Artificial Intelligence (AI) in E-Commerce! (Infographic)

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Infographic provided by Jake Rheude at

The convergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Retail industry is underway.  Further it has the potential for exponential dissemination across the Retail landscape in the future along with expansion of it’s applications and capabilities.

From playing a role in managing the Customer Experience to providing Buying, Replenishment and Fulfillment capabilities to analyzing the ever growing expanse of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay in Retail.

The following infographic depicts a variety of applications of AI in the Retail space along with real life examples from world renowned companies.


AI in E-Commerce


E-Commerce continues to be the fastest growing channel in any industry worldwide.  And AI is a technology for today and in the future.  A convergence between E-Commerce and AI is a natural fit.

E-Commerce growth requires the deployment of advanced technology in order to provide the scalability necessary to sustain and support that growth.  Artificial Intelligence requires channels that have a need to leverage technological capabilities and are willing to experiment, invest and evolve with the progression of AI.



Check out The Internet of Things (IoT) – Welcome the Digital Supply Chain!

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

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Guest Blog post provided by Rob Memery at

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? It is all about connection and it can connect all areas of your business to improve their efficiency. Use real time data to satisfy customer demands, see weaknesses that exist in equipment with data from thousands of sensors and data points, ensure timely replacement of parts and avoid production downtime. This is just some of what Industry 4.0 can accomplish.

Like with anything, there are many challenges to successfully implementing all that Industry 4.0 has to offer. The challenges are vast but a lack of digital culture and training is holding back 50% of companies from incorporating Industry 4.0 technologies. Just because a company is presented with evidences how Industry 4.0 can improve them, it doesn’t mean they’re going to make the change overnight.

This is why it’s so important to map out your strategy over the next five years to at least achieve some progress. Have a look at your company and get some clarity on your own digital maturity and set clear goals.

Even if you’re ready, don’t jump in too early as Industry 4.0 projects are of course expensive. A pilot project might be a good idea and if it’s successful it will make it easier to secure the funding required for a larger rollout. Find out more about all things industry 4.0 in the infographic.



Check out Industry 4.0 Ecosystem (Infographic)

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The Future of Energy for Manufacturing!

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Guest blog provided by Joe Hall, Director, Business Development at 360 Energy Inc.


Today manufacturers must continually look for waste reduction, process improvement and supply chain efficiency to meet competitive pressures and their customers’ cost reduction requirements. Programs such as Lean have become a popular means to develop a culture of simplification and constant improvement. Although Lean principles provide an excellent basis for managing energy costs, such costs are often left out of an efficiency drive… Why is that?

  • Energy costs are not well understood
  • Because they are not understood, they are deemed to be uncontrollable
  • As an “uncontrollable” cost, energy is not well managed.

Energy costs can be controlled when organizations develop measurable and progressive management processes that are embraced & led by senior management and embedded into the business culture. North American manufacturers who have followed this course have seen significant and sustainable results often with reductions of 25% which in turn helps to maintain and enhance their immediate market position. Getting to this stage requires the continual process of incorporating and managing energy both in the organization’s strategic plan and its day to day operation. To change how energy is perceived and administered by the whole team, it must be viewed holistically and not in silos. Energy usage profiles and drivers must be considered in concert with the different energy pricing options to arrange the supply over time. It cannot be left in the hands of a single person or one discipline to effect change single handed.

What role will energy play in the long-term strategy for manufacturers?

As a manufacturer, energy will impact your long-term development on a number of fronts.

Today, manufacturers located in multiple geographies are faced with complex energy sourcing options affected by various procurement and billing requirements and the ever changing local/state/federal legislation. However, the future doesn’t look any less complex as decisions on existing and new manufacturing infrastructure are impacted by a multitude of generation options in addition to traditional utilities. The cost of renewable energy continues to fall and it now competes with fossil fuels; 2015 represented an inflection point where new capital investments in wind & solar replaced 54% of traditional fossil fuel generation investments.  As battery storage prices continue to fall, the reliability and on-demand availability of renewable energy grows. The traditional grid from the utility is increasingly only one of several options- manufacturers can choose: 1) self generation, 2) non-Utility Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and 3) Virtual PPAs from net energy providers connected to the grid. While optimizing energy sources can result in cost avoidance, optimizing energy can also provide new sources of revenue to the organization as they become net energy providers to the grid themselves.

Energy is also at the centre of significant change in traditional markets like fossil fuels and automotive. The electrification of the transportation market will require today’s industry leaders in those sectors to adapt in order to survive & lead. While not all manufacturers are in the automotive and fossil fuel sectors, their markets too will be impacted by their source of energy and its ultimate deployment in their future products for competitive differentiation. This transformation will cause tremendous pressure for most manufacturing operations to become much more progressive in energy so they can stay ahead of the curve. Organizations and their manufacturing operations will increasingly need to be more knowledgeable about energy to meet the challenge of changing products based on new technology, new competitors emerging from non-traditional sectors, and changing consumer needs.

As society contends with climate change, manufacturing will be at the forefront of their organization’s social and environmental initiatives, fostering innovation, and providing greener choices for their customers. Manufacturing will be tasked with transitioning operations to reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint, while maintaining quality & output metrics and competing in a world of ongoing cost containment. The future leaders of manufacturing operations will include energy as a core discipline in their personal base of knowledge.

Simply put, organizations that prepare for and take advantage of the opportunities that energy presents will be in the best position to compete, grow, and profit in future markets.


360 Energy Inc. is a North American energy consultant working with leading manufacturing, public, commercial and agricultural organizations to develop sustainable strategies for energy in their futures. For more information, please refer to our website at or contact Joe Hall directly:  905 304-6001, ext. 228. 


Check out   Collaborative Robots: Making Manufacturing Jobs More Valuable

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Blockchain: The Next Great Leap in Supply Chain Transparency!

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Blog post provided by  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.

It’s no secret that transparency is the name of the game in today’s world-class Supply Chains. More and more consumers are demanding accountability and openness about where their products come from. More world-beating companies are recognizing that the goodwill you get from transparency in your Supply Chain can be a major source of competitive advantage – while also helping to make the world a more humane place.

Today, we wanted to write about an emerging Supply Chain technology – as we love to do – that’s poised to offer unparalleled transparency to companies and consumers. It’s a technology that the Supply Chain trade press is buzzing about, and also one that lots of companies are taking a closer look at:


Continue reading “Blockchain: The Next Great Leap in Supply Chain Transparency!”