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The Sustainability of Components of the Supply Chain of Local Business in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona Area that Lead to and Increase Success

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In order to graduate with honors from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, I have completed the following thesis under the direction of Dr. Craig Carter and Dr. John Eaton. The purpose of this thesis is to perform

In order to graduate with honors from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, I have completed the following thesis under the direction of Dr. Craig Carter and Dr. John Eaton. The purpose of this thesis is to perform preliminary and proprietary research on the sustainability of components of the supply chain of local business within the greater Phoenix, Arizona area in order to determine practices that can lead to and even increase success in a competitive niche of already competitive industries, especially during times of supply chain stress. My hypothesis is that preliminary and proprietary research will both display that the consumer aspect of the supply chain of local business is the most essential, especially if other aspects of the supply chain experience distress. My preliminary research involved breaking down the title of this thesis into four parts: sustainability, supply chain, local business, and the Phoenix local business market and then performing internet research and interviews in order to form a solid understanding of such concepts. Then, I performed my proprietary research, which involved conducting a consumer survey and three interviews with local business owners. Though my hypothesis is not supported, I have learned a lot on the topic of this thesis itself, as well as on the thesis writing process.

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2019-05

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The Capabilities and Obstacles of Integrating Machine Learning into a Supply Chain

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Only an Executive Summary of the project is included.
The goal of this project is to develop a deeper understanding of how machine learning pertains to the business world and how business professionals can capitalize on its capabilities. It

Only an Executive Summary of the project is included.
The goal of this project is to develop a deeper understanding of how machine learning pertains to the business world and how business professionals can capitalize on its capabilities. It explores the end-to-end process of integrating a machine and the tradeoffs and obstacles to consider. This topic is extremely pertinent today as the advent of big data increases and the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence is expanding across industries and functional roles. The approach I took was to expand on a project I championed as a Microsoft intern where I facilitated the integration of a forecasting machine learning model firsthand into the business. I supplement my findings from the experience with research on machine learning as a disruptive technology. This paper will not delve into the technical aspects of coding a machine model, but rather provide a holistic overview of developing the model from a business perspective. My findings show that, while the advantages of machine learning are large and widespread, a lack of visibility and transparency into the algorithms behind machine learning, the necessity for large amounts of data, and the overall complexity of creating accurate models are all tradeoffs to consider when deciding whether or not machine learning is suitable for a certain objective. The results of this paper are important in order to increase the understanding of any business professional on the capabilities and obstacles of integrating machine learning into their business operations.

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2019-05

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The Challenges of Digitally Transforming a Supply Chain

Description

Supply chain is changing. The focus has always been on information and how it is used to get a product to the right place at the right time. But now, there is a greater emphasis on speed. Speed in how

Supply chain is changing. The focus has always been on information and how it is used to get a product to the right place at the right time. But now, there is a greater emphasis on speed. Speed in how information is transferred and how decisions are made. In the new era of Supply Chain 4.0, companies in every industry are in a race to use digital technologies to achieve this speed. These digital technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and Blockchain.

The challenges that companies face when digitally transforming the supply chain can often be self-inflicted. This paper will address those challenges and provide a structured approach to a successful transformation. It will also share insight from interviews conducted with the CIO and directors of three different companies as well various studies from outside sources. The purpose is to urge business leaders to re-evaluate the way they approach digital transformation in the supply chain to close information gaps and provide value to the whole organization.

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2019-05

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Marketing to Millennials Within the Airline and Finance Industries Across Cultures

Description

Millennials are the group of people that make up the newer generation of the world's population and they are constantly surrounded by technology, as well as known for having different values than the previous generations. Marketers have to adapt to

Millennials are the group of people that make up the newer generation of the world's population and they are constantly surrounded by technology, as well as known for having different values than the previous generations. Marketers have to adapt to newer ways to appeal to millennials and secure their loyalty since millennials are always on the lookout for the next best thing and will "trade up for brands that matter, but trade down when brand value is weak", it poses a challenge for the marketing departments of companies (Fromm, J. & Parks, J.). The airline industry is one of the fastest growing sectors as "the total number of people flying on U.S. airlines will increase from 745.5 million in 2014 and grow to 1.15 billion in 2034," which shows that airlines have a wider population to market to, and will need to improve their marketing strategies to differentiate from competitors (Power). The financial sector also has a difficult time reaching out to millennials because "millennials are hesitant to take financial risks," as well as downing in college debt, while not making as much money as previous generations (Fromm, J. & Parks, J.). By looking into the marketing strategies, specifically using social media platforms, of the two industries, an understanding can be gathered of what millennials are attracted to. Along with looking at the marketing strategies of financial and airline industries, I looked at the perspectives of these industries in different countries, which is important to look at because then we can see if the values of millennials vary across different cultures. Countries chosen for research to further examine their cultural differences in terms of marketing practices are the United States and England. The main form of marketing that was used for this research were social media accounts of the companies, and seeing how they used the social networking platforms to reach and engage with their consumers, especially with those of the millennial generation. The companies chosen for further research for the airline industry from England were British Airways, EasyJet, and Virgin Atlantic, while for the U.S. Delta Airlines, Inc., Southwest Airlines, and United were chosen. The companies chosen to further examine within the finance industry from England include Barclay's, HSBC, and Lloyd's Bank, while for the U.S. the banks selected were Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. The companies for this study were chosen because they are among the top five in their industry, as well as all companies that I have had previous interactions with. It was meant to see what the companies at the top of the industry were doing that set them apart from their competitors in terms of social media marketing content and see if there were features they lacked that could be changed or improvements they could make. A survey was also conducted to get a better idea of the attitudes and behaviors of millennials when it comes to the airline and finance industries, as well as towards social media marketing practices.

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2016-05

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How to Hire and Train a Digital Logistics Team

Description

This thesis looks at the digitalization process holistically. It recognizes that for a digitalization initiative to be successful, it takes input from multiple departments and experts from diverse backgrounds. This paper will be evaluating the interconnectivity needed between the supply

This thesis looks at the digitalization process holistically. It recognizes that for a digitalization initiative to be successful, it takes input from multiple departments and experts from diverse backgrounds. This paper will be evaluating the interconnectivity needed between the supply chain and human resources departments to spearhead the creation of a digitalization team. Both sectors must have a firm understanding of the other’s needs, in order to acquire, train, and maintain people who will have the necessary hard and soft skills to develop the digital processes. After conducting extensive research around hiring and training, the researchers identified several best practices that companies can utilize to build a successful digital logistics team. Regarding hiring, companies can improve their current practices by collaborating with universities to create synergy between enterprise needs and college curriculum, as well as utilizing talent acquisition data analytics. They must also employ targeted recruiting strategies to attract high-quality talent and create explicit and attractive job postings. In addition to hiring, companies must also continuously improve their training initiatives to ensure their team’s success. In order to do so, firms should conduct training needs analysis, personalize training using technology, offer non-traditional learning modalities, provide holistic supply chain training, and create a learning culture.

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2021-05

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Optimization of Distribution Centers' Locations

Description

There does not appear to be a singular variable that determines where companies choose to place their distribution centers, however there are several underlying factors that may alter companies’ decisions on what countries they develop distribution networks in. There

There does not appear to be a singular variable that determines where companies choose to place their distribution centers, however there are several underlying factors that may alter companies’ decisions on what countries they develop distribution networks in. There are many reasons companies choose a distribution centers’ location: infrastructure, trade barriers, and costs are often considered as well as the supply and demand markets for the product offerings. Countries can alter aspects to increase the number of businesses that operate within their bounds. When a distribution center is constructed local communities benefit from corporate initiatives and funding as well as jobs and access to cheaper products. Countries often utilize taxes and regulation to positively impact the environment when introducing distribution centers to their economy. The goal is to understand the weights of different factors that shape where distribution centers are located and inform decision makers on the aspects they should alter to get the greatest return on investment. The resulting data will display how large retailers have positioned their current warehouse to indicate likely expansions and the factors that are currently affecting location decisions. <br/><br/>The research project asks the following questions:<br/><br/>When determining the best location for distribution centers, what factors have the largest impact on business decisions? <br/>What role do governments play in developing space for companies to conduct business in (how do they update their infrastructure and customs methods including the impact on trade across industries)? <br/>How can governments and the community limit outsourcing and/or bring businesses (and thus distribution centers) closer to home? <br/><br/>When determining distribution center locations, most companies analyze the political and market structure to decide whether they will enter the market. Once companies have chosen the general region they are hoping to gain, infrastructure and costs are analyzed to find to maintain a competitive advantage in cost while maintaining relatively close locations to stores and consumers. Many companies utilize intermodal transportation on a macroscale, however in last mile logistics it is uncommon for large retailers such as Amazon and Walmart to use anything other than trucks (most commonly their own fleet). Governments have a clear role in gaining or limiting business, however, these factors are typically only considered upon entry or due to changes in major trade barriers therefore policy changes are less likely to encourage growth than investments in infrastructure or alterations in economic conditions such as taxes. Consumers and governments should work together to create an environment that fosters business growth in both new companies entering the market and existing companies expanding by creating unique policies that utilize taxes and business investments to invest in infrastructure.

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2021-05

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Leveraging Blockchain for Plasma Fractionation Supply Chains

Description

This study aims to examine how the use of consensus-based transactions, smart contracts,and interoperability, provided by blockchain, may benefit the blood plasma industry. Plasmafractionation is the process of separating blood into multiple components to garner benefitsof increased lifespan, specialized allocation,

This study aims to examine how the use of consensus-based transactions, smart contracts,and interoperability, provided by blockchain, may benefit the blood plasma industry. Plasmafractionation is the process of separating blood into multiple components to garner benefitsof increased lifespan, specialized allocation, and decreased waste, thereby creating a morecomplex and flexible supply chain. Traditional applications of blockchain are developed onthe basis of decentralization—an infeasible policy for this sector due to stringent governmentregulations, such as HIPAA. However, the trusted nature of the relations in the plasmaindustry’s taxonomy proves private and centralized blockchains as the viable alternative.Implementations of blockchain are widely seen across pharmaceutical supply chains to combatthe falsification of possibly afflictive drugs. This system is more difficult to manage withblood, due to the quick perishable time, tracking/tracing of recycled components, and thenecessity of real-time metrics. Key attributes of private blockchains, such as digital identity,smart contracts, and authorized ledgers, may have the possibility of providing a significantpositive impact on the allocation and management functions of blood banks. Herein, we willidentify the economy and risks of the plasma ecosystem to extrapolate specific applications forthe use of blockchain technology. To understand tangible effects of blockchain, we developeda proof of concept application, aiming to emulate the business logic of modern plasma supplychain ecosystems adopting a blockchain data structure. The application testing simulates thesupply chain via agent-based modeling to analyze the scalability, benefits, and limitations ofblockchain for the plasma fractionation industry.

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2020-05

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A supply chain analysis on the food industry’s surge of waste in response to COVID-19

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great need for United States’ restaurants to “go green” due to consumers’ habits of frequently eating out. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this initiative to lose traction. While the amount of customers ordering takeout

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great need for United States’ restaurants to “go green” due to consumers’ habits of frequently eating out. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this initiative to lose traction. While the amount of customers ordering takeout has increased, there is less emphasis on sustainability.<br/>Plastic is known for its harmful effects on the environment and the extreme length of time it takes to decompose. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), almost 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans at an annual rate, threatening not only the safety of marine species, but also human health. Modern food packaging materials have included a blend of synthetic ingredients, trickling into our daily lives and polluting the air, water, and land. Single-use plastic items slowly degrade into microplastics and can take up to hundreds of years to biodegrade.<br/>Due to COVID-19, restaurants have switched to takeout and delivery options to adapt to the new business environment and guidelines enforced by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) mandated guidelines.<br/>Some of these guidelines include: notices encouraging social distancing and mask-wearing, mandated masks for employees, and easy access to sanitary supplies.<br/>This cultural shift is motivating restaurants to search for a quick, cheap, and easy fix to adapt to the increased demand of take-out and delivery methods. This increases their plastic consumption of items such as plastic bags/paper bags, styrofoam containers, and beverage cups. Plastic is the most popular takeout material because of its price and durability as well as allowing for limited contamination and easy disposability.<br/>Almost all food products come in packaging and this, more often than not, is single use. Food is the largest market out of all the packaging industry, maintaining roughly two thirds of material going to food. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that almost half of all municipal solid waste is made up of food and food packaging materials. In 2014, over 162 million tons of packaging material waste were generated in the states. This typically contains toxic inks and dyes that leach into groundwater and soil. When degrading, pieces of plastic absorb toxins like PCBs and pesticides, and then each piece will in turn release toxic chemicals like Bisphenol A. Even before being thrown away, it causes negative effects for the environment. The creation of packaging materials uses many resources such as petroleum and chemicals and then releases toxic byproducts. Such byproducts include sludge containing contaminants, greenhouse gases, and heavy metal and particulate matter emissions. Unlike many other industries, plastic manufacturing has actually increased production. Demand has increased and especially in the food industry to keep things sanitary. This increase in production is reflective of the increase in waste. <br/>Although restaurants have implemented their own sustainable initiatives to combat their carbon footprint, the pandemic has unfortunately forced restaurants to digress. For example, Just Salad, a fast-food restaurant chain, incentivized customers with discounted meals to use reusable bowls which saved over 75,000 pounds of plastic per year. However, when the pandemic hit, the company halted the program to pivot towards takeout and delivery. This effect is apparent on an international scale. Singapore was in lock-down for eight weeks and during that time, 1,470 tons of takeout and food delivery plastic waste was thrown out. In addition, the Hong Kong environmental group Greeners Action surveyed 2,000 people in April and the results showed that people are ordering out twice as much as last year, doubling the use of plastic.<br/>However, is this surge of plastic usage necessary in the food industry, or are there methods that can be used to reduce the amount of waste production? The COVID-19 pandemic caused a fracture in the food system’s supply chain, involving food, factory, and farm. This thesis will strive to tackle such topics by analyzing the supply chains of the food industry and identify areas for sustainable opportunities. These recommendations will help to identify areas for green improvement.

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2021-05

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How to Hire and Train a Digital Logistics Team

Description

This thesis looks at the digitalization process holistically. It recognizes that for a digitalization initiative to be successful, it takes input from multiple departments and experts from diverse backgrounds. This paper will be evaluating the interconnectivity needed between the supply

This thesis looks at the digitalization process holistically. It recognizes that for a digitalization initiative to be successful, it takes input from multiple departments and experts from diverse backgrounds. This paper will be evaluating the interconnectivity needed between the supply chain and human resources departments to spearhead the creation of a digitalization team. Both sectors must have a firm understanding of the other’s needs, in order to acquire, train, and maintain people who will have the necessary hard and soft skills to develop the digital processes. After conducting extensive research around hiring and training, the researchers identified several best practices that companies can utilize to build a successful digital logistics team. Regarding hiring, companies can improve their current practices by collaborating with universities to create synergy between enterprise needs and college curriculum, as well as utilizing talent acquisition data analytics. They must also employ targeted recruiting strategies to attract high-quality talent and create explicit and attractive job postings. In addition to hiring, companies must also continuously improve their training initiatives to ensure their team’s success. In order to do so, firms should conduct training needs analysis, personalize training using technology, offer non-traditional learning modalities, provide holistic supply chain training, and create a learning culture.

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2021-05

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Dev Kabra Thesis Paper

Description

In the end, an increase in repurchases of company stock will also influence the rate of dividends to increase. This means, an investor should not necessarily worry about the dividends they receive, but rather to see if the company is

In the end, an increase in repurchases of company stock will also influence the rate of dividends to increase. This means, an investor should not necessarily worry about the dividends they receive, but rather to see if the company is making profit at a consistent rate and reinvesting into value-added activities. Through the major pillars of finance, technology, legal, and human resources, the budget for reinvestment can be optimized by investing into these respective categories with percentages that are mindful of the specific companies needs and functions. Any firm that chooses to ensure proven methods of growth will enact a combination of these four verticals. A larger emphasis on finance will branch out efficiency in the entire organization, as finance control everything from the toilet paper to the acquisitions the company is making. The more technology is used to reduce redundancy and inefficient or costly operations, the more capability the organization will have. IT, however, comes with its technical challenges; having a team on-hand or even outsourced, to solve the critical problems to help the business continue operation. Over-reliance into technology can be detrimental to a business as well if clear processes are not set about straight to counteract problems the business will face like IT ticketing systems or recovery and continuity support. Therefore, technology will require a larger chunk of attention as well.

The upcoming legal and HR investments a company will make will depend upon its current position and thus the restructuring will differ for every firm. Each company has its own flavour and style of work. In that regard, the required legal counsel will vary; different problems will require different solutions for risk control and management, which are often professionally advised by intelligent corporate counsel. This ability to hire efficient legal counsel would not arise in the first place if a firm were to give out dividends; the leftover profit would have gone towards the shareholders and not back into growing the equity of the business. Lastly, nothing is possible without the contribution of people, and their efforts. A quality that long-lasting, successful businesses have, is they are investing in their people and development. Paying salaries, insurances, bonuses, all requires extra capital that is needed to be set aside in order to grow human capital. Good people, better people. There are qualities for each role that need to be defined and a process for attracting talent needs to be invested in. This process can also include outsourcing to an external firm who specializes in these strategies. By retaining profits internally, the company is able to stretch its legs to have further reach upon the market they work in. Financially and statistically, dividends are likely to grow as well with the increase in equity due to the increase in security an investor feels with more cash reserve and liquidity within the company.

All in all, a company should not be pressured into giving out periodic payments in predetermined timeframes, in other words a dividend, to investors even when they are insisting. Rather, pitch and prove, a new method for reinvestment within the company that will raise the value of the company, through proven methods like the value chain model, to increase the equity in the company. By expanding the scope and capability, the company is allowing for a larger target market which will reap more benefits; none of it would be possible if it had continued to give out large percentages of capital to investors as dividends. Companies, and investors, should not be worried about dividends at all as a matter of fact; an increase in stock buyback, in other words reinvesting into the company, will increase the rate of dividends anyway, due to increased confidence and capital within the company.

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2022-05