Our series by MBA students and graduates at Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics highlights some of the most pressing issues in supply chain management today.
A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal called supply chain management the “hot new MBA.” Many universities have been introducing related degree programs, majors, and concentrations in response to a growing demand for new hires with supply chain expertise. Graduates of these programs are heavily recruited by employers, which is helping to attract ambitious, young talent to the industry.
Fronetics had the opportunity to collaborate with some of these rising stars by inviting MBA students from the University of New Hampshire Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics to author guest posts on our blog. They covered a variety of pertinent topics, from the Internet of Things and Big Data to pet food and Chipotle. Their pieces are summarized below.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be partnering with another MBA class at UNH to author a second series of posts covering some of the most pressing issues in supply chain management today. Make sure you receive our blog e-newsletter (sign up to the right) or follow us on social media so that you don’t miss out.
Steve Mondazzi writes about how the Internet of Things is now being used to improve factory workflow, increase material tracking, and optimize distribution to maximize revenues. Everything from turning lights on and off to security systems can be controlled from your smartphone, and that technology is moving to the manufacturing industry. Mondazzi examines Mark Morely’s theory that the IoT will impact the industry in three main ways: pervasive visibility, proactive replenishment, and predictive maintenance. He also explores hurdles to implementation — such middleware and a common protocol for businesses regarding IoT. Read article
Mikayla Cadoret focuses on the barriers to entry in the pet food industry. New brands have three options: manufacture product themselves, choose a co-packer who uses a private label, or choose a co-packer who will manufacture the food to the specifications of the brand. She discusses the challenges of those choices as well as high-profiles recalls resulting from co-packer error. She recommends strategies that companies implement to keep tabs on co-packers’ sourcing and manufacturing. Read article
Nicole Brooks explores Amazon’s mission to be earth’s most consumer-centric company. The e-commerce giant not only offers low prices, it also exceeds consumer expectations and shifts industry standards with benefits like same-day shipping. Brooks examines Amazon’s biggest technological assets, and looks forward to up-and-coming innovations like Kiva robots in warehouses, drones, Prime Air, and Amazon Business. Read article
Corey Ducharme discusses the traditional four-step problem-solving method and how it isn’t effective in solving needle-in-a-haystack issues resulting from limited business resources. Six sigma can address these issue with its six-step process. With the addition of an analysis phase, solutions become more effective, leading to better results and higher revenue for businesses. Read article
David Chadwick explores whether advances in radio-frequency-identification technology (RFID) will render humans obsolete in the supply chain. RFID could dramatically improve efficiency and accuracy in warehouses by reducing the need for human interaction. But it is uncertain to what degree this technology will be implemented in all aspects of supply chain management. Read article
Dario Cavegn discusses how increasing size and complexity of global supply chains open them up to increased risk. Supply chain disruptions can vary from insignificant to extremely threatening. But regardless of disruption size, supply chains can remain resilient with a business continuity plan, which acts as a road map to continue operations during or after a disruption. Cavegn outlines the development process from analysis to feedback. Read article
Josh Hutchins explores the limitations of big data. The real value lies in the analytics applied to the data. As an example, Solid Gold Bomb drove its prospering t-shirt business into the ground from an oversight and misapplication of data. Hutchins concludes that companies must have an intimate understanding of big data applications to avoid a similar fate. Read article
Michael Hickey discusses third-party logistics providers as a resource for a company’s operations arm. 3PLs offer an outsourcing opportunity for order fulfillment, inventory and warehouse management, as well as transportation of finished goods. But businesses should ask themselves these questions when determining whether a 3PL is a good fit for their needs. Read article
Sarah Hebert discusses Chipotle’s high-profile pork-supplier conundrum. The chain cut their pork supply by a third due to a supplier’s violation of their animal welfare standards. While this affected sales by 7-8%, Chipotle embraced the situation as a strategic PR opportunity. But behind the scenes, the company was scrambling to address long-term supply concerns associated with its rapid growth. Hebert asks, “At what point do you scale back the growth for the sake of maintaining brand integrity?” Read article
Connor Harrison discusses GM’s recall of 2.6 million vehicles. The company’s faulty ignition switches were linked to 13 deaths and 31 front-end collisions, but the company managed to contain the crisis. Harrison examines the root causes of the issue, including faulty ignition switches from GM’s supplier Delphi, a strained business relationship, and legal complications. Read article
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