Welcome to the Supply Chain Singularity!

Really enjoyed my time at this year’s RILA Supply Chain conference and as I highlighted in my pre-conference blogpost several transformative technologies are all now moving into their early implementation phases at the same time.

Times like these, when surrounded by the sharing of many new ideas and forward looking professionals often helps to draw out and crystallize thoughts on topics such as the impending state of supply chain singularity now rapidly approaching.

This represents a rare and unique opportunity for supply chain designers, planners, IT resources, engineers and operators to come together to jointly understand, integrate and synergize these technologies to the betterment of their supply chains, the environment and most importantly the end customer.

The ultimate goal is to understand, tool up for and deliver a unified customer experience where ‘unichannel’ means bringing together a harmonized view and execution capability for all possible product and delivery channels to the customer or even stores for that matter.
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Six Ways You Can Benefit Now From ‘Augmented Fulfillment’

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Sure that all of you have heard of, and are at least somewhat familiar with, Augmented Reality (AR).

Simply put, AR utilizes technology to provide additional insights and abilities in the real world, with one example being the Google Translate app’s ability to take a picture of text in many languages and then immediately translate it for you onscreen. An excellent AR app to help you understand signs or menus in foreign countries, or even that fancy restaurant around the corner!

Well today I’m pleased to introduce you to the concept and emerging new logistics reality of ‘Augmented Fulfillment’ (AF) which will allow logistics operators to add and enhance customer experience capabilities. Continue reading

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The Automated Local Fulfillment Imperative

Numerous times recently I’ve found myself saying (and tweeting) that…

‘Going forward Fulfillment automation is no longer just an option.’

Having been a contributor to many SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analyses for e-commerce service providers, retailers and even CPG manufacturers, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve warned all who would listen that fulfillment automation (or the lack thereof) will be a significant threat to their online business in the future.

Today I’m going even further to state that this threat has now evolved into what I’m coining as simply ‘The Automated Local Fulfillment Imperative.’ Continue reading

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How Getting Logistically Closer to Your Customers Means More Sales!

Why do companies invest in logistics?

Up until now, it’s typically been because the company is growing and the warehouse is full and we need a new and/or bigger one, or the current warehouse management system is antiquated and will soon no longer be supported, or perhaps even all of the forklifts keep breaking down and we need new ones…

Of course, some more strategic companies invest heavily in a multitude of logistics automation and technology to drive down their logistics costs which savings fall right to the bottom line. I know this, because in my time at Hudson’s Bay Company we did precisely that, one year adding over $25 million to bottom line profits.

But let’s face it most often the ‘Heroes’ in organizations are those who drive sales and increase the top line! Continue reading

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Connect Big Data with Predictive Analytics for Increased Visibility and Control Over Global Supply Chains

The age of digital transformation is now fully upon us and from a business perspective one of the most active areas of change, impact and opportunity is in supply chain management.

With maritime transport growing at an average rate of over 8.5 percent per year, over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea for a total of 23 million tonnes of cargo traveling by ship every day.

Global supply chains are one of the longest and most complex of business process systems due to the many moving parts, multiple transfer points, diverse company types/players involved and the sheer length of these supply chains.
Shippers, carriers, freight forwarders and third party logistic firms are currently spending millions of dollars in resources on ‘estimating’ important metrics such as container Estimated Time of Arrival (ETAs). Continue reading

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When it Comes to ‘Logistics & Sourcing’ at RILA Supply Chain the World is Your Oyster!

One of the things I most look forward to when attending the RILA Supply Chain conference is all of the great retail global logistics & supply chain professionals and information to be found assembled all in one place.

In less than a week in Phoenix, this year’s RILA Supply Chain conference will of course once again be no exception with a strong Logistics & Sourcing track including four sessions.

Recently I’ve spent much time reviewing the application of systems to better manage all aspects of global supply chains. First looking at the component parts of Global Trade Management (GTM) and Global Transportation Management Systems (GTMS); culminating in implementation of overarching Global Commerce Management (GCM) solutions which incorporate both of the above components connected directly to Purchase Orders and Sales Orders at the Product Data Master/ SKU level with all of these integrated directly into company ERP and Financial systems.

Executed properly Global Commerce Management (GCM) will result in complete alignment with Business and Financial systems with no gaps, allowing for extremely powerful Integrated Business & Scenario Planning without the need for any reconciliation or translation across company functions.

My thoughts on the emergence of GCM capability are captured in this recent article ‘Moving Beyond Global Trade Management to Deliver on Global Commerce Management‘.
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Organized by the Supply Chain Steering Committee this year’s Logistics & Sourcing Track is focused on some of the most critical topics to global logistics practitioners including Carrier Allocation, NAFTA, US Ports and the ever popular Transportation Roundtable.

Click here to review the balance of this post on the RILA Checkout Blog!

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Fast is expensive but cheap is slow, until now

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Whether it is a Ferrari vs. a Fiat or a Jet Engine vs. a Propeller, generally speaking, to move something quickly has a higher cost than to move it slowly. The ability to move fast at a lower cost is a challenge that has pervaded the supply chain industry for years.

This challenge has never been more applicable to retailers and brands than it is today. With online sales surging and customer expectations continually evolving, the ability to fulfill orders quickly, accurately, and at a lower cost is essential to an organization’s success. Continue reading

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Re-Imagining the Retail Supply Chain is all about Converging Technologies

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In the past we’ve tended to evaluate each new technology on its’ own merit as they emerged and then best determined how to implement them. By the very ubiquitous nature of the technologies now emerging, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and of course the Blockchain it appears that a more holistic or converged approach is required in order for supply chain professionals to be successful.

See my full post on the RILA Retail Checkout Blog!

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Videos & Visions: Of Electrifying the Last Mile for E-Commerce Delivery

As both consumers and governments (with at least one major exception) push hard for carbon reduction, the continued rise of e-commerce and the associated growing need for Last Mile delivery represents a significant problem.

From a carbon footprint perspective, the Last Mile delivery of single e-commerce parcels to individual consumer dwellings is one of the most inefficient, costly and carbon producing activities in the retail and consumer goods supply chain!

Today’s post from Videos & Visions is all about highlighting some emerging potential technologies and providers that are looking to literally electrify Last Mile e-commerce delivery utilizing zero tailpipe emissions delivery solutions.

The first and most promising of these is Chanje a new California based start up OEM organization delivering medium duty electric vehicles and turnkey energy infrastructure services for the last mile industry.

Chanje are focused on creating sustainable solutions that improve how companies move people and packages from transportation hubs to their final destinations. Check out this video introducing their V8070 Panel Van which is the first fully electric designed and purpose built from ground up in this commercial vehicle category.

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Kohl’s COO Sona Chawla to Keynote RILA 2018 Retail Supply Chain Conference

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Arlington, VA – Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced Sona Chawla, Kohl’s chief operating officer, will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Retail Supply Chain Conference. The conference serves as the premier event for retail supply chain executives to network, learn, and share new and creative solutions for the industry’s most complex challenges, including logistics, transportation, and international trade.
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Moving Beyond Global Trade Management to Deliver on Global Commerce Management

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Global trade continues to accelerate both in volumes and complexity.

If you don’t agree, just take a look at Alibaba and their most recent Singles Day where products were purchased from 192 countries!

To get a feel for this growth, the number of tons shipped by ocean containers has multiplied many times over, in fact almost 17 times from 102 million tons in 1980, to 1,720 Million tons in 2016! Continue reading

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Ryder Places First Medium-Duty Electric Vehicle Order with Chanje Energy and Begins to Roll Out Charging Stations

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Miami, November 2, 2017 —Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, announced today it has started to take delivery of 125 medium-duty electric panel vans, the first of their kind in North America, now available for lease or rent. The vehicle order follows the exclusive sales channel and electric vehicle service partnership that Ryder recently announced with Chanje Energy in August and consists of Chanje’s medium-duty electric vehicle. The Chanje all-electric large delivery style van is equipped to haul up to 6,000 pounds and up to 580 cubic feet of cargo, all with zero vehicle exhaust emissions. Ryder also plans to equip its maintenance facilities in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Jose, Calif. markets, as well as in the Chicago and New York markets, with the latest technology in commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging.

TWEET THIS: @RyderSystemInc is adding @ChanjeEnergy electric vehicles into its lease & rental fleet, and rolling out #EV charging stations. Continue reading

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Achieving the Integrated Global Supply Chain

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Guest post from Ned Blinick of 3rdwave

The integrated global supply chain exists when activities between all supply chain partners are seamlessly coordinated to achieve the optimal results for all its participants. These partners are executives, managers, co-workers, suppliers, customers, carriers, 3PLs, warehouses, government agencies, financial institutions, etc. They exist not only within the four walls of the organization, but outside of it, too. The results are achieved when extraneous costs are removed and product can optimally move from source to end-user with minimal friction.

Is a fully integrated global supply chain achievable? Probably not. It would require that all actors up and down the supply chain be structured to achieve this end, and by the nature of the business, this is likely not going to happen. At least not in a timeframe acceptable to you.
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Instacart Is Expanding to Canada in Amazon Battle

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Grocery-delivery startup Instacart Inc. has refrained from rushing expansion beyond the U.S., unlike many other startups valued at more than $1 billion. But Amazon.com Inc . AMZN -0.60% ’s surprising acquisition of Whole Foods has changed those plans.

Instacart is close to a deal to partner with Canada’s largest grocer, Loblaw Cos., to launch its service there in the coming months, the startup’s first international foray amid increasing competition, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal will allow Instacart to begin delivering groceries from Loblaw stores in Toronto and then expand nationally throughout the grocer chain over the next year, one of the people said. Instacart already has delivery deals with well-known U.S. retail chains, including Whole Foods, Costco Wholesale Corp. COST +0.20% and Target Corp. TGT -0.63% , where the startup relies on contract employees to pick and bag groceries and then deliver them to customers’ doorsteps.

See balance of this article here!

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Collaboration Key in Creating Competitive Advantages Through Supply Chains

Research confirms cross-functional collaboration and supply chain integration are challenging business goals that many companies deprioritize because the value is difficult to define.

BOSTON, MA, October, 27, 2017 – Research recently published by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Global Supply Chain Institute, and sponsored by Maine Pointe, identifies collaboration as one of six key elements of creating competitive advantages through supply chains. The study emphasizes that supply chains must optimize efficiency through reliability, shared values, and end-to-end visibility before these advantages can work.

GSCI ThumbnailThe research indicates that not only does internal collaboration create financial worth; benchmark companies are leveraging collaboration outside their organizations to create competitive advantages. “Companies with the strongest supply chains integrated them from end-to-end long ago and have mastered working across business disciplines,” says Mike Burnette, managing director of the institute and an author of End-to-End Supply Chain Collaboration Best Practices. “They are now using those skills to work with external supply chain partners and find ways to collaborate with non-competitors to create cost-saving opportunities.”
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Omnitracs Completes Acquisition of Shaw Tracking

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The finalized agreement further solidifies Omnitracs’ presence in Canada in preparation for new government regulations including electronic logging devices (ELDs)

Omnitracs, LLC, a global pioneer of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, today announced the completion of its acquisition of the assets of Shaw Tracking, a subsidiary of Shaw Communications Inc. and the leading fleet management solutions provider in Canada. The terms were not disclosed.

Further expanding Omnitracs’ customer base and reach into Canada, the assets of Shaw Tracking will now be integrated into the comprehensive Omnitracs product and service portfolio. The combined organization is now positioned to further assist the Canadian market throughout an entire load lifecycle. Mike Ham will lead the organization as vice president and general manager of Omnitracs Canada.
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Raymond Handling Celebrates 30 Years with Annual Pink Pallet Jack Project

Onsite and Online Events will Benefit ‘The Tina Fund’ and ‘Northwest Hope and Healing’ During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

AUBURN, Wash., October 16, 2017 – Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation (RHCC), a leading materials handling equipment supplier in Northern California and the Northwest, will be holding its fourth annual “Pink Pallet Jack Project” online auction in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month from October 17 to 27 on eBay. In addition to the annual auction, which has raised $120,000 over the last three years, the company will be hosting a 30th Anniversary event at the Auburn, Washington corporate office on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 11am-2pm. All proceeds raised from the auction and anniversary event will be donated to the Tina Fund in Greene, New York and Northwest Hope and Healing. Continue reading

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Spring & Summer Sustainability Slants: Supply Chain, Packaging & Apparel

Here’s a roundup of the top recent Environmental Leader articles in these areas. Note that in each article, we’ve tried to dive into the business case from the companies we’re writing about: why are they doing what they’re doing from a financial point of view? Take special note of the detailed Timberland case study, which outlines the specifics on how – and why – to create a sustainable line of clothing. You’ll see more case studies of that type to come. Visit the Environmental Leader site for full listing! Cheers!

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