Publish Date:

At the heels of the United Nation’s groundbreaking report detailing the necessity for “unprecedented changes in the next decade” to avoid permanent damage to the Earth’s environment, sustainability and waste management in the business world, and beyond, have become essential factors of commerce across the globe.  The concept of creating products and services that are sustainable in the long-run is integrating itself as a key driver of companies’ operations and value chains, and innovation is necessary to achieve substantial results.  While efforts to keep our planet living intensify, so too will the call for businesses to operate environmentally safe processes.

Publish Date:

By some accounts, moving is ranked as the third-most stressful event a person can experience, after death of a relative and divorce. Two Men and a Truck started as an after-school business (Video: The Story of the Stickmen) for two high school boys in Lansing, Michigan. As a small business focused on local moving services, the company began in 1985 with $350, a hand-drawn logo, and an advertisement in a local community newspaper.

In 1989, Melanie Bergeron, the daughter of founder Mary Ellen Sheets, opened the first franchised office of Two Men and a Truck in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Melanie is now board chair, with Brig Sorber as the chief executive officer and Jon Sorber as executive vice president. Randy Shacka, who joined the company as an intern in 2001, was promoted in 2012 to president, and Brant Hartle is the Chief Financial Officer. Shacka is the first president of the company who did not come from the family.

Two Men and a Truck is no longer “two men and a truck.” The company has grown both domestically and internationally to most of the United States and some 380 locations worldwide.

Publish Date:

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, released 30 brand new Model 3 electric vehicles to Tesla employees in Fremont, California on July 28. Tesla advertises the Model 3 as one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market, competing with fuel-efficient cars like the Hyundai Ioniq EV, Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, and Nissan Leaf. While demand for the Model 3 is high—it has already gathered 50,000 advanced deposits—the vehicle’s mass-market accessibility is not as apparent. In comparison to Tesla’s Model S, which can be prepared for delivery in seven days, current customer orders for the Model 3 are expected to be ready within the next 12-18 months. What is the underlying cause of such a large disconnect between consumers and the product? The reason boils down to an exponential increase in production that connects directly to a supply chain that has “about 30 percent of its components coming from abroad.”

Publish Date:

[This blog post is based on a presentation I gave in a business-academic panel “jam session” at the American Marketing Association Summer Educators’ Conference, August 6, 2016. The slides with charts and data can be downloaded here].

The strategic importance placed on leveraging global supply chains has seen an exponential increase in the last decade. The world is now connected in a cogwheel fashion, where all 195 countries leverage inbound and outbound elements of global supply chains, and what happens in one part of the world – seemingly far away from where you are – oftentimes has an effect on what you do, perhaps even as a bullwhip effect; that is, small changes in some parts of the world has large cause-effect relationships with other parts.

Tremendous inbound and outbound growth in supply chain traffic has been seen in Asia, with lots more inbound in the last decade than ever before. But, the idea of “supply chain management” is still driven by the U.S. and to some degree Europe. These global supply chains are important given that customers expect the world to become more globalized than the companies expect to have to deliver in the next 20 years. This mismatch needs to be solved.

Publish Date:

Companies’ supply chains should be strategic, analytical, total value systems that are focused on bottom-line profit. The days when supply chains were an operational activity to get a truck from point A to point B are long gone. The leverage that supply chains need to give companies and, by extension, customers is telling.

Nowadays, depending on where you live, some 70 to 90 percent of what we buy for regular consumption and use are not made in our local area. And supply chains are increasingly becoming more strategic; companies leveraged supply chains for 17 percent of their strategy in 2005 and now that number is 21 percent.

Publish Date:

When out shopping and buying clothes and other apparel merchandise, a lot of people forget how far a product has come.  The supply chains of the apparel and textile industry have been under a lot of scrutiny and are in need of change.  Whether this change is for the rights and conditions of workers or to accommodate the ever changing online market, current conditions will not last much longer.