Levi’s, Lasers, and Reduced Lead Time

Levi’s, Lasers, and Reduced Lead Time

Levi’s Project FLX uses lasers to give its jeans the worn-in finish.  The technique is not only faster but also more environmentally responsible as it cuts the finishing time from minutes to seconds and involves less chemical formulations.  As a result, the lead time for decisions on jeans is shortened, which allows for on-demand manufacturing and local production.

This post is based on the Engadget article, Levi’s uses lasers to give your jeans an eco-friendly finish, by Jon Fingas, March 5, 2018. Image sources: kadmy/Getty Images and C Squared Studios/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. What are the strategic implications of Levi’s Project FLX with respect to product design?

Guidance: Reduces finishing time and cost; lower environmental impact because fewer chemicals are used; technological innovation means that lasers replace a previously labor- and time-intensive finishing process.

2. What makes Levi’s Project FLX a technological innovation in jean manufacturing?

Guidance: Laser technology automates the labor intensive “worn-in” finishing process, saving production and lead time.  It also allows custom-designed jeans, on-demand manufacturing and local production.

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Walmart Raises the Stakes for Supply Chain Reliability

Walmart Raises the Stakes for Supply Chain Reliability

February 19, 2018

Walmart has raised the stakes for supply chain reliability. Its new on-time, in-full delivery guidelines (OTIF) were rolled out in 2017, with escalating requirements for 2018.

Both early and late deliveries get the thumbs down; failure to meet the metrics results in the supplier being fined 3% of the value of their order.

Requirements vary, depending on whether the shipment is a full-truckload or less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment. But either way, suppliers and 3PL’s cannot use weather or other uncontrollable events as acceptable reasons for failure to deliver in full and on time.

This post is based on the Supply Chain 24/7 article, Keeping Pace with Walmart’s On-Time Delivery Requirements, by Scott Bolduc, February 5, 2018. 

Discussion Questions
1. Assume that you are responsible for designing a lean supply chain for a supplier to Walmart. Find a company that supplies packaged water to Walmart from an internet search.  (Or find another company that supplies Walmart if you choose.)  How would you improve the supply chain to become lean to meet the demands Walmart has now imposed for suppliers such as your chosen company?

Guidance: Students should review lean supply chains, facility location considerations, and the Continue reading

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