A few years back the Government of Canada introduced the role of Chief Technology Officer or CTO, which ultimately resulted in the formation of Shared Services Canada.
Since that time progress has been made on the elimination of redundancy and standardization across the government which process continues to roll out.
IT services, applications and servers are of course a very significant cost to the government and ultimately the people of Canada. Likewise, logistics the physical handling, storage and transportation of any materiels or related services needed for the Government of Canada to serve citizens costs 10′s if not 100′s of millions of dollars annually. Continue Reading »
CommerceHub, the industry leading merchandising and fulfillment platform for retailers and suppliers, recently announced that John Hinkle has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Production Systems.
Hinkle has assumed responsibility for the company’s technical operations and production system infrastructure, which last year alone powered more than $6 billion in retail sales for North America’s largest online retailers and suppliers, including QVC, Costco, Staples, Walmart, Home Depot and many others. CommerceHub’s cloud-based solution connects online retailers with suppliers to dramatically expand assortments and grow revenue.
Hinkle most recently served as the Chief Information Officer and Head of Americas Operations at Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO). There he led the creation of high availability geo-redundant data centers, built an online gaming infrastructure that supported millions of concurrent users for Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and NBA 2K titles, consolidated multiple global enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and transformed product distribution to an effective third party logistics (3PL) model. Before Take-Two, Hinkle served as Chief Information Officer of Trans World Entertainment (Nasdaq: TWMC) and spent several years in leadership roles at GE.
“CommerceHub has ambitious plans, and as we continue to rapidly grow our network of retailers and suppliers, it is critical that we continually innovate our platform to ensure scalability and reliability for our customers,” said Frank Poore, Co-Founder and CEO of CommerceHub. “John has an impressive track record and we are very much looking forward to his contributions.” Continue Reading »
The entire retail channel is ablaze these days with talk of Omni-channel retail. Who’s doing it right, what are the best logistics strategies to support and the like.
Well those of you who know me will agree that for a retail guy I’m really not that much of a shopper. And funnily enough on two recent store visits to different retailers in the Greater Toronto Area I experienced not one but two abomni-channel retail trainwrecks.
Recently I went to a store in Newmarket around 4 pm to get two products with my son. He had seen the products on the retailer’s website and site did not say it was only available online so we went to store to pick one up. Continue Reading »
Customer demands for more rapid and cost effective e-commerce delivery seem to be increasing on a daily basis. In fact not a week goes by now without my speaking with retailers and etailers that since the dawn of e-commerce have successfully serviced Canada from one fulfillment operation for the country and are currently rethinking this model.
In most cases their national fulfillment operations are either positioned in Toronto or Montreal, as well as some in Vancouver, which up until now have been totally acceptable solutions. However, it definitely appears the days are numbered for a single e-commerce fulfillment operation being a viable customer delivery experience solution for all of Canada.
Depending if your customer delivery service level goals are next day metro markets or same day will determine the appropriate the number of e-commerce fulfillment operations you will need coast to coast in Canada. For many what I’m calling the ‘Power of Two’ will be the most logical next step with the addition of a second e-commerce fulfillment operation in either Eastern Canada or Western Canada depending on location of your current national site. Continue Reading »
FedEx, the express parcel and logistics operator, said it would make further capacity cuts and would see only modest profitability gains in the coming year as it continued to suffer from a sluggish global economy.
The company made the projections as it published figures for the fourth quarter of its financial year, to May 31.
Overall net income for the fourth quarter – which included a $100m charge for aircraft retirements – declined 45 per cent to $303m, on revenue up 4 per cent to $11.4bn. Earnings per share fell 45 per cent to 95 cents.
In the core FedEx Express business, the company reported quarterly operating income of zero against $281m for the same period last year, on revenue up 3 per cent to $6.98bn. Continue Reading »
UPS shares tumbled Friday after it predicted disappointing second-quarter earnings and reduced its profit forecast for the full year.
United Parcel Service Co. and rival FedEx Corp. are suffering as customers increasingly trade down from expensive priority shipping to slower and less expensive options. UPS expects this and other trends to continue.
Shares of UPS fell $5.33, or 5.8 percent, to $86.12 in trading Friday. They dropped as low as $85.78 earlier. via Associated Press. Continue Reading »
Chances are you’re already on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites that connect you to the relationships, Web services and activities you need to run your daily life. And you’ve experienced first-hand their power to connect you to the right people and opportunities faster. But how networked is your business?
The answer can be a major determinant to your success. In fact, findings from a survey conducted by McKinsey and Company found that two-thirds of the more than 3,200 companies surveyed are using social media and business networks to improve their business. Those doing so most aggressively are seeing significant competitive, cost and profit advantages: “Networked enterprises were 50 percent more likely than their peers to have increased sales, higher profit margins, gain market share and be a market leader.” Continue Reading »
Just about every year the RILA Logistics Conference is one of the best Events I attend and pleased to say #RILALogistics 2013 was no exception.
Great sessions and excellent networking provided me with many insights and opportunities to take home and build on going forward as direct positive outcomes from the event.
As described in my advance post Mission: Maximize Learning in Multichannel & E-Commerce this was the Track focused on and pleased to say that this mission was accomplished.
Continue Reading »
In preparation for this year’s Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Logistics event in Orlando February 17-20th my first task was to review the program and determine priorities for which sessions to attend.
In my mind the most significant challenge facing retail logistics professionals bar none is the rapid rise of multichannel commerce and all associated complexities and surrounding issues. With this in mind I am now a man on a multichannel mission for this year’s #RILAlogistics event! Continue Reading »
Early in January of 2012 I found myself struggling with the current terms around multi-channel, cross channel and omni-channel to adequately describe the current retail and e-commerce marketplace reality we all face.
Searching for a term that would better capture the full complexity and many drivers impacting the business, on January 3rd 2012 in a moment of epiphany I came up with the term and concept of Matrix Commerce on which topic this whitepaper is a primer.
Matrix Commerce describes the complex construct integrating marketing, sales, sourcing, pricing, profitability, service levels, delivery and consumer perceptions. Inherent in this is the notion of complete customer centricity from many of the above items extending to include customer desires for positive social outcomes relative to cause alignment and even the sustainability performance of companies they choose to do business with.
A mouthful for sure, but while you’re chewing on that start considering the types of real time and rapid processing systems which will be required to support such multi-facetted business decisions, not to mention the reams of big and not so big data that will be necessary for companies to collect in order to make them. Continue Reading »
By Paul Martyn — BravoSolution
The first deadline regarding last year’s SEC Conflict Minerals Rule is fast-approaching on January 31 – and companies are scrambling to report what conflict minerals – gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries – have entered their supply chains since the start of 2013.
That level of minutia rarely exists in a supplier database; if it exists at all, the information is scattered throughout incompatible systems or worse, in file cabinets somewhere.
To create a comprehensive process for adhering to the conflict mineral rule, consider these three steps:
- Start with data collection. Survey your supply base and ask two questions: Do you provide our company with any products manufactured with tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold or any other conflict minerals? If so, where are they sourced from? Then, capture this intelligence in one, central database, which can enable easy reporting and analysis.
- Tap the power of contracts. Contracts can define much more than payment and delivery terms. Build clauses into supplier contracts that restrict them from sourcing any materials from the DRC, or if they do, the clause must clearly outline the level of reporting the supplier must give to the buyer, in compliance with the SEC ruling. Again, this should extend beyond tier-1 suppliers to include tier-2, 3 and 4 suppliers.
- Leverage technology to optimize reporting. Even with all the information at hand, if you don’t have the tools needed to make sense of the implications for your company and the new reporting standard, the legwork won’t mean anything. Invest in contract management and spend management tools that are complementary and will allow your team to analyze the supplier information based on different scenarios.
For advocates of deeper supply chain visibility (like me), the SEC ruling is a breath of fresh air, and motivation for companies to emulate this as a best practice for every raw material and product, at every phase in the supply chain. It’s a tall task, and we often only see the negative stories when companies are oblivious to what’s happening at supplier locations. Think Apple and the Foxconn scandal and the tragic fire that killed 112 workers at an unauthorized, subcontractor of a Walmart supplier.
Are you bucking the trend? How are you ensuring compliance throughout the supply chain?
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new marketing and sales innovations that will allow retailers to deliver a consistent shopping experience for consumers across multiple touch points — from the store, mobile and online. IBM’s global survey of 26,000 consumers announced today revealed that 35 percent of consumers are considering diversifying the way they buy goods and services in the future.
To meet these rising demands, IBM is introducing new software that serves the rise of the so-called “omni-channel shopper,” those consumers who shop multiple channels and expect a consistent sales and marketing experience.
As part of the Smarter Commerce Initiative, IBM is helping retailers serve these consumers so they can shop where, when and how they want, quickly finding and purchasing the products they want, all the time viewing the retailer’s interactions with them as a service.
CMOs, CIO’s and e-commerce leaders are striving to better understand their most effective sales and marketing strategies. Their goal is to increase sales by growing average order values, conversion rates and cart sizes. IBM’s new marketing and sales technologies help achieve these goals by gaining insights into all customer interactions, buying patterns and purchases across mobile, social, online, call center, email and offline. Continue Reading »
To better accommodate its customers in Western Canada, Toys“R”Us, Canada has partnered with SCI Logistics to open a new distribution centre in Delta, British Columbia. The 180,000 sq. ft. facility is strategically positioned to receive goods from overseas and domestic manufacturers who can now ship directly to British Columbia for distribution to local Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores.
“The new west coast distribution centre provides us with the additional capacity and flexibility to service our customers and distribution needs in Western Canada,” said Krista Collinson, vice-president of logistics, ecommerce & business development, Toys“R”Us, Canada. “With the holiday season quickly approaching, we are well-positioned to deliver ongoing shipments of the hottest toys to our stores, so shoppers have the best chance of finding that must-have gift in-stock at Toys“R”Us.” Continue Reading »
Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management has awarded Don Ralph, Senior Vice-President of Supply Chain & Logistics at Staples, with the prestigious Salzberg Medallion. Don is being honored for his outstanding contributions in the field of supply chain management. His key accomplishments include the development of new industry-leading infrastructures, spearheading impeccable inventory management, an intricate fulfillment and delivery network, perfect order execution and a highly efficient cost structure.
The Salzberg Medallion has come to be recognized as one of the most prestigious awards in the field of transportation and supply chain management—in part because of the caliber of past honorees and in part because of the program’s rigorous selection process. More information about Don’s achievements and the award are below and in this press release issued by the Whitman School of Management. Continue Reading »
I’ve long been a proponent that the Food Safety Modernization Act is an opportunity for the industry, not a threat. Katie Beissel, Global Industry Manager – Food and Beverage, GE Intelligent Platforms agrees. In a recent article titled Planning for FSMA Compliance posted on Manufacturing.net she writes:
FSMA and other regulations should be viewed as an opportunity for food manufacturers to adopt a more holistic approach to solving food quality and safety concerns. One of the many benefits of FSMA compliance will be increased visualization and control over the manufacturing processes and supply chain. This ability reaches far beyond compliance and can benefit many different aspects of food manufacturing by increasing productivity, improving lean manufacturing processes and developing automated control systems.
An Opportunity to Make Your Customers Happier
She encourages the industry to gain clarity on the new regulations and understand how they impact food safety, risk prevention and reporting and recommends that “Producers must have in-depth visualization of the entire supply chain with the ability to quickly identify and mitigate problems before or just after they occur.”
Accomplishing this requires better data about what is happening in the supply chain from harvest or manufacture through to the retailer. Knowing the condition and history of the product from field or factory to fork is essential and traditional monitoring techniques are quite simply lacking the chops to proactively address FSMA requirements – simply put, they’re inadequate, slow and cumbersome.
Beissel cites what I consider three “abilities” to focus on:
- The ability to recall products from the market faster. The emphasis is on speed and accuracy of the notification of the FDA of a recall, which means manufacturers need to be able to quickly diagnose and act upon problems anywhere in the supply chain. Producers must, at a minimum, understand the size of the recall, what happened, where the product was produced and what steps to take.
- The ability to prevent bad quality product from reaching the public. In line with the ability to recall products faster, food manufacturers are now required to follow current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) and use hazard analysis and critical control point processes (HACCP) when developing their food quality safety programs. These new requirements are an attempt to prevent bad quality products from reaching the public and must be readily available for FDA inspection and review at any time.
- The ability to keep key quality records longer. Key quality data is now required to be kept on record for two years, allowing the FDA to review more of the process issues and the producers’ reactions to them. Previously, these key quality records were only required to be on file for 90 days.
Pallet-level temperature data loggers provide these abilities. Data about the harvest, manufacture and condition of products can be collected and stored directly on the tag with the product as it moves through the supply chain. Data can also seamlessly be shared via the cloud to speed recalls and improve food safety. Actionable data about the product’s condition can help prevent bad quality and reduce spoilage. Data on the tags – and more importantly shared in the cloud or in ERP systems – makes it easier to store and access the data.
Sounds like a great opportunity to improve food quality and safety, address regulations and even improve profitability and customer satisfaction.
Senior Director of Marketing
Netflix gave me an idea when they announced they were resurrecting one of my favorite TV shows. As I had the pleasure of speaking at a pharmaceuticals and medical device logistics seminar recently about temperature monitoring in the health care cold chain, I decided to tie the theme of my presentation to the soon to be continuing perils of the Bluth Family so well chronicled in the show “Arrested Development”. The foundation for my presentation was that the cold chain of tomorrow is a very different one from today. There are a number of changes that are dramatically impacting the industry including:
- The increasing number of off-patent drugs
- Increase in the volume and value of biologics
- The shift to using 3PLs
- Increasing climate instability making summer/winter packaging riskier
- The disappearance of wide body aircraft on domestic flights limiting use of active refrigerated containers
- ePedigree, serialization and inference
- RFID proven safe for biologics
The impact of these changes will require health-care manufacturers (both for biologics and even medical equipment) to rethink their cold chains. Even when routes are validated and procedures are in place, what can you do to ensure that temperature sensitive products are safe for use when delivered? To quote a famous American president:
Yes. Trust but verify. It’s one thing to trust your supply chain but it’s equally critical to verify that the products have been properly handled as they move from manufacturer to the customer. ISO Class 3 RFID provides this capability and more. Because it can be read through containers without opening or unpacking (helping to document authenticity) and provides a complete temperature and way point history, Class 3 RFID tags (like XC3 Technology) not only makes it easier to implement a solution that validates efficacy and quality upon delivering, it also helps manufacturers and 3PLs manage – not just monitor – their cold chains by providing actionable data every step of the way.
The health care and pharma cold chain should utilize new technologies to address new cold chain dynamics. Doing so will prevent “Arrested Development” for the cold chain and, to quote one of the show’s characters, prevent you from “making a huge mistake”.
To view the presentation on SlideShare, please click here.
Senior Director of Marketing
RedPrairie and JDA Software [NASDAQ: JDAS], recognized leaders in enterprise software and services for the extended supply chain, announced today that JDA and affiliates of RedPrairie have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The combined entity will offer a broad portfolio of solutions and services to manage global supply chains – from raw materials, to finished products, into the hands of consumers – through any channel.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, entities affiliated with RedPrairie will effect a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of JDA common stock for $45 per share. The $45 per share offer price represents a 33 percent premium to JDA’s stock price on October 26, 2012 – the day before market rumors surfaced stating JDA was exploring a sale. The offer price also represents a 16 percent premium to JDA’s all-time high stock price. The transaction has a total enterprise value of approximately $1.9 billion. The Board of Directors of JDA has approved the transaction, which will create one of the largest global software companies with combined revenues of over $1 billion. Continue Reading »
At 8:35 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening, the Space Exploration Corporation (SpaceX) launched its Dragon spacecraft on the first ever commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The launch itself relied on tried and true methods. The Dragon spacecraft was perched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for most of its journey into orbit. It shed the rocket’s two stages as it went, achieving orbit in roughly 10 minutes, ready to deploy its solar panels for power as it zips around the Earth. It will take nearly three days for it to catch up to the ISS and maneuver into position to dock with it. Canada gets to wave the flag a bit once the capsule has been given a final ‘go’ for docking.
As the spacecraft approaches to a distance of 10 metres from the station, it will hold position at this ‘capture point’ and astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and Sunita Williams of NASA will use the station’s 18 metre Canadarm2 to reach out, snag the Dragon capsule and guide it in to dock with the station’s Harmony module. Continue Reading »