Forecasting And Demand: Amazon The following exercise introduces you to supply chain management strategies and collaboration in a team setting. Complete th

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Forecasting And Demand: Amazon The following exercise introduces you to supply chain management strategies and collaboration in a team setting.
Complete the exercise, Interactive Analysis: Creating Value Through Operations. A transcript of this interactive exercise is also available.
Consider what you learned in the experience and respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:

How does Amazon’s supply chain work?
How has Amazon’s supply chain given it a competitive advantage?
In the exercise, what additional research should the consulting team gather and analyze?
In the exercise, what process should the consulting team recommend for solving the internal risks to the supply chain and mitigating the conflict between labor and senior management?

****I have attached the transcript of the interactive exercise to use***** OPS 574 Interactive Analysis

Slide 1
Title: Interactive Analysis: Creating Value Through Operations

Slide 2
Title: About Your Company

The company you work for, a business consulting firm, has been contracted by Amazon to evaluate some problems that they are having with their supply chain and to make recommendations to improve their processes.

Amazon is an online retailer whose supply chain makes it possible to purchase and receive a broad variety of goods with same- day, one-day, or two-day delivery. Low prices, large selection of products, and speedy delivery are the core value propositions of Amazon.

Slide 3
Title: About You


You are working in a remote group of four other team members. You have several collaborative tools at your disposal, including a messaging board, email, video conferencing, and of course, phone. You’ve decided to begin this project by having a fact-finding meeting with key personnel at Amazon.

Your team consists of cross-functional specialists in leadership, conflict management, logistics, information technology, and supply chain management.

Slide 4
Title: Meet Your Colleagues

Marcy: Marcy is the Director of Customer Fulfillment for the Northeast United States. She is a Mechanical Engineer and Project Manager by training. She has been with Amazon for 8 years and led the efforts to integrate robots and automation in the warehouses.

Liu: Liu is the Assistant Director of Supply Chain Operations — Northeast United States. She worked with Marcy to develop a productivity matrix for employees in the Amazon Fulfillment Centers. She has been with the company for 5 years.

Bruno: Bruno is the Operations Manager at Amazon’s fulfillment center near Boston. He schedules employees based on forecasted work and oversees day-to-day operations on the floor. Bruno has been with the company for 12 years. He began as a delivery driver and has worked his way up.

Slide 5
Title: Meet Your Colleagues

Ben: Ben is the Operations Forecaster — Boston Fulfillment. Ben’s job is to accurately predict work flow and volume and provide that data to Bruno in a timely manner so he can ensure the fulfillment center is adequately staffed at all times. He is a recent college graduate and has been with the company for six months.

Martin: Martin is a Senior Fulfillment Associate at the Boston facility. He has been with the company for 6 years. He recently was out on short-term disability for ruptured discs in his back, which he claims were caused by unreasonable productivity quotas and safety violations. Although he has only complained internally, other employees have filed claims of unsafe work environment with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is investigating the claims.

Slide 6

You join the first video conference with your team. It is 11 a.m. ET.

Marcy, Liu, Ben, Bruno, and Martin are all sitting around a table in a large conference room.

[From Marcy to Everyone]

Thanks for joining us. We are all here and ready to begin. We can start by letting Martin and Bruno tell you a bit about the problems we are facing, from their perspective, then we will release them so they can get back to the floor.

[From Bruno to Everyone]

Martin, do you want to go first and set the stage for what things are like for our front-line workers on the floor that make it possible for us to get products to customers on time?

11:15 a.m. ET.

Slide 7
Title: Identifying Causes of Problems in the Supply Chain

Before we hear from Martin and the rest of the team, what factors will you need to consider to identify the causes of problems within the supply chain? Select all that apply.

1. Processes

2. Data

3. Technology

Slide 8
Title: Feedback

[Feedback if all three are not selected.]

Think about the critical inputs for creating a successful and sustainable supply chain.

Hint: Remember to select all answers that apply! You can choose more than one answer.

Try again.

[Feedback if all three selected.]

That’s correct. You will want to focus on technology, data, and processes to identify the root causes of the supply chain problems and evaluate solutions. You will need to be sure that you obtain information on each from a variety of participants in order to assess the problem.

Slide 9

[From Martin to Everyone]

Hello everyone. I don’t have a lot to say. What it boils down to is that these robots and production quotas are going to kill us!

[From Liu to Everyone]

Please. The robots do the hard work.

[From Marcy to Liu]

Liu, you’ll get your chance to speak later. We need to hear from Martin about his experience. Go ahead, Martin.

[From Martin to Everyone]

Look, I’m a team player. I know that my back injury probably had something to do with getting older, but we’ve got young folks falling out. My fitbit says I walk 15 miles a day inside the facility!

We have a lot more injuries than we used to have before all those machines came in to speed things up. Our pickers have to select and scan a new item for shipment every 11 seconds or they get written up. People are using trash cans to go to the bathroom because the restrooms are so far from our workstations we get written up and fired for missing quotas if we run off to go there. We need more time, more bathrooms, more breaks, and more people. That’s it.

[From Marcy to Martin]

Thanks, Martin, you can go back to your team now.

[From Marcy to Bruno]

Bruno, what can you tell us about the problems?

[From Bruno to Everyone]

I’ve been doing this kind of work all my life. Martin and the other workers on the floor have a good point — we can’t keep running like we are doing. The industry average for injuries in warehouse and supply chain fulfilment work is 4 per 100 workers per year. We are running 9.6 per 100 workers per year.

I may not have a fancy math degree like Ben or Liu, but I know that we are going to lose money if we keep having worker’s comp claims due to safety violations from being overworked and understaffed.

[From Ben to Bruno]

Pfft. Staffing is your responsibility. Just make sure you schedule enough people each day.

[From Bruno to Ben]

You want to take this outside? I make the work schedule based on your reports of how much work you “think” we are going to have. Maybe you need to go back to college and learn to guess better.

[From Marcy to Bruno]

Ok, that’s enough of that. Bruno, do you have anything else you need to tell us?

[From Bruno to Everyone]

Yeah. There are a bunch of people on the floor threatening to have a work stoppage at the end of the month, like some of the other sites have done, if things don’t get better. I also got a call from a lawyer representing a few of the people who have been hurt, talking about maybe a class action lawsuit.

[From Marcy to Bruno]

Thank you, Bruno. That is all.

[From Liu to Everyone]

Now, can we talk about the REAL problem here? Poor leadership on the fulfillment center floor and lazy workers who want to claim they are “hurt” so they can lay out of work and get paid.

[From Ben to Everyone]

And lack of accountability.

[From Liu to Everyone]

Yeah, that too. We invested millions on robots to make their work easier and provide speedier delivery to customers, so we get even more business, which makes their jobs more secure. Do they appreciate it? Noooooo.

[From Ben to Everyone]

Not to mention spending over $700 million to retrain people into new jobs after the robots began doing their work for them. And my math is good. My forecasts are correct. It’s just that we’ve gotten so much new business. It wasn’t my fault. These people should be glad to be getting more work. At least we aren’t outsourcing.

[From Liu to Everyone]

Yet. But maybe we should.

[From Marcy to Liu and Ben]

That’s enough. Do either of you have anything else constructive to add?

[From Liu to Everyone]

No, that’s it. Motivate the workers to do their jobs or replace them.

[From Ben to Everyone]

Nothing else from me.

[From Marcy to Liu and Ben]

Thank you both for your time and perspectives.

[From Marcy to You]

Well, what do you think we should do?

Slide 10
Title: Analysis

Select one of the following three options:

1. Hire or schedule more workers.

2. Add additional robots to the work floor.

3. Gather more information.

Slide 11
Title: Feedback

Response 1 or 2: Are you sure about that? I don’t think we know enough about the data, processes, and technology yet.

Response 3: Great response. You really do need additional information about the data, processes, and technology being used to manage supply chain operations.

Slide 12

[From Marcy to You]

No problem, I understand. I have another meeting I need to get to now. How about you get with your team and discuss this. You can then send me an email explaining what else you need to know and the process that you propose we use to solve these problems as soon as possible.

Slide 13
Title: Final Submission

Strong work staying with the issues and finding an optimal solution with your colleagues.

Return to your course in Blackboard where you will revise and submit the final information.

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