Crowdfunding Fulfillment Solutions!

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Article provided by Jake Rheude at


Crowdfunding has given entrepreneurs and inventors greater access to startup capital. You might not be able to get seed money or Series A funding from a venture capital firm for your idea, but backers on Kickstarter or Indiegogo could give you just the leg up that you need.

Crowdfunding has launched everything from the Pebble smartwatch (it was the Apple watch before there was an Apple watch) to the Exploding Kittens card game to movies like Veronica Mars. Increasingly, crowdfunding is used not only by startups, but also by established companies to fund the launch of a new product.

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How AI and the IoT Can Change Transportation Management!

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Blog post originally published by Adam Robinson on 


Analysts predict that by 2020, 75% of new cars will feature IoT connectivity. The percentage increase describes consumer applications, but the idea of connected vehicles should garner interest from other sectors such as shipping, logistics, and transportation.

Leaders in these industries would be wise to plan for a future where AI and the IoT transform transportation management.

Here are five possible applications to consider.


1. Streamline Decision-Making

David Poulsen, CutCableToday’s IT expert, says connected, or autonomous, vehicles, are attractive because of the technologies that undergird them. “The Internet of Things (IoT) is one part of the equation,” Poulsen explains. “The other part is artificial intelligence (AI). It acts as the driver, helping the connected ‘thing,’ which could be a vehicle or inventory system, make smarter decisions.”

As applied to transportation management, that automated decision-making ability is critical. Connected vehicles, shipments, and systems help with tracking and historical reporting. But real-time insights and responses occur through artificial intelligence.

At TOPBOTS, an online, educational resource for all things AI, writer Mariya Yao calls the process “turning supply chain logistics into automated trading.” She gives an example: Amazon’s ability to deliver packages to a person’s door in under two hours. AI and the IoT streamline the entire process, from order to delivery, to save time and money and meet customer demand.

2. Optimize Operations

DHL, the global logistics provider, posits another application of AI and the IoT optimization. Its 2016 Logistics Trend Radar report suggests that big data and automated supply chains could lead to previously unimaginable levels of optimization.

But that optimization isn’t isolated to a single aspect of transportation management. Rather, DHL predicts a world in which manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and deliveries become increasingly efficient, productive, and profitable. The provider believes the trend will come to life in the next ten years.

DHL could be correct. General Electric, for example, has started integrating AI into its locomotives to enhance safety and speed. Daniel Malak at Motionloft offers another use for AI and the IoT: optimizing traffic. He says transportation management companies benefit from Motionloft by using it to study traffic patterns and “optimize business practices such as sending out police forces only during peak rush hours, having maintenance crews repair roads that get the most travel, and deploying sanitation crews to clean public areas only when needed.”

3. Manage Warehouses

Tim Young of Vero Solutions shares another way AI and the IoT Could transform transportation management in his infographic looking at warehouses. He says AI could impact six areas of operations.

“Productivity levels, inventory processes, and employee wages are just three fields,” explains Young, “that are expected to be revolutionized and improved by AI technology in warehouses in just a matter of years.”

The other three areas relate to effective communication, warehouse operations, and robot workers. Young’s example of robot workers involves a company previously mentioned: Amazon. The brand has been testing out robots in its warehouses to increase productivity and, presumably, quality control.

4. Decrease Downtime and Repairs

Transportation companies also use AI and the IoT to mitigate costly repairs and downtime. Internal diagnostics, for example, can alert users to maintenance issues, which keeps passengers safe — no blow-outs while traveling down the road at seventy miles per hour, for example — and increases the lifetime value of the vehicle.

Daniel Dombach at Zebra further illuminates the concept, adding that the Internet of Things delivers remote monitoring capabilities. Companies that employ them can proactively respond to maintenance issues and also assess inventory records and parts availability.

Dombach also proves a valid point, saying that AI and the IoT could “decrease insurance-related costs.” Business Insider’s The Insurance and the IoT Report finds that insurers use vehicle usage data to inform pricing on policies and premiums. The report covers consumer insurance policies specifically, but its findings easily translate to commercial interests.

5. Go Driverless

AI and the IoT could impact more than back-end systems and processes. The two could produce driverless vehicles, a thing seemingly the territory of tech giant Google. But Google isn’t alone in the endeavor. Tesla, Ford, Daimler, and even Uber all claim driverless initiatives.

George Zarkadakis at Willis Towers Watson calls out the Uber story in his article The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Transportation, citing the incident as “a wake-up call.” He continues, “Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could potentially lead to the full automation of truck fleets.”

Of course, Zarkadakis’s remark raises the question of what happens to the truck drivers. Goldman Sachs Economics Research provides an answer. The company tells CNBC that driverless trucks could produce job losses of 25,000 per month in a couple of decades.

Jack Stewart at WIRED offers a more positive perspective; he says traditional driver jobs will change once autonomous vehicles become a reality, but these jobs won’t necessarily disappear. He also adds other positive effects of this change, such as cutting costs and improving road safety.


The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are coming to transportation management. The technologies provide too many benefits for them to be ignored.

Businesses that wish to succeed in the future should consider these five examples of how the IoT and AI can impact transportation management and then decide where and when to apply these features to their existing operations.


Check out  Last Mile Delivery! What is your Strategy?

#Logistics #AI #IoT #SupplyChain #SCM #Technology

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Freight and Logistics – Breaking the Traffic Jam that is your Supply Chain!

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Does anyone like being stuck in a Traffic Jam?

Prior to one Holiday season several years ago the volume that was coming into the Distribution Centre receiving area was unprecedented and unpredicted.   We were out of room on the docks and we were out of storage space but trucks kept on coming.  And we were still weeks away from being able to ship product to stores to relieve the pressure.

We were gridlocked.  We kept inching our way along but we were very, very close to having this traffic jam of activity shut us down.

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9 Key Considerations of an Effective Last Mile Delivery Strategy

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Blog post created by Adam Robinson and originally published on October 2, 2017 on 


Understanding last mile logistics is only half the battle. Shippers need to reevaluate their existing last mile logistics processes and devise an effective last mile logistics strategy that aligns consumer and business expectation.

This is the only way shippers can safeguard their position in the market and continue to provide products to their consumer basis. In fact, an effective last mile logistics strategy must consider these nine key points.

1. Planning Is Essential To Have an Effective Last Mile Delivery Strategy

Any effective strategy must begin with effective planning. Shippers must evaluate current last mile logistics strategy processes and create plans for managing the creation or adoption of an effective last mile logistics strategy. As explained by Tarra Singh of Supply Chain Beyond, this includes prioritizing planning and establishing standard operating procedures for managing last mile logistics

2. Leverage the Right Technology as Part of Your Strategy

One of the first problems with creating a last mile logistics strategy is cost. According to Mitchell’s NY, last mile logistics is seen as the least efficient leg of shipping, and it accounts for up to 20 percent of the total shipping cost of a product. Last mile delays and problems during delivery can eat away at fuel costs and seriously devalue a brand, but shippers can leverage technology, such as Big Data, to make small changes and improvements to last mile logistics processes.

Shippers considering implementing or upgrading technology to meet last mile logistics demands should also consider ease and speed of implementation prior to making any such decisions. E-commerce markets move at the speed of light, and unnecessary delays could result in customer losses.

3. Analyze Everything

Nothing should be off the table when considering an effective last mile logistics strategy and implementation. Shippers should analyze everything from the biggest to the smallest possible influencers.

4. Manage the Whole Last Mile Delivery Process

Shippers must manage the whole last mile delivery process in effective last mile logistics strategies. This includes the driver, the shipment, the trucks, the technologies used to track such shipments, online platforms and consumer devices. Obviously, shippers cannot track what consumers use their personal devices for all the time, but they can use metrics and Big Data to track what consumers are doing on their respective e-commerce sites.

5. Be Consumer-Centric

An effective last mile logistics strategy must be focused on consumer needs. This is the cornerstone of all modern logistics strategies, regardless of whether it is direct to consumer or business-to-business sales.

6. Think Outside-the-Box

Traditional standards of delivery do not work effectively in modern last mile logistics strategies. Companies must think of unconventional solutions to meet last mile delivery demands, like Uber, Instacart or Deliv. These app-based last mile logistics providers are disruptors, but they can enable shippers to meet consumers growing demands for faster, tighter delivery Windows.

7. Measure Performance

Amazon sets industry standards for last mile delivery, reports the Supply Chain Game Changer, and the e-commerce giant’s free shipping services, otherwise known as Amazon Prime, highlights why shippers must measure performance.

With up to 6 percent of consumers in the US willing to pay for same-day delivery and 28 percent of consumers are willing to abandon their shopping carts due to excessive fees, shippers cannot afford to forgo measuring performance. Performance measurement goes back to cutting costs wherever possible, without sacrificing quality or service.

8. Manage Returns Thoroughly, Effectively

Managing returns and reverse logistics are another consideration in creating an effective last mile logistics strategy, reports Industry Week. Retailer differences in SKUs and returns options for both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar store purchases can complicate the issue.

As a result, shippers should consider the form, function and placement of inventory, including inventory coming in from reverse logistics channels, in their entire warehousing and distribution network. This will ensure the company has product, even if it is refurbished or returned product, available nearest to consumers.

9. Location. Location. Location

One of the final considerations goes back to how quickly a product can be mobilized and delivered. It goes back to the location of the product and the location of consumers. Shippers must create robust last mile logistics strategies that shrink the distance between warehouse and consumer.

This might include using stores-as-a-distribution center. Ultimately, shippers that reduce this distance as much as possible and through as many means as possible will be able to create a tighter, more effective last mile logistics strategy.

What’s Next?

After crafting an effective last mile logistics strategy, shippers come to one ultimate conclusion. They need to revamp the technology and processes used in managing both overall and last mile logistics. Moreover, last mile logistics is key to reducing overhead and improving customer service.

As a result, more shippers will turn to technology and newer transportation management systems (TMS) to aid in the efficient execution of the last mile.


Check out  Last Mile Delivery! What is your Strategy?

#Retail #ECommerce #SupplyChain #Logistics

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Selected as one of the Top 75 Supply Chain Blogs on the Internet

Do you have a Freight Management Strategy or are you Spinning your Wheels?

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In going door to door trying to sell a Freight Management service, as well as in my experience working in companies, I have had the opportunity to see a variety of ways in which companies, large and small, were managing their Freight and Logistics spend.

Most everyone felt they were doing a good job already.  But I’ve seen instances where Freight is one of the top 5 largest expenses within a company.  Yet it is managed by one or two people, with no support, and no visibility from upper management.

Depending on the industry  your transportation spend can make up anywhere from 1-10% of your company’s total revenue.  Aside from the    cost impact the service implications of a poor Freight management system are enormous.

So do you have a strategy for managing Freight and Logistics or are you spinning your wheels?

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Freight and Logistics (Part 1) – Why don’t you have a TMS Solution yet?

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Why have so few companies adopted a Transportation Management System (TMS) solution?  There are tremendous benefits but there are obstacles, real or perceived, that get in the way. I believe that the benefits far outweigh the obstacles but the obstacles often do not have anything to do with the benefits.

Many years ago I started a Supply Chain Services business as a new service within the company. The fundamental premise was that we had great Supply Chain expertise, tools, systems and processes which we could easily offer to customers.

One of the services that was very compelling was our Freight Management service. We had a tremendous amount of spend leverage globally, a seasoned team, great supplier relationships, very strong processes, and an excellent Transportation Management System (TMS). With all of that we went to market!

Continue reading “Freight and Logistics (Part 1) – Why don’t you have a TMS Solution yet?”

What’s The Difference Between Logistics and Supply Chain Management? (Infographic)

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Check out our  blog post Brand Protection – The Definitive Role of the Supply Chain!


Blog post provided by  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.  And check out our other blog posts at


Both Logistics and the wider Supply Chain are vital to how companies run today, but the two are still so often confused. We put together an Infographic outlining some of the key differences and points of overlap between them. While it may be an obvious distinction to many pros across the field, there’s still a lot of ambiguity – sometimes within companies, as well – about what constitutes Logistics, and what constitutes Supply Chain Management. As a recruitment firm with over a decade of experience specialized in this area, we figure we’d weigh in!

In short, Logistics is a part of Supply Chain Management that deals with the physical movement of goods for just in time delivery. Supply Chain, as a field, grew out of Logistics in the 80s to encompass a wider strategic consideration of everything that’s involved in bringing a product to market.

Check out the Infographic below, where we dive into the topic in more detail! We’ve stepped up our game, if we do say so ourselves.

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