Over the last 3 days, I have learned the basics of supply chain management. This is my first class in supply chain management, which wasn’t something I was expecting to learn as a marketing major. But it is interesting how there are so many steps to produce everyday items, some of which are really cheap too. I think the most interesting thing I’ve learned about is how most products use materials sourced from multiple different countries. Which is crazy to think about, but in terms of sustainability, all of that travel has to use up lots of fossil fuels and other energy, which really makes you wonder if it’s worth it or not, just for really cheap prices. It has been interesting to see how the streets of Greece differ from the US. On a main street in the US, it’s filled with big box stores and department stores, with easy parking. But in downtown Athens, the stores are small, independently owned and a lot of the streets are only for pedestrians. I think the difference in consumer behavior is more sustainable especially in stores where the product is homemade, and this difference also just proves how different our ways of life are. We also went more into depth in terms of sustainability, and one of the main ways it is implemented is through a closed loop supply chain. Which differs from linear supply chain in that it also deals with what happens to the product after it’s been used and doesn’t work anymore. Linear supply chain only deals with the product from manufacturing, until it’s in the hands of consumers or at a retailer. It has been interesting to learn in this class how sustainability is being incorporated into different areas of business such as remanufacturing and industrial symbiosis. Both processes reduce waste by either fixing broken products, turning old products into something new, or selling waste to other companies for them to use in their manufacturing. Both are smart ideas, but you have to wonder why they weren’t implemented earlier when they seem so practical and obvious. During the Beer game I was able to learn alot about how a supply chain actually works, and not just in theory. I worked in the factory, and it was interesting to understand the balance between having too much inventory, and not enough, especially with the extended shipping delays. But overall by the end, I definitely felt I had a better understanding of how the supply chain operates.