The Strongest Predictor of TMS Strength Isn’t What You Think

Posted by Buck Devashish     Nov 11, 2019, 4:27:17 PM

It’s no surprise that there’s a growing interest in transportation management solutions. Transportation is at the heart of supply chain operations, and as more companies expand their products and services to conquer new markets, the more they run up against the limitations of their legacy systems.

While there’s a broad array of Transportation Management Systems (TMS) options on the market, according to Gartner’s Model for Holistic Multimodal Transportation Management Systems: Core Capabilities, few vendors “have solutions that can successfully and cost-effectively support all levels of transportation complexity.”

At its core, today’s transportation management solution must at least be holistic and multi-modal. But what does that really mean, and how can you better assess your level of transportation complexity and whether a given solution will adequately support it?

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5 Key Steps to Fast-Track a Digital Transformation (X)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Nov 4, 2019, 4:36:50 PM

If you’ve been following my series, Making the Case for a Digital Transformation, it’s apparent that such a venture can stretch out over many months – if not longer. Not every business has that kind of time to spare, and you may be asking yourself: “What can I do if I have to get a new platform up and running in the next quarter or two?”

With tacit approval from senior management to pick a solution and spend what it takes (within reason), here’s my advice for fast-tracking your digital transformation.

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Chances Are, Your Supply Chain Solution Is a Frankenstein Creation

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Oct 28, 2019, 4:26:45 PM

More than two centuries later and the image of Frankenstein’s monstrous creation still looms large in our collective imagination. Mary Shelley’s timeless piece unfolds the story of a highly gifted scientist who is driven to uncover the secret of life. Using his expansive knowledge and unthinkable feats of engineering, he manages to assemble and animate a creature.

As with so many works of art – and as is so clearly our distinct pleasure – there are many lessons to take away from this tale. Even for supply chain solutions.

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The Problem With Expedites That No One Is Talking About

Posted by Buck Devashish     Oct 22, 2019, 6:02:43 PM

Today’s supply chain is incredibly demanding. No matter what sector you’re in, you’re likely up against thin margins alongside pressures to reliably and cost-effectively deliver both regular and rush orders on-time and in-full under strict time windows.

Due to a long-standing tradition of batch-processing, businesses are constantly losing money by unnecessarily rushing regular orders that are bundled with the expedite. Most Transportation Management systems (TMSs) run up against this inefficiency because they can’t control individual orders. Here’s how the order-centric TMS is challenging and revolutionizing that paradigm.

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Why Many of the Largest LSPs Leverage a Supply Chain Orchestration Solution

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Oct 21, 2019, 5:06:38 PM

Logistics service providers (LSPs) face a unique challenge. In addition to the evolving customer demands within an increasingly global, networked, multi-channel supply chain, these professionals juggle a variety of clients with differing supply chain and management needs.

Many of the leading LSPs, such as DSV, CEVA, and GEODIS, have opted for a more holistic approach to management through a Supply Chain Orchestration solution which connects siloed systems. Here’s how the solution provides such companies with unprecedented opportunities for superior service, innovation, and profitability.

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5 Telltale Signs That Fear Is Stunting Your Supply Chain Business Growth

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Oct 7, 2019, 4:46:39 PM

The idea of innovation might sound enticing, but few are willing to take the associated risks in changing course. Treading lightly has its advantages, but the line between ‘careful’ and ‘cripplingly cautious’ can be thin, especially in such a highly competitive world.

Here are a few signs you might be letting fear get the best of you.

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What Is an Order-Centric TMS?

Posted by Buck Devashish     Oct 1, 2019, 7:11:28 AM

The supply chain is always evolving, but since the advent of the Internet, its transformation has been unique, its challenges unprecedented. With e-commerce came greater market demands and competitive pressures. And as businesses adapted to these new realities, expanding their reach abroad and forming multi-enterprise networks, they found that managing these new opportunities introduced its own set of unprecedented challenges and complexities.

While the industry has coped so far by slowly modernizing and upgrading the various components of the old Transportation Management System (TMS) framework, we have reached a point in which this framework is no longer viable. By continuing to maintain it, businesses risk stagnating future progress. The Order-Centric TMS was built for the modern supply chain; it moves beyond the conventional model to provide unprecedented levels of flexibility and dynamism.

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Software Implementation Is No Cakewalk. Take Charge & Win Quick. (IX)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 30, 2019, 8:24:33 AM

Now that the case for a digital transformation has been made and the go ahead given, it’s time for your supply chain software implementation...but don’t think it will be a walk in the park. It’s common to have a bit of friction between company departments – especially during transformations. Stamp out ‘turf battles’ early and map out a plan right away, so you can easily course correct when issues or delays inevitably arise. How you define success will also play a significant role throughout the process – don’t overpromise but strive to overdeliver.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Supply Chain Needs: Reaching Industry 4.0 & Beyond

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Sep 17, 2019, 9:03:43 AM

We’ve discussed how Maslow’s personal growth paradigm applies to industry leadership, as well as how it translates to a digital transformation strategy and reach those heights. Within the step-by-step journey we’ve mapped, your business may be well on its way to self-actualization, propelled to leadership by strategically leveraging some of the most innovative technologies. But, in the grand scheme of things, what does it all mean, and where are we ultimately headed?

Here we place the industry’s ambitions into context, taking a brief look at how digitization shook the paradigm, where new innovations are taking us, and what it means for the ever-evolving supply chain to be growing toward its own state of ‘actualization.’

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Getting Down to Business: It’s Time to Make the Case for Your Digital Transformation (VIII)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 3, 2019, 8:11:09 AM

With a promising software provider determined and the backing of your network, it’s time to pull together your resources, construct a business case for the digital transformation, and make a strong and informed recommendation.

If you’re in a larger or public company, you will likely have a predetermined format for presenting a business case. Since this involves an investment decision, your finance organization should have a structured, formulaic template to use. Smaller or private companies will usually have a handful of people making the decision, with a greater focus on a “why and how much?” rationale.

Having sat through countless board and executive committee meetings in many different companies, and in a range of such scenarios, I’ve seen my fair share of both compelling and derailed presentations. Without getting overly prescriptive, here are some observations on the best ways to fully prepare, expect the unexpected, and make an effective business case.

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3 (More) Supply Chain Buzzwords to Reconsider & Use to Your Advantage

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Aug 27, 2019, 8:59:48 AM

We began discussing the industry’s most popular jargon: the ‘buzzwords’ you see and hear everywhere, proselytized as a panacea for all, and the staple of everyone’s brand – though often defined quite differently depending on who you talk to.

Running a supply chain business is harder and more complex than ever, and with customer standards soaring, it’s easy to want a quick and simple answer to overcoming your greatest challenges.

Your time is valuable, so we’ve done the legwork for you. Let’s continue our journey through the fluff to mine the nuggets of truth in a few more buzzy promises.

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3 Buzzwords to Be Wary of & Why a Dose of Skepticism Is a Good Idea

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Aug 20, 2019, 9:15:33 AM

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed that the industry is saturated with certain jargon. These ‘buzzwords’ soar to fashionable stardom and contain a certain, undeniable ring that excites hope the way a Pavlovian bell triggers hungry pups to salivate. These words are plastered everywhere: proselytized as a panacea for all, and they’re quick to become the staple of everyone’s brand – though everyone seems to define them differently.

If you’ve been buying into them, fear not. You’re not a dilettante and you’re far from alone. Hope and utopia are powerful platforms to run on, and in this increasingly complex and pressure-filled moment that’s glutted with choice, it’s absolutely understandable to want an easy, shiny answer to your biggest problems.

While not all answers are necessarily easy, getting down to the root of where buzzwords have gone astray can be. Here are a few of the most salient examples of jargon-gone-awry and how to see through the fluff.

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Is the Supply Chain Undergoing an Existential Shift?

Posted by Buck Devashish     Aug 13, 2019, 8:59:36 AM

It’s often been said that business process changes precede technology and software. Companies would first define their frameworks and then seek out software to support those established practices. However, much has changed in the 21st century. The rapid evolution of supply chain software and technology has transformed the industry landscape into a far more complex, fast-paced, demanding, global, and networked ecosystem. To keep up with these changes and to seize upon new opportunities, practitioners have begun shifting their approach to acquiring and implementing emerging supply chain software and technology. Rather than apply new technologies and other innovations to existing frameworks, successful and far-sighted practitioners are increasingly thinking about what new possibilities these innovations hold and how their use might help them pivot to more effective processes.

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The (Hidden) Elephant in the Room: Trust (VII)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Aug 6, 2019, 8:34:38 AM

Digital transformations are hard work and require more than just technology to be successful. In the countless times I’ve managed multi-party setups, the greatest obstacle was consistently the most intangible one: Trust. Companies today are networks, so if your partners aren’t on board with your vision, the solution you choose – no matter how robust – will ultimately fail. As you define your priorities, also use this process as an opportunity to consult your network about how your needs align.

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A Brief Guide to Selecting the Ideal Supply Chain Control Tower

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Jul 30, 2019, 8:38:58 AM

Mention ‘supply chain Control Tower’ to anyone in the industry and they’ll nod in recognition. Ask anyone to define it and you’re likely to get a slightly different answer from nearly every person you ask. Why is that?

Software providers often latch the term onto different capabilities, depending on what sector or area of the supply chain they’re intending to address. Moreover, most control towers simply provide visibility and leave much to be desired about control, or actionability. They show users what’s going on (often in a limited scope of the supply chain) and if any corrective actions need to be taken, users tend to have to log in elsewhere to execute them. This also means that your corrective actions are only as good, timely, informed, and comprehensive as the system through which you’re mediating.

With all the technology being promoted, it’s incredibly challenging for companies to effectively weed through the noise and find a robust solution that will actually help with its full range of needs. Here’s a quick and practical guide to simplify the process.

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