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Supply chains

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TechCrunch

Alumni Mahmoud Ghulman and Aziz Alghunaim co-founded Nash, a platform that allows businesses to select specific delivery providers based on price and availability, reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “By removing the technical, logistical, and operational overhead associated with offering a reliable delivery experience, Nash helped hundreds of businesses access new customers and revenue streams,” says Ghulman.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Laurence Kotlikoff spotlights the work of Institute Prof. Peter Diamond. Diamond’s work, notes Kotlikoff, clarified “that there are many levels of employment at which supply equals demand, including many that are very low.”

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell highlights the MIT Banana Lounge, a student-run operation that provides free bananas and also serves as a multi-functional meeting space for the community. “Of course, this being MIT, the students have totally optimized their free-tropical-fruit operation to get it down to (what else?) a science,” writes Buell. “Their commitment to smart banana storage and analysis of supply chains, not to mention documenting the merits of bananas over, say, apples, is truly something to behold. More data is involved than you would think.”

USA Today

According to Prof. Yossi Sheffi, increasing customer demand is the driving force behind the supply chain bottlenecks impacting the global delivery network. “The smoking gun for consumer demand as the main culprit is that bottlenecks didn’t emerge as a significant hurdle until spring of 2021, says Sheffi…That was after the federal government has juiced spending by sending three rounds of stimulus checks to most households,” writes Paul Davidson for USA Today.

TechCrunch

Ella Peinovich ’12 co-founded Powered by People, a wholesale e-commerce platform based in Kenya that connects small brands to global markets, reports Annie Njanja for TechCrunch. “We are providing these businesses with new visibility into the specialty retail market in North America,” says Peinovich.

The Wall Street Journal

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Prof. Yossi Sheffi notes that “just-in-time” (JIT) supply chains can help improve product quality and manufacturing processes, leading to reduced inefficiency. JIT “reinforces resilience because it strengthens the relationships along the supply chain between companies, their suppliers and customers,” writes Sheffi. “Close relationships allow companies to react collaboratively to supply-chain disruptions.”

The Wall Street Journal

A report by researchers from MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals found that nearly half of supply chain professionals have remained committed to the same level of supply chain sustainability as before the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Laura Cooper for The Wall Street Journal. “The report, which surveyed some of 2,400 supply-chain industry professionals, also showed that 36% sought to increase their efforts to be more sustainable,” writes Cooper.

WCVB

WCVB-TV spotlights two MIT startups, True Moringa, a beauty and wellness company that uses the oil from Moringa trees grown in Ghana to directly benefit farmers in Ghana, and Sourcemap, which traces supply chains and provides transparency about where goods are stemming from. Says Kwami Williams ’12, co-founder and CEO, of his inspiration for True Moringa: “I started to ask myself, if aerospace engineers can help put a man on the Moon, then what can I do to help put more food on the table for families” in Ghana.

CBS News

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with David Pogue of CBS Sunday Morning about what’s causing the current supply chain breakdowns. "The underlying cause of all of this is actually a huge increase in demand,” says Sheffi. “People did not spend during the pandemic. And then, all the government help came; trillions of dollars went to households. So, they order stuff. They order more and more stuff. And the whole global markets were not ready for this."

Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek reporters Brendan Murray and Enda Curran spotlight the MIT Beer Game, a role-playing exercise that is an annual rite-of-passage for first-year Sloan MBA students that “models the supply-and-demand dynamics among a brewery, distributor, wholesaler, and retailer.” “The pandemic revealed flaws that were latent all along our globalized supply chains,” says Prof. John Sterman. “It’s urgent that we figure out how to improve them so we are prepared for the next shocks, whether another pandemic, civil unrest, climate change—or all of the above.”

CNBC

Prof. John Sterman speaks with CNBC reporter Diana Olick about the impacts climate change will have on supply chains and how businesses can prepare. “What you want to do as a company is find ways to cut your emissions that also improve your resilience and generate other benefits for you, so that the risks that you face are lower,” says Sterman.

New York Times

In a letter to the editor that appeared in The New York Times, senior lecturer Jonathan Byrnes advocates for a continuous flow of vaccinations to quickly protect the population against Covid-19. “We need two things: 1) a core of highly experienced supply chain managers supplementing the public health professionals; and 2) a management structure, probably under the Defense Production Act, to coordinate, organize and manage the supply chain,” Byrnes writes.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Sharon Goldman spotlights Prof. Yossi Sheffi’s new book, “The New (Ab)Normal,” which examines how companies shifted their operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Goldman writes that in the book, Sheffi “details how businesses grappled with the chaos of the pandemic, and explores what enterprises are likely to do to survive and thrive in 2021 and beyond, after the pandemic starts to subside.”

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with Wall Street Journal reporters Sarah Krouse, Jared S. Hopkins and Ana Wilde Mathews about the challenges posed by distributing the Covid-19 vaccine across the country. “Everything has to come together—the packaging, the dry ice, the vials, the material itself. It all has to come together to the same place and have enough of it and exactly the right people there ready to take it,” says Sheffi. “Right now, there’s no conductor to the symphony,” just many parts that each need to work. 

Boston 25 News

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with Boston 25 reporter Jason Law about how the Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting supply chains. “I don’t think it’s going to be as bad because we are more prepared for this,” says Sheffi of potential impacts caused by the latest rise in Covid-19 cases. “People now in factories and warehouses have dividers that they can work between. Everybody is wearing a mask. People understand the issue better.”