The Strongest Predictor of TMS Strength Isn’t What You Think

Posted by Buck Devashish     Nov 11, 2019 4:27:17 PM

It’s no surprise that there’s a growing interest in transportation management solutions. Transportation is at the heart of supply chain operations, and as more companies expand their products and services to conquer new markets, the more they run up against the limitations of their legacy systems.

While there’s a broad array of Transportation Management Systems (TMS) options on the market, according to Gartner’s Model for Holistic Multimodal Transportation Management Systems: Core Capabilities, few vendors “have solutions that can successfully and cost-effectively support all levels of transportation complexity.”

At its core, today’s transportation management solution must at least be holistic and multi-modal. But what does that really mean, and how can you better assess your level of transportation complexity and whether a given solution will adequately support it?

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5 Key Steps to Fast-Track a Digital Transformation (X)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Nov 4, 2019 4:36:50 PM

If you’ve been following my series, Making the Case for a Digital Transformation, it’s apparent that such a venture can stretch out over many months – if not longer. Not every business has that kind of time to spare, and you may be asking yourself: “What can I do if I have to get a new platform up and running in the next quarter or two?”

With tacit approval from senior management to pick a solution and spend what it takes (within reason), here’s my advice for fast-tracking your digital transformation.

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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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Software Implementation Is No Cakewalk. Take Charge & Win Quick. (IX)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 30, 2019 8:24:33 AM

Now that the case for a digital transformation has been made and the go ahead given, it’s time for your supply chain software implementation...but don’t think it will be a walk in the park. It’s common to have a bit of friction between company departments – especially during transformations. Stamp out ‘turf battles’ early and map out a plan right away, so you can easily course correct when issues or delays inevitably arise. How you define success will also play a significant role throughout the process – don’t overpromise but strive to overdeliver.

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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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Getting Down to Business: It’s Time to Make the Case for Your Digital Transformation (VIII)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 3, 2019 8:11:09 AM

With a promising software provider determined and the backing of your network, it’s time to pull together your resources, construct a business case for the digital transformation, and make a strong and informed recommendation.

If you’re in a larger or public company, you will likely have a predetermined format for presenting a business case. Since this involves an investment decision, your finance organization should have a structured, formulaic template to use. Smaller or private companies will usually have a handful of people making the decision, with a greater focus on a “why and how much?” rationale.

Having sat through countless board and executive committee meetings in many different companies, and in a range of such scenarios, I’ve seen my fair share of both compelling and derailed presentations. Without getting overly prescriptive, here are some observations on the best ways to fully prepare, expect the unexpected, and make an effective business case.

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Is the Supply Chain Undergoing an Existential Shift?

Posted by Buck Devashish     Aug 13, 2019 8:59:36 AM

It’s often been said that business process changes precede technology and software. Companies would first define their frameworks and then seek out software to support those established practices. However, much has changed in the 21st century. The rapid evolution of supply chain software and technology has transformed the industry landscape into a far more complex, fast-paced, demanding, global, and networked ecosystem. To keep up with these changes and to seize upon new opportunities, practitioners have begun shifting their approach to acquiring and implementing emerging supply chain software and technology. Rather than apply new technologies and other innovations to existing frameworks, successful and far-sighted practitioners are increasingly thinking about what new possibilities these innovations hold and how their use might help them pivot to more effective processes.

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The (Hidden) Elephant in the Room: Trust (VII)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Aug 6, 2019 8:34:38 AM

Digital transformations are hard work and require more than just technology to be successful. In the countless times I’ve managed multi-party setups, the greatest obstacle was consistently the most intangible one: Trust. Companies today are networks, so if your partners aren’t on board with your vision, the solution you choose – no matter how robust – will ultimately fail. As you define your priorities, also use this process as an opportunity to consult your network about how your needs align.

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Distributed Order Management: Over-Hyped & Under-Served?

Posted by Buck Devashish     Jul 23, 2019 8:29:50 AM

While today’s supply chain is exceedingly complex, one’s approach to managing it need not be. Unfortunately, as tools and so-called best practices evolve, they often propagate silos, redundancies, and failure points in the supply chain, further complicating it.

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Can the Software Providers Do What They Say? Put the Finalists Through the Paces. (VI)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Jul 2, 2019 9:13:07 AM

Up until now, the process of choosing software providers has been all talk. As thorough as your due diligence may be, there’s always the possibility that what a prospective vender claims they can do does not ultimately align with what you’ve imagined. Moreover, if you’re hedging your bets on innovators, you want to do everything you can to minimize risk and go into the partnership confident that you’ve made a sound choice.

There are two ways to accomplish that: by checking references and conducting a live demo stress test.

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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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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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