The Future of (Global) Supply Chain Management

Respond individually to the 4 discussions below. Include a direct question for each discussion.

Original Question – (Consider a supply chain for an American organization you are familiar with.
1. How could the organization create more value for its stakeholders?
2. Which of the four future freight flows should it prepare itself for?
3. What should the organization do to prepare for future flow(s)?
Reference
Wisner, J. D., Tan, K. C., & Leong, G. K. (2015). Principles of Supply Chain Management: A Balanced Approach.)

Discussion 1:
We have come to our last week in this course, I’m excited to complete another course towards my degree. I was nervous about this course when it first started because I was not sure what this course would entail but it came together for me and I’m happy for the interactions with all of you.

AutoZone is the largest retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories in the United States. As an aircraft mechanic, I come in contact with ordering parts so AutoZone made the most sense to pick for me because it has similarities with my military career. AutoZone can continue to create value for its stakeholders by staying ahead of the curve. In this day and age online shopping is extremely popular however AutoZone creates a unique dynamic of getting you an extremely specific part for your car and can also assist you in automobile maintenance, which obviously companies like Amazon can not provide. This face-to-face interaction is a more traditional approach to business and customer service is high on many people’s priority lists.

I believe AutoZone should prepare for the Millions of Markets’ future freight flow.

AutoZone is well established and I do not believe they are running the risks of going out of business but as the world advances in technology, including automobiles, AutoZone must grow with it. Electric cars are becoming more popular than ever so it would behoove AutoZone to educate their technicians on electric car maintenance, as well as getting to local suppliers for the different parts the cars need.

AutoZone Drives Success in the Supply Chain. (2021). Retrieved 25 February 2021, from https://www.bringg.com/blog/logistics/autozone-drives-success-in-supply-chain/

Discussion 2:
The Air transportation industry has a lot of work in regards to improving its organizational value for stakeholders. On a daily basis, the force deals with uncertainties that create problems for the users/suppliers. It is not due to the expertise of the services but more in part to the nature of the supply system and the time it takes to properly in-check cargo. To enable more value to its stakeholders, the air transportation system would have to find a way to be more predictive. This would enable a way forward for the team to be ready. For the user, the larger concern is where is the freight and how much longer until it arrives. This would go leaps and bounds for the stakeholders.

The Air Transportation industry would need to work on its freight flow by realizing the scenarios that it deals with at any size of the port. This information is not readily available and has not been fully tested. However, there is so much data and so much information that it would be very hard to accomplish this task. Being that there is so much information, the Air Transportation industry could use the data and start developing “scenario planning in a box.” This would also begin to set up for future flows by identifying key indicators of how the system goes. Certain key items could be assessed in a better freight flow for all. To prepare for this, they would need to get everyone together but to establish categories on the differences amongst the community. This would take extensive time but could prove to be very beneficial.

Discussion 3:
The organization I chose to discuss this week was Lowe’s Home Improvement. Lowe’s is a Fortune five hundred company that sells home improvement, hardware, and appliance items. It is currently the second-largest hardware chain in the world and a sanctuary for the do-it-yourself market (Unknown, 2020) Lowe’s offers almost all of your needs for home improvement projects, and if unable to do the work yourself, they will install the items or hire a third party to do it. Lowe’s could gain an edge on their competitor and create more value for their stakeholders if they continue to display the same level of excellent service but expanded in the global market. Their biggest competitor is Home Depot, and although a younger company, they currently have more store locations in the United States and abroad. I think growth will give better access to this long-standing company which will increase revenue and brings more value to the stakeholders.

The future freight flows (FFF) is an initiative launched by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program in order to gain information in order to provide decision-makers at different levels (national, state, multi-state, etc.) with better methods for strategically planning freight infrastructure investments. Lowes is currently doing well with this as it is. They may consider searching for greener ways to ship their goods, whether that is by sea or railway whenever possible. Lowes currently has stores in every state so they are able to circumvent these issues, but using transportation methods that produce fewer emissions will certainly help this cause. Nothing I have founds says that Lowe’s is not already doing this. They are a successful fortune-five hundred company and that rarely happens by accident. I would encourage more frequently running scenarios and sending representatives to seminars in order to remain a well-informed organization.

20 Things You Did Not Know About Lowe’s. Home Stratosphere. (2020, September 15). https://www.homestratosphere.com/things-about-lowes/.

Future Freight Flows. Center for Transportation and Logistics. https://ctl.mit.edu/research/past-projects/future-freight-flows.

Discussion 4:
What was the most interesting thing learned about The Future of (Global) Supply Chain Management and why?