We have written in the past about Boeing’s woes with its 787 Dreamliner. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that they are also having issues with the new version of the 747 (Boeing Settles In for a Bumpy Ride). The Journal also reports that Boeing is tightening control on building the Dreamliner (Dreamliner Production Gets Closer Monitoring). The latter article features the following graphic showing where various Dreamliner parts come from:
This is an interesting question: Where do constituent parts for products come from and what does it take to get them all together. Wired has an interesting example of serving seafood in Las Vegas (Seafood Express: Getting Mediterranean Fish to Las Vegas — Fast, Sept 21, 2009). In short, there is a whole lot of schlepping going on. A web site from MIT — Sourcemap — tries to illustrate this graphically with the purpose of letting people (whether consumers or sourcing agents) understand the environmental impact of what they are doing. The site states the following:
Sourcemap is a tool for producers, business owners and consumers to understand the impact of supply chains. Our site is a social network where anyone can contribute to a shared understanding of the story behind products. You can simulate the impact of manufacturing, transporting, using and throwing away products using our Life-Cycle Assessment calculator. This web-based tool uses linked data from geological and geographic resources. Each ‘Sourcemap’ can be used to help market socially- and environmentally- conscious products and to buy carbon offsets.
As some of noted (Where’s My iPod Made? SourceMap Has the Answer, Fast Company Oct 5, 2009), not everything here is particularly useful (or correct) but this is an intriguing tool for consumers to become educated about what it takes — both managerially and environmentally — to get them what they want.