The Speed and Efficiency of E-Signatures in Procurement!

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E-Signatures article and permission to publish here provided by Mariana Wilona.

In the procurement profession, speed and efficiency are key. There is just too much time and money that can be wasted on a daily basis while signing paper documents. From formatting and printing off forms, scanning, signing to reformatting again before hitting the send button.

For a one-off, that doesn’t sound too bad. However, when the process has to be repeated over hundreds to thousands of times, it can become a cumbersome process and an expensive investment. Electronic signature platforms allow you to sign multiple documents within seconds, on the go.

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Blockchain Continues to Make its Way into the Supply Chain World!

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Blockchain continues article provided by http://argentus.com.  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.

A few months back, we wrote about Blockchain as an emerging technology and tool for Supply Chain transparency.

It’s a pretty incredible technology that stands to reshape big aspects of the economy in general and Supply Chain in particular – but it’s also pretty difficult for the common person to understand, which doesn’t help matters.

But Blockchain is coming, and it offers the potential to shake up Supply Chain and Logistics like few other technologies coming down the pike.

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10 Technologies To Change Your Life!

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Change your life article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by,Warren Noble at theclever.com

Forget about that connected fridge you’ve had your eye on. Put that smartwatch up on eBay. The world is already a lot more connected and complex than GE’s product line could have ever predicted.

In the next few years, the technologies you’ve taken for granted, and the ways we interact with them, are going to change forever—and rework our lives along the way. Allow me to introduce the Internet of Things (IoT), the biggest agent of change in technology since the Gemini space program of the 1960s.

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Virtualization vs. Cloud Computing! (Infographic)

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Virtualization article, and permission to publish here, provided by Thomas Roach at http://www.themissinglink.com.au/

For non-techies, it can be easy to confuse virtualization and cloud computing, and figuring out which is the best option for the business is a whole other challenge.

Fortunately, this handy infographic guide explains the two and lays out their benefits in plain English.

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Waiting for Good Forecasting is a Bad Strategy!

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If you work in Business or Supply Chain you feel the results and the immense pressure caused by inaccurate forecasts. You don’t believe that good forecasting even exists.

When customer demand exceeds forecast you are scrambling to get parts and materials, to secure capacity, and to expedite the movement of goods throughout the Supply Chain. When demand falls short of forecast you are left with too much inventory, excess capacity, under-utilized resources, and profit and cash flow pressures.

If only the planning people could forecast better all would be right with the world. But waiting for better forecasts is a bad, and a lazy approach.

It is much more important to create a more robust and resilient Supply Chain to dynamically respond to any fluctuations in forecasted demand.

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Collaborative Robots: Making Manufacturing Jobs More Valuable

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Collaborative robots article provided by Tony Giovaniello, President, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Shasta County.

First, a “Prime Objective” of the Shasta EDC is job growth in the manufacturing and technology sectors. This is our key focus. However, the recruitment, retention, and expansion of our companies is equally important.

There is obviously a symbiotic relationship between employer and employees. However, from time to time there are talent gaps that emerge and technologies that force us to rethink our approaches to business.

Data shows that the number of manufacturing jobs are declining, and the jobs that remain are shifting to a mixture of the traditional and tribal knowledge around manufacturing and a blend of technical knowledge that helps to augment current manufacturing with the practical application of emerging technologies.

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The Control Tower – Is Yours Real or Smoke and Mirrors?

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The advancement of digital technology enables the real-time, intelligent management of the Supply Chain.  This now means you need a Control Tower.

But any company’s Supply Chain can still involve tens of thousands of skus, thousands of bills of material, thousands of suppliers, hundreds of transportation vendors, dozens of manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, and numerous customers.

So even if you have a Digital Supply Chain how do you manage this complexity?  The answer is that you need a Control Tower!

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Industry 4.0 – Smart Manufacturing of the Future! (Infographic)

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Industry 4.0 article provided by Rob Memery at http://www.2flow.ie

Since the term Industry 4.0 was first coined by the German government in 2011 it has steadily gathered pace and interest from companies across all industries.  This infographic from 2Flow takes you through how much it has grown and how much it is expected to grow in the years to come.

Industry 4.0 is a far cry from what has come before it and data analytics is at the heart of it.  In all supply chains, companies are always looking for ways to make it more efficient and digitization is more often than not the answer – which makes Industry 4.0 the answer.

So what can Industry 4.0 accomplish?

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Blockchain in the Supply Chain is a Game Changer!

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Blockchain in the Supply Chain article originally published on https://cerasis.com.  Permission to publish here provided by Adam Robinson.

The application of blockchain in the supply chain is among the greatest innovations to take root in the shipping industry.

The application of blockchain holds promises to increase visibility, renew viability, reduce inconsistency, increase payment processing accuracy, and eliminate compliance problems.

Even though the technology is still new, its potential cannot be ignored, and supply chain executives need to know why.

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What is a Digital Transformation?

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Digital transformation article and permission to publish here provided by Bryce Boothby.

For some time, I’ve been reading, watching and following the white papers, case studies, and countless webinars put on by keen minds about digital transformations. I must say, the topic doesn’t feel any clearer. Many would have us believe the elements of a digital transformation should include the likes of IoT, AI, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), ML, Digital Twins, Digital Threads, and 3D Printing.

In some applications, these transformations are life changing. IoT temperature sensors are enabling the new cold chains for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and the use of a digital twin is facilitating the faithful reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Such innovation and advancement are truly a marvel; but, for the average business, the expectation feels daunting, expensive, and drawn out.

For most companies, a digital transformation involves a more practical approach. 

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Machine Learning in Warehouse Management!

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Machine learning article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Adam Robinson at https://cerasis.com.

Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, has already been used across many industries to improve efficiency and productivity.

The technology has been in development for some time, with the uptake being slowed down by some industry’s reluctance to adopt it.

However, it’s now being used by many businesses, including logistics companies and retailers seeking help for warehouse management.

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How to Become a Supply Chain Game Changer! RateLinx Interviews Mike Mortson!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Ratelinx interviews article with Mike Mortson originally appeared on ratelinx.com.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the importance of supply chain management cannot be understated. After watching customers scramble to source household toiletries and life-saving PPE, supply chains are left wondering, “What comes next?” 

As we prepare for whatever comes next, it’s clear we need leaders ready and able to reinvent the supply chain. 

“I founded a website, supplychaingamechanger.com, with the sole mission of sharing experiences and expertise for the benefit of others,” he says. “There are so many people, myself included, who have had great careers and had wonderful opportunities. I believe that it is incumbent on all of us to share those experiences to help others along their career paths.”

Here’s what Mike had to say about the present and future of supply chain in a recent interview.

“The impact of supply chain is so broad and far-reaching that any professional in the field has the opportunity to impact virtually any aspect of a company’s, or even an industry’s, performance.”

Supply Chain Is Essential for Business Success

For the modern company, supply chain management is no longer a singular, separate operation like other business functions. Instead, it’s deeply ingrained, and tied to, a company’s success. So much so that supply chain managers have a unique opportunity to greatly impact the company with their role. 

It is this opportunity, Mike says, that makes supply chain leaders “game changers” for their companies. 

“In many respects, just being a part of the supply chain makes anyone a game changer. The impact of supply chain is so broad and far-reaching that any professional in the field has the opportunity to impact virtually any aspect of a company’s, or even an industry’s, performance,” Mike says. “Supply chain reaches into planning, operations, finance, asset management, procurement, logistics, distribution, sales, marketing, I/T, executive management, third-party partnerships, and leadership of all the above. That means a supply chain professional can shape and impact the tactical and strategic direction, growth, and success of any and all aspects of a company.”

Skills that Turn Leaders into Game Changers

According to Mike, what sets true supply chain game changers apart is skills and leadership qualities that enable them to put their power to its best use.

“The skills supply chain professionals must develop and deploy in the future go far beyond just understanding the transactional mechanics of their functional operations,” Mike says.

“It is incumbent on all of us to create even more robust supply chains in the future. If we don’t learn lessons from the pandemic, we are bound to repeat the problems we have experienced, as disasters of some kind are always on the horizon.”

These skills span the gamut of operational executive requirements. Supply chain game changers must not only understand processes and think bigger when it comes to supply chain management. They must also know how to lead on a much larger, global scale. Mike says the following skills are must-haves for future supply chain leaders:

  • Applied, real-time end-to-end supply chain management expertise
  • Strategic planning and big thinking
  • Technological expertise
  • data analytics mentality
  • Risk management expertise
  • Change leadership
  • Control tower leadership
  • Holistic, global leadership
  • Business process transformation capability
  • Best practices knowledge

Having worked with professionals from dozens of countries in many industries, Mike says these skills are global and universal. “You are either a good, or great, leader or you are not. It doesn’t matter what country you come from,” Mike says. “Your personal expertise, skill, and leadership skill shine through, no matter where you were born or live.”

COVID-19 Illustrated Supply Chain Failures

With professionals in position to impact their company’s future, we need to learn from the past to reshape the future. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has certainly impacted our personal and professional lives and taught us important lessons. 

One way it has done this is by exposing the fragility of the supply chain as it currently exists (causing, for example, difficulty in purchasing, fulfilling, and delivering toilet paper and face masks). But, as much as it has illustrated failings in supply chain management, Mike believes COVID-19 has also provided an opportunity to learn and build a more robust supply chain moving forward.

“It is incumbent on all of us to create even more robust supply chains in the future,” he says. “If we don’t learn lessons from the pandemic, we are bound to repeat the problems we have experienced. Disasters of some kind are always on the horizon.”

Supply Chain Leaders Must Embrace a New Normal

Mike says one lesson from the pandemic is the importance of supply chain talent—the game changers that keep things moving. In addition, we’ve learned the need to design supply chain flexibility and speed of response. There is an even more important capability that professionals must develop: the flexibility and resiliency to take changes in stride.

To build a more resilient supply chain for the post-pandemic landscape, we must accept there is no turning back. The “New Normal” is here, and the industry must not give in to pressures to return to the way things used to be.

New Sourcing and Planning Strategies are Key

One critical part of developing resiliency is diversified sourcing. Mike says, “Companies must look beyond any single sourcing or sole sourcing strategies. By definition, they create single points of failure, which can bring down any supply chain.”

This strategy plays into a larger lesson regarding disaster planning and risk management. Rather than dust off risk management documents once a year, then file them back in a drawer, Mike says supply chain professionals must take these preparations seriously and include them in ongoing strategy.

Additionally, more attention must be paid to strategic inventory planning. Particularly as more companies adopt e-commerce channels, this is a way to remain connected to customers and keep sales alive.

Mike also expects larger supply chain overhauls as companies search for more efficient and safer means of fulfillment. For instance, he mentions “don’t touch” supply chain strategies like dropshipping, which are essential to minimizing the number of points where goods are handled and stored. More advanced outsourcing strategies might also be necessary for companies to streamline their supply chains.

“Companies must consider a more extensive outsourcing strategy,” Mike says. “For instance, I believe that engaging external service organizations providing Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS) may be a more strategic way to get access to best-in-class expertise, processes, and techniques.”

The Future of Supply Chain Evolution is Digital

The transformation to a digital supply chain is crucial for success in the near future. Big data and technological advancements have already disrupted the industry on multiple fronts. But greater adoption is necessary to fully build out a digital supply chain.

“There are so many new and exciting technologies that will shape the future, and they all fall under the umbrella of the digital supply chain,” Mike says. “Blockchain, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, end-to-end digital connectivity, big data, cloud computing, machine learning, 3D printing, control towers, cybersecurity, and more.”

Automation is a key piece of the digital supply chain as well. Not just automation on the manufacturing floor, either—advanced analytics and artificial intelligence can assist businesses in automating their processes, too. 

The Time is Now to Invest in Supply Chain Technology

Mike believes control towers will also be crucial in incorporating and streamlining digital supply chain management. “Control tower proliferation should be the new normal. Control towers allow for centralized command and control, in real-time, of the entire end-to-end supply chain,” Mike says. “This is a part of the overall digital supply chain that should be a part of every company’s investment strategy.”

According to Mike, each of these separate technologies are the building blocks of the digital supply chain. And while the implementation of these investments might not be perfected for a few years, supply chain game changers will lead the charge.

“I believe this is the most exciting time to be in the supply chain. It will take decades, likely—far beyond the next five years for sure—as companies and industries figure out how to implement digital supply chain strategies. But who will be at the center of all of this, leading and architecting the future? The supply chain leader,” Mike says. “While I/T experts will develop the technologies, it is the supply chain leader who will create the big-picture vision of what the future will be and shape what is needed to be done to make that future a reality.”

Accepting Change is the Key to Future Supply Chain Success

Although the pandemic continues to create challenges, there is now enough data to examine strategies and find better solutions. With supply chain game changers ready to step up to the leadership plate and think bigger, Mike believes a brighter supply chain future is just in reach.

What’s important in the coming months and years is the ability to turn away from past strategies and accept strategic changes. These might include extensive outsourcing, inventory planning, and heightened disaster preparedness. But most of all, supply chain leaders must be prepared to invest in the capabilities and technologies required to steer supply chain management into the digital future.

Copyright © Mortson Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published on March 2, 2021.

Intelligent Supply Chain Technologies for the Future!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Intelligent Supply Chain technologies article and permission to publish here provided by Dan Weinberger, UN Supply Chain Expert and CEO of Morpheus Network.

Amid the thick covid-clouds, organizations are preparing to make their way back to regular business to maximize profitability and make up for the lost time. Considering the exposed vulnerabilities of the supply chain strategies during the pandemic, the logical progression for these companies is to take advantage of digitization to a greater extent in the post-coronavirus-world.

In that effort, enterprises should seek innovative technologies with the potential to disrupt and transform the current supply chain operating models and bring in a more competitive edge. 

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Supply Chain Visibility – An Overcomplicated Challenge!

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Supply Chain visibility article and permission to publish here provided by Adam Miglio.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and digital transformation have opened the doors to what should be limitless transparency across the most complex supply chains. It would seem that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Industry 4.0 would demand its implementation.

I’ve worked for major manufacturers in CPG, Automotive, and Defense Contracting, and I can honestly say that some of the largest organizations are nowhere near accomplishing this. In the past 5 years, I’ve found myself constantly asking the question, “Isn’t there some sort of software that can do that?”.

Every single organization I have been a part of has been dependent on Excel spreadsheets for order tracking and expediting – and in some cases – even demand planning. Even the most robust ERP systems seem to lack the visibility that organizations are desperate to acquire, and in real-time.

After researching this particular challenge and looking back at my own experiences, I will have to offer a not-so-popular solution.

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6 Technologies that will Change Transportation and Trucking Forever!

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Transportation and Trucking article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Adam Robinson on https://cerasis.com

Modern transportation is currently experiencing major changes thanks to transformative transportation technologies. Although we’ve become accustomed to long international flights, jam-packed public transportation and diesel trucks that only get 20 mpg, the future of transportation promises to change all of that and much more — and it’s closer than many people realize.

Let’s take a look at 6 transportation technologies sure to impact the trucking and transportation industries forever.

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