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Supply Chain Case Studies

Supply chain management strategies and decisions vary from company to company, each with their own specific issues that they have needed to address. The case studies on this page will give you an insight into the strategies and decisions that companies implement.

American Transport Unions
The union movement in the United States started as far back as the mid-1800’s when the small organized unions started to emerge. Today, the AFL-CIO currently a federation of 57 affiliated unions, including some of the largest unions representing transport workers such as airline staff, transit employees and dock workers. This article looks at...

Underemployment
Underemployment is a growing concern in all industry sectors in the US. Workers are having their hours cut and having to take second or third jobs to make up the difference. Typically these workers are on minimum wage and lack the benefits offered to full-time employees.

Supply Chain Company Failures of the Decade
As we enter a new decade it is time to look back at the past ten years and reflect on three of the largest company failures in the supply chain sector. Although the internet bubble produced a significant number of company failures, changes in customers needs, changes in technology and all round bad management led to some of the more notable...

Case Study in Purchasing Rationalization
A major American chemical company had completed a year of supply chain reengineering and decided upon a number of best practices that should be implemented. One element of the reengineering was that they decided upon creating a shared service function at their headquarters which rationalized the purchasing and accounts functions.

Flying Tigers
The Flying Tigers Line was the first scheduled cargo airline in the United States and a major military charter operator during the Cold War for both cargo and personnel. After forty-three years of operation the company was acquired by FedEx in 1988. This article examines the history of the airline.

DB Schenker
DB Schenker is one of the leading globally integrated logistics service providers. It is part of the Deutsche Bahn company and employs in excess 94,000 staff in over 2,000 locations in more than 130 countries. This article looks back at the history of the Schenker company and its success today.

British Trade Unions
Trade unions in the United Kingdom dates back to the early 1800’s when the Luddites, who were textile workers, protested against the changes brought about the industrial revolution which saw their employment disappear with the introduction of wide-framed automated looms that could be operated by cheap unskilled labor. This article looks at the...

Kuehne and Nagel
Kuehne and Nagel (KN) are the world’s second largest logistics company, the number one global seafreight forwarder, top three global air cargo forwarder, and top three contract logistics provider. The company was founded in 1890 in Germany, and has more than 1000 offices in over 100 countries, and over 63,000 employees. This article examines the...

History of NAFTA
NAFTA is short for the North American Free Trade Agreement. It covers Canada, the U.S. and Mexico making it the world’s largest free trade area. NAFTA came into being on January 1, 1994 to reduce trading costs, increase business investment, and help North America be more competitive in the global marketplace.

Indian Energy Demand
In the last twenty years, India's energy demand has more than doubled, but the country has still almost a quarter of its population unable to gain access to electricity. With the nation’s government wanting to keep its economic growth as high as it has been in recent years, the demand for energy from industry, will further increase India’s demand for energy for at least the next decade.

Advantages of NAFTA
NAFTA created the world’s largest free trade area, linking 444 million people and producing $17 trillion in goods and services annually. Estimates are that NAFTA increases U.S. GDP by as much as .5% a year.

Disadvantages of NAFTA
NAFTA has many disadvantages. The agreement has made it possible for many U.S. manufacturers to move jobs to lower-cost Mexico. The manufacturers that remained lowered wages to compete in those industries.

Indian Energy Policies
Over the last twenty years India has become one of the top ten largest economies. In the drive to continue the growth of the country, the government has to address issues that could hinder the rate of expansion that has been experienced so far. To satisfy manufacturing growth the country needs a successful energy policy to ensure supply and future demand. However, there a number of hurdles that must be overcome.

U.S. Regional Trade Agreements
Since the 1980's, the U.S. has been trying to get a free trade agreement with the countries of Central and South America. In other words, the U.S. would like to expand NAFTA's success throughout the hemisphere. Many South American countries are afraid that eliminating tariffs would allow U.S.-subsidized agribusiness to put their local farmers out of business, forcing their people to work for U.S. corporations.

Airborne Express
Airborne Express had an unusual beginning. It was founded as the Airborne Flower Traffic Association of California in 1946 to fly fresh flowers from the state of Hawaii to the US Mainland. In 1968 Airborne merged with Pacific Air Freight and the focus of the business moved towards regular freight movements. The company continued for another...

United Parcel Service (UPS)
United Parcel Service (UPS) began as company founded with a loan of only $100 back in 1907. Since then the company has grown into the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. This article describes some of the history of this company and how it has grown to the...

DHL
DHL quickly became a leader in international air express delivery shortly after the company was founded in 1969. Initially the company operated a door-to-door express delivery service, transporting documents between San Francisco, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. With expansion into the Asia the company soon became the leader in international...

Toyota's Total Production System (TPS)
Toyota's North American auto division continues to gain market share, increase profits, build new plants, while Detroit continues on a downward financial spiral. This article discusses the success of Toyota's production system and why it works for them and not US manufacturers.

Supply Chain Innovation for Nikon
This article shows how Nikon reengineered their distribution network with collaboration with UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

Whirlpool's Supply Chain Systems
Whirlpool began to overhaul it's supply chain systems in 2001. The company had been suffering with problems due to expansion and acquistion, which lead to high inventories and low customer satisfaction. This article examines how Whirlpool overhauled their supply chain systems and the path they are now on.

On-Demand Solution Benefits Four Star Distribution
Four Star is a footwear and apparel brand that caters to the under 25 market. It competes against Nike, Adidas and 200 other companies. However, it has made its brand thrive in the marketplace by successfully managing a complex global supply chain, while distributing its operations around the world. This article examines how Four Star has successfully used on-demand systems to achieve success.

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