The Friday Report: APRIL 29TH, 2022

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Innovation in Way Alcohol is Shipped Can Reduce 60% to 90% of Carbon Dioxide 


Consumers are pressuring brands to develop circular supply chains, that is models adapted to reuse materials so that waste and pollution can be decreased. Singapore-based company EcoSpirits has come up with a new low carbon, low waste spirits technology system and now is partnered with Pernod Ricard as well as with iconic hotels including Singapore’s Raffles Hotel and London’s Savoy. 

Instead of pumping alcoholic liquids into glass bottles and shipping them around the globe, the producer ships the liquid in bulk containers.  Upon reaching local destinations, alcoholic beverages are decanted.  Smaller, reusable containers known as ecoTotes are filled and then transported to venues, including bars, hotels, sporting, and hospitality facilities.  Upon arrival, the alcoholic beverages are put into bottles to which consumers are already accustomed or dispensed into glasses such as through an integral tap.  Empty containers are returned to processing plants and refilled.  

According to EcoSpirits, each ecoTotes can eliminate over 1,000 single-use glass bottles over its lifetime. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

Robot-Made Tortilla Chips May Be Coming to a Chipotle Near You 


Supply chain and manufacturing businesses are not the only ones dealing with labor shortages.  Popular restaurant chain Chipotle is using a robot to make tortilla chips in a test kitchen.  Named “Chippy”, artificial intelligence has been used to train Chippy to replicate the company recipe to make the tasty tortilla chips. 

Chipotle is working on efficiency improvement using collaborative robotics.  This will enable the company to leverage its human workers for other tasks within the facility.  Chippy makes, cooks, and seasons the tortilla chips on a test basis at Chipotle’s innovation hub. 

This collaborative robot was developed by Miso Robotics which also provides similar systems to White Castle and Buffalo Wild Wings for use and testing, respectively. 

Before making a final decision on whether to implement Chippy, feedback will be solicited from team members and guests. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

Furniture Industry Adjusts to COVID Realities in Vietnam 


Over the past two years, retailers and major brands have struggled with supply chain disruptions and have resorted to developing new strategies to resolve supply chain challenges.  The home furnishings industry has experienced special challenges related to shipping due to the large scale, bulky nature of the goods they sell. 

With components of furniture goods sourced from all around the world, there have been delays in obtaining leather, fabrics, oil, lumber, and springs, as well as in shipping the finished goods from the point of manufacture to consumers. As a strategy, just-in-time manufacturing, no longer works for the industry.  Retailers have learned over the past two years to build up inventory.  With the increased number of Americans working from home, sales of home furnishings have risen. 

While building up inventory has largely resolved the supply issue, it has created a new problem:  the increased inventory carrying cost of goods sitting in warehouses.  This cost ultimately is passed along to consumers.  With inflation now higher and more consumers returning to work in offices, concerns are mounting that demand may drop, leading to product delays, cancelled orders, and frustration. 

New challenges have now arisen.  As Vietnam lifted COVID restrictions, thousands of migrant workers, critical to the manufacturing labor force, left the country.  Ports in Vietnam experienced delays from COVID lockdowns.                    

Here are the top brands most dependent on Vietnam:  Foot Locker, Adidas AG, Nike, Puma GR, and Skechers. 

For more information, please continue reading here. 

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