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Coal vs diamonds

In this step, we consider coal and diamonds as a way of illustrating the effects of physical characteristics.

In this video, Nick Wright uses the example of coal and diamonds to illustrate the impact of physical characteristics on distribution choices.

Both are products based on carbon. The chemical difference is identical, but physically, diamond molecules are stacked neatly into uniform lattices, which is why they are so hard and crystal clear.

Coal molecules, by comparison, are randomly stacked, which gives coal its colour and the fact that it burns and can easily be broken into smaller pieces.

Your task

Consider and discuss the following:
  • You need coal for heating. How does it get to your home? How is it handled and stored by the merchant who sells it?
  • You are a jeweller who makes engagement rings. How do you obtain the diamonds? What about the security of delivery? How easy is it to store a stock of diamonds?
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Principles of Global Logistics Management

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