Supply Chain Wednesday


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(1) Fulfilling: Satisfying

My work as a teacher is very fulfilling. I feel good because I can help people.

(2) Upstream: Earlier in a process.

They sent us too many items upstream so now we have a surplus.

(3) Downstream: Later in a process

Little errors here can become big problems downstream.



1. What’s a DC?

a. Delayed Choice

b. Direct Current

c. Distribution Center

2. Which of these is an example of cross fertilization of ideas?

a. Psychology separating itself from philosophy

b. A physicist studying economics

c. Game theory being used to program computers

3. How do pick workers feel about the new system?

a. It’s better work

b. It’s worse work

c. It’s about the same

7 ________________________



By Jeremy Schaar

Mick Mountz–Let the Inventory Walk and Talk (Part 6)

This is the final lesson on this great Mick Mountz video. In general, he explains an awesome supply chain management idea and you can hear a large amount of useful vocabulary in a real-life situation. Today, I’ll review some final vocabulary from the video. Click here to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

From the 8:00 mark he says that the distribution center has become a parallel processing engine. This comparison is a cross fertilization of ideas because parallel processing is an idea used in supercomputer architecture (i.e. structure). It’s used in to make more powerful computers. Basically, an idea from one area (computer science) is used in another area (supply chain management).

He finishes his talk by explaining some results. First, the pick workers can leave their spot without affecting the whole warehouse. They’ve become independent because they’re not connected to anyone. And they’re autonomous, which means that they decide what to do, without someone telling them what to do. In the past, a factory or a warehouse might have a conveyer which automatically moved items. However, if one worker had to leave, the whole process would have to stop. He says things aren’t messed up downstream. Downstream means later in a process. Upstream means earlier in a process.

Another cool thing is that dynamic and adaptive algorithms change the position of products. This just means that the computer learns which products are most popular and moves them to the front. You can see this on the thermal map, which is a map organized by how hot areas are. In his map an area is hotter if the items are more popular.

The end result for the pick workers is a more fulfilling work environment because the work isn’t so hard as before. Amazing.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

C, C, A


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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