How to Get the Quickest Time-to-Value for Your Digital Transformation

Posted by Tom Rhoads     Jun 29, 2020 3:57:23 PM

The shift to remote work has left a majority of businesses technologically underprepared – and remote work is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to structural changes.

There’s a renewed urgency for digital transformation, especially in supply chains. A recent PwC COVID-19 Pulse Survey revealed that 72% executives believe their companies will benefit from resiliency and agility in the long term, with nearly 50% expecting long-term benefits from technology investments and new ways to serve customers.

Digital transformations offer supply chains incredible opportunities to minimize risk and revenue loss by maximizing efficiency, customer satisfaction, and business growth. Digital transformations are also often daunting to approach and sell internally.

That’s why it’s vital for businesses to start with investments that yield the fastest and most valuable results.

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This Is Not a Storm to Weather

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Jun 15, 2020 3:55:31 PM

While most business cycles ebb and flow, two or three times in a generation we encounter an earth-shattering change that fundamentally reshapes the way we do business. We’re in the eye of the storm – and it’s not one to wait out.

Many refer to the ‘new normal’ as a future reality, yet COVID-19 has had structural impact since its earliest protocols surrounding hygiene and social distancing. They have already transformed the way we do business and it’s only the beginning of a series of ongoing and disruptive changes. So, how are you preparing for the reckoning?

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3 Ways a Control Tower Can Help You Recover Revenues & Resilience

Posted by Vijay Natarajan     Jun 1, 2020 4:15:21 PM

Supply chains have never been more exposed to uncertainty and disruption. Businesses are turning to Control Towers to secure the visibility they need to stay better informed, connected, and resilient as revenues drop and many supply chain partnerships become less viable.

However, while Control Towers certainly offer greater efficiency and agility, many practitioners and buyers don’t realize just how much they vary in their breadth and depth.

Here we’ll explore three unexpected ways that Control Towers can offer incredible flexibility and financial returns.

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4 FAQs About Multienterprise Supply Chain Business Networks

Posted by Sophia Shats     May 18, 2020 3:32:54 PM

Gartner recently released the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Multienterprise Supply Chain Business Networks (MESCBN). According to Gartner, “MESCBNs are an essential technology component to a successful digital transformation.”

While this is undoubtedly true, businesses rarely say “I need a MESCBN solution.” Instead, they address pain points, such as a lack of visibility or inability to swiftly resolve exceptions. They then turn to popular supply chain software and systems options, such as a Control Tower or TMS to address those limitations.

There is a better way to approach digital transformations, and it begins by understanding the relationship between the supply chain technology you choose and the complex business networks they ultimately serve.

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The Hard Economics of Justifying a Supply Chain Digital Transformation

Posted by Bryce Boothby     May 4, 2020 3:50:09 PM

There have been countless times throughout my career where I was either a recommender or approver of significant IT projects. And, I must say, I have always experienced a prevailing attitude among senior management that these transformations are black holes and money pits.

I believe many (if not most) companies still feel this way. Why? There is a litany of cautionary tales: From Hershey’s widely reported $100 million failed ERP implementation in 2015 to our own personal stories. I’ve seen businesses engage consulting firms only to give up about six months in after slow progress and skyrocketing costs; I’ve witnessed first-hand how a $15 million project ballooned to $40 million before it was even finished.

Let’s talk about why this happens and what can be done about it.

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Take Control of the Situation: MPO’s Emergency Relief Cloud Solution

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Apr 20, 2020 4:37:51 PM

The past few months have been challenging for everyone, as the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of the supply chain. No matter the nature of the disruption, it’s important to always put the health and well-being of you and your employees first, which in this case means social distancing and working remotely.

Fortunately, we live in a digital era where remote management has never been easier or more efficient. While the “new normal” will take some adjustment, MPO is offering supply chain businesses a quick fix to take control of the situation, continue fulfilling orders and processing returns, generating revenue, and serving customers in their greatest time of need.

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Emergency System Relief for Supply Chain Orchestration

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Apr 13, 2020 3:16:49 PM

As projected in a recent CNBC article, we’re currently facing a “massive shuffling of supply chains globally after coronavirus shutdowns.” Due to major closures in China, Europe, and North America, companies find themselves in a difficult position: How will they deal with unparalleled uncertainties in demand, supply, inventory, and transport?

In today’s coronavirus crisis, the companies that continue to thrive are those that can best leverage dynamic business networks. When primary partnerships fall through, it’s crucial to have alternatives in place that let you shift gears and work with secondary or new partners. Having a flexible and configurable digital supply chain platform has never been more important.

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Time for Plan B: How Supply Chains Can Avoid the Mad Scramble of Disruption

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Apr 6, 2020 2:53:32 PM

The famous idiom “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” couldn’t be more appropriate these days. Supply chain management platforms deal with hypothetical and predictive constraints as part of their solve for uninterrupted results. But unexpected and exceptional events can trigger wildly adverse repercussions even with contingency baked into operational plans.

The Coronavirus – among other upsets, like tariffs – has supply chains scrambling for business network alternatives and “loophole engineering” (similar to what automakers have been doing for years). More than anything else, they’re grappling with the consequences of yesterday’s bad decisions. (It happens). While the focus now is to get things back on track in the short-term, businesses must also start acknowledging the new big picture. It’s time to adopt a platform that is more flexible and therefore resilient to today’s and tomorrow’s upsets.

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Transform Your Business With a Holistic Approach to Reverse Logistics

Posted by Paul van Dongen     Mar 2, 2020 4:21:42 PM

As noted by Supply & Demand Chain Executive, “reverse logistics are costing supply chains a fortune” – $50 billion, to be exact, according to the Reverse Logistics Association. Return flows have long been a thorn in companies’ side and, thanks to e-commerce, the problem will only be getting worse. Relegating reverse logistics to the isolated and siloed back alley of the supply chain will no longer cut it.

There’s actually great opportunity to be gained from reverse logistics – but it first requires connecting fragmented systems and processes, converging flows, and gaining proper visibility and insight into the greater supply chain ecosystem. (Fear not, it’s far easier than it sounds).

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Mastering Omni-Channel Order Fulfillment – It’s Easier Than You Think

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Feb 24, 2020 4:06:39 PM

Before the internet, retail revolved around brick and mortar stores and catalog order fulfillment. Online sales have entirely rewritten that paradigm, introducing significantly different channels that have split fulfillment into digital and physical hemispheres. For years, brands have been treating e-fulfillment as a separate business with its own distribution network. Most have since realized that, even though omni-channel order fulfillment involves complex, multi-form processes, customers just want a consistent and satisfying experience.

Today it’s easier than ever to merge the physical and digital worlds – and it doesn’t involve a price increase.

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4 FAQs About Transportation Management Systems

Posted by Paul van Dongen     Jan 27, 2020 3:53:57 PM

Transportation management sits at the heart of a company’s supply chain operations. Having the right solution will allow you to consistently deliver on time and in full (OTIF), at the lowest possible cost. This Holy Grail feat of wowing customers during the most pressure filled and demanding moment of our time – while, of course, knocking profits out of the park and scaling your business – is surprisingly easier to do and more accessible than ever before. It’s just a matter of choosing the right technology wisely.

To help you do so, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding transportation management systems.

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Supply Chain Solutions: How to Make the Smartest Investment

Posted by Sophia Shats     Jan 20, 2020 5:16:27 PM

We live in a highly demanding time. Customers want more, better, faster, and cheaper. Competition is steep, and meeting expectations while innovating and staying profitable can feel like a pipe dream. As supply chain practitioners invest in and leverage robust technology to deliver on ever-increasing demands and complexities, it’s vital that they see past the fads (quick fix solutions) and focus on long-lasting trends (solutions that best align with where the industry is headed).

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Why Is Supply Chain Visibility Gaining Momentum?

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Jan 13, 2020 1:02:09 PM

Supply chain visibility has always been important. Yet, in 2017, improving end-to-end supply chain visibility only ranked 6th as a top objective, according to Geodis’ Supply Chain Worldwide Survey. It didn’t take long for practitioners to begin seeing the capability as a fundamental necessity and not just a tool that would be ‘nice to have.’ In fact, responders to Gartner’s latest SCM Technology User Wants and Needs Study named end-to-end visibility as their top funded initiative.

So, what’s suddenly motivating companies to prioritize this capability?

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Optimizing vs. Maximizing: Obtaining a Bird's-Eye View Requires Digital Transformation

Posted by Jordan K. Speer     Jan 6, 2020 3:39:56 PM

I recently joined IDC as an analyst covering global supply chain execution and fulfillment strategies, and began by reporting on the difference between maximization and optimization in the end-to-end supply chain: how it’s important to move from the former to the latter, how optimization can only be achieved by viewing the whole ecosystem, and how difficult this has been to do historically. It also explores how a digital transformation (DX) and the promise of interconnectivity and visibility it offers, as well as the intelligence it enables when paired with analytics or AI, make the optimization of large, multi-enterprise, multi-country, multi-industry business networks a viable – and necessary – goal.

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3 Key Lessons on Creating Lasting Supply Chain Success We Learned This Year

Posted by Sophia Shats     Dec 16, 2019 5:30:41 PM

We spent the year breaking down how today’s supply chain practitioners are under the gun, feeling pressured to run smoother and leaner operations under thinning margins and during the most disruptive time that has ever existed. We’ve noticed that these conditions have spawned a sense of urgency for quick and easy fixes.

However, we also discussed how, much like lasting happiness, fulfillment, and self-actualization, there are no quick fixes in the journey toward industry leadership. Rather, it requires a thoughtful digital transformation to establish a firm foundation on which new processes and innovations can effectively flourish.

As we close out this year, here are three key takeaways for cultivating a lasting transformation and supply chain success.

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