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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No Robot Takeover in the Warehouse!

No Robot Takeover in the Warehouse!

Warehouse workers are quite confident that robots will not replace them … at least, not yet.

Part of their jobs involves precision work that robots do not have the dexterity or range of motion to perform. To warehouse workers, the greatest potential for robots is to assist them with physically demanding or unpleasant tasks.

Supervisory work also seems immune to a robot takeover.  Moreover, the high cost of robots rules out their use in small- to medium-volume operations.

At least for now.

This post is based on the NPR article, ‘Don’t Think a Robot Could Do This’: Warehouse workers aren’t worried for their jobs, by A. Selyukh, January 25, 2018.  

Discussion Questions

1) What is the primary reason warehouse workers feel that their jobs are secure? Should they feel that way?

Guidance: Discuss the present vs. future of robots in warehouses. The robots with which workers are familiar are still unable to do many of the picking and packing tasks they perform. Therefore, their jobs appear to be secure for the time being. However, the development of skilled robots, the need for greater efficiency, and the falling costs may threaten many of those jobs in the Continue reading

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