Peter Nilsson

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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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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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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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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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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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Top 4 Ways to Run a Leaner, More Efficient Automotive Supply Chain With MPO

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Jun 18, 2019 8:14:01 AM

First introduced to the auto industry in the early 1990s, the philosophy of lean manufacturing centers around a kind of “less is more paradigm.” Though the principles were originally meant to perfect production logistics, the greater automotive supply chain gains tremendous value by reducing superfluous processes and orchestrating smooth, synchronous flows throughout the supply chain.

As supply chain processes continue to go global, businesses face unprecedented levels of complexity. However, by adopting a methodology centered around efficiency, consolidation, collaboration, and continuous improvement, they can leverage opportunities to reach new levels of business potential.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Supply Chain Needs: Digital Transformation Strategy

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Jun 11, 2019 11:16:10 AM

We recently discussed how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (the psychological stages of human growth) applied to the supply chain (business growth within the industry). This evolution is closely linked with a digital transformation, which itself can be mapped according to a similar journey of fulfillment.

The guiding principles are the same: growth requires building one fundamental layer at a time in order to achieve full potential. Just as businesses must build their capabilities and networks one stage at a time, so too does a digital transformation strategy require various upgrades in technology and innovation to enable new business models through previously unimaginable functionality.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Supply Chain Needs: How to Become an Industry Leader

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Apr 24, 2019 10:08:55 AM

Chances are you’re familiar with the renown Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The psychological theory attempts to map out the stages of human growth, starting with physiological needs, like food, shelter, and safety, and moving onward and upward to love, belonging, esteem, until culminating in self-actualization.

The hierarchy is conceived as a pyramid with the basic needs at the bottom; to advance, you must first meet the requirements of the previous level. In other words, starvation takes precedence over safety. Most won’t have the bandwidth to sustain meaningful relationships if they feel unsafe, and they probably won’t reach their full potential if they lack self-esteem.

The same can be said about a business’s growth and development.

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The Top Do’s & Don’ts of Effective Transportation Management

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Mar 25, 2019 9:48:24 AM

Transportation management was once straightforward: Order management systems grouped batches of orders into origin-destination pairs based on delivery dates, then sent order releases down to the transportation management system (TMS), which had the sole function of accepting that input and releasing the batch.

A lot has changed since then. Between global competition, high consumer demand, and the rise of multi-enterprise networks, businesses are realizing this legacy method is insufficient to handle the supply chain industry’s growing complexity.

If you need a more effective and efficient way to manage transportation in the modern supply chain, here are several do’s and don’ts to consider:

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Blockchain Is Not Going to Solve Your Supply Chain Challenges This Year – Here’s Why

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Jan 28, 2019 1:01:01 PM

About a decade ago, Satoshi Nakamoto shared an idealistic vision to remove the intermediaries – i.e. financial institutions – from monetary transactions between individuals. The Bitcoin network is a truly democratic solution, favoring autonomy, decentralization, and the greater good of the community. The rules surrounding its future growth and development are clear, and they bar any non-majority user groups from altering the core design.

The Bitcoin network owes its success to novelty; born of the modern world, it never had to contend with legacy transactions or link to physical assets. New bitcoins are simply “minted” directly into the network. However, the very features that make blockchain successful in this instance also hold it back from other use cases.

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In 2018 We Established That Supply Chain Collaboration Is Important — Now What?

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Jan 4, 2019 10:24:44 AM

At the beginning of last year, we asked the question: Is 2018 the Year of Supply Chain Networks? We have since established that the answer is not only a resounding yes, but that these growing ecosystems now have a name: multi-enterprise supply chain business networks. They have become such a prominent staple of the industry that Gartner recognized them with a dedicated Magic Quadrant. Toward the end of the year, we ruminated on Why Multi-Enterprise Business Networks Add Value & How to Choose Wisely, which began to touch upon two important queries posed in the former article: What’s the best way to build and connect these networks? And what considerations should we take into account?

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Why Grinch-Like Policies Won’t Save Your Christmas Margins

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Dec 19, 2018 12:13:14 PM

The holiday season is a time of giving and receiving; UPS alone is anticipating delivering about 750 million packages. However, if you work in retail, it is also the unenviable time of mass returns and exchanges. According to the 2017 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry report, “Total merchandise returns account for more than $351 billion in lost sales for US retailers.”

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Why Multi-Enterprise Business Networks Add Value & How to Choose Wisely

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Nov 21, 2018 9:53:57 AM

Gartner just released their Magic Quadrant for Multienterprise Supply Chain Business Networks. But what exactly are they and how can they help your business?

At its root, the term encapsulates how supply chains have evolved into complex networks involving multiple parties and partners. Across orders, organizations must communicate with everyone from manufacturing and warehousing to transportation partners, freight forwarders, distributors, retailers, and others. While having all these connections is certainly advantageous, the pressing question is: are you really making the most of what you have?

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Top 4 Ways AI Will Bring About Meaningful Improvements in Supply Chains

Posted by Peter Nilsson     Oct 18, 2018 1:49:54 PM

55% of business leaders in supply chain and top bosses in finance plan to invest in Artificial Intelligence in the next couple of years according to a recent Forrester survey. This stat tells us AI is increasingly being seen as a technology capable of driving effective decision making and improving operational processes.

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