programs, while Chiquita earned only 1 point, given its lack of transparency.

Discussion Questions
1. Examine all the ways in your personal and professional life, you either consume or come in contact with items that consume water in the manufacture of them. Discuss what impact a shortage of water would have on you and the products both personally and professionally.

Guidance: This open-ended question can be used to encourage class discussion in process management, process improvement, ethics, productivity, product redesign, triple bottom line, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable supply chain.

2. Discuss what your Continue reading

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