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It’s critical for business leaders to stay current on the events that shape our world.

WEEK 2 – SCM640 – Discussion – Forum 1 & 2

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Week 2 – Discussion 1

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It’s critical for business leaders to stay current on the events that shape our world.  The Wall Street Journal is a premier source that integrates all things business.  Our series of Discussion Boards – one each week


Current Event: Toyota’s Chip Supply Helps It Beat GM for the First Time , By Sean McLain | July 6, 2021


Topics: Global Supply Chain Management


Summary: Toyota’s decision to build a stockpile of chips for its cars paid off by lifting it above General Motors in US sales in a context of production limited by chip shortages. Building on its experience following Japan’s 2011 earthquake, Toyota eased away from a strict application of its just-in-time production system. It built up a four-month stockpile of chips and other key parts. Toyota also bet earlier than most car makers on a recovering US car market.


Classroom Application: One of the major effects of the pandemic crisis is the move away from the just-in-time production system, in which parts are delivered to factories right as they are needed. Class discussion should focus on the pros and cons of the just-in-time production system from a strategic point of view. Note this related article:




1.            What is the “just in time” production system? What is the logic behind it? Based on what you have learned in other classes,


2.            What were the benefits of “just in time” and how did Toyota originally hit on the idea of adopting it?


3.            What troubles have car makers suffered during the pandemic? Why is “just in time” now a liability?


4.            What are the alternatives to “just in time”? What alternative to “just in time” has Toyota developed? How did Toyota gain a competitive advantage as a result?


Note: See attached file information for week 2 -Discussion 1 material (Article; Toyota Chip Supply Help …..)


Week 2 – Discussion 2




How has eCommerce changed the overall modal-mix from pre-2020?


For the future of eCommerce, what do you think is the most important transformation that needs to happen in transportation (either in a single mode or integrated with multiple modes)?


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