36 Supply Chain Solutions You Can Learn from TED Talks
By Jim Laverty
If you work in any field related to warehousing and the supply chain, you have to watch these 36 TED Talks for some life-changing supply chain solutions.
Cancel all your appointments over the next eight hours and watch these 36 TED Talks filled with life-changing supply chain solutions. From business advice to leadership and labor management techniques, to the best cloud warehouse management systems, these videos will help your business succeed.
There are a ton of TED Talks about optimizing your supply chain here, so you may need to give the videos a second to load up depending on your connection.
TED Talks on Managing Your Supply Chain
Visionary leaders from Walmart and Kiva Robotics, amongst many other companies, enlighten captive audiences on a myriad of supply chain solutions. How can you apply these solutions for your business?
We Are All Going to Be Naked
A senior executive from Walmart talks about transparency in the supply chain.
Inside the Secret Shipping Industry
Almost everything we own and use, at some point, travels to us by container ship, through a vast network of ocean routes and ports that most of us know almost nothing about. Journalist Rose George tours us through the world of shipping, the underpinning of consumer civilization.
Let the Inventory Walk and Talk
Mick Mountz revolutionized the way warehouses pack and ship their inventory by using robots, mobile shelving, and algorithms based on complexity theory. What used to take hours of tedious tasks is transformed into fun, 15-minute, click-to-ship order processing.Mick Mountz revolutionized the way warehouses pack and ship their inventory by using robots, mobile shelving, and algorithms based on complexity theory. What used to take hours of tedious tasks is transformed into fun, 15-minute, click-to-ship order processing.
BrightFarms: A Produce Supply Chain Revolution
Paul Lightfoot is the Chief Executive Officer of BrightFarms, which designs, finances, builds and operates greenhouse farms at grocery retailers, eliminating time, distance and costs from their produce supply chain. With the elimination of shipping, and the drastic reduction of fuel consumption, carbon emissions and water use, BrightFarms enables grocery retailers to change their produce supply chain in a way that improves the planet and their profits. For nearly ten years, Paul was the CEO of an enterprise software company that improved the supply chains of major retailer and their suppliers. Previously, Paul was the founder and CEO of Foodline, a venture-backed software company that provided customer and reservations information technology to restaurants. Paul was recognized by Chain Store Age magazine as a "Rising Star in Retail" in their annual 40 Under 40 awards.
Making Global Labor Fair
FLA head Auret van Heerden talks about the next frontier of workers' rights — globalized industries where no single national body can keep workers safe and protected. How can we keep our global supply chains honest? Van Heerden makes the business case for fair labor.
Hacking the Supply Chain
Pete Russell is a local food advocate, social entrepreneur and founder of Ooooby. After seeing first hand the destructive nature of globalized food and the accelerating demand for local alternatives during his time at a multi-million dollar food business, Pete became committed to working in the local food space. Driven by a passion for developing smart systems for food sales and logistics, Out of our own backyards (Ooooby) is the result of his work - a local food operation delivering to hundreds of Auckland doorsteps each week.
As a business professional, Tony Pittman has spent his 14-year career focused on leadership, consulting, and supply chain management. He currently holds the title of Director, Business Relationship Management, in Hewlett Packard's Global Supply Chain Services organization located in Plano, Texas. Before joining HP (formerly EDS) in 2006, he worked as a supply chain leader and consultant for several firms, including IBM and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Turning Supply Chains into Prosperity Chains
Kavita shares her vision to create new 'prosperity chains' from existing supply chains in fashion. Kavita Parmar is a fashion maverick, Creative Director of Maison Raasta and co-founder of digital brand The IOU Project. An overachiever, at 22 Kavita acquired the license to sell the Osh Kosh B Gosh brand in India and went on to open 14 stores in the country. She is a vocal proponent of disrupting the distribution chain in fashion for a more sustainable model.
TED Talks on Supply Chain Secrets
The supply chain is filled with surprises and has a hand in just about every aspect of modern life. Here are some amazing facts, mind-blowing new ideas, and unfortunate negative side effects of the global supply chain.
How Pig Parts Make the World Turn
Christien Meindertsma, author of "Pig 05049" looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.
Are mushrooms the new plastic?
Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens — and the environment.
The Global Food Waste Scandal
Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible — but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.
Seas of Plastic
Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.
What You Buy Matters
Anthony (Tony) Rotman is the Production Manager at Q Collection, a sustainable design firm in New York City, where he helped to create the company's supply chain and teaches its factories sustainable practices. With over eleven years experience in management and sustainability, Tony has held positions at Dune Furniture in Brooklyn, NY, and Global Concepts and Herman Miller in Holland, MI. Tony was born and raised in Zeeland, MI and received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
TED Talks on Labor Management
How can you manage and inspire your wokers to keep your business running smoothly? These TED Talks may not focus specifically on the supply chain, but there are still some great solutions you can use in here.
How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers...
Build a Tower, Build a Team
Tom Wujec presents some surprisingly deep research into the "marshmallow problem" — a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average?
Lead Like the Great Conductors
An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this charming talk, Itay Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six great 20th-century conductors, illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders.
The Puzzle of Motivation
Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.
Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work
Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. In his talk, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.
The Happy Secret to Better Work
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn't just money. But it's not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.
TED Talks on Sustainability
TED Talks featuring supply chain solutions about the benefits of making your business sustainable.
Let's Go All-In on Selling Sustainability
The big blue buildings of Ikea have sprouted solar panels and wind turbines; inside, shelves are stocked with LED lighting and recycled cotton. Why? Because as Steve Howard puts it: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.” Howard, the chief sustainability officer at the furniture megastore, talks about his quest to sell eco-friendly materials and practices — both internally and to worldwide customers — and lays a challenge for other global giants.
The Investment Logic for Sustainability
Sustainability is pretty clearly one of the world's most important goals; but what groups can really make environmental progress in leaps and bounds? Chris McKnett makes the case that it's large institutional investors. He shows how strong financial data isn't enough, and reveals why investors need to look at a company's environmental, social and governance structures, too.
The Business Logic of Sustainability
At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
TED Talks on Innovation and the Future of Business
Learn about how you can apply innovations from other industries to the supply chain.
Lessons in Business...from Prison
Jeff Smith spent a year in prison. But what he discovered inside wasn’t what he expected — he saw in his fellow inmates boundless ingenuity and business savvy. He asks: Why don't we tap this entrepreneurial potential to help ex-prisoners contribute to society once they're back outside?
What will future jobs look like?
Economist Andrew McAfee suggests that, yes, probably, droids will take our jobs — or at least the kinds of jobs we know now. In this far-seeing talk, he thinks through what future jobs might look like, and how to educate coming generations to hold them.
Why We Will Rely on Robots
Scaremongers play on the idea that robots will simply replace people on the job. In fact, they can become our essential collaborators, freeing us up to spend time on less mundane and mechanical challenges. Rodney Brooks points out how valuable this could be as the number of working-age adults drops and the number of retirees swells. He introduces us to Baxter, the robot with eyes that move and arms that react to touch, which could work alongside an aging population — and learn to help them at home, too.
The Currency of the New Economy is Trust
There's been an explosion of collaborative consumption — web-powered sharing of cars, apartments, skills. Rachel Botsman explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls "reputation capital."
3 Ways to (usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand
The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company or brand could tightly control their reputation — online chatter and spin mean that if you're relevant, there's a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it — and using it as an impetus to recommit to your values.
The Era of Open Innovation
In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn't just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can't.
How Data Will Transform Business
What does the future of business look like? In an informative talk, Philip Evans gives a quick primer on two long-standing theories in strategy — and explains why he thinks they are essentially invalid.
From Mach-20 Glider to Hummingbird Drone
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects — a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet — that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail.
The Rise of Human-Computer Cooperation
Brute computing force alone can’t solve the world’s problems. Data mining innovator Shyam Sankar explains why solving big problems (like catching terrorists or identifying huge hidden trends) is not a question of finding the right algorithm, but rather the right symbiotic relationship between computation and human creativity.
TED Talks on Succeeding in Life and Business
These TED Talks feature ideas on how you can be successful professionally and in life. Learning these life skills will allow you to smoothly implement all the supply chain solutions found above!
How to succeed? Get more sleep.
In this short talk, Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones: the power of a good night's sleep. Instead of bragging aboutour sleep deficits, she urges us to shut our eyes and see the big picture: We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness — and smarter decision-making.
As Work Gets More Complex, 6 Rules to Simplify
Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for "smart simplicity." (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)
The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding
With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father's wisdom.
And Now for Some Warehousing Fun
You’ve made it this far. After eight full hours of supply chain solutions, it's time to wind down with an excellent video about a viral music video from OK Go being filmed in a warehouse.
How to Engineer a Viral Music Video
The band OK Go dreamed up the idea of a massive Rube Goldberg machine for their next music video — and Adam Sadowsky's team was charged with building it. He tells the story of the effort and engineering behind their labyrinthine creation that quickly became the YouTube sensation "This Too Shall Pass."
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