3 Unexpected Ways You May Be Perpetuating Rigidity in Your Supply Chain

Posted by Buck Devashish     Jul 9, 2019 8:57:28 AM

When thinking about rigidity in the supply chain, it’s common to call out the usual suspects – ahem, spreadsheets – that are routinely blamed for making management less flexible. Less noticeable, however, are the historical boundaries that restrict even the most modern, cloud-based, digital solutions.

Cloud and SaaS technologies have made extraordinary strides toward breaking the systemic and spatial boundaries that otherwise limit effective, networked collaboration. And yet, many of the most progressive platforms and software are draped over the stiff bones of outdated frameworks.

The modern supply chain is capable of so much more than these constricting scaffoldings allow. Here are a few of the secret places where silos and rigidity linger.

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Why Last Mile Logistics Should Be Your First Priority

Posted by Paul van Dongen     Jun 25, 2019 3:18:36 PM

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. The big-player disruptors (you know who they are) have set lofty goalposts and acclimated consumers to a kind of good life they’ve happily claimed as the new norm. For businesses, last mile logistics marks the end of a transaction. However, much like the Olympic vault, the total sum of a company’s fulfillment efforts means little if they can’t stick the landing.

Customers want timely service (aka get it when they want it) and cost-effective delivery (aka free). Additionally, a significant part of the brand experience is reliability and communication. These last two sound like simple bars to set, and still so many businesses deliver to the wrong address or with delays and then provide poor communication regarding cause, status, and responsibility.

Considering how much of a cornerstone last mile logistics is to brand loyalty and profitability, why are so few getting it right – and what can be done about it.

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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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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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Why Static Modeling Doesn’t Cut It in the Modern Supply Chain

Posted by Paul van Dongen     Mar 14, 2019 10:12:29 AM

When you think of the supply chain, it’s easy to recall the antiquated notion of a literal chain of command and linear process. The chain begins at Point A, the order, and ends at Point B, the delivery of the product; what happens in between is as predictable and routine as goods flowing down an assembly track. When consumers were generally local and products typically unchanging, it was practical to invest in the same team of partners, routes, and practices.

The breakneck growth of the Internet has radically disrupted that paradigm. The continuous demand for newer, better offerings has shortened product lifecycles and upended the practice of stable partnerships. As dynamic networks are the new normal, technology has emerged to better form and manage these vital relationships.

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How to Kick Off Your Digital Transformation by Building the Right Team (II)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Mar 6, 2019 4:45:22 PM

We opened this series by discussing why digital transformation and continuous improvements are critical to long-term success. But once you’ve made this realization, how do you actually make it happen in an effective and streamlined way? Just because you’ve discovered the key to your company’s inefficiencies and the importance of aiming higher doesn’t mean everyone else does. Besides, small to mid-size businesses don’t typically have a dedicated professional or department to oversee the endeavor, so you need to champion internal support.

Here, we’ll take a quick look at how to craft a value proposition for executive sponsorship, then focus on who you should enlist to ensure the endeavor is handled intelligently and without delay.

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Is It Possible to Achieve Immediate Synergy After Mergers and Acquisitions?

Posted by Vijay Natarajan     Feb 15, 2019 4:58:11 PM

Mergers and acquisitions activity have been on the rise for several years, and according to Deloitte’s The state of the deal | M&A trends 2019 report, they show no sign of letting up. In fact, these deals are projected to continue to grow in size. Whatever the reason for each M&A – whether to stay competitive by acquiring new technology or broaden their market reach – what they all have in common is the drive toward synergy: the belief that the new combined whole will be greater than the sum of their parts.

Then why do about 50-85% of all M&As fail?

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Why Simply Good Isn’t Good Enough (I)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Feb 6, 2019 8:47:11 PM

Having spent over 25 years in the supply chain industry, I noticed that while companies diligently assess their performance and capabilities, they are often unmotivated to improve as long as they do better or earn more than the year before. Satisfaction with small, incremental gains is a setback. The mindset usually stems from the presumption that additional growth demands significant spend, time, resources, and disruption.

In light of this, I’m launching a blog series to relate my perspective as an actual practitioner who has evaluated, selected, justified, and implemented software solutions for e-commerce fulfillment, warehouse management, supply and demand planning, transportation and logistics management, supply chain control towers, reverse logistics, and depot repair. There’s a lot of misunderstanding surrounding the process of systems upgrades, why they are necessary, and what it takes to set them in motion.

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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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Can Supply Chain Orchestration Help E-Commerce Realize Its Drop-Shipping Potential?

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Oct 25, 2018 10:34:22 AM

With the rise of online sales, more and more retailers are striving to meet shifting customer expectations. Consider that 45% of consumers have abandoned a basket on a retailer’s website because of unsatisfactory or limited delivery options, according to a MetaPack survey.

No wonder retailers are shaking up their distribution networks and looking for more options.

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Will a U.S. Universal Postal Union Withdrawal Shake the Bedrock of E-Commerce?

Posted by Buck Devashish     Oct 24, 2018 1:08:10 PM

The world of e-commerce is about to change completely. The United States has indicated intent to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union due to the way the global inter-economy postal tariffs work. These have distorted postal rates so it is cheaper today to ship from China to parts of the US, than within the US itself. This is about to change now, and will redefine competition and competitiveness in e-commerce.

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SNES Classic: A Problem with Long-Term Planning or Supply Chain Execution?

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Aug 23, 2017 2:31:11 PM

Yesterday, preorders for the new (or old) SNES Classic were made available at multiple retailers including Target, Amazon, Best Buy and Gamestop (Toys R’ Us is offering them in-store only on 9/29). It was an exciting moment especially for all the people who grew up playing 16-bit games in their youth.

But it quickly turned into a mess. Again!

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3 Types of Supply Chain Control Towers

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Aug 17, 2017 8:32:03 AM

When in 1921, Croydon Airport in London introduced it’s first Air Traffic Control Tower it did so to better manage what had become an increasingly complex operation to ensure the safety and lives of all pilots and passengers on incoming and outgoing flights. While it started as pure visual observation over time we’ve seen every airport leverage technology based observation in addition to visual in order to measure and ensure our flights arrive on time and in full.

Sound familiar?

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4 Myths about Supply Chain Visibility

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Aug 10, 2017 9:57:42 AM

Supply chain visibility is one of the hottest topics in supply chain and for good reason. As our supply chains grow larger and in turn get more complex, supply chain leaders are increasingly realizing the gaps they have in their visibility across the supply chain.

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What is preventing End-to-end Supply Chain Visibility?

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Jul 13, 2017 9:21:19 AM

Last week, Geodis released their 2017 Supply Chain Worldwide Survey report, and if you get a chance, I’d highly recommend you download and read the report!

One of the most interesting stats in the report was on supply chain visibility. According to respondents, only 6% reported having “end-to-end supply chain visibility”. Only 6%!

In this post, I wanted to take a look at supply chain visibility, what end-to-end visibility mean and it’s impact on supply chains.

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