Microsoft Surface Neo

In 2009, Microsoft was believed to be developing a dual surface tablet called Courier, but nothing ever came of it and instead Microsoft developed the Surface tablet.

As of October 2nd, Microsoft has decided to bring back a dual-screen tablet called the Surface Neo. It will use Windows 10 updated software called Windows 10X and be more user-friendly not only for tablets but also for mobile devices and any device that allows the user to use their fingers. Windows 10X will have all the similar features of Windows 10, but will sadly remove the Start Menu and will be similar to Windows 8.

In addition to the Microsoft Surface Neo using Microsofts updated user software, it will also have a magnet keyboard that easily detaches and is stored underneath one of the dual-screen. As well as a Wonder Bar that’s very similar to Apple’s Touch Bar and it will also have a slim pen.

The expected release date for the Microsoft Surface Neo isn’t until the 2020 holidays. It’s assumed the reason for an early information release is for App developers to develop apps that work in accordance with the dual screens, and work out any kinks that could possibly result from having dual-screens. Just like the Samsung Galaxy Fold Phone that had so much hype and expectation, but had so many issues and was a huge let down for its consumer base. We’ll see if this means dual screens will make a comeback and become the new norm after it’s release in late 2020 and how competitors like Apple and Samsung will respond.

Sources:

https://www.slashgear.com/windows-10x-official-dual-screen-os-with-some-big-changes-02593836/

Amazon in the retail shipping industry

References

https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/08/09/a-painful-breakup-amazon-and-fedex/#451c05df77fd

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/15/amazon-will-compete-with-fedex-and-ups-to-become-logistics-company.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/fedex-amazon-delivery-capabilities-vs-amazon-logistics-2019-7

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2019/06/28/amazon-versus-fedex-the-retail-shipping-wars/#3b79db42662e

Background

Since 2015, Amazon has been building up an internal logistics network so it can deliver its own packages — a move that saves the retail giant money. It costs Amazon $6 to move a single box through its own network, versus $8 to $9 to move through UPS or FedEx. Given Amazon’s scale, that could be a couple of billion dollars at least in savings.

From Partners To Competitors (FEDEX and Amazon)

Amazon has been bolstering its own delivery network for years to get orders to customers more quickly. The move puts it in direct competition with services like FedEx and UPS. As Amazon has expanded its logistics and pushed the envelope on shipping, FedEx has matched it step for step, including offering things like expanded fulfilment centers, faster shipping and robots and automation. The long partnership could now turn into a strong rivalry.

Losing Amazon could seem like a big drop for FedEx, but it actually opens the door to partner with other retail giants, including its existing deals with Walmart and Walgreens. FedEx says one of the key factors in deciding not to renew its contract with Amazon was because it wanted to focus on the larger e-commerce market. The number of e-commerce packages is expected to grow from 50 million to 100 million a day by 2026.

Amazon is a leading company in the e-commerce and logistics space, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to broken partnerships. Its aggressive delivery strategy cost it a deal with FedEx. Time will tell if the internal delivery service is ready to handle the large influx of orders and deliveries.

Why Amazon Is Bringing Logistics In-House

Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Brian T. Olsavsky said it: “What we like about our ability to participate in transportation is that a lot of times we can do it at the same costs or better and we like the cost profile of it, too.”

Not to mention, Amazon can use all of the data they can bring to bear to create the most efficient e commerce shipping solution possible. But what is behind the big push?

Shipping is expensive. Companies everywhere are wrestling with slim margins made slimmer by heavy operations costs. Amazon has some of the most advanced warehouses on the planet. They’re constantly looking to innovate and streamline their current operations.

Despite these efforts, Amazon’s worldwide shipping costs were fifteen times higher in 2018 than in 2009.

Inside an Amazon Air operation

Amazon Air currently has planes at 21 U.S. airports and it’s opening new regional hubs this year in Fort Worth, Texas, Wilmington, Ohio, and expanding one in Rockford, Illinois.

Amazon will open a $1.5 billion air hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021. There it will have capacity for 100 planes — double the number in its fleet now — and will plan to schedule 200 flight landings and departures each day.

One bustling Amazon Air operation is at Ontario International Airport in Southern California. It recently dethroned Atlanta as the country’s No. 1 airport for outgoing cargo.

“We have about eight flights a day on Prime Air,” said Ontario International Airport Deputy Executive Director Atif Elkadi. “I know when they started here a couple of years ago it was maybe three or four flights a day and it has steadily increased.”

Some of the Amazon aircraft CNBC saw at Ontario International are repainted with blue Prime branding, while others still carry logos of the airlines Amazon leases the planes from: Atlas Air, ABX Air and air cargo conglomerate Air Transport Services Group.

Once Amazon packages are offloaded from Amazon planes, they’re sorted on site at the Ontario airport, loaded onto Amazon semi trucks and sent out to one of its 185 fulfilment centers. Amazon Air has gotten so busy in the region that it recently opened a new center at March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley, just 30 miles from Ontario International.

 

Questions

  1. What does the logistics industry look like?
  2. Will Fedex’s decision to part ways from Amazon be sustainable in the long run?
  3. Can Amazon sustain its logistics business?

 

 

 

 

Renewable energy and sustainability at Nike

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistance

Multinational corporation, Nike, announced the opening of Court; a distribution center that will run on entirely renewable energy in Ham, Belgium. As part of the company’s goal to achieve zero carbon operations by 2025, this new distribution center will run on clean energy from wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass local sources.

The opening of a distribution center in a key location in Europe will have environmental and operational effects for Nike. With a network of canals near Court, containers could be shipped by water thereby reducing the reliance on truck deliveries. In addition to increased sustainability, Nike will be well positioned to expand its logistics reach to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East faster, safer and greener.

How can companies go green and expand their logistics capabilities?

Are companies actively reducing their carbon footprint?

Can distribution centers be environmentally friendly?

Source: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/nike-distribution-center-100-renewable-energy/563497/

New privacy tools from Google

Google has recently announced new ways to delete your personal data automatically. Google is ahead of its counterparts, Facebook and Twitter, in letting its users delete its data. These new privacy tools allow the user to decide how long to keep your history i.e. until you delete manually, keep for 18 months, or keep for 3 months. Google is looking to expand these tools to all its services. Right now, they have launched for YouTube, soon the ability to delete location data in Google Maps is also coming.

There are upsides and downsides to deleting your data. You won’t receive personalized recommendations to what you view, as this is important to the user experience. Videos that you’ve already seen or articles that you’ve already ready could start showing in your feed. However, one wouldn’t have targeted ads according to their browsing or search history, but the ads will be more irrelevant to your needs. To a cybersecurity paranoid person, these features can be seen as very appealing as they allow you to delete your data indefinitely. Google has announced these tools after a lot of backlash over privacy in the past few years and this is an initiative in the right direction that can incentivize other social media firms to follow. For further reading read the link below,

Googe Data Delete

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/technology/personaltech/google-data-self-destruct-privacy.html

Autonomous Vehicles transforming supply chains by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

Last Mile Delivery and Distribution Center Implications

The final mile of delivery is usually a bottleneck in the delivery process, both to suppliers and distributors alike. They result in delays frequently, even with the close proximity of the product to the end consumer. Thus, companies have begun experimenting with autonomous vehicles, that could deliver goods to the end costumer without the presence of a driver within the vehicle. Self-driven vehicles seem to affect coordination by decreasing costs and delays. They may to incredibly affect distribution and production centers as well. A common hone has been to construct these in cheaper areas, where good roads and human resources were available. With a move in customer prerequisites that presently call for speedier deliveries, these huge centers will have to be built closer to the end buyer. These centers will also have to be smaller in size, since companies want to be present near the end consumer at various places rather than being present in limited or central locations. This would increase the cost of real estate, warehouse costs and operational costs. However, these costs can be offset by the reduction in costs due to the implementation of these autonomous vehicles for the last mile deliveries. These vehicles can operate for longer hours, are less prone to accidents due to human errors, thus increasing operational efficiencies.

No drivers for long hauls

It is most likely that these autonomous vehicles will see their implementation in long distance travel first. Since driving on highways is more predictable than on city roads, it requires for lesser skills to navigate. Currently, a large chunk of the transportation costs arise from having to pay drivers. Also, drivers can only drive for a certain number of hours at a stretch and then need to rest. Thus, the vehicle lies idle for that duration. Hence, driverless vehicles would reduce these costs and improve efficiencies.

Corporations are also looking into “platooning”,  in which a group of trucks would travel together over long distances.  The lead vehicle would fix a speed and direction and the following vehicles would just have to follow it.During the last leg of the travel, or the last miles, these vehicles would go in their separate directions respectively. This would not only reduce the costs of having drivers, but also reduce the risk accidents and fuel costs.

Reference:

Impact of Autonomous Vehicles in Your Supply Chain – Bâton Global. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.batonglobal.com/post/impact-of-autonomous-vehicles-in-your-supply-chain.

Questions:

  1. How will autonomous vehicles change supply chain as we know?
  2. How will driverless vehicles solve the last mile delivery issue?
  3. How can driverless vehicles be used to reduce transportation costs?

 

 

Disruptive Innovations transforming  logistics by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

Disruptive innovation and bid data can address many challenges in logistics. Some of them are:

  1. The Last Mile of Shipping Can Be Quickened – The last mile of a supply chain is notoriously inefficient, costing up to 28% of the overall delivery cost of a package.
  2. Reliability Will Be More Transparent – As sensors become more prevalent in transportation vehicles, shipping, and throughout the supply chain, they can provide data enabling greater transparency than has ever been possible.
  3. Routes Will Be Optimized – If you underestimate how many vehicles a particular route or delivery will require, then you run the risk of giving customers a late shipment, which negatively affects your client relationships and brand image. Optimizing saves money and avoids late shipments.
  4.  Sensitive Goods Are Shipped With Higher Quality – Keeping perishables fresh has been a constant challenge for logistics companies. However, big data and the Internet of Things could give delivery drivers and managers a much better idea of how they can prevent costs due to perished goods. A temperature sensor inside the truck could alert the driver, and suggest alternate routes.
  5.  Automation of Warehouses and The Supply Chain – The ability to accurately predict demand in every DC, retailer, and customer is the holy grail of being able to deploy inventory where and when it is needed.
  6.  Better inventory deployment and labor management – For retail store managers, planning shifts to meet customer demand is a sensitive task- overstaffing kills profitability, and understaffing results in angry customers.  Planning has always been done based on history.  One retailer took into account the following additional data:
  • New delivery times
  • Local circumstances and holidays
  • Road construction
  • Weather forecasts

Big data and predictive analytics gives logistics companies the extra edge they need to overcome these obstacles. Sensors on delivery trucks, weather data, road maintenance data, fleet maintenance schedules, real time fleet status indicators, and personnel schedules can all be integrated into a system that looks at the past historical trends and gives advice accordingly.

References:

Swingle, K. (2017, September 25). Disruptive Innovation in Logistics. Retrieved from https://www.spartanwarehouse.com/blog/spartan-logistics-understanding-big-date-and-how-its-revolutionizing-logistics.

Questions:

  1. What challenges can be fixed with big data and disruptive innovations in logistics?
  2. How does big data help in better inventory deployment?
  3. How does big data improve reliability in transportation?

 

Automation in Manufacturing by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

Three types of automation in production can be distinguished: (1) fixed automation, (2) programmable automation, and (3) flexible automation.

Fixed automation, also known as “hard automation,” refers to an automated production facility in which the sequence of processing operations is fixed by the equipment configuration. In effect, the programmed commands are contained in the machines in the form of cams, gears, wiring, and other hardware that is not easily changed over from one product style to another. This form of automation is characterized by high initial investment and high production rates. It is therefore suitable for products that are made in large volumes. Examples of fixed automation include machining transfer lines found in the automotive industry, automatic assembly machines, and certain chemical processes.

Programmable automation is a form of automation for producing products in batches. The products are made in batch quantities ranging from several dozen to several thousand units at a time. For each new batch, the production equipment must be reprogrammed and changed over to accommodate the new product style. This reprogramming and changeover take time to accomplish, and there is a period of nonproductive time followed by a production run for each new batch. Production rates in programmable automation are generally lower than in fixed automation, because the equipment is designed to facilitate product changeover rather than for product specialization. A numerical-control machine tool is a good example of programmable automation. The program is coded in computer memory for each different product style, and the machine tool is controlled by the computer program. Industrial robots are another example.

Flexible automation is an extension of programmable automation. The disadvantage with programmable automation is the time required to reprogram and change over the production equipment for each batch of new product. This is lost production time, which is expensive. In flexible automation, the variety of products is sufficiently limited so that the changeover of the equipment can be done very quickly and automatically. The reprogramming of the equipment in flexible automation is done off-line; that is, the programming is accomplished at a computer terminal without using the production equipment itself. Accordingly, there is no need to group identical products into batches; instead, a mixture of different products can be produced one right after another.

References:

(n.d.). Numerical control. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/technology/automation/Numerical-control

Questions:

  1. What are the different forms of automation in manufacturing?
  2. How is flexible automation different from programmable automation?
  3. What is are the disadvantages of programmable automation?