How to Optimize Your Factory for Industry 4.0!

Believe it or not, Industry 4.0 — the latest specialization for modern factories and manufacturing plants — does factor into design and and help optimize your factory layout. That is because digitization, or the current movement to connect and bring all equipment into modern times, absolutely influences design.

In essence, that is the heart of Industry 4.0, a complete synergy between operations, equipment, properties and, of course, the people who spend their time there. If 3.0 was about automation and boosting efficiency, this generation is about injecting the human touch back into the work environment, and that means accommodating such things from a design standpoint.

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How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Change Decision Making!

From The Terminator to Blade Runner, pop culture has always leaned towards a chilling depiction of artificial intelligence (AI) and our future with AI at the helm. Recent headlines about Facebook panicking because their AI bots developed a language of their own have us hitting the alarm button once again. Should we really feel unsettled with an AI future?

News flash: that future is here. If you ask Siri, the helpful assistant who magically lives inside your phone, to read text messages and emails to you, find the nearest pizza place or call your mother for you, then you’ve made AI a part of your everyday life.

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Screen Time! Is That Enough To Be Good In Supply Chain?

How many screens do you have?  And is your screen time?

You likely have a Cell phone or a Smart phone.  You may have a Desktop computer monitor or a Laptop, or both, between your home and your place of work.  You may have a wearable device like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch.    You may have an iPad or other type of tablet.  And your TV may even have Internet connectivity.

We are surrounded by screens and the amount of time that we spend on them is truly  remarkable.

But for those who are learning about Supply Chain, or any other profession for that matter,  is it best to acquire that learning and gain that experience just by watching screens?  Or is it better in Supply Chain to learn based on actual physical experiences and interactions?

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The 5 Levels of Supply Chain Transparency!

One could argue Supply Chain transparency — at it’s origin — is a byproduct of consumer concerns, materialized within poor production, social and/or environmental quality.

As the story goes, the meatpacking districts of Chicago were one of the first recorded drivers, towards the need, for supply chain transparency. The Jungle, authored by Upton Sinclair, outraged the American public in 1904, after Sinclair’s depiction of the harsh realities of the meat industry at the turn of the 20th century. The book sparked consumer concern, which prompted the Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act (Linich 2016).

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

SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

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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The Next Great Leap in Supply Chain Transparency: Blockchain!

It’s no secret that transparency is the name of the game and the next great leap 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 as the next great leap : Blockchain

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Our 2017 Top 10 Blog Posts … So Far!

It’s been 6 months since we launched supplychaingamechanger.com.  Our goal has always been to share experiences and expertise.  The site has evolved.  The number of categories has continued to grow.  And the response has been absolutely tremendous. We can now present our 2017 Top 10 Blog posts.

In that time Supply Chain Game Changer was also selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 75 Supply Chain Blogs on the Internet.

So we thought that this would be a good point at which to share a list of the 2017 Top 10 Blog posts that we have published so far.  We would be remiss if we didn’t also thank the phenomenal Guest Bloggers who have given us such great content.

So here is the 2017 Top 10 Blog List, so far …

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Quantum Leap to the Top 10 Supply Chain Skills of the Future!

There are many exciting quantum leap advances in Technology these days!

The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Robotics, Industry 4.0, Big Data and Analytics, and Digitalization are all phrases that are emblematic of revolutionary changes both today and in the future.

It is important to know that these changes are not just impacting Manufacturing, Engineering and I/T.  These technological advances will impact every aspect of our personal and working lives.  And one area that will be driving these quantum leap changes is Supply Chain!

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Blockchain Technology is the Antidote to the Bullwhip Effect!

It happens everywhere, all the time in retail and in ecommerce: a supplier doubles their output to prevent a shortage in case multiple distributors place their orders simultaneously; a fulfillment warehouse doesn’t call in enough workers during Black Friday and delays package shipments by days. Could blockchain technology change all that?

It’s the bullwhip effect, and it’s a huge reason why something like €3.5 trillion (worth $4.1 trillion) are locked up in net working capital in today’s supply chains.

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5 Trends in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies

Widespread Artificial Intelligence, Biohacking, new platforms and immersive experiences dominate this year’s Gartner Hype Cycle.

Waiting curbside for an Uber or Lyft driver might one day be the old-fashioned way of getting around. Instead, passengers will need to head to the helipad to catch a ride from a flying autonomous vehicle.

Not only will these future taxis take to the sky to potentially reduce traffic, they’ll operate independently of a human pilot.

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How AI and the IoT Can Change Transportation Management!

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 management.

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:

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The Industrial Revolution from Industry 1.0 to 5.0!

The history of Industry 4.0 tracks the manufacturing industry from the industrial revolution to the digital transformation and beyond.

Each new stage represents advancement of the industrial revolution in the manufacturing process that has changed the way we think about and work in the industry.

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What is Big Data?

I remember manually plugging 16kB (that’s right “kilobyte”) memory chips into an original IBM Personal Computer.  The crunching sound they made was unforgettable.  I was ecstatic that I had increased the total memory to 128kB, and then to 256kB … WOW!   At that time that was a lot of memory.  Who could ever need to store that much data?  That was “Big Data“.

Let’s fast forward to today.  The memory on your handheld smartphone and other devices is measured in Gigabytes (GB).  Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are generated every day.  Every move, every transaction, every image, every event and every location in everyone’s  lives are recorded.

That is Big Data!

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What Exactly Is Supply Chain Management? 10 Different Definitions!

When I began my  career there was no such thing as “Supply Chain Management“.  Supply Chain was not a title to be found anywhere on any organization chart.

Yet all of the functions that we now associate with Supply Chain have been around for a very long time:  Planning, Inventory Management, Logistics, Procurement and Purchasing, Warehousing and many more.

So what exactly is the definition of “Supply Chain Management”?  Interestingly there are many views on how to define Supply Chain.

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The Guinness Book of World Records for 3D Printing!

Technology and creations go hand-in-hand. The former is fundamental in building anything that can impact development, lifestyle, and economy. Take for instance, the 3D printing technology and how it rewrites the Guiness Book of World Records.

Though it was introduced three decades ago, it is recently that its impact is felt in industrial and manufacturing sectors. It has paved ways for testing and trying many things that has changed the traditional manufacturing methods.

All that invention and creativity that went into it, have enabled in developing many “worlds first.

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