Chip Shortage Puts the Brakes on Automakers

Chip Shortage Puts the Brakes on Automakers

Deliveries of full-size pickups and SUVs are delayed because of a global chip shortage caused by temporary plant closures amid the pandemic.

This shortage, coupled with port closures that prevented shipments of auto parts from unloading, has further limited truck and SUV production at General Motors and Ford.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNN article, Computer chip shortage starting to hit automakers where it hurts, by Chris Isidore, March 22, 2021, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Pavel Kirichenko/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. How did the chip shortage and auto parts delay affect MRP at General Motors and Ford?

Guidance: Chips and auto parts are essential dependent-demand components in vehicle production at General Motors and Ford.  Supply disruptions of dependent-demand components affect the accuracy of master production schedules, bills of materials, and inventory data because the assumption of constant lead times no longer holds.

2.  How did General Motors and Ford respond to the chip shortage and auto parts delay?

Guidance: General Motors and Ford used their chips on hand to keep Continue reading

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USPS Plans to Deliver Changes to Mail Services

USPS Plans to Deliver Changes to Mail Services

The US Postal Service (USPS) is planning a service overhaul to stem its losses.

The overhaul includes replacing one-to-three-day first-class mail with one-to-five day, consolidating mail processing and postal locations, cutting hours at some retail locations, moving more first-class mail by trucks instead of airplanes, going all-electric for last-mile delivery, and increasing postal rates.

A previous OM in the News post explained additional changes being made, as part of its overall efforts to redesign services, to cut costs and revamp USPS operations.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Reuters article, U.S. Postal Service proposes revamp; plan would slow some mail, by David Shepardson, March 23, 2021, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Scott A. Frangos

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the issues that USPS is able to address by revamping its services?

Guidance: To address delivery delay, USPS is standardizing the first-class mail delivery requirements from one-to-three days, to one-to-five days.  To reduce costs of operations, more first-class mail will be moved by truck, mail processing and postal locations will be consolidated, and all-electric fleets will be Continue reading

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Annie’s Product Redesign: A Case for Ethics and Safety

Annie’s Product Redesign: A Case for Ethics and Safety

April 24, 2021

Annie’s Homegrown organic Mac and Cheese products came under scrutiny because very small traces of phthalates were found in the dairy products and packaging it uses.  Other U.S. cheese products have faced similar findings.

Some research suggests that phthalates can be linked to problems with male fertility and the health of babies, including neurodevelopment and behavioral problems.  While the levels found are below the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA’s) thresholds for human consumption, Annie’s is nevertheless committed to continuing to review the research in this area and help find ways to deal with this issue.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Food Packaging Forum article, Annie’s to eliminate phthalates from products, packaging, by Vanessa Srebny, February 23, 2021; the Fox News article, Annie’s removing a chemical in mac and cheese linked to fertility issues, by Kayla Rivas, February 26, 2021; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: FoodCollection

Discussion Questions:

1. What is value analysis and how does it pertain to this issue?

Guidance: Value analysis is the process of Continue reading

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