A Financial Crisis Is Looming for Smaller Suppliers

August 06, 2020 • Articles

MIT CTL Deputy Director Jim Rice wrote an article in Harvard Business Review along with Federico Caniato and Antonella Moretto of the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano.

MIT Team Wins 2020 Patagonia Case Competition

July 21, 2020 • Articles

A team of graduate students from across MIT, including MIT Supply Chain Management master's program alum Elizabeth Raman Grubbs, was awarded first place in the 2020 Patagonia Case Competition in June.

Moving Out of China? Not Really

July 07, 2020 • MIT CTL Thought Leadership

Yossi Sheffi on China's position in the global trade ecosystem in the aftermath of the pandemic:

Fresh Approaches to Omnichannel in the Grocery Business

July 01, 2020 • Articles

The innovative omni-channel supply chain models that have reshaped many parts of the retail industry continue to evolve in response to market changes. One of these changes is the increasing demand for grocery products ordered online, a trend reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic that imposed restrictions on the use of physical stores for grocery shopping.

How the COVID-19 Supply Chain Succeeds When It Fails

July 01, 2020 • MIT CTL Thought Leadership

When you think about it, the spread of COVID-19 operates a lot like a supply chain. Ken Cottrill discusses looking at the outbreak in these terms:

To stop the spread of the virus, we must ensure that its supply chain fails. We can secure failure by using disruptors to prevent deliveries of the supply chain’s deadly freight. But not disruptors such as adverse weather that derail product supply chains. These are special disruptors that include masks, quarantines, and social distancing.

MIT And Toyota Announce An Important Dataset For Improving Perception Research

June 24, 2020 • Quoted In

Bryan Reimer, Research Scientist at the AgeLab, was featured in a recent Forbes article about DriveSeg, an open dataset jointly released by the AgeLab and Toyota:

Trust Is Hard to Develop Online

June 23, 2020 • MIT CTL Thought Leadership

MIT CTL Director Prof. Yossi Sheffi reflects on one major difficulty of virtual communication in this moment:

COVID-19’s lockdowns have required people to replace much of the in-person communication they conducted at work — as well as with customers and suppliers — with virtual meetings on platforms such as Zoom, Teams, and Hangout. When the coronavirus crisis subsides, will people return to physical meeting places or cling to the virtual equivalents they have become familiar with?

Freight volumes reach pre-COVID levels as 2020 roller coaster rides on

June 17, 2020 • Quoted In

It's been a wild year for freight so far, as Chris Caplice noted in an interview with Overdrive:

Spot market and volume gains are evident in May’s DAT Truckload Volume Index

June 17, 2020 • Quoted In

Chris Caplice discussed the current state of the freight spot market with Supply Chain Management Review:

Localization Is Seeding Innovative Produce Supply Chains

June 11, 2020 • MIT CTL Thought Leadership

Chris Mejía Argueta, Alexis Bateman, and Ken Cottrill detail a new trend in food supply chains:

The COVID-19 crisis is shining a light on the vulnerabilities of food supply chains as well as opportunities to develop inventive ways to deliver fresh foods like fruit and vegetables from farm to table.

Even When Plans Are Useless, Planning Is Indispensable

May 29, 2020 • Quoted In

Yossi Sheffi speaks with CIO Journal and Wall Street Journal.

“Given these constraints,” wrote MIT professor Yossi Sheffi, “the words of General Dwight Eisenhower ring true: Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” 

Get Over It! - Why There Is No Going Back To Normal After COVID-19

May 29, 2020 • Articles

Joseph Coughlin writes: Everyone wants an answer to one question — and they want it now. When do we get back to normal? It has been three months. Politicians and pundits argue. Experts debate. Still no answer. Everyone wants an answer to one question — and they want it now. When do we get back to normal? It has been three months. Politicians and pundits argue. Experts debate. Still no answer. Get over it. There is no getting back to normal. There is only a new normal — one that has been coming long before COVID-19.

Who Gets What When Supply Chains Are Disrupted?

May 27, 2020 • Articles

Yossi Sheffi writes: When companies cannot meet the full demands of their customers, leaders need to set clear decision criteria and the mechanisms to back them up. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal life and many supply chains. Between hoarding (such as toilet paper), unexpected demand surges (such as yeast, for baking), and spot supply shortages (because of factories or warehouses closed due to infection or mandate), some products are in short supply.

Coronavirus: Why are basic necessities getting more expensive?

May 13, 2020 • Quoted In

Christopher Mejía Argueta speaks with Univison about the current state of the food and grocery supply chains. Watch below (in Spanish):

How COVID-19 Complicates Farm to Table

May 13, 2020 • Quoted In

When the coronavirus began to spread, it was common for grocery stores to limit toilet paper to one package per customer. Now some stores are placing caps on packages of beef, pork, and chicken. Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, talks to host Krys Boyd [of NPR's Think podcast] about how COVID-19 is impacting the U.S. food supply chain and what that means for your family’s shopping list.

S&OP: A new frontier for supply chain resilience?

May 13, 2020 • Quoted In

Kai Trepte, Jim Rice, and Walid Klibi discuss how sales and operations planning can be adapted to be more resilient in the face of disruption:

Most sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes do a good job of increasing supply chain efficiencies and reducing costs. But they often don't handle major disruptions well. Here's how to make the process more resilient.

They Will Be the Unsung Heroes of COVID-19

May 13, 2020 • Quoted In

Joseph F. Coughlin writes: COVID-19 is shaping Gen Z's attitudes toward all institutions, government, employers, experts & brands. The contagion is also forging Gen Z's view of traditions, having children, retirement even globalization. COVID-19's impact isn't in a year or two, it will be in decades, and Gen Z is its vector. My daughter stares into the screen. This is not just another TikTok moment. She is in her high school English class; this is education, COVID-19 style. Screens have taken over the classroom and in no sense has their invasion stopped there.

Domestic Labor Issues Pose Hidden Supply Chain Risks

May 07, 2020 • MIT CTL Thought Leadership

Alexis Bateman and Ken Cottrill write,

Companies have long known that visibility into the workplace practices of far-flung offshore suppliers is an essential component of supply chain risk management. Many enterprises lack that visibility, even though it is becoming increasingly important across global supply chains. The COVID-19 crisis is now making it clear that workplace conditions closer to home may need to come under similar scrutiny.

MIT CTL Responds to Uncertainty in Supply Chains caused by COVID 19

May 07, 2020 • Articles

Given recent supply chain implications of the coronavirus outbreak, MIT CTL faculty and researchers have responded with observations and advice for companies. Through academic publications, articles, news commentary, webinars, and various other media, the Center strives to stay alert to late-breaking developments and serve as a resource for deeper discussion.

Don't Panic. We're Not Running Out of Food

May 04, 2020 • Quoted In

Christopher Mejía Argueta and Alexis Bateman are quoted in Vice. “The empty shelves will continue for a while. said Christopher Mejía Argueta, a research scientist at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. But if I have someone in front of me who is going to start panicking about the empty shelves, what I would tell that person is, 'you don't need to worry.

The SUVs and Trucks We Love Are Killing People

May 04, 2020 • Quoted In

The driver of that Grand Cherokee may have run the red light for any number of reasons: he was late, reckless, or maybe even malicious. But more likely, he simply didn’t notice.

“We are less situationally aware as a society than perhaps we’ve ever been,” says Bryan Reimer, associate director of MIT’s New England University Transportation Center, where he studies driver safety, among other topics. Distracted driving is nothing new, of course. But distraction today is different from the absentminded daydreaming of the pre-smartphone era." 

Yes, There Is Less Meat In Grocery Stores Because Of The Coronavirus. Yes, You're Going To Pay More

May 01, 2020 • Quoted In

Yossi Sheffi, director of [the Center for Transportation & Logistics] at MIT, believes the U.S. food supply system has performed “miraculously” during the pandemic.

"You may not be able to get the cut you like … so you’ll get a different cut," says Sheffi. "Let me be clear, there are spot shortages here and there. What the supply chains (are) experiencing are unprecedented changes in demand."

COVID-19 - Selected responses by MIT CTL

April 28, 2020 • Articles
Given recent supply chain implications of the Coronavirus outbreak, MIT CTL researchers have responded with observations and advice for companies.

How will coronavirus change the way we shop? Here are 10 predictions about the future of retail

April 26, 2020 • Quoted In

Alexis Bateman, director of the MIT Sustainable Supply Chains program, said

"Empty shelves in supermarkets have pushed consumers to look locally for their food — as evidenced by a surge in community-supported agriculture. It’s a clear opportunity for consumers ‘to double down on farmers' markets and locally produced food." 

The Week Oil Went Negative

April 24, 2020 • Quoted In

Yossi Sheffi, professor of engineering systems and director of the Center for Transportation at MIT, discussed the impact on the oil market’s supply chain. Listen to the podcast at the title link.