May 17, 2020

Qantas operations resume after labor dispute

Supply Chain Digital
Qantas Strike
Qantas Labor Dispute
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Outsourcing opposition forced widespread cancellations, but Qantas is expected to resume operations Monday
Qantas claims that it never planned to outsource its ground handling operations, but that didnt stop a labor dispute that broke out last week as angry...

Qantas claims that it never planned to outsource its ground handling operations, but that didn’t stop a labor dispute that broke out last week as angry workers feared for their jobs.

The labor dispute led to flight delays and cancellations, but operations are expected to get back on track today after an independent tribunal passed a ruling. A full flight schedule from Qantas isn’t expected until Wednesday, according to the airline.

The labor dispute and subsequent flight disruptions resulted in the loss of about 15 million Australian dollars. Those losses add to the company’s struggles, with CEO Alan Joyce reportedly warning last week that Qantas would be forced to cut its operations in half, resulting in job losses numbering in the tens of thousands of jobs.


Fair Work Australia said that Qantas and its workers now have 21 days to come to an agreement, with no industrial action during that time.


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This isn’t the first go-around for Qantas on the outsourcing front. In July, airline engineers staged a protest aimed at fighting a rumored outsourcing maintenance deal.

The threat of strikes has been looming as background noise for several months, with talks between the Transport Workers Union and Qantas boiling over last week.

As the flag carrier of Australia, any disruption to Qantas would cause significant problems within country tourism and air freight.

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 


Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 

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