The Surprising Benefits of Sleeping with a Weighted Blanket!

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The concept of weighted blankets has gained significant attention in recent years as a therapeutic tool that helps people with anxiety, insomnia, and other physical and psychological issues. The blankets provide gentle pressure on the body, simulating the feeling of being hugged or held.

These blankets have become popular as an alternative therapy for people who need deep touch pressure stimulation to feel relaxed and soothed. The weight of a weighted blanket can vary from 5-30 pounds depending on the size and preference of the user.

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Immediate Retailer Actions to Overcome Logistics Delays!

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We are fast approaching the Holiday season. Retailers would normally already have their goods on hand in Distribution Centres, Stores, and any other channels they may use.

But this year is different. The fallout from the global pandemic persists and shipping delays are rampant. Retailers should have had their goods by now yet for some their inventory hasn’t even left the country of manufacture. Even Christmas trees will be in short supply.

Panic should be setting in now if it hasn’t already. What are the options for Retailers to circumvent these logistics delays and get their inventory on hand in time for Holiday sales?

The State of Things

As reported by CNN on October 19, 2021, there are over 200,000 shipping containers waiting off the coast of Los Angeles, representing a backlog of over 2 weeks worth of work. That is notwithstanding the trail of additional ships and containers that are still on their way to Los Angeles.

Extending work hours at the port to a 24 hour schedule is alleviating some of the backlog but increased demand for products means that port workload will be heavy for some time to come. These backlogs and delays are not unique to Los Angeles as other ports in the US, Europe and Asia are experience similar problems.

The Financial Times states that as of October 15, 2021 there are 584 container ships stuck outside ports worldwide, double that of the same time last year.

These delays invariably lead to dramatic increases in shipping costs, which inevitably are going to work their way through to price increases for end consumers.

Even when those containers are unloaded another problem awaits. Getting enough trucks, and truck drivers, delays the pick up of these goods for delivery to parts unknown. The American Trucking Association has stated that there is a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers. The Coronavirus has dramatically worsened what was already a bad situation in terms of the shortage of drivers.

Any way you look at it Retailers are going to have a hard time getting all of the inventory they need to satisfy the surging demand, which will only be compounded when considering even greater demand driven by the Holiday season.

And in many respects this demand is perishable. Consumers will either go to other retailers who do have the inventory, or they won’t buy at all.

What are the drastic steps that Retailers can take NOW, to get as much inventory as possible into their channels?

Act Like It’s An Emergency, Because It Is!

In Retail the enormous wave of activity hits Supply Chain well before the Holiday season, as the massive influx of inventory hits the logistics channels and distribution centres. Normally by late October all of these goods would be on hand, in inventory, and positioned for the pending sales season.

Because so many Retailers are still waiting for goods that are stuck either on the ocean, in ports, or on the road, they must take DRASTIC steps now in order to mitigate any delays.

Here are our recommendations on steps that must be taken right now:

1. Put Your Team on High Alert

Create a SWAT team and a war room, with daily, if not hourly, governance and oversight. This is not a drill. Hire in extra outside consultants or resources as needed. There are lot of professional organizations offering Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS). You need people working on this stuff 24 hours a day for the foreseeable future. If you don’t add extra resources now you will regret it later.

2. Spend MORE on Logistics

Plan to spend a lot more money on logistics, at least in the short term. Shipping costs are going up. PERIOD. Beyond that you should prepare your organization to spend even more. Remember, if you can’t get the goods into your customers hands, that demand is likely perishable. So you must spend more to get those goods into position so that you can fulfill as much of that demand as possible.

3. Proactively Manage Everything, Buy Whatever You Can, and Take Control

Proactively manage all aspects of your logistics network. Do not just leave this up to your carriers. These carriers are serving a lot of different customers, all of whom are also commanding attention and demanding expediting, and you are just one. You must make the decisions.

Buy any and all available inventory at your local Distributors and Wholesalers. Even if this means you need to take last minute actions to update your merchandising plan and online promotions, having any inventory is much better than having no inventory at all.

4. Implement All Alternatives for Moving and Storing Your Goods

Consider all alternatives for moving your goods:

  • Route the ships with your goods to less congested ports. Ensure these ports are working 24-7.
  • Hire truck drivers, and trucks, on contract to pick up and transport your goods. Consider paying for team drivers so that your trucks never stop running.
  • Charter airplanes and air freight your goods to their destinations.
  • Hire extra carriers and rent (or buy) containers wherever possible.
  • Establish local, mini “Pop-Up” distribution centres and storage facilities close to either the ports or your points of highest customer demand, to minimize the movement of goods. This should be done irrespective of where your current facilities are.
  • Implement drop shipping and avoid sending your goods to centralized distribution centres. Drop ship your goods directly to stores, consumers and other distribution points and avoid excessive handling. Even if this means stores will have crowded backrooms, or trucks in their parking lot, that is a lot better than having inventory stuck in a distribution centre, at a port or on the road.
  • Embrace a Touchless, or “Don’t Touch” paradigm in materials handling and storage. Forget your current processes and procedures. Moving materials multiple times and moving those goods on and off storage shelves is wasted activity. Especially when you are pressed for time you should eliminate all unnecessary handling and storage activities. The drop shipping model is an example of this new paradigm.
  • Buy as much inventory as you can now, far in advance of demand, and beyond normal order and delivery lead times. While this may be too late for this coming Holiday season, strong demand will continue for the foreseeable future. At a minimum buy the strategic elements of your inventory now.
  • Extend your delivery lead time parameters, as well as your order lead time parameters. Leave these exaggerated times in place until we are well past the point at which logistics delays are problematic.

Logistics Delays in Conclusion

Don’t just sit back and wait for your goods to arrive. This is not the time to be passive, complacent and indifferent.

Everyone is scrambling to get their goods all at the same time. That means that common resources (eg. ships, ports, trucks, truck drivers, distribution centres) are bottlenecks. Demand for these resources is far greater than the available capacity hence these logistics delays.

The result is that the people who are more aggressive, more creative and innovative, more determined, more organized, and yes more willing to spend money, will be more likely to get their goods earlier than you and everyone else.

Retailers are staring at the stroke of midnight with respect to getting their goods in place on time for the Holiday season. Take all measures, no matter how extraordinary, to bypass these logistics delays and get your inventory in your channels. Your share of your customer’s wallets, and your business survival, depend on it.

Logistics delays article originally published on October 26, 2021.

Piano Recommendations to Play Beautiful Music!

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The world of pianos can be overwhelming for someone who is searching for the right instrument. It’s essential to consider several factors before making a purchase. There are two main types of piano – acoustic and digital.

Acoustic pianos have been around since the 1700s, and they use strings to produce sound. On the other hand, digital pianos use electronic components to generate sound, and they come with several features such as adjustable volume levels, built-in metronomes, recorders, drum machines, and even synthesizers.

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The Digital Supply Chain Journey: Step 4 – Supplier Onboarding!

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The foundations of any Digital Supply Chain is the real time, end-to-end electronic connectivity of every node and aspect of your Supply Chain. Unless your company is entirely self-sufficient this connectivity requires extensive and exhaustive Supplier Onboarding.

And this onboarding is not restricted to the first tier suppliers with whom you have direct contact. You must connect with second, third, and fourth tier suppliers, many of which you will often never have even heard of before.

And that is an enormous challenge, to say the very least.

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Different Sectors of the Chemical Industry!

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According to the latest published Chemical Sector Profile, there are mainly five sectors that embody the chemical industry: Agricultural Chemicals, Basic Chemicals, Specialty Chemicals, Consumer Products, and Pharmaceuticals.

In the following, we will discuss each of these sectors in short. If you want to investigate the products used in each industry and need technical documents about each chemical you can visit teamchem.co

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How to Safely Transfer Your Packed Goods!

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All of us have a similar worry when moving to a new home: the protection of sensitive goods. Moving fragile things and packed goods by moving companies in San Francisco, especially those with high monetary worth, to a new location becomes challenging because of their sensitivity. 

Furthermore, the emotional worth we attach to them makes any damage or blemish on them all the more tragic. So, to transfer delicate objects without causing harm, understand how to pack and choose the finest transport services. 

There are several fragile things, including glassware, antiques, and more. When it comes to fragile materials like crystal and porcelain, more care must be used when packaging and shipping them. 

An overview of How To Transfer Your Packed Goods Safely is provided below. 

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Moving Construction Vehicles to Minimize Schedule Delays!

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In the construction industry, only 30% of projects are completed on schedule and within budget. As well as common problems such as labor shortages, bad weather, construction vehicles or last minute changes to plans, the majority of contractors cite poor site coordination as a major cause of delay.

Workers waste time waiting for materials or appropriate equipment, performing repetitive tasks and unloading late deliveries instead of focusing on using their skills to move the project along.

Through vehicle automation, digital collaborative network technology and more sustainable delivery processes, the transportation and management of construction equipment and materials both on site and on the road can be made more efficient. 

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – Our 2020 All Stars!

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This is our third year of publishing interviews with great leaders. Our 2020 All Stars are leaders that have been exceptional this year, as they and people from all walks of life have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The interviews are generally amongst our highest viewed articles. This further underscores the fundamental objective of Supply Chain Game Changer which is to share experiences and expertise from professionals around the world.

People want to hear from others and learn the lessons they can share. They want to hear about experiences and get advice and guidance.

We are honoured to present, in order of publication, our compilation of Seasoned Leadership In Action™ interviews from 2020!

Please take the time to view them all. There is value to be learned from every single one of these exceptional leaders! Here are our 2020 All Stars!

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Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain List! Is it Relevant?

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Gartner recently announced their Top 25 Supply Chains List.  I always find it interesting to see the list, to see who came out on top, and to hear what their views are on prevailing trends.

But as I review the list, compare it to prior years, and consider the scoring methodology I do wonder whether the list in its current form continues to be relevant for identifying the best of the Supply Chain.

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How to Benefit from Trucking Companies!

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Are you looking to benefit from a trucking company to transport your products? If so, you want to make sure that you get the most out of transport services.

Here are some handy tips that your business can use when working with trucking companies.

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Post Pandemic Stress Disorder in Supply Chain!

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SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

A year of dealing with the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus, combined with another tough year ahead, has created an environment of Pandemic fatigue of the highest order.

Children have had to stay at home instead of going to school. Adults have had to work from home, or worse yet, are at home because they either lost their jobs or had their work hours cut. Going to the store to get the basics has meant seeing empty shelves, long line ups, curb side pick up, mask mandates, and social distancing reminders everywhere.

Businesses have been closed, forced to reinvent their ways of going to market, and restructured just to cling on and hope for survival.

And even with the approval of vaccines the poor initial rollout suggests that it is going to be a long time yet before we can go back to some state of normal.

How many people have Post Pandemic Stress Disorder?

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Design in Quality First!

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The Division I had just joined was enjoying great success in Sales and Development.  They had created a modular building block design for their products.  Simply there were over two dozen different building block designs which could be configured in innumerable combinations to create the end product.

Each building block was designed to be a low-cost item.  Based on the customer requirements and specifications the building blocks could be combined in varying quantities.  Then a custom outer case, with the appropriate inputs and outputs, would be created to house all of the building blocks, interconnected on a master mother board.

It sounded great on paper and on Powerpoint slides.  But what came next was an absolute nightmare.

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Data Backup and Recovery Tips for Emerging Businesses!

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Data backup and recovery are essential parts of any business. However, data backups can be a nightmare for businesses. This is why companies need to make sure that they have a backup strategy in place.

It is important to understand the different types of data that can be lost in a backup and how to make it happen safely with proper data backup and recovery.

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Our 2021 All Star Seasoned Leadership in Action™ Interviews!

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2021 has been one of the most turbulent years in history for Supply Chain. Across every company, every industry, every country, and every aspect of Supply Chain there has been some level of upheaval.

In some circumstances things are improving. In others, such as Chip shortages and Shipping Logistics, things seem to be only getting worse.

It is during these trying times when it’s important to hear from our best leaders. Here we have compiled a summary of our 2021 Seasoned Leadership in Action™ interviews.

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How Machine Translation Can Improve Localized Supply Chain Efficiency

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) reported that even before the Ukraine-Russian war, the disruptions led to major economies losing  112.75 billion Euros in GDP in 2021 and caused inflation to skyrocket. The challenges brought by disruptions of the international supply chain due to uncontrollable circumstances showed how fragile current supply chain systems were. 

WEF addressed the need to reinvent supply chains that will make them “more resilient and agile to respond to increasing supply uncertainties, while also becoming  a key competitive advantage to enable growth.” 

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