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Optimizing vs. Reducing Costs: Is Your Supply Chain Getting It Right?

Posted by Tom Rhoads     Aug 17, 2020 3:20:27 PM

Practically every business is – in one way or another – working to reduce supply chain costs. Be it operating costs, freight and logistics spend, buffer stock, or the countless other revenue leaks.

In the grand scheme of things, revenue growth and cost efficiency are quite complicated and a balancing act to master. The cheapest options are not always the best options; beneficial actions in one business unit may harm another; and optimizing within silos and is not really optimization.

As supply chain leaders work to recover revenues and drive customer loyalty, business growth, and competitive differentiation, it will be vital to invest in systems and processes that break down silos, better balance priorities, and optimize the supply chain end-to-end.

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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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3 Core Aspects of ‘Control’ All Digital Supply Chain Control Towers Should Have

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren     Dec 9, 2019 3:55:27 PM

Digital supply chain Control Towers are invaluable for helping multi-enterprise business networks better collaborate, improve efficiency, and cut costs. They can, however, vary greatly in the depth and degree of what they actually ‘control’ and how much direct actionability you derive from them.

Here is a brief overview of the core elements of control a digital supply chain Control Tower should have.

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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 Martin Verwijmeren     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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What Is an Order-Centric TMS?

Posted by Sophia Shats     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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3 Buzzwords to Be Wary of & Why a Dose of Skepticism Is a Good Idea

Posted by Sophia Shats     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 Sophia Shats     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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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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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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