The information age is now squarely upon us and anyone who is not welcoming it with open arms and developing strategies to cope and prosper in this new reality may wish to take their head out of the sand before they get buried !
Through collecting, processing, analyzing and sharing the types of information described in this article, it is our belief that to compete effectively in the information age, the logistician must become an infomediary for their organization, their suppliers and their ultimate customers.
As we predictedÂ twelve years ago, there has been a massive explosion in available types and quantities of logistics information which continues to expand geometrically. One indication of this is the number of hits one gets on a simple internet search for the word “logistics” on the major internet search engines.The number of results of this search has grown exponentially over the last five years from 2,379 in 1995 to 73,800,000 today, a 31,020 percent increase in only twelve years !
Logistics and Supply Chain information comes in many forms
which can be generally categorized into the two main groups of Qualitiative Information and Quantitative/Activity/Product (QAP) Information, both of which are of value in differing ways. We will now provide examples of the various subsets within each group in an effort to develop a broad taxonomy for logistics and supply chain relevant information.
Examples of the types of Qualitative Information available include
Sales Information which is available providing details on various companies, products and services within the logistics and supply chain industry. Secondly, News Information through press releases outlines relevant happenings in regards to company results, mergers/acquisitions, movement of people and other industry innovations.
Next, Scholarly Information including logistics and supply chain articles, books and related papers also represents a large and continuously expanding knowledge base. Two other examples of Qualitative information include Event Information such as conferences, seminars, roundtables and webcasts as well as the output from these events; and also Opportunity Information which can relate to relevant RFP documents, job opportunities and open bid contracts.
The final type of Qualitative information is Industry Standards and Initiatives Information which includes, barcode and e-commerce standards as well as information on initiatives such as Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) to name only one of many initiatives. Suffice it to say, that for each of the above, there are relevant and compelling uses for each type information, a discussion of each unfortunately extends beyond the limits of this article. Click below for the next page of this article where we will now begin discussion of the Quantitative/Activity/Product Information grouping.