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)

Bitcoin is for Drugs: Counterfeit Prevention in a Digital Supply Chain
D. R. Rockwell
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm
Pfizer is using Bitcoin technology to prevent counterfeit drug sales. Who will pay the cost for the digital supply blockchain? Will Pfizer expand its own B2C ecommerce?
“Smart Home, Intelligent Factories” – Haier’s Journey of Building Interconnected Factories
Charis Ji
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 10:08 pm
As China’s home appliance market comes to maturation, Chinese home appliance manufactures are now forced to confront the problems that they got away with during times of easy growth. Can they reinvent themselves in Industry 4.0? Or are investments into [...]
Sho Shafiei
Last modified on November 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm
Impact of terminating NAFTA on the auto industry - specifically Magna International
Telemedicine as a Partner in Care Delivery
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm
Telemedicine is a technology that can change the face of how we deliver care, but how can Partners weather the storm and ensure it stays ahead of the curve? Should they even bother facing the threat of digitization?
The role of radiologists in the days of AI – Users? Supervisors? Interventionists?
Howard Yan
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm
In 2011, by beating human at the game Jeopardy, Watson provided the world a glimpse the potential of artificial intelligence (AI). Fast forward only a few years, the rapid development of deep neural networks has further expanded human’s imagination of [...]
Time, Tide and… Massive Capital Expenditures, Wait for No One
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 10:06 pm
The US Navy takes serious action to adapt to sea level rise.
Surf or Sink: Royal Caribbean’s Digital Challenge
Daniel Benzecry
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Royal Caribbean will have to reinvent itself in order to compete in the art of cruise ship supply chain and tourism operations.
Enli: Leveraging Population Health Data to Transform Health Care Delivery
Last modified on November 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm
Enli is using big data to transform health care delivery in the United States from a reactive to proactive process.
Stitch Fix: Bringing Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to Fashion
Ruksi Gregory
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 9:42 pm
Over the last six years, Stitch Fix has achieved success in the fashion retail space by revolutionizing the shopping experience. But is their business strategy differentiated enough to stay competitive?
Climate Change: An Existential Threat for AB InBev?
Matt P
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm
How can AB InBev, the world's largest producer of beer, prepare for a future where its supply chain is constantly under pressure as a result of climate change?
This season, LVMH is wearing green
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 10:42 pm
The luxury multi-national is sporting sustainability, and their products depend on it.
Protecting Livestock and Profits at Tyson
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 7:24 pm
Animal agriculture is not only one of the biggest contributors to climate change, but also potentially one of its biggest victims.
Protectionism Threatens to Cripple US Solar: Spotlight on Sunrun
Sumit Malik
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 10:45 pm
Sunrun faces the unintended consequences of the US solar market's shift toward protectionism, a paradigm that can severely undermine the very industry it intends to protect.
Climate Change – A Tough Nut to Crack
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Is your favorite snack doing more harm than good? How does climate change impact almond production? Is almond farming fueling environmental degradation?
Re-inventing the medical device supply chain: How is Philips leveraging digitalization to up the ante?
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 9:16 pm
Supply chain advances, through predictive analytics and remote upgrades in medical devices, are enabling the transition to value-based care.
Tabasco Sauce: Can it take the heat of global warming?
Posted on November 14, 2017 at 11:16 pm
Every bottle of Tabasco sauce passes through Avery Island, Louisiana - an area susceptible to hurricanes and flooding.
Checking Out Should Feel Like You’re Stealing
Mel Zoerb
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 9:04 pm
Amazon Go is changing the omnichannel landscape
Overcoming Material Risks: NRG’s Response to Climate Change
Remi Etienne
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm
NRG operates one of the United States of America’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. However, they currently face a common challenge in their industry: the majority (~90%) of their power is generated from hydrocarbons. [1]
Wal-Mart’s Sourcing in the Age of ‘Unfair Trade Deals’
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm
Wal-Mart plays nice on U.S. trade issues but without meaningful changes yet.
A Winding Road: NAFTA Concerns at General Motors
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 8:03 am
General Motors response to President Trump's threats to withdraw from NAFTA
Could smart supply chain financing have saved Toys R Us from bankruptcy?
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 9:35 pm
Exploring the role of financing in enabling a more integrated, digital supply chain.
Ford’s Future in Great Britain Post-Brexit
Tom Anderson
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 9:54 pm
Ford faces numerous challenges in managing its European and UK supply chain post-Brexit.
Drugs at Your Doorstep: Amazon’s Threat to CVS Health and the Future of Drug Delivery
Last modified on November 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm
CVS Health must react as Amazon is knocking at the door. Who will own the drug delivery supply chain of the future?
Can the United States Coast Guard prevent cyberattacks from sinking our connections to global supply chains?
Tom Wick
Posted on November 15, 2017 at 12:25 am
New threats emerge with the digitalization of the maritime supply chain. Can the United States Coast Guard stop the rising tide of cyberattacks?
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