I really like your post, Megan! It showed how sustainability can be profitable for companies. Specifically, you mentioned saving opportunities in energy consumption, packaging, and supply chain. These are all common practices that corporate America is adopting too. With Amazon being one of the largest in the US, its impact is substantial. Unfortunately, most of the sustainability initiatives prosper when the economy is going strong but get cut back when the economy turns weak. I believe to change this, companies need to change their mindset and view sustainability as a cost-cutting strategy that has a long-term impact on company profitability.
I’m very impressed with the 6 miles conveyor belt they built, especially when its job is to move iron ore. I see the argument that this effort would save petrol fuel and CO2, however, I wonder what’s the cost of electricity and initial investment. From an energy perspective, even electricity comes with pollution. It’s just that instead of having visible emission at the site, pollution of electricity generation comes at the generating site. A vast majority of electricity still comes from burning coal. So, there are more calculations need to be done to unveil if this project is really environmental impact positive.
Thanks for the post. I just learned about blockchain today during an info session. However, I didn’t understand the difference between using blockchain technology vs a database storage. It seems like tracking source of food and its steps along the supply chain can be easily achieved with barcode and scanner. There is also little incentive to alter data stored in the database. I do see however, there are more guarantees in using blockchain technology since the marking is permanent. We will see how this all plays out. Hopefully our food safety can be improved with this new initiative.
I like how AB is thinking about digitalizing their workflow. Oracle planning and enterprise resource planning software have become a standard way to manage inventory and resources at manufacturing companies in recent years. It’s almost like if you aren’t using ERP for production, you are behind in the game. I also like how you addressed side-effect on the system where employees attention level decreases. I don’t think this is a huge concern because if I were to pick between people not paying attention due to overloading vs underloading, I’d pick the later. And this can be easily corrected with a better design in information screen making the information more interactive and engaging.
Thanks Kim for the post. Amazon certainly has many competitive advantages over other online retailers. Supply chain efficiency is certainly one of many. With the scale of Amazon, which enables it to dominate the market on eCommerce in the US, it has build warehouses and transportation depots all over the US. Having such mass eventually drives down cost because Amazon controls all the delivery process. I think a low shipping cost is part of Amazon’s value proposition and part of the shopping experience. I don’t worry too much that Amazon will take this away from the consumers. However, I do agree that this dominance served Amazon to achieve its almost monopoly position which, in the long term, may not be good for consumers.
You have highlighted that speed of delivery and customization is now the name of the game between Nike and Addidas. I like how this new concept to have a special task force to quickly introduce new products by drastically reduce product development and manufacturing cycle. The company can then consider migrating the new design to its existing Asian mass production factories. My concern would be that Addidas essentially didn’t upgrade their overall supply chain structure. This could mean that this special factory is just reaction instead of a solution to Nike’s strategy. Maybe we will see how Nike respond.
I liked how you have combined both supply chain and digitalization topics together in one essay. The essay has clearly explained the application of blockchain technology to track the source of food sold through Walmart. It all makes sense in terms of tracing back the origin of each product. However, what is lacking in this article is to explain how quality control system can be enhanced along the way. I’d imagine there has to be some kind of quality inspections in process. I wonder if results from these inspections are tied to barcode or other identifiers. By incorporating this piece, the essay ties back to how blockchain in supply chain can help identify and prevent food contamination.