Supply Chain Predictions!

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Predictions article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by,  Kuebix at https://www.kuebix.com

In the book, The Living Supply Chain, the authors argue that, “Speeding up the supply chain is at the root of everything that is good: improved revenue, reduced working capital, higher profitability, and less obsolete inventory. Conversely, slowing down the supply chain is at the root of everything that is bad: working capital write-offs, reduced profitability, and slowing revenues.”

To “speed” up the supply chain is to invest in change and change will come with the digital transformation of the supply chain, which is the major focus for executives in the future.

Much change in the supply chain industry will be due to innovative technologies for digital transformations, along with the recent tax reforms, and the still-current driver shortage/capacity crunch. Digital transformation of the supply chain will change everything – for the better.

Supply Chain predictions

These are the innovative technology predictions companies must use to undergo this transformation within their supply chains:

Cloud-based technology deployments lower cost of ownership due to not having a large capital expenditure on hardware and upgrades. Cloud-based solutions are ideal for any size business because they can be scaled up as your business grows and are easier to set-up and manage.

Advanced Analytics will support real-time decision making based on data captured across the supply chain. With analytics, businesses can more effectively predict and fill demand. You can also manage relationships with carriers, suppliers and customers while improving processes. Using advanced analytics in a transportation management network to look at historical traffic patterns, you can plan a truck’s route that takes into account time delays for more accurate arrival times.

Tracking and Tracing of raw materials through manufacturing to the end customer must take on Amazon-like capabilities, meaning customers will know where their orders are at any one time, just like when you order from Amazon. With track & trace, you will get deep visibility to SKU-level information from first-mile to last-mile, including the tracking of costs to better monitor transport spend. Communications with customers will be proactive instead of reactive, alerting customers if their order will be late or when it will arrive.

Supply Chain Visibility will make data collected from end-to-end across the supply chain available to all stakeholders, giving them greater control and visibility into what is happening across the enterprise. You can uncover roadblocks within your supply chain that could lead to delays in shipping.

 

Blockchain will provide interconnectivity between ledgers of supply chain trading partners, enhancing traceability of transaction history. Automating the flow of information among trading partners provides transparency and boosts efficiencies. Blockchain works with cryptocurrency to determine payment amounts, allowing drivers to be paid as they complete parts of their journey. This completely removes the transport broker from the equation, giving drivers access to quicker settlement. However, blockchain is still a technology that needs further development before it can be proved useful to some businesses.

Artificial Intelligence initiatives require specialists who are hard to find, potentially stalling any projects. AI utilizes algorithms to detect patterns in vast volumes of data and interpret their meaning such as predicting whether a carrier will be on-time based on weather conditions and past performance.

Predictive Analytics, often combined with Artificial Intelligence, helps shippers understand, automate and optimize their supply chain processes to gain better efficiencies. Predictive analytics provides shippers with actionable intelligence and predictions to guide the decision-making process, helping you to reduce costs and optimize operations. Scorecards on carrier performance can alert shippers on which carriers can better meet their service obligations.

The Internet of Things (IoT)– More devices, from pallets to trucks will have sensors embedded to transmit status and performance data. This real-time information will be used for monitoring everything from equipment health to asset locations to order tracking and more. Advanced analytical systems use the data to uncover trends that lead to predictions and performance improvements and cost reductions.

 

Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on March 14, 2018.

Lessons from the Edge of the Abyss! Surviving a System Implementation!

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The company I had just joined was nearing the finish line on the implementation of a new WMS system.  They had been working on the system change for a few years.  Now implementation was only a few months away.  There were going to be lessons from the edge of this experience.

As the implementation date drew closer one of the key Warehouse management leaders, heading the project from the beginning, left the company.  We forged ahead and implemented the system on April 1st.  That’s right, April 1st!

And that’s when the “fun” began!

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Multichannel vs Omnichannel Fulfillment Solutions!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

“Omnichannel” is certainly the prevalent phrase in the E-Commerce arena.  The expectation in an Omnichannel Fulfillment world is that a customer can order what they want, when they want, on whatever device they want, and have it delivered how they want.

The physical delivery part of the Omnichannel expectation can be very elusive.  Many companies claim that they are Omnichannel service providers.  But are they really?

How many E-Commerce Fulfillment options are there?  And how many do you provide in your company?

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What is a Multichannel Distribution Management System?

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Multichannel Distribution article originally published at and permission to publish here provided by tenfold.com.

Many businesses begin with single-channel distribution. That sole channel could be a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce website. In either case, all sales flow through one outlet.

The advantage of a single-channel distribution management system is simplicity. There’s only one channel to manage, one channel to stock, and one channel to market to customers. As a business expands, however, the single-channel model can limit growth.

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Introducing Lean In Retail … Start in the Backroom!

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The Retail company I had just joined was undergoing a massive transformation.  Fundamentally the new merchandising strategy was to curate a dramatically different set of products from that which was carried historically, but in addition to what was carried historically.  What did this mean for the backroom in every store?

This meant that an enormous number of the business processes had to be transformed to support the new product set because management of the new merchandise required much different capabilities in all aspects of running a retail company.  Not only did this transformation require new capabilities but it also required  improvements to productivity and efficiency throughout the company.  And overall this meant a need for cultural change.

I decided that I would introduce Lean process improvement techniques to this company.

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From Click to Ship in 4 Minutes! Ultimate Principles for World Class Fulfillment!

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The capability we had in E-Commerce order fulfillment was rather basic.  We had employees manually pushing carts up and down standard warehouse racking aisles picking goods off of shelves.  And when they had completed an order or a set of orders they would then push the entire cart back to a centralized order packing station.

As a Supply Chain Services company we needed a dramatically better capability if we were wanted to have customers trust their growing E-Commerce business with us.  Pushing carts around a warehouse is both inefficient and lacks innovation.

We had to go back to the drawing board.  But in doing so we would end up with a World Class solution!

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To DC Or Not To DC? That is the Warehouse Design Question!

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The fast growing E-Commerce channel makes it an attractive avenue for most companies to participate in.  The tremendous amount of investment required to participate in online product sales requires explicit decision making as to how a company is going to fulfill those orders.  You need a warehouse design strategy to provide your fulfillment solution.

The E-Commerce Fulfillment solution you choose must take into account your customer’s demands, your competitive pressures, and the financial constraints that most companies have to deal with.

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Why Millennials are Different and How Marketers can Engage Them!

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Millennials are different infographic provided by Steve Hashman, Director Exponential Solutions at (The Cube) Marketing at https://www.cubemc.com

Understanding your Customer is the first and most important consideration in designing, defining and refining your company and your go to market business model.

In the Retail sector one key demographic that demands consideration is that group called Millennials.  Whether it be Marketing, Merchandising, Supply Chain, or any other aspect of your Go to Market experience understanding what is important to Millennials is critically important.

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The Omni-channel Approach to Customer Experience!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Customer experience article originally published at, and permission to publish here provided by Karl Crisostomo at tenfold.com

In the last decade, the growing adoption of ecommerce has been swift–and ruthless. Huge retail market players like Best Buy and Toys R’ Us are shutting down huge chunks of their physical locations due to plummeting revenue. Not only is this a result of not embracing ecommerce early in its wave, they are also now competing with ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba who sell the same or competing products online.

Traffic drought in physical stores could be attributed to the rising number of purchases made over the internet for certain customer and product segments. For some, the revenue drop is significant. And yet another part of the challenge big box retailers face as publicly traded companies is that they have to answer to their investors–and with ecommerce delivering superior results, the patience afforded to big box retailers is just not as generous.

So, where does the success of ecommerce lie?

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Turn your Brick And Mortar Stores into E-Commerce Distribution Hubs!

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Retailers with Brick and Mortar stores continue to be under tremendous pressure.  Competition is intense in the fast growing Omnichannel E-Commerce world.  Every week there seems to be news about how one Retailer or another is closing more of their stores when they could be using them as Distribution hubs.

And very few Retailers with Brick And Mortar stores have been able to make a profit in E-Commerce.  Competitors who only sell online without physical stores appear to have an advantage with lower overhead costs.

So how can Brick And Mortar Retailers turn their stores into a competitive advantage plus a source of greater profitability?

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Challenges in the Cannabis Supply Chain!

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Cannabis challenges article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Argentus

Everyone knows that the cannabis industry is a boom market: it’s worth $7.3B in the U.S., and expected to reach $24.5B by 2020. Closer to home in Canada, sales are expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2020.

Banks like BMO are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in cannabis companies, and publically-traded producers like Aphria, Aurora, Canopy Growth Corp, MedReleaf and others are spooling up massive operations ahead of legalization in October 2018.

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Is The Retail Industry Melting Down?

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

It doesn’t take a genius to see that the retail industry has changed over the past decade and a half. The arrival of Amazon and other eCommerce platforms on the scene has caused a sea change in the way people shop.

Retailers have increasingly been forced to sink or swim based not on marketing or product differentiation – as in the past – but on the success of their Supply Chains and eCommerce operations. It’s kind of a wild west, and the most successful players being those who can harness Omnichannel distribution, and avoid excess inventory that will leave them in the dust.

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Last Mile Delivery Explained! (Infographic)

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Last mile delivery article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Jake Smith at  https://www.gopeople.com.

Every stage of the logistics process of delivering goods is crucial from the time a parcel leaves the hands of the Sender up to the moment it arrives at its destination.

While each step of the way should be taken seriously, there is no point more high-priority than that of the last mile delivery stage, where the goods from a transportation hub move to their final delivery destination.

The goal of last mile delivery is to transport an item to its recipient in the quickest way possible. This has been driven by the continuously evolving market and demand for convenient customer experience across industries such as e-commerce, food, retail and many more.

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What are the Supply Chain Impacts of Amazon’s Whole Foods Acquisition?

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

Big news out of the grocery retail world as Amazon has announced its acquisition of major organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market – for an eye-popping $13.7 billion sale price that doesn’t look so massive given Amazon’s $136 billion sales volume in 2016.

Analysts across the retail industry are talking about the huge implications of this sale for a retail industry that many say is in the middle of a major meltdown, in part owing to Amazon’s massive growth in the eCommerce space. This foray into the grocery business is a big challenge to companies like Target, Wal-Mart, and others, and also a sign that reports of brick and mortar retail’s demise might be greatly exaggerated.

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How to Sell on Amazon! The Complete Guide!

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How to sell on Amazon article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by,  Jake Rheude at https://redstagfulfillment.com .

Amazon is an online marketplace used by millions of people globally. From clothing to electronics to toiletries, you can find almost anything on Amazon.

Wondering how you can get in on the action and how to sell on Amazon? All you need is a small monetary investment to get started and the knowledge of how to run a successful listing.

Anyone can sell on Amazon if they can choose a product, set up a profile and find a fulfillment provider. The benefits of selling on Amazon range from access to millions of customers to the ease of their platform.

Here we’ll walk you through each step of the selling process from setting up your account to expanding globally. Learn how to sell on Amazon.

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