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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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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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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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The Best Business Advice for Your Supply Chain From Successful Leaders

Posted by Sophia Shats     Nov 26, 2019 12:26:48 PM

We talk a lot about digital transformations and how vital they are to stay ahead. But transformations are about more than staying technologically up-to-date and relevant, they’re about adopting a new mindset and revolutionizing the way you do business.

From practical guidance to contemplating the bigger picture, here are a few quick tips from those who have proven to know what they’re doing.

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To Control Supply Chain Costs, You Need to Know What They Are

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Nov 20, 2019 3:28:20 PM

Over the past 25 years, companies have been using the supply chain as a competitive tool. The most successful manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and logistics providers leverage superior supply chain management practices to distinguish and elevate their brands. Most of them have done so by investing billions of dollars into home-grown systems to implement these practices, as off-the-shelf software has typically failed to meet requirements.

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

Posted by Sophia Shats     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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Peeling Back the Onion: Choosing a Software Provider With Due Diligence (V)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Jun 4, 2019 9:22:33 AM

Both the digital transformation and each software provider are multi-faceted, so think of these next stages of the discovery process as ‘peeling back layers of the onion.’ The surface layers involve understanding each vendor’s capabilities and bid components. Slightly deeper are the back-end particulars of the transformation; your team will be focusing on everything from the platform to the financial and commercial terms to ensure the products and services you choose align well with your priorities and that the rollout will be feasible and smooth.

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Key Takeaways From the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference | Phoenix, AZ, May 2019

Posted by Buck Devashish     May 21, 2019 2:30:14 PM

The Gartner Supply Chain Executive conference continues to evolve in both scale and content. This recent one, as Gartner noted, was the biggest one to date. So much so, that Gartner will now be converting the supply chain summit to its larger symposium format starting in 2020.

For seasoned attendees who might recall when this used to be the AMR Research Supply Chain Executive conference, it may feel strange to venture anywhere other than Phoenix in May. But if this event was a testament of what’s to come, Orlando 2020 will be something to look forward to.

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May the Fourth be With You: How to Become a Jedi Knight in the Supply Chain Universe

Posted by Sophia Shats     May 4, 2019 7:24:46 AM

Fans of Star Wars are familiar with the concept of the Force: an energy field that can be tapped into, that gives a Jedi their power. In the supply chain universe, the Force is like the inevitable progress of technology. A seemingly limitless pool of potential we tap into and are empowered by to not only better handle the pressures and challenges of the ever-evolving industry, but to pioneer that very change and transform the world as we know it.

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How Do You Qualify a Software Vendor? (IV)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Apr 30, 2019 9:39:42 AM

Knowing what you want and how to convey it is only half the battle. There is still an overwhelming number of software vendors to choose from, with differing specialties, many of whom offer variations on the same solutions. With so many options and variables to weigh, how do you qualify vendors based on your priorities and what does it take to earn them a seat at your table?

Here is how I like to approach the process, based on what’s worked for me.

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