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The World is Flat. Flatteners #7 & #8 Thomas Friedman Group 4: Tom, Josh, Brian, Jing, Ingrid. Flattener #7 – Supply Chaining. Wal-Mart Prophet?. Flattener Key Points . Resourcefulness versus opportunity

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the world is flat

The World is Flat

Flatteners #7 & #8

Thomas Friedman

Group 4: Tom, Josh, Brian, Jing, Ingrid

flattener key points
Flattener Key Points
  • Resourcefulness versus opportunity

Businesses in Difficult situations or insecure in the marketplace will innovate and educate the industry

  • Small efficiencies via technology

Enhanced communication, leads to identification of more instances to cut costs

  • Smart products and meta data


Smart products

  • RFID tags

Streamline their supply chain


What are the implications for the US economy and position in the world?

  • Adoption is a necessity

Resistance is futile. A place in the business world is solidified by adoption and innovation.

  • Catch-22, Hegemony, Tiny gains

Demand models, anticipationtechniques and trend analysis makes meta data key in highly competitive markets

points of contention
Points of contention
  • Tools empower manufacturers

Tools may empower the manufacturers (as they adopt them) to leverage back against Wal-Mart.

  • Backlash blindspot

Just like Wal-Mart couldn't foresee the backlash from globalization, impersonalization and efficiency cost cuts, Friedman didn't foresee that we would backlash his "flat" metaphor quite so viscously


Point 1 - UPS is not only shipping parcels, but also providing smart business solutions

Example #1: UPS fixes laptops for companies to speed up service. 3 day turn-around, instead of week (s) for product repairs
Example #2: Take orders from, fill the order from a warehouse staffed and operated by UPS and ship with UPS.
point 2
Point 2
  • UPS makes big companies act small + small companies act big
  • If you are a seller on Ebay, the buyer pays through PayPal, you print UPS label through PayPal and tracking number is emailed to the customer so they can track online and know when it’s being delivered
point 3
Point 3
  • UPS is creating enabling platforms for anyone to take their business global.
  • Provides funds for small businesses for computers, scales, printers to help grow your business
  • Provides banking/COD solutions for businesses
point 4
Point 4
  • UPS makes delivery super efficient & super fast, and does this in high volumes.
  • Figured out a way to track packages more efficiently. Allow customers to track their own packages online.
  • Coding system to track packages - saves money and speeds up delivery delivery.
  • Lowered price from $2+ to 5 cents
point 5
Point 5
  • UPS is now basically an extension of departments within other companies
  • UPS tracks weather and geopolitical disturbances to make sure they’re prepared for that days business.
  • 2% of global GDP is being transferred through UPS at any given moment.
  • Largest user of wireless technology in the world. Cell Phones/DIADs (Driver Delivery Information Acquisition Devices)
  • UPS Companies UPS Air Cargo UPS Capital Corporation UPS Consulting UPS Mail Innovations Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. Motor Cargo, A UPS Company Overnite, A UPS Company UPS Professional Services UPS Supply Chain Solutions