PR LOGISTICS is pleased to be able to provide you with an accurate and timely rate for the shipping of your goods.

Use the form below to send us all information pertinent to your shipment.

To insure a prompt and accurate rate, please provide us with all the following information:

 

Skip to Content

About: yamilfalcon

Recent Posts by yamilfalcon

Blockchain is Vastly Overrated; however, Supply Chain Cybersecurity is Vastly Underrated

May 3, 2019 · By Steven A. Melnyk, Cheri Speier-Pero and Elizabeth Connors 

The Notion of Supply Chain Cybersecurity

In 2012, an American chemical company reported that Chinese hackers had entered the company’s network using a phishing e-mail and gained control of servers in Germany and Canada.

For nearly three months, the hackers extracted critical pieces of company information, including customer order history, price quotations, and terms, the company’s cost structures, details about innovations about to be introduced into the market and even access to the firm’s manufacturing planning and control system.

Once the hackers had extracted what they needed, they made their move.

First, they altered the master production schedule (MPS), randomly changing order due dates, order quantities and order quality levels, wreaking havoc on critical customers who were relying on deliveries. As if by divine intervention, a new Chinese chemical firm approached these customers with “low-ball” offers for the affected products.

The result was predictable: The customers switched vendors so that they could maintain their production schedules. Almost simultaneously, the new Chinese firm obtained patents on new products identical to those the American firm was developing. The company was left reeling.

We begin with that example for a number of reasons.

First, it introduces the notion of supply chain cyber security – the need to protect the firm’s supply chain and its assets (information, intellectual property and processes) from the negative effects of hacking. As the story shows, cybersecurity is not simply a corporate concept; it is now a supply chain concept. 

Second, it is not unique. In a 2018 report, the U.K.’s National Cybersecurity Centre highlighted a number of cyber attacks targeting supply chains. In one example, a cyber espionage group known as Dragonfly focused on companies in the energy sector across Europe and North America. In one of its attacks, Dragonfly “trojanized” industrial control software on the websites of ICS software suppliers. When the software was downloaded by end users, it installed malware that allowed the external seizure of a company’s systems controls. What made this attack so devastating and difficult to detect was that the malware was downloaded from a trusted source, an unwitting supplier.

Download & ReadImplementing Cybersecurity in DoD Supply Chains

Third, it should be a call to action for the supply chain management community. As the digital economy increases in importance, we fully expect the need for more research into this topic, including the identification and evaluation of techniques and approaches to either minimize the probability of a hack taking place or to reduce the effects of the breach once it has occurred. Clearly, supply chain cyber security affects supply chain risk and resilience and therefore a firm’s cybersecurity capability is one additional factor leading to enhanced resilience.

Finally, we note that cyber threats are a relatively new development. As a consequence, the topic is typified by confusion and misperceptions. Consider the heightened interest in blockchain as a panacea. While important, we contend that blockchain alone is not enough if a firm is interested in developing and deploying a comprehensive, effective cybersecurity strategy.

In this article, we will provide a structure around supply chain cybersecurity, with the goal of helping the reader better understand what it is, the reasons it’s important, and its key elements. Our message is simple:

  1. cybersecurity is a supply chain issue, not just a corporate issue – ignore at your peril;
  2. technology alone is no silver bulletand
  3. justifying investments in cybersecurity is difficult, especially for anyone looking for a traditional ROI.

What is Supply Chain Cybersecurity and Why Now?

Cybersecurity is a relatively new development in a supply chain world that is rife with new digital innovation, including Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud computing, machine-to-machine communication (M2M), 3D printing and social media. And it is growing: The World Forum estimates that by 2020 roughly 4 billion people, or 50% of the world’s population, will be connected to the Internet daily.

What’s more, the digital economy is estimated to be growing at 10% per year, with emerging markets growing between 12% and 25% per year. It’s no surprise that supply chain managers are shifting their focus from cost containment and reduction to innovation and responsiveness. To make that possible, the volume of digital communication, including real-time communication with and connection to global suppliers, will continue to grow exponentially. So too will the vulnerabilities of supply chains.

Some researchers have termed these digital developments collectively as the cyber supply chain. It promises to improve efficiency, reduce lead times, reduce order quantities, support greater order customization and reduce supply chain risk. This last benefit is the result of better inventory pooling, postponement, reduction of the bullwhip effect and other similar capabilities enabled by digitization. At the same time, the digitization of the supply chain creates three categories of critical digital assets: (1) information technology (IT); (2) intellectual property (IP); and (3) operational technology (OT). Each also presents an attractive target to cyber hackers. Let’s look at each.

Information technology (IT) describes those digital assets that deal specifically with data used to record transactions, and plan schedule and execute plans. It includes bills of material, cost structures, routings, and master production schedules. The corruption of the chemical company’s MPS described earlier is an example of a cyber attack on IT.

In contrast, intellectual property (IP) describes the intangible assets that are often at the heart of a firm. Included in this category are items such as innovation, industrial designs, customer and supplier knowledge, and the organization’s core competencies. While IT is critical to day-to-day operations, IP is critical to the long-term survival and growth of the firm.

Operational technology (OT), the final category, includes the computer-controlled processes that drive operations on the shop floor within an organization or an organization’s contract suppliers. The Dragonfly attack is an example of a cyber attack on OT. While IT attacks affect the ability to plan, OT attacks affect the ability to deliver. Past research carried out by several of the authors has found that most firms are aware of the need to protect IT and IP; yet, little attention has been paid to the need to protect OT.

Assessing Cybersecurity Attacks

If you want to appreciate the increasing importance of cybersecurity, especially within the supply chain, consider the following statistics. In recent years, 69% of firms experienced an attempted or realized a loss of data due to a cybersecurity breach, according to Accenture, and only 24% of firms believe that their security provisioning is “state-of-the-art.” The same report found that firms had spent about $84 billion to defend against data thefts costing roughly $2 trillion – damages that could rise to more than $90 trillion a year by 2030. Yet, 36% of respondents responded that the executive team perceives the costs associated with cybersecurity as “unnecessary.” That is so even though about one-third of targeted attempts to breach a firm’s cyber defense succeed.

Those breaches are expensive: The average cost in the United States is $7.91 million, the mean time to identify a breach is 197 days, and the mean time to contain a breach is 69 days (or 276 days in total), according to a 2018 report from IBM Security and Ponemon Institute. The net result is that companies are investing significant sums to stop or minimize the negative consequences from a cybersecurity event but don’t necessarily fully appreciate the financial and reputational magnitude of the threat.

Finally, recent reports focused on combatting cyber risks in the supply chain, have noted that major recent security breaches, such as well-publicized breaches at Target and Home Depot, were the result of vulnerable supply chains. KMPG has identified vulnerable supply chain partners as the most significant gap in a firm’s ability to manage cyber risk. And, according to Accenture, between 35% and 57% of firms are now investigating business partners for the integrity of their cybersecurity provisions and preparedness if an event were to occur.

These examples highlight several important issues. One is that the digital technologies with the most promise to create significant value are also generating the data that is attractive to hackers interested in corporate espionage, including organized criminals, nation-states, insiders and hacktivists. Another is that those committing such crimes are getting bolder, more creative and more unpredictable. And, finally, the supply chain is perceived as the weakest link in a firm’s cybersecurity structure.

One recent study observed that cyber-related vulnerabilities in one tier of the supply chain undermine the integrity of the security measures taken by downstream and upstream members of the chain. That is especially the case with small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs), which are often the most vulnerable. SMEs are often targeted because they have “disproportionate access to important information given their size within the supply chain,” according to a CERT-UK study. They typically have the weakest cyber security arrangements, given their resource and managerial limitations; yet, they are often “mission critical” because they produce niche products for their larger partners that can’t be found elsewhere.

More Than Technology

While the roots of cybersecurity threats lie in technology, technology alone is no solution: You can’t just buy a better anti-virus program or migrate to a more secure operating system and declare victory. Rather, supply chain cyber security is an integrated system that relies on a combination of technology, process, culture, and management, especially the buy-in of top management through a compelling business case. We include culture in this mix because cybersecurity ultimately relies on people doing what is required because they want to do it rather than because they must comply. As Marc Lebaron, the chairman and CEO of Lincoln Industries, once so appropriately noted: “Culture is what people do when the boss is not around.”

An integrated system should provide a complete life cycle approach to dealing with cybersecurity threats – that is, it must deal with all four stages of the cybersecurity strategy: prevention, detection, containment, and recovery.

Finally, cybersecurity must be forward-looking as opposed to backward-looking. Too often, managers and researchers base their approach to the future on what has happened in the past. The implicit assumption is that the future will be a continuation of the past. When it comes to cyber security, nothing could be further from the truth. Hackers are smart, creative and relentless, and often supported by governmental agencies. Once you think you have figured out how they have compromised your organization’s cyber system, they will come at you with a new mode of attack. Consequently, one of the goals of an effective cybersecurity system is to anticipate attacks based on anomalies rather than looking for a repetition of past patterns. It is our position that any effective supply chain cyber security system must address the three questions identified below.

The first question: “What to protect” reflects the three critical digital assets we previously discussed: IT, IP, and OT. The second: “Against what type of attack” recognizes that there are three types of attacks. A targeted attack is self-evident: The hackers want to get access to your valuable digital assets and they aren’t interested in any other organization but yours. In contrast, in a broad-based attack, the hackers are spreading a wide net in hopes of catching one or more organizations that respond to the attack – think phishing attack. Collateral damage refers to damage to the firm as a result of a cyber attack taking place elsewhere in the environment. For example, the NotPetya cyber attack in Ukraine affected companies such as Merck, FedEx, and Maersk that were not direct targets of the attack (watch the video above). An integrated cybersecurity strategy must deal with all three forms of attack.

The third question considers four areas of cybersecurity investment: (1) prevention refers to investments made to secure the system and prevent hacks; (2) detection refers to investments aimed at creating signals that breaches have either been made or have been tried; (3) containment refers to investments made to prevent the spread of the hack, once it has been identified; and, (4) recovery refers to investments made to return the system to an acceptable level of steady-state performance. Our point is that all four investments must be part of an integrated strategy.

The Problem with Blockchain

We began this article with a bold – perhaps outrageous – statement: Blockchain is vastly overrated.

Our argument is not that blockchain is irrelevant to supply chain cyber security; rather, we argue that while blockchain may be an important tool, based on the headlines, you might have the impression that it is the cure to whatever ails you, much the way RFID was touted as a supply chain wonder technology a decade ago. It is not. Here’s why.

At its roots, blockchain is structured to ensure security in an environment where trust is low and where there is a concern that someone can alter data, such as an individual altering an electronic check so that a $500 deposit becomes a $5,000 deposit.

Blockchain does this by creating multiple distributed copies, or ledgers, of the transaction. For a fraud like the one described above to be successful, all copies must be changed – something that blockchain’s structure makes almost impossible to achieve.

Download A Consensus On The Truth? Blockchain Applications in Supply Chain Management

“Our argument is not that blockchain is irrelevant to supply chain cyber security; rather, we argue that while blockchain may be an important tool, based on the headlines, you might have the impression that it is the cure to whatever ails you.”

Steven A. Melnyk, Cheri Speier-Pero and Elizabeth Connors

Viewed from this perspective, we contend that blockchain addresses some, but not all, of the concerns over supply chain security.

For example, blockchain does address threats to IT. It would have been effective for combating changes to the MPS at the chemical company we described at the start of this article because it would have been nearly impossible to change all of the ledger instances.

However, it would not have protected the intellectual property or operational technology that was also targeted in that attack. In other words, blockchain does not by itself deal with all of the dimensions of supply chain cyber security.

Download the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics Roundtable Reports A Consensus On The Truth? Blockchain Applications in Supply Chain Management

Cybersecurity Challenges

Despite the costs paid by firms like Target following a serious breach, getting firms to take cybersecurity seriously is difficult, especially as it pertains to the supply chain. That was certainly the experience of the U.S. Department of Defense. From 2016 to 2017, the DoD attempted to enforce supply chain cyber security through a combination of mandate and threat. The mandate, DFARS 252.204-7012, was built on the NIST SP 800-171 cybersecurity framework. The threat was that if a supplier was not compliant with the framework by December 31, 2017, it could no longer do business with the DoD. In the end, the DoD found compliance with the new mandate difficult to achieve. The obstacles encountered are familiar to those in the non-governmental world.

It is new. One of the biggest challenges facing supply chain cyber security is that it is new. Consequently, while a great deal has been written about the topic, it’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff – to identify what is important and true from the inaccurate and exaggerated. We would argue, for instance, that a lot of what has been written about blockchain tends to fall into the greatly exaggerated category. It also takes time to build up the supporting infrastructure, which includes a network of consultants, case studies (often of successful implementations) and the support of professional societies like SME, ISM, and CSCMP, where experiences can be raised and shared and solutions distributed. Many firms tend to be risk-averse when it comes to new issues like cybersecurity, willing to wait until the confusion has cleared and they know what has to be done. This means that many firms are reluctant to invest now, despite the anecdotal evidence supporting the need for enhanced cybersecurity.

Building a business case. Investing in cybersecurity is expensive and time-consuming. This point was driven home to the authors in a recently completed study of the response of the supply chain to the DoD cybersecurity mandates.* One of the questions we posed to some 200 respondents was how much they estimated it would cost to become compliant. About 36% of the respondents answered less than $50,000 while another 33% of respondents indicated more than $500,000. That was a ten-fold difference. Further investigation uncovered that experience was the reason for the gap in expectations.

Those companies that had yet to begin the process of becoming compliant were more likely to see costs at the low end while those that had either attained compliance or were working on it were found at the upper end.

Because it is an investment, cybersecurity can be approached in one of two ways: as a constraint or a requirement that has to be met, making it another cost of doing business to be minimized; or as an opportunity, something where the benefits exceed the costs. Firms that view it as a constraint will do the minimum required – at their peril. However, before it can be viewed as an opportunity, a business case must be developed. Here’s the problem: Because cybersecurity is so new, the cost of not having cybersecurity is more difficult to calculate relative to the cost of improving cybersecurity.

What is needed is a cost of cybersecurity measure – an approach similar to the cost of quality developed in the late 1950s that convinced many firms of the need to invest more in quality improvement.

Lack of case studies. Successful case studies offer potential templates for other firms to follow; unsuccessful case studies help firms understand what works and what does not. Yet, it is almost impossible to get case studies when it comes to cybersecurity. Simply put, given the potential hit to customer confidence, a company’s share price or its borrowing costs, no one wants to share their experiences, regardless of the outcome. During our research for this article, we were struck by the number of individuals we interviewed who would only share their experiences if the identity of their firms was hidden. Without being able to capture these experiences, our ability to build better cybersecurity systems is greatly hindered.

Lack of performance measures. If supply chain cyber security is to become a fact of life, then it must become part of the performance measurement ecosystem, with regular measurements that reflect the current level of performance. As the old adage goes: “What gets measured, gets managed.” At the same time, few measures of cyber security are currently available. Without those measurements, the implied message from supply chain managers will be that cybersecurity is not important, which is a dangerous implication. One further note: It must also become part of supplier contracts and specifications.

SMEs. The final, and most important challenge is the threat posed by SMEs, which are typically firms with fewer than 500 employees. During the DoD’s compliance efforts, it found that SMEs were the least likely to comply with the new cybersecurity mandate. They (1) didn’t really understand cybersecurity; (2) didn’t have the resources to become compliant; and, (3) didn’t understand the underlying NIST framework.

In other words, they weren’t choosing not to comply, they simply weren’t capable of compliance. Without more attention to this space, SMEs will continue to be the weak link in the supply chain. 

Getting Secure

During our research for this article, we developed five critical takeaways;

  1. Cybersecurity is not an IT issue. Improving cybersecurity is not simply a matter of throwing more IT people or software at the problem. Rather, it must be integrated into business processes and it must become everyone’s responsibility. That includes the C-suite and the Boards of Directors to ensure that a firm’s stakeholders will not suffer from a risk that can be managed. 
  2. Cybersecurity is a supply chain issue. Savvy supply chain managers and governmental agencies now recognize that in a digital age, the real vulnerability to their systems is a compromised tier 2 or tier 3 supplier that is part of their connected supply chain. As we previously noted, most of the major security breaks have occurred through the supply side of the supply chain.
  3. Cyber attacks are on the rise. No one doubts that we can expect the level of cyber attacks to increase in the future. A recent report noted that the global cost of ransomware damages exceeds $5 billion and predicted that the total costs associated with cybercrime will hit $6 trillion per year by 2021; meanwhile, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs is expected to triple. No wonder that Ginni Rometty, IBM’s CEO, and Warren Buffett have identified cybercrime as the greatest threat to business and consumers. 
  4. SMEs are ground zero. We’ve said it earlier, but it bears repeating: If a firm is going to be attacked, it will be through the weakest link. Right now that is SMEs. Yet, without more research, we don’t currently understand what it will take to protect this critical link in the supply chain. We do know they are key to developing an integrated strategy. 
  5. It’s time to act. Firms need a systematic, integrated approach to cybersecurity, and they need it now. Within this new context, we can see that blockchain is vastly overrated but supply chain cyber security is vastly underrated.

*Melnyk, S.A., Peters, C., Spruill, J. Sullivan, K.W. Implementing Cyber security in DoD Supply Chains. NDIA white paper, Manufacturing Division Survey Results, July 18, 2018.

About the Authors

Steven A. Melnyk is a professor of operations and supply chain management in the Department of Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University. He can be reached at melnyk@msu.eduCheri Speir-Pero is the interim chairperson of the Department of Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University, and the Ernst & Young professor in accounting and information systems. She can be reached at cspero@broad.msu.eduElizabeth Connors is a faculty member in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at Michigan State University. She can be reached at connors@broad.msu.edu.

Running Blockchain Pilots for Your Supply Chain

In 2018, Blockchain was one of the most trending technologies alongside AI.

Blockchain has managed to excite all the stakeholders in the supply chain industry. It is touted to make end-to-end visibility a reality, change B2B communications for good and automate complicated processes using smart contracts. Stakeholders understand the benefits of blockchain, but the biggest question is, how do you get started with it?

Download the White Paper Running Blockchain Pilots for your Supply Chain

The paper “Running Blockchain Pilots for Your Supply Chain – A CIO’s Guide” aims to guide you towards a first blockchain pilot. It answers important questions. How exactly is blockchain different from traditional databases and what can blockchain do for us that traditional databases cannot?

The authors take a close look at its features to discuss how they make blockchain a very effective technology when it comes to breaking down information silos, leading to transparency.

Blockchain can also act as the ultimate source of truth when there are multiple organizations participating in transactions. With its unique features and strengths, blockchain can solve the following problems effectively for the supply chain industry;

  1. Maintaining one version of the truth across the entire supply chain.
  2. Empowering organizations to trace and track assets instantly as opposed to days or weeks.
  3. Making end-to-end visibility possible.

Finally, the paper breaks down the basic components of a blockchain pilot;

  1. A blockchain network.
  2. Data extraction tools to extract data from your data resources (ERP databases, EDI files, etc).
  3. Data standards (ANSI X12, GS1 EPCIS, etc) using which you can send the data to the blockchain. This is necessary for interoperability.
  4. User interface application that can query the blockchain to display information to the end user.

Running a blockchain pilot will give you perspective on how blockchain will fit in with your use cases, scale, existing technologies, and your team. A newer set of ideas emerge, metrics on efficiency gains can be derived, giving you objectivity. Pilots let you shed obsolete technology and march forward with better-emerging technologies iteratively.

Download the Paper: Running Blockchain Pilots for your Supply Chain

Article Topics Best Practices  Technology  Security Blockchain Cybersecurity All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

 Latest Technology News7 Top Trends in Last Mile Logistics – The Revolution is ComingApril 30, 2019 ·         Shippers face many challenges in successfully delivering products to end-users, and last mile logistics will be a core focus of change in the coming months.
Amazon to Spend $800M on Free 1-Day Delivery for Prime, Launches Full Truckload ServicesApril 29, 2019 ·         Having spent more than 20 years expanding its fulfillment and logistics network, Amazon said it is at work in evolving its ubiquitous Prime Two-Day Shipping program in a One-Day Shipping program – it has…
Can The Less-Than-Truckload Revival Continue?April 23, 2019 ·         Drivers are scarce, costs are way up and rate increases will largely fall on those shippers that don’t unclog their supply chains in this “good, not great” less-than-truckload market.
The Benefits of Landstar’s M.U.S.T. ProgramApril 23, 2019 ·         Landstar Agent Michael Black and his customer worked closely with the members of the Landstar safety team to create an intermodal plan with a new approach to cargo securement in support of the shipper’s…
 More Technology

24|7 Pro Team Picks

Driving Supply Chain Sustainability with BlockchainNucleus Research’s Annual Technology Inventory Optimization Value Matrix7 Top Trends in Last Mile Logistics – The Revolution is ComingAmazon to Spend $800M on Free 1-Day Delivery for Prime, Launches Full Truckload ServicesPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

Brightpearl is a platform to manage inventory, accounting, customers, suppliers and fulfillment across…

How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management System for Your Retail or Wholesale BusinessThis detailed guide provides the information needed to choose the right warehouse management system for your retail or wholesale business so…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsNucleus Research’s Inventory Optimization Value Matrix 2019How do inventory optimization solutions stack up? A complimentary report from Nucleus Research…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
ShipChain

Shipping is complicated. It shouldn’t be.

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

0 Continue Reading →

Driving Supply Chain Sustainability with Blockchain Technology

April 29, 2019 · By Mike Edmonds | Pactera 

Blockchain can accelerate a transition from owning to sharing

Sustainability is one of the defining issues of our time.

Businesses are overhauling the way they source, create and distribute products to build a sustainable future.

Sustainability affects everything a business does, including how it works with its suppliers. But too many supply chain managers employ a “take-make-waste” mentality.

As a result, supply chains around the globe remain fraught with inefficiencies due to wasteful use of assets. But there’s a solution at our fingertips: blockchain.

Blockchain can transition supply chain management to a sharing economy where people and companies reduce waste and decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources – thus becoming more sustainable and profitable at the same time.

The power of blockchain

To appreciate the power of blockchain, it’s important to fully understand the technology. Blockchain is a secure electronic ledger that enables multiple parties to distribute data – but not copy it.

The ledger creates an unchangeable record of transactions among multiple parties. Each record is time-stamped and linked to the previous one. Each digital record or transaction in the thread is called a block. The thread allows either an open or controlled set of users to participate in the electronic ledger.

Put another way, blockchain allows disparate users to make transactions – and then creates an unchangeable record of those transactions. Adopting blockchain technology supports more distributed, cheaper and faster ways for people and businesses to share transactional information securely.

Businesses are already incorporating blockchain into supply chain management. For instance, Vinsent provides a blockchain-based platform that makes it possible for wineries and wine lovers to connect directly and sell and buy wine months after harvest.

Vinsent uses blockchain along the entire supply chain. For example, blockchain is used to record the purchase of a bottle of wine, and blockchain empowers everyone in the process to track the creation of the wine from casking to bottling.

Blockchain for Wine? Meet the (Gliding Eagle) Entrepreneur Making it Happen (look, listen, and learn from the video above)

As for other examples:

Blockchain is a foundational technology that powers a shift from owning to sharing assets. It’s as foundational and impactful as the internet itself.

Granted, there are doubters. Major foundational shifts always have their doubters.

The internet did. The cloud did. And so does mobile.

But just to give you a sense of blockchain’s impact, let’s look at how blockchain can accelerate this transition from owning to sharing.

Why sharing?

Vinsent testing pilot group of wineries, with plans to expand in 2019

Right now, owners of logistics equipment have visibility into the utilization rates of their assets. Asset owners in different organizations are unable to view each other’s assets, however.

If an asset owner needs more equipment, they can either purchase more or rent from dealers and manufacturers – a manual and painful process (more phone calls, more paper).

But in a sharing economy powered by blockchain, individuals have visibility into the availability of all unused logistics assets (trucks, trailers, construction equipment, warehouse capacity). Instead of expecting customers to own and maintain fleets of logistics equipment, businesses can scale their capacity on demand. In other words, people have access to ownership instead of being owners outright.

If everyone has a clear line of sight into which asset is being used when – and there is a global, decentralized, immutable ledger that provides visibility into how participants in the supply chain can share each other’s assets – people will buy fewer assets and better utilize their current resources.

The X factor: TRUST

This dramatic evolution will happen because blockchain makes it easier for businesses in the supply chain to share assets with each other (rather than buy them outright) by bypassing a central, governing authority.

In a sharing economy powered by blockchain, customers no longer have to go through dealers and manufacturers to scale their fleet. In short, they no longer have to go through the middle man.

Blockchain fosters trust in the supply chain because the secure ledger cannot be changed by actors in the supply chain. With blockchain, people have direct visibility into the health of an asset, its maintenance history, and users.

People also have visibility into the characteristics of those renting and sharing assets through ratings and reviews stored on the blockchain.

That trust makes it possible for people to do radically new things along the supply chain such as creating smart contracts, programming money and creating a digital property.

But I also see some less obvious but important impacts of a sharing economy fueled by blockchain. For instance, consider what would happen if a business owns fewer assets.

The people in charge of managing assets have more time to learn new skills to make the supply chain more effective. The workforce can become more nimble and responsive to change.

Next steps (Running Blockchain Pilots for Your Supply Chain)

Perhaps you are already using blockchain to improve your supply chain. Perhaps you’re just exploring the technology.

Whatever you do, start testing and learning. Consider getting started by testing how blockchain could make just one aspect of the supply chain transition from ownership to sharing. – run a blockchain pilot!

Fortunately, tools such as design sprints can help you test and learn.

With a design sprint, cross-functional teams develop hypotheses for specific customer solutions. And then the team develops a rough prototype tested against feedback from real customers.

The need to be sustainable is only going to increase. With blockchain, supply chain management can play a vital role in addressing this need.

It’s up to players in the supply chain to test and learn now.

About the Author

Mike Edmonds is the Managing Director and VP of Product at Moonshot by Pactera, a digital product studio based in Chicago. He leads a team of digital product managers, experience designers and researchers, and engineers that help brands use design thinking and lean innovation to discover, design and scale lovable products based on emerging technologies. Pactera Technologies Limited is a global delivery partner that helps UPS with technology and high-impact strategic initiatives.

Note: Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.

Running Blockchain Pilots for Your Supply Chain

In 2018, Blockchain was one of the most trending technologies alongside AI.

Blockchain has managed to excite all the stakeholders in the supply chain industry. It is touted to make end-to-end visibility a reality, change B2B communications for good and automate complicated processes using smart contracts. Stakeholders understand the benefits of blockchain, but the biggest question is, how do you get started with it?

Download the White Paper Running Blockchain Pilots for your Supply Chain

The paper “Running Blockchain Pilots for Your Supply Chain – A CIO’s Guide” aims to point you towards a first blockchain pilot.

It answers important questions. How exactly is blockchain different from traditional databases and what can blockchain do for us that traditional databases cannot?

The authors take a close look at its features to discuss how they make blockchain a very effective technology when it comes to breaking down information silos, leading to transparency.

Blockchain can also act as the ultimate source of truth when there are multiple organizations participating in transactions.

With its unique features and strengths, blockchain can solve the following problems effectively for the supply chain industry;

  1. Maintaining one version of the truth across the entire supply chain.
  2. Empowering organizations to trace and track assets instantly as opposed to days or weeks.
  3. Making end-to-end visibility possible.

Finally, the paper breaks down the basic components of a blockchain pilot;

  1. A blockchain network.
  2. Data extraction tools to extract data from your data resources (ERP databases, EDI files, etc).
  3. Data standards (ANSI X12, GS1 EPCIS, etc) using which you can send the data to the blockchain. This is necessary for interoperability.
  4. User interface application that can query the blockchain to display information to the end user.

Running a blockchain pilot will give you perspective on how blockchain will fit in with your use cases, scale, existing technologies, and your team. A newer set of ideas emerge, metrics on efficiency gains can be derived, giving you objectivity. Pilots let you shed obsolete technology and march forward with better-emerging technologies iteratively.

Download the Paper: Running Blockchain Pilots for your Supply Chain

Article Topics Best Practices  Technology  Software Blockchain All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

 Latest Technology NewsDriving Supply Chain Sustainability with Blockchain TechnologyApril 26, 2019 ·         Blockchain can transition supply chain management to a sharing economy where people and companies reduce waste and decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources, becoming more sustainable and…
Zebra Introduces Flagship MC9300 Mobile Computer Ideal for On-Demand EconomyApril 11, 2019 ·         Expanded portfolio takes productivity and efficiency to the next level in industrial environments.
Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services to Develop a Digital Industrial Cloud Automotive PlatformMarch 29, 2019 ·         Amazon Web Services will power the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, automating all automobile manufacturing and logistics processes, creating an industrial digital production platform that empowers a worldwide…
McDonald’s Acquires AI-Powered Omnichannel Personalization Company Dynamic YieldMarch 27, 2019 ·         Dynamic Yield’s artificial intelligence technology will allow McDonald’s to link the predictive nature of their customer demand all the way through to stock levels in the restaurants and communicate data…
 More Technology

24|7 Pro Team Picks

Earth Day 2019: 6 Ways to “Go Green” By Leveraging Supply Chain TechnologyKey Differences Concerning Supply Chain Multi-Enterprise Network Platforms & Pseudo Networks8 Signs Your Business-2-Business Cloud Network is BrokenHow to Choose & Derive Optimal Value from a Control TowerPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

Avetta provides a cloud-based supply chain risk management and commercial marketplace platform. Our global solution is uniquely designed to connect the world’s…

Plug into the Power of Analytics to Minimize Supply Chain RisksWith modern supply chains scaling in size, supply chain risk management (SCRM) needs to be swift and accurate.PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsRunning Blockchain Pilots for your Supply ChainThis CIO focused white paper details how to kick start a pilot blockchain project and explains…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
SMC3

SMC³ is the one-stop knowledge…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

Transportation

Warehouse/DC

Supply Chain

Technology

Business

Resources

Popular

About Us · Contact Us · Advertise · Privacy Policy · Newsletters · RSS

0 Continue Reading →

Omni-Channel Solution Enables Industry Disruptor Canyon Bicycles to Pioneer US Ecommerce

April 25, 2019 · By 24/7 Staff · 

SEKO Logistics’ Omni-Channel Solution

Unlike competitors, Canyon Bicycles are exclusively sold online – cutting out the middleman and offering consumers a technologically-advanced performance bike for 20-30% less cost.

With Canyon’s computer-aided development, highly-qualified engineers, creative designers, top professional riders and passionate cyclists, the brand is sweeping the globe as a leading industry disruptor pioneering bicycle eCommerce in the 21st century.

Canyon’s entire global operation was originally built around their sophisticated design, sales, operations and engineering team in Koblenz, Germany, but their desire to expand and become a global company scaling rapidly in the US led them to partner with SEKO for an outsourced logistics solution they could trust to speed up their demand chain whilst maintaining their reputation for cost efficiency.

Recognising the highest growth opportunities on the West Coast, including California, as well as in New York and Miami, Canyon opted for SEKO’s proposal that their Chino, CA, operation acted as a single facility to meet orders from their large customer base on the West Coast and to provide the capability to ship bikes across North America.

In Chino, SEKO has accommodated all of Canyon’s requests by developing a truly customized solution – transforming their warehouse into a facility to support supply chain fulfillment, quality control, and team integration.

SEKO also integrated their SEKO 360 WMS (Warehouse Management System) platform with Canyon’s ERP and CRM systems to provide full stock and demand chain visibility and facilitate same-day order processing to increase shipment velocity.

SEKO also met and exceeded Canyon’s requirement for members of their award-winning, technology-driven design team to work at the Chino operation to maintain quality control of their patented technology, implementing a Canyon-leased portion of the facility that incorporates a Wi-Fi firewall, individual phone lines, customized inspection stations, break rooms and even a test track.

Brian Bourke, VP of Marketing of SEKO Logistics, said;

“Canyon Bicycles is a ground-breaking company and as they prepared for their US launch, they needed a partner with the capability to bring the same level of innovation, design, operations and technology solutions to their demand chain, which is why they came to SEKO Logistics. From day one, based on our service level agreement for all orders to be processed the same day, our focus has been to provide Canyon with increased efficiency, improved time in transit and, most importantly of all, which gets their outstanding bicycles into their customers’ hands as quickly as possible. Upon import, SEKO offloads the containers, tags them into inventory, puts them on Canyon’s customized shelving, and picks and packs daily as needed. This complete, end-to-end solution and our seamless partnership have helped Canyon surge into the US market and pave the way for future growth.”

Blair Clark, President of Canyon Bicycles USA, said: “SEKO has been a great partner for us as we launched in the United States. They focused on continually improving the logistics process as we were building and growing our volumes, which allowed us to focus on marketing and selling our innovative bikes and accessories to the USA market. From installing wider racking to speeding up order processing for online orders, they’ve always found ways to make the process more efficient, which has given us the ability to focus on our core business. The USA is now a key market for Canyon Bikes and we’re excited for our continued growth in this market for years to come.”

Related: Using a Single Third-Party Logistics Provider to Support Worldwide Supply Chain Operations

Using a Single Third-Party Logistics Provider to Support Worldwide Supply Chain Operations

Related Papers & eBooks

Download the Paper

Ecommerce Delivery – What Do Your Customers Want?
This paper includes 3 real delivery scenarios and the supply chain and logistics needs, case studies, of London’s Portobello Road MOU company, the iconic Lulu brand, and Escalade Sports. Download Now!


Download the Paper

The Ecommerce Logistics Revolution
In this special issue, the editorial staff of Logistics Management has compiled feature stories that encapsulate the software, technology, and processes that are helping today’s retail and manufacturing professionals exceed ever-increasing customer demands – whether in B2B or direct to consumers. Download Now!


Download the Paper

The Guide to International Shipping
There’s a lot to think about before you can launch internationally, so, we’ve put together our three steps to international shipping for eCommerce retailers to help you plan your strategy. Download Now!


Download the Paper

Don’t Damage Your Retail Brand by Breaking Promises with Your Customers
Whether they’ve been made explicitly or implicitly, failing to keep any promises you make as your customers travel through the purchase journey with you could have a significant impact on your brand. Download Now!


More SEKO Logistics Resources

0 Continue Reading →

Walmart’s Doug McMillon: What I’ve Learned Since Becoming President & Chief Executive Officer

April 24, 2019 · By Doug McMillon 

Note: Walmart CEO Doug McMillon’s letter to shareholders is republished here from their 2019 annual report.

Clear and constant.

Know what else is constant at Walmart? Change. As I visit with our associates all over the world and ask, “Other than our purpose and values, the only thing that’s constant at Walmart is …” and they respond: “Change!” It’s a powerful mindset, and our people have it.

These past five years in this role have passed quickly, and it has been an exciting time to be at Walmart. Looking back, I’m not sure I could have imagined some of the things we’re doing in our business today but, at the same time, it feels like we’re just getting started.

Our customers and Sam’s Club members are being served by associates who are better equipped to create new ways of shopping and put today’s technology to work. Our goal is to make it easy, fast, friendly and fun to shop with us. Consider:

A busy mom can shop on our app or get through the store faster by finding the items on her list, thanks to the map feature on her Walmart app. She can make purchases with Walmart Pay and go digital to skip the pharmacy line and pick up a prescription.

Outside our stores, customers can pull into a pickup spot, have their personal shoppers put their order in their trunk and off they go. eCommerce has finally come to the food business and in a big way.

We’re putting technology to work with an autonomous scanner that checks our side counters to help us improve in-stock levels, and an autonomous floor cleaner that carries a camera to gather data on our product features to share with a FAST Unloader system in the back room that prioritizes items for restocking.

Our Sam’s Clubs are becoming more digital. With our Scan & Go app, customers bypass the checkout line and pay for items on their mobile device, and now we’re testing computer vision instead of barcodes to make the process even faster. Our new Membership Express can cut the time it takes to sign up from eight minutes to fewer than 60 seconds.

The ways we can use technology today and in the future are exciting, but our business is still a people business. We are people-led and tech-empowered, and that makes investing in our associates a strategic priority. On any given day, our associates may be attending one of our new training academies in the U.S. or entering our new fast-track leadership program for Walmart International. They may be benefitting from our expanded parental-leave policies or beginning their careers at Walmart with a starting wage 50 percent higher than it was four years ago. And they may be extending their education with a $1-a-day college degree through our Live Better U program. We’ve made a lot of changes with respect to opportunities for our associates, and there’s more to come.

No doubt the pace of change continues to increase. Recently, I was visiting with a group of students, many of whom are joining our company, and one of them asked me what I had learned during my five years in this position. Surprises? Revelations? It’s a good question, and I’ve been giving it some thought.

These five lessons came to the top of the list:

  1. Leadership – You can’t push a rope, but you can pull it. In other words, sometimes you just can’t lead from behind. You can’t muscle or push things along. As a leader during transformation, you have to be out in front – show that you want to learn, be curious, introduce new ideas, ask questions. Our people are talented, competitive and have a sense of urgency. When they hear about a better way of doing things, they engage, learn and act.
  2. Risk – There is no growth without change, and there is no meaningful change without risk. So, get comfortable with an intelligent level of risk. Otherwise, the law of diminishing returns sets in as always doing the same things the same way takes over. We invested substantially in wages, associate education, pricing, and eCommerce. We acquired FlipkartJet, and others, and we partnered with global technology companies in places like China and Japan. We don’t know what Sam would have done in these moments, but we know he would have been adapting – and he would have been aggressive. We’re drawing on that legacy today and tapping into that DNA.
  3. Time Horizon – We’re playing the long game. Our priority is to position our company for long-term success. History has shown us that companies that focused too much on the short term were doomed to fail. Managing our business on a daily basis is important, but our most important strategic decisions are made in light of what we want our company to become for the next generation.
  4. Our Associates – People will surprise you. Several times a week I see or hear about something creative our associates have done. It’s inspiring to see their ingenuity and pace. Around the world, Walmart associates feel more comfortable taking risk. They’re launching minimum viable products to test and learn from. These have enough function to satisfy early adopters, whose feedback informs future design. Result: We go from Product 1.0 to Product 2.0 a lot faster. This is a powerful unlock. We’ve always said that our people make the difference. We’re certainly seeing that today.
  5. Trust – It’s a challenge to have the broader world know the Walmart we know. As we strive to make our company better, we will also look for ways to build trust by communicating the good work our people are doing and its impact. Included is the work we are doing to strengthen our culture of integrity and improve our compliance talent, processes and systems. In our supply chain, we are eliminating waste, using more renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions and making our items and the packages they come in healthier and more sustainable. Of course, we aren’t perfect. We make mistakes. But, if the world could see all of the hard-working, well-intentioned people inside our company who are making things better in their communities and in the world, I’m convinced they would be moved by it all. I am.

The progress we’re making is reflected in our results. Last fiscal year, we increased total revenue by 3 percent to $514.4 billion, and we generated $27.8 billion in operating cash flow. Breaking it down, Walmart U.S. grew comp sales 3.6 percent, excluding fuel – the highest annual growth rate in a decade – and eCommerce sales increased 40 percent, nearly doubling the sales of that business over the past two years. And the momentum continued at Sam’s Club with comp sales growth of 3.8 percent, excluding fuel.

Walmart International posted positive comps in eight of our markets, including the four major markets, as we also see our digital transformation and innovations taking hold outside the U.S. In Mexico, many of our customers don’t have bank accounts, so the team there launched a new app called Cashi that acts as a digital bank account. At our stores, customers exchange cash for an electronic deposit onto their mobile device then use the app to shop in the store, online, and even to pay their other bills.

In many parts of China, same-day delivery really means same-hour delivery. To meet that demand, we invested in a crowd-sourced delivery platform, and now customers in some locations can receive their merchandise within an hour of placing the order. We are also making good progress on omnichannel initiatives in places like Canada and in Japan where we are partnering with eCommerce leader Rakuten to offer grocery delivery.

India has 1.3 billion people and an economy approaching $3 trillion, yet its eCommerce business is less than 3 percent. With our acquisition of Flipkart, we have positioned ourselves for growth in one of the top three markets in the world.

We are deliberate about where and how we operate. For example, we finalized the majority sale of the business in Brazil, and we continue to explore ways to best serve our customers around the world.

This is a period of significant change at Walmart. I think the pace and magnitude of our changes are critical to the company’s future as we adapt to an environment that is changing more quickly all the time. We are changing how we work and what we do without changing our purpose and our values. To our customers, thank you. We’ll continue to work hard every day to earn your trust and business. To our associates, we are proud of you. Keep it going. To our shareholders, thank you for your interest in our company and your continued support.

Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart Inc.

Doug McMillon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Walmart Inc.

Omni-Channel Logistics Leaders Papers

Download the Paper

Omni-Channel Logistics Leaders: 5 Key Insights to Improve Inventory Performance New!
This joint research study, conducted by LEGACY Supply Chain Services and Adrian Gonzalez of Adelante SCM, examines and provides insight into leading inventory management challenges, opportunities, and best practices. Download Now!


Download the Guide

Keeping Up with the Retail Consumer
6 supply chain disciplines retailers must master – developed by Adrian Gonzalez, founder and president of Adelante SCM and LEGACY Supply Chain Services, with a foreword from Rick Blasgen, president and CEO, CSCMP. Download Now!


Download the Paper

Evolving a Large U.S. Retailer from Good to Great
LEGACY executed a comprehensive startup project plan to fully transition operational control of LSR Inland Empire operations, discover how this solution was executed with zero disruption to the business. Download Now!


More LEGACY Supply Chain Services Resources

More LEGACY Supply Chain Services Resources
0 Continue Reading →

Key Differences Concerning Supply Chain Multi-Enterprise Network Platforms & Pseudo Networks

April 22, 2019 · By Geoff Annesley 

The Promise and the Perils of Choosing a Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Network

We’re almost two decades into the 21st Millennium, yet the basic paradigm of enterprise technology from the last Millennium still persists.

That’s surprising given the progress we’ve made on the consumer technology side, and the inappropriateness of enterprise technology for today’s challenges.

Change is hard. Changing well-established, complicated and calcified technology stacks embedded deep in the enterprise is even harder.

But the cost of not changing in an evolving landscape is even higher.

The Challenges of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

A recent report from Panorama Consulting titled “Clash of the Titans 2019: SAP vs. Oracle vs. Microsoft Dynamics vs. Infor” highlights some statistics gathered from 263 respondents who implemented solutions from the top ERP vendors.

Report highlights;

  • The average ERP implementation takes more than a year, 18 months.
  • The disruption to operations during implementation is often significant, an average of 123 days per implementation.
  • The internal resources dedicated to the project full time are 8-12.
  • Most implementations go over budget (64% in 2018, 74% in 2017).

Most importantly, the actual value from the solution is often disappointing. From last year’s ERP report, 44% of respondents saw less than half of the projected benefits. And those benefits are slow to materialize. 60% said they had to wait between one and two years to see the benefits.

While ERP has offered significant value for Finance and Procurement a different type of technology is required to supercharge the edges around your enterprise that involve partners such as suppliers, carriers, channels, and consumers.

Neglected Networks

The rise of upstart companies like Uber and Airbnb and technology like blockchain, has brought multi-party networks into the spotlight. Multi-party, or multi-enterprise networks are finally gaining understanding and attention from analysts.

Gartner’s inaugural magic quadrant on Multienterprise Supply Chain Networks was released in November 2018, IDC’s MarketScape on Multi-Enterprise Worldwide Supply Chain Commerce Networks in December of 2018. It’s good to see the role of networks being recognized in solving the complex problem of global supply chains.

Download: IDC MarketScape Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Commerce Network Assessment

What is a Network?

Not all “networks” are the same. Some “networks” are merely portals or hub-and-spoke networks tied to other similar solutions. They are not architected from the ground up to support multiple enterprises on a single network. For example, the existing B2B “networks” require the same supplier to have point-to-point connections for each customer they collaborate with. The same goes for carriers and retail channels.

Download IDC MarketScape Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Commerce Network Assessment

What One Network calls a “multi-party network” is a network of multiple enterprises, where each enterprise is represented once on the network, supported by a multi-party data model that provides a single version of the truth for all parties. It is specifically designed for multi-party participation, autonomous digital agents, transactions and workflows.

Access to the data is controlled by a patented permissions framework that enables each party to control who can see what data, and what they can do with it. There is no data replication and the data does not shuttle back and forth between companies on the network.

One telltale sign of a hub-and-spoke, or point-to-point, network, is that new IT connections are required between parties that wish to establish business relations, even if the parties were previously connected on the “network”. With a true multi-party network, you join the network once and can begin transacting with any other company on the network. Connections to trading partners are established virtually and instantly. This means a supplier can manage its own suppliers and support multiple customers through the same network.

This might seem like a subtle distinction but the implications are huge. If you do the math for the number of IT connections required for each party on a network to collaborate you quickly see that the cost and time involved make this approach impractical.

The Problems with the Traditional, Pseudo Network Approach

Firstly, traditional systems are inward-looking. They were designed to solve the problems of the enterprise, not the problem of the supply chain ecosystem. The supply chain is inherently multi-party, as are most of the processes. There are buyers and sellers, suppliers and suppliers to suppliers. There carriers, customs brokers, port insurance agents, freight forwarders and third-party logistics providers. The transactions and workflows are multi-party, from sales and purchase orders to making and moving supplies and product.

When different solutions and technologies are wired together to form a “network” solution with point-to-point integrations, it does not fundamentally change the underlying data model or architecture. Instead, what happens is complexity is piled on top of complexity. Each underlying application still has its own model of the world and is connected to its own sources of data.

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) has solved some problems, but at the same time, they have increased the complexity of application architectures, rather than simplified them. After all, the whole point of EAI is to avoid having to make major changes to the technologies being linked.

A single data model or database in the cloud doesn’t solve the problem. Because each enterprise still has its own separate data model (cloud ERP) which requires point-to-point translation of master data, cross-referencing per point-to-point IT connections, and you still get the explosion of IT connections if you try to connect all parties together.

Hub-and-spoke models are an improvement over integrated, standalone systems, but they fall far short of the elegance and simplicity of a true network. The reason is that hub-and-spoke models require new pathways for each customer-supplier relationship. Thus, a supplier serving Customer A needs a second pathway to serve Customer B, a second integration effort. This approach is cumbersome, slow and resource intensive. It also leads to a rigid infrastructure that is difficult to maintain and manage as business needs change.

True Multi-Party Networks are “Hub-to-Hub”

Multi-party networks are designed and architected to be multi-party from the underlying data model through transactions and workflows. A single version of authoritative, real-time data is at the heart of the network and shared with trading partners (not duplicated or moved). Companies and their trading partners connect once to the network. Trading relationships with control over data access and rights are controlled virtually, via a permissions model that provides access to that data to the relevant, authorized trading partners.

A fundamental principle of true multi-party networks is that all trading partners are equal “citizens” of the network, with access to the same functionality for their own use with their trading partners. A multi-party network can be described as a “hub-to-hub” network, where trading partners transact on equal footing.

Another key attribute is that the applications designed for a true network can be shared on a single instance across any number of parties allowing optimization of the network based on network objective functions. Legacy B2B providers have enterprise applications that are designed for one-company-at-a-time optimization, instead of end-to-end business network optimization. They still are stuck in a low-value quadrant optimizing only the enterprise instead of both enterprise and the network that the enterprise functions in.

Finally, as hinted at earlier, this multi-party philosophy that infuses every aspect of the network results in a single onboarding process for each participant. Everything thereafter is managed virtually on the network, including managing trading relationships and partner permissions, enabling/disabling network apps and services. Even upgrades to the network platform are rolled out transparently to users.

Yes, change is hard, but transitioning to a multi-party network is nothing like the effort of an ERP implementation, and the benefits gained are rapid, multi-dimensional and enduring. In fact, you can keep your ERP doing what it does best while complementing and turbocharging it with a network. Read: 8 Signs Your Business-2-Business Cloud Network is Broken

About the Author

Geoff Annesley is a member of One Network’s Executive Staff and is responsible for sales and product strategy for One Network’s High Tech and CPG verticals. He has a proven track record in growing internet SaaS startups, introducing new technology to markets, and successfully defining and executing go to market strategies for new services and technology, including Multi-Party Enterprise Solutions, IoT, PaaS, SaaS, Performance Services, Application and Platform Services for Enabling the New Circular Economy.

Related: 8 Signs Your Business-2-Business Cloud Network is Broken

8 Signs Your Business-2-Business Cloud Network is Broken

Related White Papers

Download the White Paper

One Network: IDC MarketScape Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Commerce Network Assessment
In this research paper, “IDC MarketScape: how Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Commerce Network 2018 Vendor Assessment,” describes the companies that will be “driving productivity gains of 2 Percent” and how the supply chain technology landscape is rapidly changing. Download Now!


Download the Paper

8 Keys to Achieving Success with Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chain
This white paper looks at the fundamentals that supply chains need in place in order to achieve real results from Artificial Intelligence implementations. Download Now!


Download the White Paper

Control Tower Technology Value Matrix 2018
In this Value Matrix report, Nucleus evaluated the control market vendors based on their product usability and functionality and the value that customers realize from the capabilities of the product. Download Now!


More: One Network Enterprises Resources

Article Topics Best Practices  Supply Chain  Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud Supply Chain Network Design All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

 Latest Supply Chain NewsHow to Choose & Derive Optimal Value from a Control TowerApril 18, 2019 ·         Unfortunately, many control towers miss the mark on foundational and critical elements that are essential to gaining full visibility and control over today’s supply chains, they show you what’s going…
8 Signs Your Business-2-Business Cloud Network is BrokenApril 18, 2019 ·         If you are looking at end-to-end automation supply chain solutions for optimizing your enterprise and business network, consideration of these 8 key multi-enterprise network factors will be critical for…
Key Differences Concerning Supply Chain Multi-Enterprise Network Platforms & Pseudo NetworksApril 18, 2019 ·         The basic paradigm of enterprise technology still persists which is unfortunate given the progress we’ve made on the consumer technology side, however, multi-enterprise networks are finally gaining understanding…
How Inventory Software Can Grow Small BusinessApril 18, 2019 ·         Small business entrepreneurs often spend the majority of their time working in their business instead of on their business…this kind of behavior will leave you in the dust next to competitors.
 More Supply Chain

24|7 Pro Team Picks

Amazon Acquires Autonomous Warehouse Robotics Company Canvas TechnologyState of Inbound Logistics for Over-the-Road Freight ShippersTurning the Yard into an Active and Valued Link in the Supply Chain with a Yard Management SystemAssociation For Supply Chain Management ASCM – Much More Than a Re-BrandingPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

In Swisslog’s Americas region, we share a passion for designing, developing and delivering logistics automation systems and software that drive customer…

Three Keys to Improving Warehouse Performance while Maintaining Future FlexibilityAs warehouse operators plan for a future that is difficult to predict, building around the pillars of data-driven, flexible and robotics help…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsOmni-Channel Logistics Leaders: 5 Key Insights to Improve Inventory…This joint research study, conducted by LEGACY Supply Chain Services and Adrian Gonzalez…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
SEKO Logistics

SEKO provides complete Supply Chain Solutions, specializing in transportation,…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

Transportation

Warehouse/DC

Supply Chain

Technology

Business

Resources

Popular

About Us · Contact Us · Advertise · Privacy Policy · Newsletters · RSS© SupplyChain247.com is owned and produced by Peerless Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

0 Continue Reading →

Don’t Build Weapons of Math Destruction

April 1, 2019 · By Larry Lapide · 

Face Validity

Upon reviewing a model with my first manager at Arthur D. Little, I learned an important lesson. He taught me that while it is important to demonstrate that a model has scientific validity, it is equally important to have “face validity.”

Translation: To be useful, a model needs to be statistically sound in representing the real world. But, it must also make sense to managers by incorporating factors that make sense to them.

I am astounded to find that many of the Internet-based Big Data models today only have face validity; apparently, developers don’t care about scientific validity. They believe that if a model’s factors seem to relate to dependent factors, those are sufficient.

For business models, face validity is necessary, but not sufficient. Indeed, face validity alone might be potentially dangerous. I gained this insight by reading “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy,” a book by Dr. Cathy O’Neil.

What is a weapon of math destruction?

Dr. O’Neil, a former quantitative analyst at a financial hedge fund, experienced first-hand the damage financial models did leading up to and following the mortgage market meltdown of the past decade.

They helped the collapse of financial institutions. She became disillusioned with mathematical models that affect society. Or, as one description of the book puts it: “A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life – and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.”

Her premise is that the vast amount of Big Data is used in ways that are: “1) opaque; 2) unquestioned; and 3) unaccountable.” In simpler terms: 1) the detailed data is not transparent to a person affected by its decision-making; 2) the use of the data is beyond reproach in the mind of the modeler; and 3) modelers refuse to defend the model other than to say “it is what it says.” It’s akin to using the court of public opinion rather than the law to assess whether someone has committed a crime.

In addition, she states that models often result in behavior that has “vicious, self-reinforcing feedback loops,” whereby things get worse for those affected—especially minorities and the poor. While there are many examples in the book, I’d like to focus on two.

Illustrative WMDs

U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) was founded in 1933. Fifty years later, in 1983, it was a second-rate publication, lagging Time and Newsweek, which were then the industry leaders. To set itself apart, the magazine decided to start a service ranking colleges and universities with the intent to help young people make their first big decision.

This was a game-changer for USNWR because today it markets itself on its website as “a multi-platform publisher of news and information, which includes usnews.com and annual print and e-book versions of its authoritative rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools and Best Hospitals.”

The initial rankings involved weighted factors that journalists (not educators) felt were reasonable and could be quantified. Essentially, all were face-valid factors, and not necessarily ones proven to be related to educational quality. Dr. O’Neill contends the rankings were too successful, and its model over time was a WMD to education.

The rankings started a “race-to-the-top” among universities, whereby they did everything to raise rankings. Because costs were not included among the ranking factors, this incentivized colleges to hire expensive faculty, beef up athletic programs, construct new luxurious dorms and enhance dining menus.

Some colleges even resorted to cheating their way to the top, fabricating the numbers they reported to USNWR. Parents and students spent a lot of money on college admission planners to get into the top-ranked colleges. In addition, some international students cheated on standardized exams. The author contends that this competition contributed to today’s exorbitant tuition costs and student loans, leaving too many minority and poor students saddled with debt they will never pay back.

Another illustration has to do with credit scoring activities of marketers and others using Big Data.

The author contends that the well-known FICO scores, used by credit card and other loan providers, are not WMDs. FICO is regulated and transparent to borrowers. A FICO score is based on the financial history of a borrower – not those similar to them. However, these scores, while valid for creditworthiness, are often used for hiring; they wrongly assume that a high score means a better worker. This can lead to wealthy applicants getting jobs over poor applicants (who arguably need them more).

Meanwhile, “e-scores” developed for marketing purposes include factors in addition to the FICO ones. The biggest offender is a borrower’s zip code because average loan-default rates vary significantly by zip code. An e-score is a WMD because it assumes that if my neighbors default on loans, I have a high chance of doing so. Thus, poorer loan applicants may not get loans, or if they do, they are subject to paying higher interest rates. A self-fulfilling prophecy, this increases the chance of these applicants defaulting because payments were set too high.

WMD models in business

The examples I just discussed can wreak havoc on societies, and in particular on minorities and the poor. But, do we have WMD models in the business world? I would say there aren’t many, because in business the focus is on attracting and retaining loyal customers and working with the best suppliers—certainly no harm intended. Some business models that appear to be WMDs, might at worst be models of moderate distortion. Below are three examples.

Certainly, Gartner’s Top 25 Supply Chains ranking looks like USNWR’s Best College rankings. Gartner uses six face-valid weighted factors in rating supply chains: peer opinions, Gartner opinions, return on assets (ROAs), inventory turns, revenue growth and a newly added corporate social responsibility score.

While Gartner’s intent is to recognize best supply chain practices with regard to its demand-driven value network model, the supply chain community initially believed it to be the 25 best/excellent supply chains.

Like the Best Colleges report, it started a race to the top. Managers sought access to Gartner analysts and focused on attaining high scores. As I’ve written in past columns*, it cannot identify excellent supply chains. It just includes big companies, is reliant on opinions based on limited knowledge of supply chain operations and gives too much credit to a supply chain organization for revenue growth to which supply chain managers are not held responsible.

However, this does not make the Top 25 a WMD. After all, it was created by supply chain experts with an intent to stimulate healthy dialogue about what is possible. It would only hurt a company if an organization gamed its way to the top. This, however, would be fully transparent to its company because the only valid judge of whether a supply chain is excellent is the company in which it resides – not a third party.

Starting in late 2004, I wrote a three-part series on sales and operations planning (S&OP) because practitioners were asking for advice. It provided managers with a four-stage S&OP process maturity model that I believed was needed in support of the resurgence in S&OP.** Similar to the maturity models developed by consultants, my S&OP model gauged how developed a company’s process was relative to an ideal.

Consultants often use these to recommend a journey to get to an ideal over time. The S&OP model assessed a company’s stage in terms of factors including the meetings conducted; how integrated and extended were the processes; and the extent to which enabling software technologies were integrated. Because the S&OP process involves collaboration and consensus building among the supply, demand and financial components of a company, I assumed getting to Stage 4 would offer the greatest benefit without any data to support this.

Was the model a WMD? I don’t think so because I believed, as did the industry, that internal and external collaboration would help companies achieve financial InSIGHTSobjectives. So, a strong S&OP process would cause no harm, as long as a company installed a truly collaborative process instead of an extremely contentious one that turned out to be detrimental to corporate culture.

Lastly, I wrote about unconstrained vs. constrained demand forecasts, arguing that supply chain planning should be based on true supply-neutral demand forecasts.*** These are forecasts that reflect demand devoid of distortions related to supply surpluses, shortages and other supply factors. Over time, forecasting demand that is not supply-neutral might condition customers to demand products based on availability, rather than on true needs.

I’ve seen a number of examples of demand distortions. For example, many companies forecast customer demand from shipment data. In some cases, shipments are not the same as true demand, such as when supply factors cause orders to be filled imperfectly (not delivered on-time or as split shipments). When this is the case, a shipment forecast is not the best representation of true demand.

Thus, while this type of forecasting model is not a WMD, it is a model of moderate distortion; especially when customers become conditioned to accept imperfect order fulfillment. However, a shipment forecast can become a WMD when customers get tired of poor delivery performance and buy from a competitor.

In summary, while there is not much evidence to support the fact that the business community develops WMDs, it might develop models of moderate distortion if they rely too heavily on face-valid factors, without checking for validity. However, if a model leads to decision-making that results in the loss of a customer, I’d say it is destructive.

More from:  MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics Visit the Supply Chain 24/7 Education Resource Center

Related Article: Making Sales & Operations Planning a Calendar Highlight

Making Sales & Operations Planning a Calendar Highlight

Article Topics Best Practices  Business  Education  University/College Big Data Data Optimization Sales & Operations Planning All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

About the Author

Larry Lapide
Dr. Lapide is a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts’ Boston Campus and is an MIT Research Affiliate. He received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Business Forecasting & Planning Award from the Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning. Dr. Lapide can be reached at: llapide@mit.edu. Latest Business NewsDon’t Build Weapons of Math DestructionMarch 27, 2019 ·           The business community might not develop Weapons of Math Destruction, but it might develop models of moderate distortion if they rely too heavily on face-valid factors, without checking for validity.
Association For Supply Chain Management ASCM – Much More Than a Re-BrandingMarch 17, 2019 ·           APICS, the association for supply chain management, new name, Association For Supply Chain Management ASCM, reflects an association focused on the end-to-end supply chain.
Leadership and the Democratization of Supply ChainsFebruary 27, 2019 ·         The Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue the democratization of technology.
FedEx Surprises Wall Street with Resignation of President & COO David J. BronczekFebruary 15, 2019 ·         FedEx Corp. threw Wall Street into a loop by announcing the resignation of Fred Smith’s top deputy David J. Bronczek just weeks after he joined the company’s board, Raj Subramaniam will take over as…
 More Business

24|7 Pro Team Picks

McDonald’s Acquires AI-Powered Omnichannel Personalization Company Dynamic YieldUPS in the Process of Preparing to Enter United States Home Health Services MarketDHL Resilience360: Top 10 Supply Chain Risk Predictions 20195G & the Future of Connectivity: 7 Industries the New Wireless Technology Could TransformPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

As the largest nonprofit association for supply chain, we are an unbiased partner, connecting companies around the world to the newest insights on all aspects…

Managing the Supply Chain Complexity ParadigmThis paper offers insight into managing supply chain and product complexity by providing background into the complexity’s sources, a framework…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsHow a Multiparty Platform Speeds Digital Transformation and Optimizes…If your business depends on complex relationships with hundreds or thousands of suppliers…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
DMLogic

DMLogic helps clients reach the highest levels of productivity and efficiency…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

0 Continue Reading →

McDonald’s Acquires AI-Powered Omnichannel Personalization Company Dynamic Yield

March 27, 2019 · By 24/7 Staff · 

About Dynamic Yield

Dynamic Yield is an AI-powered Personalization Anywhere™ platform that delivers individualized experiences at every customer touchpoint: web, apps, email, kiosks, IoT, and call centers.

The platform’s data management capabilities provide for a unified view of the customer, allowing the rapid and scalable creation of highly targeted digital interactions.

McDonald’s and Dynamic Yield

With this acquisition of Dynamic Yield, based in New York and Tel Aviv, McDonald’s builds on its significant technology investments for growth.

McDonald’s will utilize this decision technology to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items.

Using data, the decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer’s order based on their current selections.

This will enable McDonald’s to be one of the first companies to integrate decision technology into the customer point of sale at a brick and mortar location. McDonald’s tested this technology in several U.S. restaurants in 2018.

Upon closing of the acquisition, McDonald’s will begin to roll this technology out in the Drive Thru at restaurants in the United States in 2019 and then expand the use to other top international markets.

McDonald’s will also begin work to integrate the technology into all of its digital customer experience touchpoints, such as self-order kiosks and the McDonald’s app.

Dynamic Yield’s ability to meet McDonald’s customer needs, coupled with their commitment to growing capabilities around ever-changing consumer trends and evolving marketing technologies, allows for the continued advancement and elevation of the McDonald’s customer experience with technology and innovation.

“Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” said Steve Easterbrook, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation.

“With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers.”

“What we hadn’t done is begun to connect the technology together, and get the various pieces talking to each other,” says Easterbrook, in an exclusive interview with WIRED. “How do you transition from mass marketing to mass personalization? To do that, you’ve really got to unlock the data within that ecosystem in a way that’s useful to a customer.”

Bottom line; “As you start to link the predictive nature of customer demand all the way through your stock levels in the restaurant and the kitchen, you can almost flex it back down through the supply chain.”

Liad Agmon, co-founder and CEO of Dynamic Yield, added: “We started Dynamic Yield seven years ago with the premise that customer-centric brands must make personalization a core activity.”

“We’re thrilled to be joining an iconic global brand such as McDonald’s and are excited to innovate in ways that have a real impact on people’s daily lives.”

McDonald’s recent advancements in the tech space – including the development of McDonald’s Global Mobile App, Mobile Order and Pay, indoor and outdoor digital menu boards and self-order kiosks – have transformed customer experiences in and around its restaurants, by giving customers more ways to pay and personalize their orders to meet their needs.

Make no mistake, it’s all, ai, predictive analytics, personalization, big data, demand sensing etc., beginning to disrupt, or rather, improve the efficiency of the technology-based global supply chain.

Related Article: Debunking the Top Myths around Demand Sensing

Debunking the Top Myths around Demand Sensing

Related White Papers & eBooks

Download the White Paper

Demand Sensing Solution Utilizes Real-Time Data to Predict Near-Term Demand
This paper details why companies that use demand sensing receive the best forecast for response and execution time horizons, it also provides research from Nucleus about demystifying demand sensing. Download Now!


Download the eBook

Forecasting Benchmark Study
This eBook captures the state of demand planning performance in North America, allowing readers to compare their forecasting performance against the industry average and top performing companies. Download Now!


More Resources from E2open

Article Topics Trends  Technology  Big Data Artificial Intelligence Demand Sensing Predictive AnalyticsAll topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

 Latest Technology News5G & the Future of Connectivity: 7 Industries the New Wireless Technology Could TransformMarch 25, 2019 ·         The next generation of wireless technology could affect a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to transportation services to supply chain management.
FedEx Unveils Future Autonomous Delivery RobotFebruary 27, 2019 ·         FedEx Corp. announced today a development in cutting-edge delivery solutions to meet the rapidly changing needs of consumers – the FedEx SameDay Bot – an autonomous delivery device designed to help retailers…
Positive Human-Robot Relationships Will Power the Future Supply Chain WorkforceJanuary 25, 2019 ·         Technology is changing rapidly, and humans need to accept their robot counterparts, and the modern factory must quickly align itself to the cultural change forced upon it by the advances in these technologies.
How Humans and Robots Will Work Side-by-Side in the Supply ChainDecember 5, 2018 ·         Humans and robots can work in harmony to create a safer, more efficient working world, here’s what that world might look like.
 More Technology

24|7 Pro Team Picks

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report Downplays Impact and Severity of Truck Driver ShortageOptimizing the Modern Supply Chain Enterprise with a Control Tower for CFOsSlowing International Conditions and Weaker Global Trade Growth Impacts FedEx Third-Quarter Results2019 Outlook for Parcel ShippingPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

Transplace is a non-asset, North America-based third party logistics (3PL) provider offering manufacturers, retailers, chemical and consumer packaged goods companies…

Achieving Transportation Excellence by Focusing on Daily ImprovementIn this white paper white paper, you will learn a strategic approach to managing operations and applying an OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies,…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsUnpacking Sourcing Business Models: 21st Century Solutions for…This white paper is a collaborative effort among the University of Tennessee, the Sourcing…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
LEGACY Supply Chain Services

LEGACY Supply Chain Services is a third party logistics (3PL) provider. For over…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

0 Continue Reading →

5G & the Future of Connectivity: 7 Industries the New Wireless Technology Could Transform

March 25, 2019 · By CB Insights 

Move Over, 4G – The Next Generation of Wireless Technology is Here (almost)

5G is set to enhance connectivity across networks.

This is especially important as the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices rises, along with the amount of data they generate.

The technology will enable faster data transfer speeds (from 4G’s 1Gbps to 10Gbps).

As a result, 5G creates a tremendous opportunity for numerous industries but also sets the stage for large-scale disruption.

Major 5G network deployments are expected by 2020, and a projected 4.1B IoT cellular connections will use 5G worldwide by 2024, according to Ericsson.

From supply chain management, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, to retail, to name just a few, 5G is poised to disrupt a plethora of the world’s biggest industries and global marketplaces.

7 INDUSTRIES 5G TECHNOLOGY COULD TRANSFORM (and/or Disrupt)

1. Supply Chain Management

Installing 5G-enabled IoT sensors on products could easily make a large amount of data could available to stakeholders in the supply chain in real time.

The data may include location, temperature, moisture, pressure, and other information that can be crucial to properly managing products in a supply chain. 

Introducing 5G IoT sensors into supply chains could mean fewer losses due to manual inefficiency or misplaced containers.

As 5G technologies introduce more intelligent supply chain management, there could be potential for increases in production, streamlined logistical processes, and reduced costs.

Read: What You Should Know about the Internet of Things & How to Lay the Foundation for Success

2. Transportation

Connecting public and private vehicles with 5G could change the way people and goods travel around the world.

5G technology could provide increased visibility and control over transportation systems, from public buses to private logistic fleets. As 5G networks become more prevalent, cities will gain invaluable access to real-time, end-to-end visibility into their transportation systems.

5G could allow enhanced vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V), a key component to improving road safety in the emerging world of driverless vehicles.

It is essential that V2V communications take place in real time, as a matter of milliseconds could be the difference between a close call and a fatal collision.

Achieving this high speed of interconnectivity requires vehicles to transmit large amounts of data between each other without any lags. 5G networks could make this possible with their low latency.

5G could also play a crucial role in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. V2I communications connect vehicles with infrastructures such as traffic lights, bus stops, and even the road itself. This could improve traffic flow, reduce external danger factors, increase vehicle reaction time, and make public transportation more efficient.

5G Supply Chain News

Read: Integrated Intelligent Logistics Management Increases Supply Chain Efficiency

3. Manufacturing

5G technology could help production operations in the manufacturing industry to become more flexible and efficient while enhancing safety. This would enable manufacturers to enhance “smart factories,” which leverage automation, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and IoT.

Tethered and untethered robots could be controlled, monitored, and reconfigured remotely over the 5G mobile network. 

This next-gen wireless technology might also result in increased adoption of augmented reality (AR), as 5G networks offer the high bandwidth and low latency required for sustained augmented image quality. In a factory setting, this means AR could support training, maintenance, construction, and repair.

For example, an Ericsson factory in Tallinn, Estonia has adopted AR for troubleshooting to help mitigate the costs of breakdowns and reduce production downtime. It has reported that adopting AR has boosted productivity by 50%.

As networks continue to adopt 5G, more manufacturing use cases will come to light. Samsung and AT&T have partnered to create the United States’ first manufacturing-focused 5G “Innovation Zone” in Austin, Texas. This testing ground aims to demonstrate how 5G can impact manufacturing.

AT&T is working diligently to make 5G a reality in the US. In 2018, AT&T introduced standards-based mobile 5G to parts of 12 cities around the country and is planning to expand into parts of another seven cities early next year. 

“We’re at the dawn of something that will define the next decade and generation of connectivity,” said Andre Fuetsch, Chief Technology Officer of AT&T Communications, in a recent press release.

“Future smart factories and retailers, self-driving cars, untethered virtual and augmented realities, and other yet-to-be-discovered experiences will grow up on tomorrow’s 5G networks. Much like 4G introduced the world to the gig economy, mobile 5G will jumpstart the next wave of unforeseen innovation.”

Read: Augmented Reality Maintenance for Distribution Centers

ESA 5G | Communicating Innovation, from Mobile Technology to Satellite Data

Meet 5G: the next generation of communication services.

Watch the Video: Communicating Innovation, from Mobile Technology to Satellite Data

It will affect everybody, changing the way we work, communicate and interact with technology.

It will rely on a harmonious integration of networks, driving a convergence of fixed, mobile and SatCom services (watch the video above).

The ESA’s Satellite for 5G (S45G) programme aims to promote the value-added benefits that outer space will have on 5G by developing and demonstrating integrated terrestrial and satellite-based 5G services across multiple markets.

The agency supports the technological and supply chain evolutions required to weave together terrestrial and space services, focusing on the transport sector (maritime, aviation and land), public safety, media and broadcasting, and other areas of interest.

Read: Satellite for 5G Overview

4. Retail

Mobile shopping has become incredibly popular among consumers worldwide. Over 100M Americans made a purchase on their smartphones in 2018.

This migration to mobile shopping largely occurred thanks to 4G/LTE. Imagine how mobile shopping experience could be affected if mobile connections were 10 times faster.

5G could open the door to VR dressing rooms as well as mobile AR experiences in stores and at home. 5G’s low latency enables mobile AR/VR applications without the motion sickness some experience when using the technology today. With 5G, it will be possible to try on an array of outfits virtually from the comfort of your home.

Worldwide spending on AR and VR applications is expected to surpass $20 Billion in 2019, according to IDC.

Read: Half of the Millennial Shoppers are Better Connected than Retail Associates

5. Cloud Computing

Due to mobile devices’ low throughput, high latency, and inconsistent connectivity, cloud applications are often watered down in terms of features and functionality.

With 5G, mobile apps could become more sophisticated than ever before – the technology could make it easier for mobile devices to communicate in real-time with a central server.

The technology’s ultra-low latency and high throughput would also allow the cloud computing experience to rival corporate LAN connectivity to desktops.

Download The Realities of Creating a 5G-Ready World

Read: Multiparty Network Cloud Platforms Questions & Answers

6. Military

Communication is key when it comes to military strategies.

Real-time data collection and transmission to devices within communication networks are crucial, and 5G technology could minimize the speed of data transmission.

Enhanced connectivity could minimize confusion and delay while relaying information in a life-threatening situation in the field.

This could help prevent injuries and deaths in war zones.

5G technology will be important in military supply chain upkeep, as well.

Better data collection on material usage can help with future military budgeting by providing a clearer understanding of spending and resources.

Read: Enhancing Military Logistics and Supply Chains with the Internet of Things Sensor Integration

7. Education

5G has the potential to transform how children and adults are educated, including executive education programs.

As 5G paves the way to better AR/VR experiences, teachers could use these technologies in a variety of new education techniques. For example, students could go on virtual field trips around the world, from the Egyptian pyramids to the Great Wall of China.

AR/VR educational platforms provide a number of benefits over traditional educational methods, including cost-effectiveness, lower risks, and increased retention. A study conducted by Next Galaxy Corp and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital found that medical personnel retained as much as 80% of the course material after being trained with VR, compared to retaining only 20% of information from a traditional training session.

For students in high-risk fields such as medicine and aviation, these VR learning experiences could prove to be especially useful.

Read: Positive Human-Robot Relationships Will Power the Future Supply Chain Workforce

The 5G Timeline

As reported by Quartz, there’s been a great deal of speculation about the global race to achieve mainstream 5G. Today, AT&T is on pace to turn that buzz into reality in the US. In fact, 5G is already being deployed with encouraging preliminary results in parts of some major US cities.

AT&T is committed to helping establish the framework for the connected American cities of the future. With the gears of connectivity already in motion, 2019 promises to be a year of continued growth and forward momentum for 5G.

Download the White Paper: The Realities of Creating a 5G-Ready World

Source CB Insights: 5G & The Future Of Connectivity: 20 Industries The Tech Could Transform

Related Article: The Evolution of In-Vehicle Management & Logistics Systems

The Evolution of In-Vehicle Management & Logistics Systems

Related Resources

Download the White Paper

Stability, Flexibility, Ease of Use, In-Vehicle Management & Logistics SystemNew!
This case study paper details how Advantech-DLoG helped build the required high-quality in-vehicle management systems for SPAR, one of the leading manufacturers in the European logistics industry.Download Now!


Download the White Paper

The Unbreakable Chain: A Look at Uninterrupted Cold Chain Management at Hypermarket Scale New!
This tech brief details how an international hypermarket chain introduced Advantech’s Cold Chain Management Solution practices for monitoring frozen/refrigerated food product safety.Download Now!


Download the Paper

Cold Storage “Last Mile” Logistics
This white paper describes how to profit from cold storage ‘last mile’ logistics business benefits including lowers operating costs, reducing system downtime and interruptions, increasing productivity, greater product longevity, improved data integrity and inventory management. Download Now!


Download the Paper

Supply Chain Transformation Relies on Technology Deployment
This whitepaper shows industry survey results from adopters in supply chain management and offers insights on ROI for supply chain investment, the data offers a comparison to your own status and stacks it against transformation trends. Download Now!


More Advantech Resources

Article Topics Trends  Technology  Mobile & Wireless 5G Internet of Things All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

 Latest Technology NewsBureau of Labor Statistics Report Downplays Impact and Severity of Truck Driver ShortageMarch 22, 2019 ·         A recent report issued by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics questions if the driver shortage is as bad as it purported to be within industry circles.
Slowing International Conditions and Weaker Global Trade Growth Impacts FedEx Third-Quarter ResultsMarch 20, 2019 ·         Freight transportation and logistics services company FedEx Corp missed analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit and cut its full-year earnings per share forecast for the second time, citing weaker global…
2019 Outlook for Parcel ShippingMarch 19, 2019 ·         Consumers will Continue to expect fast, reliable delivery.
What is “Skinny Dipping” in Logistics Negotiations?March 15, 2019 ·         “Collaborative contracts start with collaborative behavior in negotiations – and these negotiations start with full disclosure.”
 More Technology

24|7 Pro Team Picks

2019 Outlook for Parcel ShippingThe Role of Software in Optimizing AutoStore PerformanceWhat is “Skinny Dipping” in Logistics Negotiations?Automating Transportation Procurement Leads to Sustained Savings for Carriers, Shippers and 3PLsPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

Kuebix provides a transportation management system (TMS) built on the latest cloud technology that is changing how companies purchase and manage freight. The…

The Art of the Inbound: 11 Ways to Improve Your Inbound Shipping OperationsThis ebook provides a guide to benchmark your company against best practices in the transportation and shipping industry and helps to put together…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsUnpacking Sourcing Business Models: 21st Century Solutions for…This white paper is a collaborative effort among the University of Tennessee, the Sourcing…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
Lucas Systems

Lucas Systems provides mobile work execution solutions and voice-directed mobile…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

0 Continue Reading →

The Role of Software in Optimizing AutoStore Performance

March 18, 2019 · By Andreas Compeer 

Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems

Automated storage and retrieval systems deliver extremely dense storage, improve productivity by supporting goods-to-person (or robot) picking, and deliver outstanding flexibility through its modular architecture.

But not every AutoStore user gets the same value out of their system.

The software that controls AutoStore makes a difference.

Here are six ways the right software can help you get the most out of AutoStore.

Extensibility

Most AutoStore control software operates as a stand-alone system outside of the primary WMS.

This can limit the ability to fully integrate AutoStore with other warehouse systems and processes and force operators to continually adapt to different user interfaces depending on what system they are supporting.

By contrast, the AutoStore Director in the SynQ WMS functions as a module within the SynQ platform.

This provides the flexibility to implement the module as a standalone control system that integrates with an existing WMS or to use SynQ as the primary WMS with AutoStore Director operating within the larger platform.

The latter option is often the best for applications where AutoStore is supporting other warehouse processes as it creates tighter integration across those processes, eliminates the need to integrate various warehouse software platforms and ensures end-to-end product visibility.

Versatility

Different AutoStore applications require different workstation configurations and not all AutoStore software is versatile enough to accommodate special business for pick-and-pass, pick-and-pack or all-in-one.

The architecture of SynQ allows for a multitude of workstation setups as well as the ability to connect conveyor systems to AutoStore to move products downstream for picking, packing and shipping.

SynQ also provides the versatility for an operator to change the bin layout or for example, switch between picking, put-away or cycle counting on the fly.

In addition, Swisslog has the expertise in house to extend AutoStore Director further, whenever required by your business.

Manageability

Warehouse control software can play a key role in AutoStore management.

For example, SynQ offers a 3D Visualizer for AutoStore that provides an overview of the system at any point in time.

SynQ also makes it easy to add business intelligence tools, such as Cockpit Manager, which provides a dashboard view of KPIs, and Availability Manager, which monitors system health.

AutoStore Automated Storage and Picking System

Performance Optimization

Optimizing the performance of AutoStore requires the ability to balance loads across workstations to maximize picks per workstation and overall system throughput. SynQ includes smart algorithms and strategies, honed over more than 130 AutoStore implementations, to intelligently orchestrate bin delivery to balance capacity and support just-in-time picking for operators picking multiple orders.  

Usability

Operators should receive exactly the information they need to pick accurately and quickly and nothing more. And, when operator interfaces are standardized across various warehouse systems training requirements are reduced, workforce flexibility increases, and operator efficiency is improved.

Because the SynQ platform supports multiple warehouse control modules, it enables the use of a universal user interface across the warehouse. Swisslog’s experience supporting AutoStore has also resulted in optimized AutoStore user interfaces that deliver exactly what operators need to pick quickly and accurately.

Support for Emerging Technologies

Item-picking robots represent an important part of the future of AutoStore. However, integrating robotic picking into an AutoStore system presents challenges from a software perspective. Processes such as cubing, order allocation, workload balancing and exception handling all need to be updated to leverage this technology. The SynQ AutoStore Director module is the first AutoStore control software to integrate robot item picking capabilities.

AutoStore continues to gain traction in the market by delivering high-density storage, outstanding application flexibility, and unrivaled reliability. But experience matters, both in how the system is configured and in the maturity of the software that controls it.

Related White Paper

Download the Paper

Optimizing Performance of the AutoStore Goods-to-Person Storage System
AutoStore continues to gain traction in the market by delivering high-density storage, outstanding application flexibility and unrivalled reliability. Download Now!

Article Topics Best Practices  Warehouse|DC  Automation Automated Storage and Retrieval System PickingSoftware Warehouse Management Systems All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

 Latest Warehouse|DC NewsSmart, Digitized Sorting and Tracking Ensures Success of Your OperationsMarch 11, 2019 ·         For all the strategy that goes into E-commerce success, ultimately it comes down to moving the right items and packages to customers quickly and efficiently.
Supply Chain Management Interest for a Cloud-Based Warehouse Management System on the RiseMarch 10, 2019 ·         The benefits of a Warehouse Management System in the cloud solves the challenges of a traditional WMS by moving the implementation, maintenance, and use of a WMS from an on-premise solution to web-based…
Take Your Business Global With a Warehouse Management SystemMarch 6, 2019 ·         A global business needs software that can meet global needs.
5 Ways to Increase Efficiency with a Warehouse Management SystemMarch 6, 2019 ·         Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an…
 More Warehouse|DC

24|7 Pro Team Picks

Automating Transportation Procurement Leads to Sustained Savings for Carriers, Shippers and 3PLsTaking a Look at Why Amazon Is Bringing Logistics In-HouseUS Transportation Secretary Launches Council to Support Emerging Transportation TechnologyIndustry Experts Discuss the Strategic Management of Ecommerce LogisticsPreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

With more than 1,300 customers worldwide, Logility is a leading provider of collaborative supply chain optimization and advanced retail planning solutions that…

Supply Chain: Your Brexit Competitive AdvantageAs the official notification for Brexit gets closer, there are many unknowns for businesses in terms of how changes may affect them as well as…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & DownloadsThe Impacts of e-Commerce: Fulfillment Challenges and Improvement…As labor shortages, costs and productivity challenges persist, many operators are introducing…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
Honeywell Intelligrated

Honeywell Intelligrated is a leading single-source provider of automated material…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

0 Continue Reading →

Industry Experts Discuss the Strategic Management of Ecommerce Logistics

March 12, 2019 · By Patrick Burnson · 

Ecommerce Logistics: Leverage New Thinking

The rapid growth of ecommerce is driving deep changes in logistics and transportation management, from tightening up trucking capacity to elevating the importance of final-mile delivery processes.

To respond, logistics managers now need to leverage diverse systems and new ways of thinking in an effort to improve carrier partnerships and increase speed and efficiency.

This month, Logistics Management rounds up three logistics and transportation thought leaders to share advice and suggest some tools that savvy managers can implement now in order to meet evolving requirements and shifting operational constraints.

Roundtable Participants:

Nick Vyas (pictured left), executive director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Jonathan Gold (pictured center), vice president of supply chain and Customs policy for the National Retail Federation.

Steve Osburn (pictured right), managing director at Kurt Salmon, a part of Accenture Strategy specializing in the supply chain.

Ecommerce Logistics Q&A

How is ecommerce changing the way we approach logistics/distribution network strategy?

Jonathan Gold: By eliminating the physical constraints of how much merchandise will fit into a physical store, ecommerce allows a retailer to offer a virtually unlimited selection of merchandise. However, by offering more merchandise, shippers are faced with more challenges. As retailers expand into options like selling products that are drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer or selling their products through third-party online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, the complexity is even greater. Delivery and opening the box also take on added importance.

Steve Osburn: Indeed, ecommerce customers in the United States are becoming increasingly demanding. A recent study from Accenture Strategy found that 62% of U.S. consumers expect orders – with free shipping – to arrive within three days. Many retailers are struggling to deliver on this expectation. Therefore, rethinking inventory placement is key to gaining a competitive advantage. Networks are shifting from one or two big central distribution centers to multiple distribution centers closer to the customer allowing goods to get to them faster – which is now a key differentiator.

Nick Vyas, executive director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California
“Historic tribal and domain knowledge will become obsolete and managers will have to adapt to new trends and drive network decisions in rapid ways to adapt to new environments”Nick Vyas, executive director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California

Nick Vyas: Both Jonathan and Steve make good points, but also consider this: The increased demand for ecommerce and omnichannel markets has created an immense focus on last-mile delivery. As high-density population growth in Tier 1 cities and vertical residential complexes challenges the delivery of parcels to individual units within large complexes, the importance of the last 100-feet has directly increased. This consumer-driven demand has made replenishment and dynamic visibility of inventory pivotal in new network design.

Any insight on how logistics networks will change in the coming years?

Vyas: What the micro/macro trends of emerging technology in supply chains show us are that artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, robotic process automation, and advanced robotics will play a crucial role in the supply chain. The data-driven intelligence will augment future supply chain leaders’ ability to make decisions and drive strategy for logistical decisions. Historic tribal and domain knowledge will become obsolete and managers will have to adapt to new trends and drive network decisions in rapid ways to adapt to new environments.

Gold: Focusing on delivery time, customer satisfaction and supply chain transparency are going to become increasingly important for retailers and brands. Our research has shown that customers not only want their online purchases delivered quickly but also insist on being able to track a package or know when it’s going to arrive.

Osburn: Agreed. Networks will become much more sophisticated. Retailers do not have enough inventory to get all SKUs close to the customer, so companies will have to differentiate SKUs by velocity and take a more thoughtful approach to distribution instead of keeping inventory all in one location.

Labor availability – from warehouse workers to truck drivers – will also continue to be an issue, driving companies to explore new technologies that enable automation. Furthermore, capacity constraints, particularly around the holidays, will continue to be a challenge. So, with all this said, logistics managers need to build flexibility into everything they do. The market is changing quickly, and networks cannot be the reason that prevents companies from keeping up.

How is ecommerce changing the way shippers approach carrier relationships?

Gold: The relationships and partnerships between shippers and carriers are becoming increasingly important. As previously noted, the ability to provide services including last-mile delivery is crucial.

Osburn: That’s right, Jon. Companies used to negotiate with shippers once every three years to five years where they would select a partner and manage the relationship. This ‘set it and forget it’ model is dead. Today, shippers need to constantly re-evaluate to ensure that the current set of partners they work with can deliver on the needs of the business and monitor projections and volumes by lane to ensure that there are no unexpected surprises.

There’s an enormous amount of talk around it, but how important is data and information to logistics professionals as they work to improve ecommerce delivery efficiency?

Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and Customs policy for the National Retail Federation
“The data is incredibly important to properly plan inventory and additional resource”Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and Customs policy for the NRF

Gold: Data collected through ecommerce sales is critical to help retailers plan their supply chains down to the customer level. The data is incredibly important to properly plan inventory and additional resources.

Vyas: There’s no doubt that advanced data analytics models along with predictive and prescriptive algorithms are capable of assisting resource requirements much ahead of actual demand. The challenge for ecommerce lies in the capture, synthesis, and management of the vast forms of data required to synchronize and draw various informed decisions.

Osburn: I couldn’t agree more. Data analytics, predictive technologies and increased communication up and down the chain are key. Not just within the shipper’s company, but with the shipper’s partners as well. Today and tomorrow, accurate projections are the key to success.

Now, let’s look at the downside. What are the major risks for logistics managers embracing an ecommerce strategy?

Osburn: Inflexibility is a major risk in ecommerce. There are so many unknowns because the customer is now the true driver of the workload, and flexibility is the real key to success. Companies need flexible networks that can rise to meet the high demand, but still, process low demand economically as well as a flexible workforce – something that’s becoming harder to achieve in a demand-driven environment.

Vyas: Ecommerce is so new, and we need to keep in mind that the Internet itself is nascent compared to the age-old trade systems of the past. Very little oversight from regulatory agencies has been applied, thus resulting in minimal restriction for large players. It has also become difficult for new players to viably compete in the ecommerce market due to barriers of entry. This trend will continue unless regulatory bodies or government intervention were to restrict the growth of monopoly of the market.

How is ecommerce changing the way logistics managers need to apply software and technology?

Osburn: The bottom line is simple: Technology is the glue that holds the ecommerce logistics network together. Having integrated systems is important for shippers and their partners, as is predictive technologies that can help preempt demand and returns and improve the preparedness of a company.

Has technology reached a level of maturity that certain key players such as ocean shippers, industry clearinghouses and public-private partnerships will step up and fully optimize the tools available to them?

Osburn: Yes, and there will be big rewards for those that step up. However, many of these companies are operating at full capacity and running at full speed just to keep up with current business demand. This leaves a gap for new players to develop solutions that can help solve problems that shippers are not currently focused on.

teve Osburn, managing director at Kurt Salmon, a part of Accenture Strategy specializing in the supply chain
“Tracking productivity per worker is not a new thing in the industry, but with the increased investment in automation, there’s certainly renewed focus from logistics operations”Steve Osburn, managing director at Kurt Salmon

Gold: Indeed, we’re seeing technology continuing to evolve with ecommerce. It’s important that all players in the field work together to develop seamless and interoperable standards that will work across many different platforms.

Vyas: In many instances, we’re seeing new collaborations start up between ocean players and tech, like recent announcements by IBM and Maersk and GE and the Port of Los Angeles. These are important collaborations that will drive the next generation of data visibility and integration in the supply chain. Partnerships are a low-cost way to decrease barriers of entry for organizations and companies to enter the world of technology investments and developments.

How has the growth of ecommerce affected how the market manages labor?

Gold: Finding the right labor workforce has always been a challenge for retailers, and especially so right now in time with some of the lowest unemployment levels we’ve seen in decades. Ecommerce is certainly in a similar situation as far as the needed skillset for a continually expanding workforce.

Osburn: And because the labor challenge has been present for a few years now, this is driving the need for distribution center automation. Logistics operations also have to get more creative with their hiring and retention strategies and policies.

Will logistics managers start tracking productivity per worker in order to ensure ROI for new technology and worker investments?

Osburn: Tracking productivity per worker is not a new thing in the industry, but with the increased investment in automation, there’s certainly renewed focus from logistics operations. Activities such as training time required, machine downtime and shift ramp-up/ramp-down inside warehouse and DC operation are being managed much more closely.

Vyas: As Steve mentions, productivity tracking has already been in place for decades. New emergent technology and tracking activity software aim to further trace data increments to granular levels for productivity and quality of automatic processing. However, the ROI on new productivity tracking may be blue sky potential, because logistics operations face many more intrinsic problems such as seasonal labor.

As we wrap up, any thoughts about a sudden surge in ecommerce demand?

Vyas: Yes, and glad we’re ending this discussion with this question. During peak season, shippers become heavily reliant on seasonal labor, most of which is not well-trained or invested in the organization – thus high turnover and lack of morale become the linchpin of the shipper’s human resources dilemmas.

Though seasonal laborers do their best in each given situation, the workforce is untrained. Therefore, even if with sophisticated productivity tracking systems, they both have nothing to lose and very little to gain. Even if technology becomes more robust, the seasonality of demand creates a conundrum for itself.

Related: Ecommerce Logistics Leader Series, part 1 of 2 Navigating Ecommerce with Your Existing Supply Chain Relationships & Capabilities

Navigating Ecommerce with Your Existing Supply Chain Relationships & Capabilities

Related Resources

Download the Paper

Ecommerce Logistics Leader Series New!
Co-written by Adrian Gonzalez and Mike Glodziak, this ecommerce logistics leader series describes how you can get to market faster, by leveraging your existing network, resources, and relationships to their fullest potential as well as how you can use logistics as a competitive weapon. Download Now!


Download the Paper

International Transportation: Price Matters, But At What Cost?
This ebook is a comprehensive guide to international transportation, that will help logistics managers better evaluate and plan their; supply chain strategy, logistics infrastructure, and risk mitigation strategy. Download Now!


Download the Guide

Keeping Up with the Retail Consumer
6 supply chain disciplines retailers must master – developed by Adrian Gonzalez, founder and president of Adelante SCM and LEGACY Supply Chain Services, with a foreword from Rick Blasgen, president and CEO, CSCMP. Download Now!


Download the Paper

Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse
The Rapid Performance Evaluation identifies opportunities and potential improvements in every aspect of warehouse operations; performance, productivity, service, quality, and systems. Download Now!


Download the Paper

Creating Superior Customer Experiences through an Optimized Supply Chain
This paper describes in detail the Jagged Peak ACES model and how it can be used as a methodology for measuring each element of the order lifecycle and its impact on customer experience. Download Now!


Download the Paper

Why Outsource Your Direct-to-Customer eCommerce Channel?
To better focus on their core competencies, more and more manufacturers recognize that outsourcing is an effective and economical way to manage their direct-to-customer (D2C) eCommerce channel. Download Now!


More LEGACY Supply Chain Services Resources

Article Topics Best Practices  Transportation  Transportation Management Ecommerce Omnichannel Retail All topics

Comments Be the first to post a comment. 
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Reviewmagazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at pburnson@peerlessmedia.com. Latest Transportation News4 Signs you Need a Transportation Management System for Parcel ShippingMarch 11, 2019 ·         A TMS can help you improve parcel shipping while controlling your costs.
2019 Outlook for Parcel ShippingMarch 7, 2019 ·         Consumers will Continue to expect fast, reliable delivery.
Simplifying Product Returns for Retailers, Etailers, and Consumers Using SEKO Logistics’ OmniReturnsMarch 6, 2019 ·         Chicago-based third-party logistics provider SEKO Logistics has launched a new OmniReturns service that improves cost and visibility for online etailers and retailers and aims to encourage satisfied consumers…
C.H. Robinson’s Acquisition of The Space Group Helps Boost its Global Forwarding ExpansionMarch 5, 2019 ·         C.H. Robinson continues to expand its global network with its announcement of the acquisition of The Space Cargo Group, a leading provider of international freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and other…
 More Transportation

24|7 Pro Team Picks

UPS Freight President Rich McArdle Discusses LTL Pricing, Regulations, Transportation InfrastructureDaylight Transport Sees Network Investment and Less-Than-Truckload Technologies as Keys to SuccessRetailers Urge Congress to Pass Tariff Relief Legislation | Tariffs Cost US $2.7 Billion per MonthEcommerce & Logistics Firms Dominate Largest Warehouse Deals in 2018PreviousNext

NextGen Supply Chain Conference

Attend the premier educational conference that answers the question “What’s next in supply chain management?” NGSC is dedicated to preparing executives for the coming technologies that will have the most transformative effects on business. Learn more or register.This year’s
conference focuses onRoboticsArtificial
IntelligenceBig DataSave
the date!April 16-17at the landmark
Chicago Athletic Associationin Chicago

24|7 Company Profiles

Nulogy’s cloud-based Agile Customization Platform allows consumer brands to respond with ease and speed to a volatile retail and consumer environment while…

Building Strategic Partnerships Across North AmericaMenasha chose Nulogy’s Agile Customization Platform to standardize its operations and replace the differing systems being used across multiple…PreviousNext

24|7 Resources

Research & Downloads2018 Women in Supply Chain SurveyAWESOME and Gartner, have collaborated on research that sheds light on and tracks progress…

Special CoverageSpecial:
Autonomous Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles have great potential for improving existing, high-demand transportation services, moving everything from passengers to packages. While most attention is focused on cars and…

Company ProfilesCompany Profile:
Honeywell Intelligrated

Honeywell Intelligrated is a leading single-source provider of automated material…

Photos & MediaSATO Launches Next-gen IoT Mobile PrinterNew rugged mobile combines high speed and expandability optimized for retail, logistics and more.

0 Continue Reading →

 

Recent Comments by yamilfalcon

    No comments by yamilfalcon