RC TOM Challenge 2017

November 15, 2017

Read The Full Prompt

The TOM Challenge provides an opportunity for students to learn more about supply chain management by exploring how organizations are grappling with some megatrends: climate change, digitalization, and the growing influence of isolationist political movements on international trade policies.  These 700-800 word essays should address four questions:

  1. Why is (or should) your particular aspect of one of these megatrends be of concern to the management of the organization you have selected?
  2. What is the organization’s management doing to address this concern in the short term (the next two years) and the medium term (3–10 years out)?
  3. What other steps do you recommend the organization’s management take to address this concern in the short and medium terms?
  4. What are one or two important open questions related to this concern in the context of the organization you selected that you are unsure about, which merit comments from your classmates?

When posting your essay to Open Knowledge, be sure to enter “Climate change”, “Digitalization”, or “Isolationism” in the Topics field.

More details on research, sourcing, deadlines, and other matters are provided in the RC TOM Challenge: 2017 noteFor assistance with the Open Knowledge platform during business hours (9:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F), email openknowledge@hbs.edu. A short video with instructions on how to post an essay to this platform is available at https://goo.gl/yyXK2H.

Submitted (924)

NextEra ready for the Next Era of Electricity?
Last modified on November 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm
Climate change is greatly impacting the electricity supply chain. Is the utility that is the leading producer of renewable energy in the world ready?
The titan of sports industry joining forces with Amazon
Posted on November 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm
Would you get into bed with Amazon? That is a question that many brands have been obsessing about over lately. This June, Nike has decided to give it a try and run a pilot offering select products on Amazon.com.
Digitalization Takes Off at The Boeing Company: Building a Next Generation Supply Chain
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm
As it prepares to roll out its newest aircraft models, The Boeing Company is investing heavily in new technologies and supply chain innovation.
Brexit and the UK automotive industry – How can Jaguar Land Rover remain competitive?
Elli Exarchopoulou
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm
Brexit threatens to disrupt Jaguar Land Rover's cross-border and interconnected supply chain. How can Jaguar Land Rover remain globally competitive in an ambiguous international trade environment?
P&G China: Reinventing the Offline B2B Distribution Network
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm
In the midst of China’s massive digital transformation, how does P&G reinvent its 20-year-old offline B2B distribution network to sell P&G products into almost 7 million independent mom-and-pop stores across China?
Rural Renewal: Will Amazon help or hurt Whole Food’s progress in promoting local food systems?
Melissa B
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 8:17 am
Local food producers have played a key role in economic development across rural areas in the US. Whole Foods built a model that scaled this ecosystem and provided access to eager consumers. How will Amazon’s acquisition affect the local-first philosophy [...]
Lettuce Consider Indoor Farming: Plenty’s Plan to Scale the Kale
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 10:57 pm
Plenty is using advanced technology for indoor farming to bring fresher produce to urban areas.
Striving to quench the world’s thirst for beer, sustainably.
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 10:16 pm
With water scarcity worsening, ABInBev still uses more than 32 liters of water for every 1 liter of beer it produces. Is the company doing enough to mitigate the risk of increased water scarcity caused by climate change?
Taking a byte out of the supply chain: How Winfield can win in the next Agricultural Revolution
Last modified on November 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm
Agricultural retailers, in an ever-competitive landscape, have yet to prove whether they can transition from distributor to partner. The question that will be debated in the next decade is whether they can make themselves essential in the digitized supply chain. [...]
Why your chocolate bar could become a luxury purchase.
Michelle Davis
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm
Global warming is putting the chocolate supply chain at risk. Here's how Mars is tackling the problem.
On-demand Drone at Farm Friend: Digitalization in Agriculture Takes Off
Li C
Last modified on November 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm
Uberization is taking place in the agricultural space. A Chinese startup Farm Friend is bringing on the revolution.
Ship From Store Technology Could Be Walmart’s Edge in eCommerce Battle
Nick Stender
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Additional technology investments could allow Walmart to ship goods directly from stores, reducing the time and potential cost of last mile delivery
How Big is Amazon’s Opportunity in Healthcare?
Last modified on November 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm
In October 2017, reports surfaced stating that Amazon’s entry into healthcare was imminent. Overnight, stock prices for top pharmacies, PBMs, and wholesalers plummeted, losing a sum total of ~$40B in market capitalization [1]. But how well-equipped is Amazon to disrupt [...]
H&M Leads the Way for Sustainable Fast Fashion
Melissa Schwartz
Posted on November 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm
H&M has committed to being Climate Positive by 2040 through a multi-step plan that focuses on the entire value chain.
Optoro: How Supply Chain Digitization is Helping Retailers Recoup Millions through Reverse Logistics
George Barsness
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm
Digitization of information has created greater efficiency in many parts of the supply chain. Optoro, a reverse logistics company founded in 2010, has created a digital supply chain platform that aims to help retailers recoup millions of dollars by optimizing [...]
Jaguar Land Rover: A Bumpy Ride post-Brexit
Pria Bakhshi
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 7:13 pm
Is Jaguar Land Rover, the UK's largest auto manufacturer, heading for a car crash? Jaguar's integrated supply chain is set to face massive disruption as uncertainty reigns over Britain's relationship with the EU.
Tesla and the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries
Posted on November 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm
Tesla is one of the most important companies addressing climate change with their core products -- their fleet of cars and their suite of clean energy technologies. The environmental impact of the massive boom in lithium-ion battery production should be [...]
Exporting Entertainment: Can CJ E&M Rely on the Chinese Market?
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 11:11 pm
In November 2017, CJ Entertainment and Media CEO Tae-sung Jeong breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing the news: South Korean President Jae-in Moon had reached a consensus with Chinese President Jin-ping Xi on improving trade relations between the two [...]
Navigating the Storm: SEACOR and the Jones Act
Kirk Benson
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 9:12 pm
A regulation that has long protected the U.S. maritime industry faces scrutiny in the aftermath of the catastrophic Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Can U.S. shippers win the debate in Congress and withstand the fallout?
Will Trump’s economic nationalism hurt Toyota?
Reed Taylor
Last modified on November 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm
Toyota's RAV4 is one of America's best selling cars. Can it stay on top with a Japanese supply chain and Canadian assembly plant?
Healthcare Digitization: Saving lives one data point at a time at BJC HealthCare
Last modified on December 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm
Healthcare has seen significant transformation in the United States over the last decade.  As Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) become more prevalent, health systems will be paid not for the quantity of services provided, but for the quality of care patients [...]
Kansas City Southern Railroad Blues
Cycle Time
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 10:34 pm
Kansas City Southern deals with making America great again and the NAFTA renegotiation process.
I Thought we were Teammates!
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm
With famous brands like Nike and Adidas selling apparel directly to consumers, sporting goods retailers fight to stay relevant.
Plenty of Fish – How to Sustainably Harvest New Fish
Emily McTague
Posted on November 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm
As the arctic ice shrinks, sunlight will enter the arctic ocean which was previously dark. Fish that hunt by sight are expected to enter this ecosystem in record numbers and thrive on all the pristine food, which the arctic ocean [...]
1 2 3 39