1. A convenience store chain attempts to be responsive and provide customers what they need, when they need it, where they need it. What are some different ways that a convenience store supply chain can be responsive? What are some risks in each case?
2. Seven-Eleven’s supply chain strategy in Japan can be described as attempting to micro-match supply and demand using rapid replenishment. What are some risks associated with this choice?
3. What has Seven-Eleven done in its choice of facility location, inventory management, transportation, and information infrastructure to develop capabilities that support its supply chain strategy in Japan?
4. Seven-Eleven does not allow direct store delivery in Japan with all products flowing through its distribution center. What benefit does Seven-Eleven derive from this policy? When is direct store delivery more appropriate?
5. What do you think about the 7dream concept for Seven-Eleven Japan? From a supply chain perspective, is it likely to be more successful in Japan or the United States? Why?
6. Seven-Eleven is attempting to duplicate the supply chain structure that has succeeded in Japan in the United States with the introduction of CDCs. What are the pros and cons of this approach? Keep in mind that stores are also replenished by wholesalers and DSD by manufacturers.
7. The United States has food service distributors like McLane that also replenish convenience stores. What are the pros and cons to having a distributor replenish convenience stores versus a company like Seven-Eleven managing its own distribution function?
Discussion Questions for Yokohama Corporation Ltd
Q1 Describe the T-Y-K supplier chain.
Q2 What was Yokohama’s competitive position?
Q3 Describe Yokohama’s structure.
Q4 Describe the competitive environment.
Q5 Why had Yokohama lost profitability?
Q6 How did Yokohama expect to turn around its profitability?
Q7 How did Yokohama’s customers use their target costing systems?
Q8 How did Yokohama respond to its customers’ target costing systems?
Q9 What is the purpose of QFP tradeoffs?
Q10 Did customers care how profitable Yokohama was?
Q11 Why was information sharing significant to Yokohama? To the entire industry?
Q12 What is a minimum cost investigation?
Q13 What are the major steps in an MCI?
Q14 What was the purpose of MCIs?
Q15 Who controlled profitability in an MCI?
Q16 Why did Yokohama protect Kamakura?
Q17 Why, during an MCI, would Yokohama switch to QFP tradeoffs?
Q18 Why would Yokohama sometimes refuse to sell products to customers at target prices?
Q19 Why did Yokohama avoid manufacturing commodity products?
Q20 When could Yokohama negotiate prices?
Q21 What is the YPS?
Q22 What are the three cost reduction pathways in YPS?
Q23 How does the capital investment pathway function?
Q24 How does the inventory management pathway function?
Q25 How does the process improvement pathway function?
Q26 How is value engineering (VE) implemented at Yokohama?
Q27 What is DQC? What is the relationship between DQC and QFP?