Supply Chain Review: September 2015

Volkswagen dominated September’s news with their emissions scandal. In the coming months, the company will be juggling efforts to restore its reputation alongside its efforts to address the deep losses caused by international fines and mandatory recalls. What is yet unknown is how this will affect automobile supply chain in the long and short term. Volkswagen’s sales have plateaued and its stocks have dropped; and other German auto manufacturers will be drawn into audits of their own clean-diesel vehicles. Yet they have also drawn attention to the tensions involved in creating the affordable, emissions-friendly, and efficient vehicles that consumers demand.

In other transportation news, Elon Musk’s Space X has stepped up as a competitor to United Launch Alliance. The two companies will now pursue a satellite contracts with the Air Force to work on National Security Space missions. If Musk and Space X win the contract, they will break the long-standing monopoly held by the ULA, opening their company up to new frontiers of government and space supply chain contracts. After all, new supply chains will increasingly develop for space stations and other space hubs; it is unsurprising that Musk is leading the charge.

Fast food leader McDonald’s is about to change its supply chain, as it will begin serving all-day breakfast.  Not only will the shift require franchise owners, managers, and staff to adjust internal supply chains, given that small kitchens were designed to run efficiently on few and simple options; it will also alter McDonald’s food purchasing by increasing its purchasing of key ingredients such as eggs.

Proving its right to its reputation, Apple swiftly repaired problems with its last iOS 8 and first iOS 9by replacing the operating system with the new iOS 9. The company’s quick and accurate fixes as well as their use of a well-honed App store guarantees quick and efficient delivery of software to a growing and devoted group of consumers.


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