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Logistics

Michigan Liquor Control Commission

Q1: What alternative designs for distilled liquor distribution in Michigan might be considered?

Re-designing the liquor distribution system in Michigan would be a complex business.  There are two distinct aspects to this: (1) Dealing with the compliance issues that a regulatory agency, such as the liquor board, enforces with the states liquor laws (2) The liquor store acts as a wholesaler for the sale of spirits in the state. In addition any re-design of the distribution network would need to consider a number of important parameters i.e. (1) Increasing the states return by reducing distribution costs and inefficiencies (2) Placing Information Technology (Management Information Systems) to bring about improved inventory management and increasing overall levels of performance (3) To deal with four additional specific objectives, these being identified as follows:-

  • Maintaining current service levels;
  • Increasing inventory turnaround;
  • Reducing administration costs;
  • Gaining control over a complex socioeconomic policy area.

Further changes made would need to reflect  important key operational issues that include such items as: pricing, service levels, projected retail sales taxation, supply chain and a number of economic and political considerations.  Previous attempts at redesign of the system had not been successful because of failure to embrace all of the required considerations.  The important elements in the redesign of a new system would need to address:

  • Improved streamlining of business process and reduction of costs
  • Inventory Control including supply chain management
  • Improved Financial Controls within an integrated system concept

Q2 :  Discuss the benefits and risks of alternative designs for distilled liquor distribution.

| Benefits –  The benefits of system redesign may be considerable if this is approached in the right way.  The revised system must be an integrated system that is fully inclusive of a wide range of considerations. The incorporation of integrated management information systems may speed up processing, reduce administrative costs, eliminate wastage and duplication of effort and improve both supply chain and inventory control.  The combined benefits should adequately repay the cost of investment in setting this up.  As these are relatively standard procedures there is a large amount of custom off the shelf software applications that may be adapted to meet this need.  Integration can be accomplished by the introduction of  Relational Database (RDBMS) to that of sophisticated inventory control and tracking systems.  (Michigan Government, 2004)

 

| Risks –  Risks are associated with the complexity of the business and the transition of change from the old to the new system.  This may because cost over-runs if the system is not specified correctly or is poorly designed.  The liquor board may need to introduce new resources with different skill sets and introduce training programs for other staff, all adding to the initial set-up costs. The system has to address a wide range of internal and external stakeholder requirements and this suggests a very good logical design of the system that encapsulates a wide range of mandatory and other requirements.  The danger of using antiquated systems is that they are costly to operate and reduce employee motivation.  Hence poor job performance overall hinders productivity and efficiency.  Equally, the public sector does not have the funding capacity or capability as the private sector  and investment in new technology is not often a priority item.

Q3. Are the historical conditions which the current liquor distribution system is based upon  still important today ? what, if any other factors exist that require consideration?

Yes historical considerations are still important, consider : (1) Dealing with the compliance issues that a regulatory agency, such as the liquor board, enforces with the states liquor laws (2) The liquor store acts as a wholesaler for the sale of spirits in the state. Legal compliance issues have to be addressed and often these tend to get more complex over time.  Wholesaling stresses the importance of inventory control and supply chain management. In order to change the system it will require a great deal of consultation with internal and external stakeholders. For example: (1) Increasing the states return by reducing distribution costs and inefficiencies (2) Placing Information Technology (Management Information Systems) to bring about improved inventory management and increasing overall levels of performance (3) To deal with additional specific objectives etc.

Q4: Does an inherent social conflict exist when state governments rely upon tax contributions from liquor sales to fund educational programs?

An inherent social conflict may well exist. Schools may be involved in campaigns to dissuade students from items like smoking, drinking (liquor) and drugs in order to safeguard younger people’s health interests; being more vulnerable to social pressures at this age.  If state governments were reliant upon tax contributions from the liquor stores  to fund educational programs this might seem both politically incorrect and being hypocritical by nature.

A counter argument might state that the two are not linked and that the government has to raise taxes from different sources, including that of liquor boards. If such taxes are then channelled into education  this may be seen as a positive attribute coming from the consumption of liquor.  The key word here is the government `relying` upon a single source of revenue for education, the source of the revenue does not make it morally correct. (EUP News, 2012)

 

Q5 : How would you organise the final report on distilled liquor distribution in Michigan if you were Joseph Duncan

 

One approach that Joseph might adopt in the presentation of his report is to utilise a PEST analysis report ( Fig 1 refers).  This approach would divide the report up into four main sections that discuss different aspects of the systems redesign proposal.  For example: (Quick MBA, 2012)

  • Political – The opportunity to illustrate how changes of government and public attitudes influence the proposed direction of change.  Will include such items as legal concerns, socio-economic concerns, regulations and mandatory items imposed on the business.
  • Economic – Examines the economic and financial implications of proposed change in the system redesign and how any variables might impact future development.
  • Social –  This will look at the social demographics of what is being proposed. It will focus upon the stakeholder analysis and those factors that are important for successful business systems delivery i.e. the critical success factors.
  • Technological – Embraces the technology changes that may be required in order to improve the overall system performance. This may include such items as improved communications, new hardware and software costs, education and training, alignment to strategic goals and objectives of the business.

This representation often includes a similar profile called a SWOT Analysis that illustrates the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the business.  Given the large amount of supporting data this report should be produced as an Executive Summary ( brief, concise and to the point in no more than 4 pages) relegating subordinate data to working papers.

 

References

EUP News. (2012, 1 12). MLCC Warns Parents of Underage Drinking Dangers. Retrieved from EUP News: http://eupnews.com/tag/michigan-liquor-control-commission/

Michigan Government. (2004). A Guide to the Rights and Responsibilities of Local Governments under the Liquor Control Code. Lansing MI: Michigan Government.

Quick MBA. (2012, 1 12). Pest Analysis. Retrieved from Quick MBA: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/pest/

Categories
Logistics

Package Making and RFID

When it comes to tracking packages as they are being transferred from one location to another, it is important to make sure that each item is recorded according to its current location. This way, the packages are kept on the schedule as it travels according to the intended route towards its destination. However, due to distance and other elements considered during travel, there are instances when tracking the said packages becomes largely impossible. Usually, such approach to tracking involves the inclusion of several human encoders who are assigned to make sure that the location of the packages is recorded accordingly. This process however means that the business should be able to release amicable amount of resources that could jeopardize the financial standing of the organization.

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Logistics

Packaging Design Briefing

Product – Laptop Computer

Product Information: To be completed by Marketing and forwarded to Package Engineering.

Product description: The product is a newly designed laptop computer.  The product dimensions are 15” x 11” x 1-1/2”.  It weighs 8 pounds.

Production of product: The product will be produced in quantities of 3000 in Texas and shipped by truck to 5 different distribution centers in the United States and then will be distributed to stores in quantities of 10 per store.

In-store sales method:  One model will be on display in the store out of the packaging, the rest will remain in the package in the back room of the store until they are sold.

Price Point of product:  This is a mid-range laptop computer.

Specific requirements of package in the store:  The package must show the brand name and some legal information.  In addition to the product, the package must contain a power cord, the battery (to be put into the computer by the end-use customer) and an instruction manual.

Package Information – To be completed by Package Engineering

Electronic gadgets to be shipped and stored for a specific span of time ought to be protected accordingly. This is especially true due to the idea that gadgets, such as laptops, have specific materials that could be put in danger especially during the transfer periods. First to note in this case is the actual packaging material to be used.

The overall packaging system of the laptop to be released under this project shall be based o the three C’s of environment-friendly business operations. The three C’s include the cube, the content and the curb.

To be more organized in handling the presentation, the different levels of packaging shall be grouped accordingly in the discussion that follows:

  • OUTER PACKAGE:

The outer package is supposed to have simple yet appealing look, which bears the name of the product and the logo of the company. It should also have a Quality Assurance Sticker, which would provide the buyers an assurance that the product has passed quality control operations even before the laptops were shipped to the retail stores. This further assures the buyers with the idea that the items were tested and were proven of high quality when they left the manufacturer’s end. Relatively, this shall render the retailers and the way they stock their products responsible for particular damages. Nevertheless, the possibility of some items being subjected to particular shipping damages should not be put aside and alternatives should be considered accordingly. The need to avoid such occurrences though is a primary desire that needs to be addressed by the company. Establishing good inner packaging materials that would protect the whole set of gadget package in the box.

Along with the quality assurance sticker, the ISO approval and the IEEE assurance stamps should also be present in the outer layer of the packaging. All these specific notifications intend to increase the possibility of the buyers to trust the manufacturer’s capacity to provide quality product for the market.

It should also be noted that the outer packaging [or the cube] should be created under a minimized dimension of size to reduce waste materials and improve the storage approach that is to be used later on in retail stores where the laptops are to be kept before being released in the market.

  • INNER PACKAGE DIVISIONS: (The insides of the box includes the charger, connectors, several CDs for installation, the laptop and a manual) The division of the inside package is designed to provide protection to each specific element in the box. The charger needs to be well protected and yet separated from the laptop so as not to make any scratches that will render the product unsalable. The same is true with the other items such as that of the connectors. The CD’s should have their own paper packaging thus protecting them from any particular scratches as well.
    1. The division should include separate cushioning inserts as well as green-boxes made from mushroom-made boxes. : The cushioning materials are to be made from green resources including bamboo and mushroom packaging to make sure that the company is able to respond to the environmental responsibilities it has specifically promised to give attention to.
  • LAPTOP PROTECTIVE CASE:

The plastic case shall be accompanied by a bubble wrap therefore protecting the whole gadget; this case shall be in direct contact with the laptop hence it is important that it does not cause any scratches or any moisture on the gadget during travel and during storage phases.

Primary Package

(The package that comes in direct contact with the product, the retail package)

  • Describe the function(s) that must be served by the primary package for this product (include all that apply).
  • The primary package which includes the bubble wrap and the foam-based plastic case is to be used to protect the laptop from being scratched, The bubble wrap shall be the stress protector which will keep the gadget from being affected by any ‘shock’ from the movement that might occur during the travelling phase.
  • What is your recommendation for the material(s) that should be used for the primary package?
  • Given that there is a need to respond to the environmental requirement of creating sustainable packages for the gadget, the bubble wrap and the plastic foam wrap are supposed to be made from recycled plastic [although at present, such condition of packaging material is still being researched upon]. For this case, the major elements to be used as per suggested include bamboo and mushroom based packaging.
  • Please justify your material(s) selection. Include the advantages of this material for this purpose and the disadvantages or concerns of using this material.
  • Mushroom and bamboo-based materials for packaging are expected to respond to the environmental responsibility of the company while also performing its main role of protecting the product itself. Understandably, these materials are easy to store and easy to recycle at the same time hence making the packaging both practical and economical for the company.
  • What method of printing do you recommend for the primary package?
  • The printing process to adapted for this particular packaging is offset lithography. Please justify your recommendation of print method. Include the advantages of this print method for this package and the disadvantages or concerns of using this print method.
  • Besides being the most common process of printing on packaging materials, it is also considered economical and practical especially for the aspect of mass production. After which, applying reprographics is to be considered for the recopying of high quality packaging boxes for the entire gadget and all the other accessories that come along with it.
  • Have you made any assumptions in choosing the material or print method?
  • The box in itself shall be white to reduce color repressing thus lessening the cost of the application of the printing procedures involved. Realizing this point, making assumptions on the printing choice did not occur as the plan is basically focused on adapting an effective yet cost efficient approach.
  • What environmental concerns must be addressed for the primary packaging?
  • The sustainability of each packaging material is important. When it comes to the primary packaging, utilizing bamboo and mushroom-sourced materials is considered highly efficient for this matter.

Secondary Package

(The packaging used to ship the product from manufacturing location through distribution and to the retail store)

The secondary package would be made out of mushroom and bamboo-based Styrofoam-crates. These specific materials are expected to provide high-end quality performance in protecting all the gadgets while they are being shipped. Each crate would have a capacity of six boxes of laptops placed side by side. The crates could be stacked up to three tiers. This limit is expected to make sure that the products in the boxes are well protected and would not receive any particular weight pressure during the travel time.

  • Describe the function(s) that must be served by the secondary package for this product (include all that apply).
  • The secondary packaging should protect the whole set of laptops being shipped at one time. The correlative utilization of the said form of divisible packaging is designed to protect each gadget individually through anti-pressure assumption of the approach.
  • What is your recommendation for the material(s) that should be used for the secondary package?
  • The secondary package is also expected to be based on sustainable materials involving bamboo and mushroom Styrofoam crates. These materials are assured to be strong enough to withstand pressure from the travel procedures.
  • Please justify your material(s) selection. Include the advantages of this material for this purpose and the disadvantages or concerns of using this material.
  • The sustainability of the materials chosen for the secondary packaging aims to provide more protection for the packages while also assuring cost effective options for the company manufacturing the gadgets while also paying for the packaging to be used.
  • What method of printing do you recommend for the secondary package?
  • For this case, only the sides of the Styrofoam crates shall be printed for the sake of identifying the product easily even when they are already kept in storage rooms of the retail stores where they are to be delivered. The same process of printing shall be used as it is with the primary packaging. Offset lithography is to be used just the same.
  • Please justify your recommendation of print method. Include the advantages of this print method for this package and the disadvantages or concerns of using this print method.
  • Offset lithography was chosen because of the fact that it fits all different base-sources and does produce color-rich images which is a very important aspect to consider when printing the sides of the crates to make sure that the products become recognized according to the brand.
  • Have you made any assumptions in choosing the material or print method?
  • The choice for the printing method and the material for the secondary packaging have been well planned and was rather focused on the mentioned procedures herein, which means assumptions and testing was not a necessary process to incur in relation to this case.
  • What environmental concerns must be addressed for the secondary packaging?
  • Since the crates are to be made from sustainable and high quality materials, reusing them would be an easy choice to take. This would further improve the aspect of cost-effective approach that the whole plan is based upon.

 

 

 

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Logistics

Package Testing

In the planning and design process, it is important to consider the aspect of package testing. Understandably, package testing is more focused on assuring that the product is safely kept and is assured of high quality even when being shipped from one location towards a specific destination. The packaging testing process involves several laboratory testing approaches whereas the packages of the products are subjected to several conditions both environmental and technical which could actually instill a sense of repercussion on the packaging and the production itself.

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Logistics

Why you should always eat Breakfast

Why You Should Always Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is considered to be our most important meal of the day because most of our day’s energy is obtained from it, especially if it is rich in protein and fibre. It also provides you with vitamins and minerals. It should keep away the hunger pangs until lunch time; and as a result, keep you from unhealthy snacking and overeating at lunch. It will start up your metabolism and keep you at a healthy weight.  You will also be able to better focus and concentrate and be less likely to become cranky and get headaches. Studies have shown that students who do not eat breakfast—especially a healthy one—do poorly in school.  As a result, many schools offer free healthy breakfasts.  There are actually a couple of want ads of large Fortune 500 companies who offer free nutritious breakfasts every morning (as well as gyms and showers).  They know that their employees will be much more creative and productive as a result.  They will also be healthier and save the company money by taking fewer sick days.

Many people who skip breakfast say that they do not have time in the morning to make and to eat it.   A bran muffin, an orange, and a glass of milk are healthy and much better than nothing.  Limit your intake of juice—unless you make it yourself—as most of it is heavily laden with sugar with the result that while you may receive a quick energy boost, you will also likely crash after a couple of hours.  Some people put left-overs such as potatoes, beans, and ham pieces in a pan and top it with scrambled egg.  It heats while you dress!  So eat breakfast!

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Logistics

Wal-Mart’s Packaging and Sustainability Objectives

Packaging gives major opportunities for decreasing energy use and greenhouse gases, and for saving the $4 billion worth of goods that now ends up in landfills,” said Matt Hale, director of the agency’s Office of Solid Waste.

But when it attempted shipping toys, plates and other non-eatable items to its restaurants in biodegradable packages, the firm found they could not stand the heat inside the trucks (Lewis and Jordan, 2005). And it had to make use of more virgin fiber to get the whiteness of its food bags.

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Logistics

Product Packaging: Printing Strategy

Introduction

The revolutionary culture of the modern business industry that captures the global scene has made possible for nations to interlock their functions especially when it comes to helping each other in relation to creating and producing brands that the market would specifically give attention to. Relatively, this relationship between nations and the businesses that are operating within the said regions spur from being able to provide each other with the resources that they need and get a balanced share from what the businesses gain from the market they serve. Proving a more responsive condition of development in relation to such connection, several businesses have now created bonds between each other as they intend to further their connection from being just supplier and buyer to becoming alliances in the industry. One of the most common connective relationship in the industry is that of the supplier-buyer connection between producers and creators that provide the different resources for the finalization of the products. The most common among these production add-ons is that of the packaging.

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Logistics

Retail Packaging

Designing retail packaging is an important step for any product. One of the first decisions to be made is whether to use paper or plastic as the packaging material. There are advantages and disadvantages to both materials. There are a number of factors that come into play when making a decision over which material to use. These factors include protection, visibility, added value, added cost, and environmental or legal issues. How paper and plastic fare when these factors are considered can help make the decision for packaging material much simpler.

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Logistics

Packaging Material Comparison

Introduction

There are many ways to ship things and wood and plastic containers are two good options. In reality there are some items that will ship better in wood and some that will ship better in plastic. What one is shipping is going to determine the packaging needed\ or that is preferable for any particular shipment. Paper shipping is also an alternative that holds promise but also has disadvantages.  Comparing the three options has to do with the content , however; some general qualities that apply to both shipping methods prove to be true This study will look at all three types of shipping and determine whether one is better than the other and arrive at a conclusion on this issue.

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Logistics

Package Handleing

In a shipping system, pallets are tools used to stack, store, move or transport goods and products through the supply chain. Pallets are designed to hold goods and products in place while being transported within the warehouse or to outside locations. Pallets allow workers to move large quantities of items all at once, as opposed to one at a time. They are also good for creating more storage space (What Is a Warehouse Pallet, 2013).

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Logistics

Proper Distribution Environments for the Structural Design of Packages

A package’s distribution environment is important in establishing its structural design. During the process of shipping and handling, packages often become damaged. If the distribution environment is accounted for, the minimum amount of damage will occur. Protocols have been established in order to ensure that the package arrives with minimal damage.

Any potential hazards that a package may encounter must be considered before determining its distribution environment. Potential hazards may include vertical drops, high impacts, vibrations, extreme temperatures, and compression loads. Expedited shipping or travel conditions, such as if the package is shipped via truck, plane, train, or boat can affect the state of the package. The package’s weight, fragility, and location of the shipping label can also affect the distribution environment.

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Logistics

The Packaging Industry

The packaging industry involves the distribution of goods and also their storage and method by which they are wrapped and labeled. According to Natarajan (2009), “Packaging is a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, distribution, storage, retailing and end use” (p. 2). This system comprises varied processes that are driven by the expertise of those working in various packaging professions.

Information about the packaging industry and professions within the industry is readily available online on sites such as the Institute of Packaging Professionals (www.iopp.org) or the World Packaging Organization (www.worldpackaging.org). These websites are a significant resource for students learning about the packaging industry, and also for people interested in working in the industry. For example, the sites offer information about packaging industry news, events, and publications. These are excellent resources for keeping up-to-date with current packaging industry trends and also for networking opportunities for those interested in becoming packaging professionals. Additionally, for students, both of these websites can serve as reference resources for gathering industry facts for completing reports or discussion questions for school. Also, the Institute of Packaging Professionals offer information on classes, training and scholarship opportunities for students and packaging professionals who may desire to pursue continuing education in their field. In addition, the World Packaging Organization website has links to published papers that are significant to the packaging industry. These can serve as resources for research topics for students or expert information for packaging professionals.

These organizations definitely offer significant value that contributes to spreading knowledge about the packaging industry and to bringing together packaging industry professionals and those wishing to become packaging industry professionals.

Reference

Natarajan, S. (2009). Fundamentals of Packaging Technology . PHI Learning.

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Logistics

International Logistics

The most appropriate Schedule B and Harmonized Tariff classifications

The most appropriate Schedule B and Harmonized Tariff classifications to use will be chosen based on the materials used to make the shoes, their models, and the percentage rates if the duty to get paid for each.

For harmonized tariffs, the best will be the subcategory that contains other footwear with upper or rubber plastics and outer soles. This category incorporates Ski-f0otware, snowboard boots, cross country and ski boots which are the primary categories of rock climbing sports shoes. Their general rates of duty are free and other rates below 9% for those valued over US$.3.5. The most appropriate Schedule B classification tallies with that if Harmonized Tarif Under section XII with Umbrellas, Headgears, and Footwear.