Please provide 1 Paragraph responses to the following two Discussion Question entries from other students. 

Entry 1:

 In your discussion, identify how current events might influence transportation, warehousing, and distribution requirements from manufactured good sources to customer needs.  You should ALSO analyze how global trade has impacted transportation, warehousing, and distribution requirements for the supply of raw materials and component parts needed for manufactured goods all the way to the end user (final customer).  

How might current events impact performance measurements and customer service?

The perfect example of a current event that is affecting everything that we do is Covid-19. Covid-19 affects transportation because there will be a greater wait time for the trucker while delivering or transferring goods. Another reason it can affect transportation is the fact that a lot of companies went to minimal manning and everything was done virtually. With that being said, many companies didn’t operate until the pandemic slowed down so work including transportation was at an all-time low. Warehousing would have been impacted in a lot of the same ways. Fewer personnel at work means that production of items took a hit. Less workers, less production, and less global trade especially. Most of the parts that warehouses receive to assemble the product comes from all over the world. With less people working and everything being at a standstill, the import and export market slowed down. What you didn’t receive from the market would have been priced even higher because of the demand there was. The demand didn’t change but the accessibility did. 

We had to tighten up when it came to performance measurements and customer service because on top of the already existing requirements, we had to now comply with added aspects. Just considering the workplace, there is now masks, some companies require vaccinations, and the sanitization standards are way higher than before, It may not seem like much but every little thing adds up, especially if you aren’t a main stream company.  Our performance has had to slow down because of these requirements, less face to face interaction and more over the phone, delivery, and curbside styles of service have come into play.

Entry 2:

The emergence of COVID-19 exposed how national economies are interconnected. With the increase in consumer demand in the United States, supply chains are further strained. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the September trade deficit was $80.9 billion, an increase of 11.2% since August 2021 (www.census.gov, 2021). Among the imports to the United States are raw goods that are used to manufacture products. According to an article by Mark Perry, written for The Detroit News in 2012, nearly 40% of the raw materials used in manufacturing are imported.

As the world continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, China recently imposed a seven-week quarantine on all returning sailors (Ha, et al., 2021). China is the world’s biggest exporter, and the new COVID requirement can further delay shipments on a global. China’s emergence as the leading exporter, was its ability to mass-produce which allowed companies to acquire raw materials cheaply, leveraging economy of scale.

In strategizing the current supply chain conditions, companies should evaluate their current min/max levels for high-volume goods. By increasing their raw material supply, warehousing will need to have the capacity to store an increase in stock. For some, they may have to acquire rented space to temporarily store materials until the supply normalizes. With the high demand, the cost of products to the consumer will increase. Another option for manufacturers is to seek alternative sources raw goods from locations that have a shorter lead time.

KPIs companies will continue to monitor are inventory cycles and safety stock. Also on-time delivery to customers will become increasingly important even more than before. Customers will look to competitors to obtain the goods within a desired time frame.

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