Airbus blames supplier after failing to reach goal
Airbus aimed to deliver fifteen A350 airplanes in 2015 but fell one plane short of its goal. When looking back on the project, the company traced its problems back to some cabin parts. Specifically, Airbus was able to identify Zodiac, an industry seat supplier, as the main dealer causing the bottlenecks. Fabrice Bregier, a chief executive for Airbus, says that the company was very patient with Zodiac despite several operational shortcomings. He believes that the company’s denial of its operational deficiencies contributed to the faltering relationship. As a result of this situation, Airbus has deselected Zodiac from its supplier list for the A330neo program. There are however no plans to switch suppliers for the ongoing A350 project. Bregier is confident, now that the problem has been acknowledged by Zodiac, that the appropriate plans have been put into place so future production problems and late deliveries will not occur. This story serves as an excellent reminder of the importance of timely deliveries and customer satisfaction.
Read more here.
2016: The year of the drone?
There are diverse opinions on whether or not the use of commercial drones will become a reality. The topic once again made headlines this week in two separate articles. Firstly, Matternet, a U.S.-based drone manufacturer, announced it will be starting the second phase of its drone tests together with its Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo partners. These payload trials will be executed over the course of the next 2 months. In the first phase, an airfield near Geneva was used to complete missions across specific routes of 10-15 kilometers. The second phase will involve repeating these routes with real payloads of up to 1 kilogram. You can read more on this drone experiment here.
In a second story making headlines, David Vos, the top Google Executive in charge of the company’s drone program, expressed a positive outlook on the future of commercial drone deliveries. According to Vos, regular drone deliveries could become a reality by the end of this year, or in the beginning of 2017. He stated that there are no longer any technical hurdles, but rather regulatory. The FAA is expected to release its regulatory rules on commercial drone flights by June 2016 (almost a year later than planned). The widespread adoption of commercial drone deliveries will be heavily dependent on these results. You can read more on Vos’ take of the situation here.
The profitable island of misfit toys
Many of you may know what I am referring to when I talk about the “Island of Misfit Toys.” For those that don’t, it was a place for toys that were rejected and unwanted by children in the Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. In an article released this week by Wired, readers were provided with a behind the scenes look at a real-life, profitable island of misfit toys. The place is called Shorewood Liquidators and is run by Michael Ringelsten. The article highlights an interesting aspect of the supply chain, namely returns. For many online retailers, the return process of receiving unwanted goods, quality control and re-stocking has proven to be too expensive. It is often the case that the costs exceed the value of the item being sent back. For this reason, many retailers turn to companies like Shorewood Liquidators or other 3rd party returns facilities.
These contractors serve a wide array of retailers and often implement software to determine the best, most profitable path for specific items. The various paths include reselling an item online to consumers or wholesalers, recycling the item, or sending it on to a landfill. During last week alone, UPS reported it saw over 5 million returned gifts and impulse purchases. It seems as though getting involved in the returns business can be quite lucrative with a proper strategy in place.
To read more on this real-life island of misfit toys, click here.
Have a nice weekend!