Glenda Litchee, chief technology officer for RIoT Athletic
has developed a revolutionary running shoe that uses Internet of Things (IoT)
technology. Sensors in the sole, heel, and tongue of the shoe monitor
temperature, pressure, and moisture. Automatic adjustments are made to the
shoe’s venting and sole density in response to the readings. The goal is to
reduce foot stress and improve comfort for long-distance runners.
Litchee has a patent on the shoes but fears that cheap,
copycat models will arise as soon as her $200 RIoT Runners® hit the stores.
Thus far, news of these revolutionary shoes has not leaked out and that has
prevented the major shoe companies from responding. She needs rapid market entry
with precise, stealthy delivery to fend off competition, acquire shelf space in
retail stores, and gain a foothold in the running community.
Production is on schedule and two large North American
retailers have quietly committed to participate in a star-studded product
launch, similar to what happens when a new iPhone is released. The last issue
to resolve is directly delivering 5–10 cases of shoes to each of the retailers’
Litchee has hired Rick Rasgen, a transportation expert, to
analyze delivery options. After conducting a thorough analysis of 12 different
transportation providers, Rasgen has narrowed the list to three potential
• Arrow Speed is an integrated package carrier with a
national network of terminals, company-owned planes, and delivery trucks. The
company has experience with domestic operations but RIoT must find other
carriers to handle deliveries to Canada and Mexico. Arrow is a popular carrier,
often used by RIoT Athletics’ competitors, and its capacity is often stretched
thin. The delivery quote from Arrow averages out to $100 per case with
three-day transit time to U.S. locations.
• Bravo Freight is a freight forwarder. Bravo is a
non-asset-based logistics service provider that contracts with air cargo
companies and regional trucking companies to move freight from origin to
destination. The company has international experience and has a network of
partners in Canada and Mexico. The delivery quote from Bravo averages out to
$150 per case with next-day delivery service to U.S. locations and two-day
service to Canada and Mexico.
• Clipper Transport is a less-than-truckload carrier.
Clipper has recently been created through the merger of three regional U.S.
carriers. Solid alliances are in place with a Canadian carrier but two
different freight forwarders are used to serve Mexico. There are some reports
about problems with the integration of Clipper’s three different operations.
The delivery quote from Clipper averages out to $60 per case with five-day
Rasgen presented his analysis to Litchee for a final
decision. However, Litchee was concerned that each option presented some risk.
Was she just being overly anxious or were her concerns valid? Litchee needed
some time to think it over and to talk through the options with one more
1. What issues should Litchee take into consideration in her
assessment of transportation risks for RIoT Runners?
2. Analyze each carrier option that Rasgen presented. What
specific risks does each carrier present?
3. Which carrier would you recommend that Litchee choose to
best balance company goals with transportation and supply chain risks?
4. How can Litchee minimize the potential for in-transit