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Category Archives: Warehousing

The Difference between a Traditional Warehouse and an OmniChannel Warehouse

What Is an Omnichannel Warehouse?

An omnichannel warehouse is different from a traditional warehouse in that it handles incoming orders from online, brick-and-mortar, and all other possible channels.

Let’s take a closer look at omnichannel warehouses, why they’re necessary, and how they impact warehouse management and operations.

The Problem: Single Ecommerce Warehouses Cannot Handle All Orders

Part of the reason warehouses continue operating as traditional, single-channel warehouses, lies in the lackluster use of warehouse management technology.

In omnichannel supply chains, orders come in from all directions, including in-store orders, replenishment for existing stores, ecommerce orders, and even the occasional customer service-assisted orders.

In the age of Amazon, handling all e-commerce orders in a single warehouse is impractical, and it will result in lost opportunities.

Streamlining returns is an integral part of developing an omnichannel warehouse, and, with up to 30% of all e-commerce purchases returned, reports Business2Community, warehouse managers must include returns capabilities in existing warehouses.

This reduces logistics spending, but in standard warehouses, this also implies a 30% increase in workload without a corresponding increase in revenue.

Therefore, an omnichannel warehouse is the only solution.

The Solution: Converting All Warehouses to Omnichannel Warehouses Is Key

Staying competitive with Amazon is already difficult, as Amazon has an advanced, dedicated plethora of systems that speed order processing, picking and pulling, packing, and shipping.

Even though the company brick-and-mortar shopping centers are in infancy, simply being able to receive items at an Amazon pickup location makes Amazon a go-to preference for millions of customers.

Amazon’s abilities lie in its dedication to developing technologies and processes that expand shipping options while moving product faster.

According to Datex, operating an omnichannel warehouse requires, at a minimum, an integrated warehouse management system, an order management system, a package optimization system, and a variable shipping rate shopping tool, such as a dedicated transportation management system.

Warehouse managers should begin the process by converting all existing warehouse and distribution centers into omnichannel warehouses.

Furthermore, storefronts can be used as an additional means of order fulfillment, taking advantage of shelf products to reduce the distance between customers and order fulfillment centers.

The Reward: Operating Multiple Omnichannel Warehouses Offers Key Advantages

Companies have multiple warehouses in operation, and even storefronts can be used as mini-warehouses for the purposes of fulfilling more orders.

Additional advantages of embracing an enterprise-wide adoption of omnichannel warehouses include:

  1. Reduced delivery times, enabling competition with Amazon and Walmart, which are offering free, two-day, next-day or even same-day shipping options on certain purchases.
  2. Better collaboration between storese-commerce and order fulfillment.
  3. Expanded shipping options, such as click and collect delivery options, as explained by Olivia Riant of Generix Group.
  4. Greater variety of products, offering to customers more options and requiring greater attention to detail in warehouse management.
  5. Improved order accuracy through integration, improving perfect order percentages and boosting brand value.

Move Toward Omnichannel Warehouses to Stay Competitive

The days of an ecommerce-dedicated warehouse are over. Warehouse managers must understand the necessity of new systems and processes to create omnichannel warehouses, with the added benefits listed above.

About the Author

Jason Rosing is the founding partner of Veridian; a valued Manhattan Associates partner and technology leader specializing in user-friendly, robust and flexible automated testing and configuration management solutions designed to meet the ever-changing challenges of the omnichannel landscape.

Related: 9 Attributes Redefining the Warehouse of the Future

Related White Paper

Download Omnichannel Logistics Leaders: Top 5 Inventory Insights

How Shippers Can Compete in an Ecommerce Logistics Driven Shipping Environment
Understanding ecommerce shipping and logistics are essential to success in the modern era, this white paper details what it takes for shippers in all surface modes to compete and succeed in today’s ecommerce logistics driven shipping environment. Download Now!


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Top Supply Chain Trends that Will Impact Supply Chain Management in 2018
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It’s Almost October and the Holiday Hiring Has Arrived for the Transportation & Logistics Sector

The Holiday Hiring Season

The time for holiday hiring has arrived, with three of the biggest households in the freight transportation and logistics sectors-UPSFedEx, and XPO Logistics, each making announcements to that effect over the last few days.

The need for extra help, in form of staffing, is not a new, or novel, approach by any stretch of the imagination.

Instead, it is something that is required and needed, in order to keep up with the heightened demand that this new age of e-commerceand related last-mile logistics efforts, brings with it.

And when you factor in the holidays, well, it becomes quickly apparent that every one of these additional hires, even if temporary for the most part, are truly needed and serve as vital cogs in the fulfillment, distribution, warehousing, and delivery processes for each of these three companies.

Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO Logistics said it plans to hire 8,000 North American-based logistics staffers for the peak holiday season.

This looks to be a good decision at a good time, as the company said that its retail logistics volume through August is up around 20% compared to 2017, with the gains paced by consumer-demand for e-commerce and omnichannel retail fulfillment.

“We’re ramping up for the holiday season and another significant increase in e-commerce activity,” said Troy Cooper, XPO president, in a statement.

“We expect to add 8,000 seasonal jobs before November – a significant increase over last year’s holiday hiring. Our modern warehouses are filled with automation that is an attractive choice for workers and helps us to be as productive as possible for our customers.”

UPS, as usual, announced a significant seasonal staffing increase, with an expected 100,000 seasonal staffers to support what it described as its anticipated package volume increase from November through next January.

Big Brown said these seasonal positions are both full- and part-time, mainly for package handlers, drivers, and driver-helpers.

What’s more, it noted that these seasonal roles have long served as a springboard to full-time employment, as was as the case for UPS CEO David Abney and other senior UPS executives as well. UPS also said that over the last three years, 35% of the seasonal staffers it brought on became full-time staffers once the holiday season wrapped up.

“Every year, we deliver the holidays for millions of customers,” said Jim Barber, UPS chief operating officer, in a statement.

Jim Barber, UPS Chief Operating Officer

“Every year, we deliver the holidays for millions of customers”Jim Barber, UPS COO

“In order to make that happen, we also deliver thousands of great seasonal jobs at our facilities across the country.”

Lastly, when announcing the move for its FedEx Ground subsidiary to up its U.S. operations to six days a week, Memphis-based FedEx announced it plans to increase hours for some existing staffers and hire roughly 55,000 positions for the holiday season.

It also noted that FedEx Ground again plans to run six- and seven-day operations through the holiday season and also continue six-day operations throughout its U.S. network on a year-round basis.

FedEx said it expects a record influx of volume for this year’s holiday season and beyond, too, due to (you guessed it) increasing e-commerce demand. And FedEx made it clear that the rise in demand for e-commerce goes beyond peak, observing it is a “year-round phenomenon” and FedEx is prepared to meet that demand.

No matter how these companies word it, the fact remains that more e-commerce activity means more package volume, which means more staffers are needed to fill.

While unemployment is low, it stands to reason that these seasonal jobs may not be as easy to fill as they may have been in the past. But the opportunities are there, to be sure, and as in the case of UPS CEO Abney can potentially open the door to a bright future in the logistics field.

Buoyed by decent economic fundamentals and people shopping more than ever from the “virtual mall,” it is clear this is more than a trend and has been that way for more than a while, too. That will likely play out in the form of growing package volumes and the constant need for seasonal help.

6 Ways Companies Can Ready Their Supply Chains for the Holidays

“Because of the rise in the number of e-commerce orders during the holiday season, there is a big increase in transportation requirements for everything from last-mile packages delivered to a consumer’s home to inbound shipments coming into a distribution center,” said Dan Clark, Founder and President of Kuebix.

Read: It’s Almost October – Time To Get Ready For the Holidays!

  1. Give customers visibility to their orders. Using technology, retailers can provide Amazon-like experiences by tracking shipments in real-time and alerting customers if orders will be delayed. Carriers can house shipment information letting suppliers and customers know where their goods are and when to expect them to arrive at the next destination. With complete visibility, businesses can get more details on bottlenecks or specific incidents if there is an issue such as product damage or late delivery.
  2. Prepare to use the spot market to make up for excess demand not covered by carriers. Shippers can leverage their negotiated rates from their existing carrier relationships, and compare the full depth of market pricing across the spot bidding marketplace to find the best rates for the best service or to find the extra capacity to meet excess demand.
  3. Get more rates by connecting with more carriers. Connect to a global community with thousands of carriers, then compare all their rates side-by-side and choose the best carrier for each shipment, leading to substantial cost savings and better customer service.
  4. Get products as local to customers as possible. Many retailers are acquiring new, smaller warehouse space closer to their customers to shorten delivery times and journeys. Also, orders can be fulfilled from storefronts with end-to-end visibility of inventory. The shorter the distance from where inventory resides to the end customer, the faster the delivery and the lower the cost.
  5. Integrate internal systems like ERPs with transportation management platforms. The ability to integrate purchase orders automatically from an ERP system directly into the TMS cuts out paperwork and admin hours. Since the integration is two-way, shipment data is populated back into the ERP system for record-keeping and to provide stakeholders with complete visibility. This enables information down to the SKU level to be leveraged in claims management, meaning the shipper always has the information they need to protect their company’s interests. Shippers can also better understand the true landed cost of goods to make smarter decisions regarding their company’s bottom line when they integrate purchase orders directly from an ERP system.
  6. Get a TMS or replace legacy TMS platforms. Look for a TMS system that is modular and scalable so that it can expand as needs change during the busy holiday season. A cloud-based platform means faster implementation before the busy season and will have lower support costs. Actionable analytics from the TMS will help businesses make smarter shipping decisions and foster continuous improvements ahead of the holidays to ensure the supply chain is fully optimized.

“Black Friday, Cyber Monday and numerous holiday promotions all add to the huge spike in demand. Shippers need to keep operations flowing and use tools to handle the upsurge while keeping customers satisfied” said Clark.

Getting ready for the demand spikes imminent with the holiday season will keep businesses on track to meet customer expectations. Rising demand during the holiday season will ‘make or break’ businesses; a little preparation will separate those with winning strategies from those without.

Source: Kuebix

 

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The Art of the Inbound: 11 Ways to Improve Your Inbound Shipping Operations
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The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Transportation Management Systems
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Effectively Managing Big Data in Your Supply Chain
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FedEx Joins Hyperledger Blockchain Hub, ‘Big Implications’ for Logistics Delivery Efficiency

FedEx & Hyperledger

According to a press release published September 26, and as reported by FreightWaves, FedEx the giant US courier company, proactive adopter of blockchain technology and Blockchain in Transport Alliance BiTA member, has joined Linux hosted open-source project Hyperledger to further advance the use of distributed ledger in logistics and transportation.

Hyperledger, which was started in December 2015 by The Linux Foundation and now has 270 members, was set up to enable member organizations to build blockchain-based industry-grade applications, platforms and hardware systems in the context of their individual business transactions.

FedEx Proactive Blockchain Adopter

Fred Smith, FedEx CEO said earlier in the year he believes that blockchain is the “next frontier” for global supply chains.

In February this year, FedEx joined BiTA, and Dale Chrystie told FreightWaves:

“We want to work on developing common standards around blockchain technology in the transportation industry, and we continually try to enhance the customer’s experience, and blockchain is tied to that.”

Kevin Humphries, Senior Vice President of IT at FedEx Services told Cointelegraph.com that blockchain technology has ‘big implications’ for supply chains, logistics, and transportation.

Distributed Ledger Technology

Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf has previously stated that distributed ledger technology (DLT) will diminish the power of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. In today’s press release he said:

“We are gaining traction around the world in market segments from finance to healthcare and government to logistics. This growth and diversity is a signal of the increasing recognition of the strategic value of enterprise blockchain and commitment to the adoption and development of open source frameworks to drive new business models.”

Hyperledger is a multi-project, multi-stakeholder effort that includes 10 business blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Hyperledger enables organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms, and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger frameworks and code bases.

The latest general members to join the community are: BetaBlocks, Blockchain Educators, Cardstack, Constellation Labs, Elemential Labs, FedEx, Honeywell International Inc., KoreConX, Northstar Venture Technologies, Peer Ledger, Syncsort and Wanchain.

Blockchain Meets Supply Chain

Blockchain, the technology for crypto-currencies, may soon start to have supply chain benefits in areas like tracking fresh foods. Because Blockchain uses distributed ledger technology, which can store transactions among many trading partners in a secure, immutable way that’s easy to view for authorized partners – giving it the potential for chain of custody over the movement of goods.

According to a survey last fall of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) from Penske LogisticsInfosys Consulting and talent advisory firm Korn Ferry, 30% of 3PLs and 16% of shippers see blockchain as having potential supply chain application. Shanton Wilcox, a partner with Infosys Consulting, says traceability of goods such as fresh foods, high-value items, or items subject to the risk of counterfeiting, are likely applications.

Late last year, IBM, Walmart, and Chinese retailer JD.com launched a Blockchain Food Safety Alliancecollaboration to improve food tracking and safety in China. Additionally, IBM and Maersk are working on a joint venture to apply blockchain to global trade, while the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) is working on blockchain standards for the freight industry.

Read the Article: Is Blockchain in the Supply Chain Coming of Age?

Wilcox estimates that it will be 24 to 36 months, however, before blockchain starts being used by supply chains. First, says Wilcox, pilots need to prove out the value, and consensus needs to be reached about what type of data will be shared – as well as the tricky issue of who will pay for storing data.

“Once a major company and its supply base gets operational with blockchain, or it starts to happen within a product category, companies can use that as a template, and that will propagate the momentum.”

Supply chains need to assess whether blockchain is a better way of controlling chain of custody versus more established technologies like bar codes and messaging between systems, Wilcox acknowledges. However, he contends that it promises value to extended supply chain networks because there’s no integration to iron out between systems.

Related: Unlocking Blockchain’s Potential in Your Supply Chain

Unlocking Blockchain’s Potential in Your Supply Chain

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Ecommerce Continues to Focus on Omnichannel Supply Chain Strategies: Demands Continuous Improvement

Omnichannel Supply Chains

Omnichannel supply chains are increasing in complexity and prevalence and for a very good reason.

Omnichannel customers have a tendency to spend more than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, explains Digital Commerce 360, making them an ideal way for retailers to stay competitive and reach more customers.

As 2018 progresses, Warehouse Managers need to understand the risk of not going omnichannel, why demand is increasing, and a few tips to meet such demands.

Warehouse Managers Avoiding Omnichannel Supply Chain Strategies Will Lose Competitive Ground

Competitive advantage is based on the ability of companies to offer products or services at reasonable, competitive prices.

Although pricing plays a big part, it also depends on the ability to offer unique services.

Today, more than half of the nation’s 140 retail chains in the top 500 offer omnichannel shipping and pickup options, and 72.1 percent of retail chains offer in-store returns of merchandise purchased online. Those that do not offer these options will lose competitive ground.

Demand for E-Commerce and Integration of Supply Chains Will Continue to Dominate 2018

As explained by Derek O’Carroll of Multichannel Merchant, some driving forces behind the demand for omnichannel supply chains include:

  • The creation of social storefronts.
  • Increased speed in warehouses.
  • Adoption of real-time commerce technologies.
  • Use of automated technologies for omnichannel supply chains.

How to Prepare for Increasing Supply Chain Demands Throughout 2018

Warehouse Managers must embrace omnichannel supply chains and their associated technologies.

The easiest way to move toward an omnichannel strategy lies in following these tips:

  • Re-evaluate inventory-optimization techniques and systems.
  • Increase focus on returns’ management in omnichannel supply chains. According to Sender Shamiss of Forbes, processing returns remains one of the highest costs for such retailers, so aligning data and systems is key to keeping costs in check.
  • Automate warehouse and supply chain management systems.
  • Make your case to consumers.
  • Consider new ways to reduce shipping costs and risk, such as the new packaging suspension service Amazon is using, reports the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.
  • Integrate inbound and outbound logistics and supply chain management systems.

Put Your Organization on the Path to Success With a High Focus on Omnichannel Supply Chains

The remainder of 2018 will lead to big changes in supply chain management, and the role of omnichannel supply chains will increase.

The gradual encroachment of the Amazon Effect, as well as political issues, will force supply chain executives and leaders to rethink their strategies, including automating systems and implementing a strict policy of continuous improvement.

About the Author

Jason Rosing is the founding partner of Veridian; a valued Manhattan Associates partner and technology leader specializing in user-friendly, robust and flexible automated testing and configuration management solutions designed to meet the ever-changing challenges of the omnichannel landscape.

Related: Focusing Too Much on Ecommerce Shipping Practices? A Reminder Logistics Fundamentals Still Matter

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Predictive Analytics & Omnichannel Supply Chain Management

Predictive Analytics

Knowing what will happen in the future of omnichannel supply chain management would be fantastic, and it would eliminate all concerns over inventory location and customer shopping habits.

Clairvoyance is not possible, but the next best thing, predictive analytics with omnichannel supply chain management, is.

Warehouse Managers need to take a predictive analytics mindset in all decisions and focus on how they can understand the possible issues and outcomes that may or may not occur in the future, says Halo Business Intelligence.

The Problem: Predictive Analytics Can Involve Almost Any Issue

As explained by Bernard Marr of Forbes magazine, the possible application of predictive analytics can range from order fill rate improvements to monitoring adverse weather conditions.

The variety is what makes predictive analytics challenging in application.

Warehouse Managers may lack the resources to manage and use information gleaned from predictive analytics to achieve the best outcome.

Instead of focusing on hundreds of smaller issues, Warehouse Managers must use predictive analytics to focus on the big picture.

The Solution: Predictive Analytics Streamline All Practices in the Omnichannel Supply Chain

According to Dale McClung of Supply Chain Brief, predictive analytics are part of managed analytics.

Managed analytics allows for the identification of opportunities to create value for customers, optimize supply chain visibility, reduce spending, and boost performance.

Moreover, this information can be used to analyze the current “health” of omnichannel supply chain management, how it affects customer service, and when to expand or contract operations to provide the best possible experience for consumers.

In other words, predictive analytics provide the ultimate “what-if” scenario forecasting that is essential in a supply chain that bends in on itself, is comprised of countless channels and must work together to act as a single unit to the customer.

The Reward: How to Use Predictive Analytics to Boost Omnichannel Systems and Processes

To gain insights through predictive analytics in the omnichannel supply chain, Warehouse Managers must follow these steps:

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  1. Integrate systems.
  2. Track and measure performance.
  3. Use standard reporting to identify what happened.
  4. Quantify the issues.
  5. Drill down into the issue.
  6. Implement alerts to automatically notify others when issues occur.
  7. Determine what type of scenarios may help the situation.
  8. Identify what will happen if things continue unchecked.
  9. Recognize what will happen with different stimuli.
  10. Optimize the path toward a better outcome.
  11. Consider all possible locations, channels, and customers affected by a decision.
  12. Share information and insights with those affected.
  13. Automate the process.
  14. Use dashboarding to simplify reporting.
  15. Never lose focus, and repeat.

Predictive Analytics Will Build on Efficiencies and Save Big Money

Predictive analytics with omnichannel supply chain management make up one of the most in-demand topics in modern supply chain management.

However, predictive analytics only function when a thorough, integrated process for data collection, identification, and analysis exists.

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Top Supply Chain Challenges for Manufacturing Companies

The variety of products available through a growing number of distribution channels is truly amazing. Competition between brick and mortar and e-commerce retail channels, often within the same company, has led to a proliferation of products and services.

In fact, on a recent trip to a Nike store I explored the NIKEiD program they launched a few years ago that allows customers to customize their footwear. Once configured, your customized shoes are produced and delivered to your house in a matter of a couple of weeks.) I can’t wait to receive my Michigan State themed shoes – GO GREEN, GO WHITE.)

Delivery of ‘make to stock’ products to a home or business is now available within hours of making a purchase. A growing number of connected, smart devices that have the capability to anticipate the need for a product are available for purchase.

Consider the smart refrigerator that orders a gallon of milk based on the quantity of milk in the refrigerator and its average consumption. Consider the smart printer that orders replacement ink cartridges based on amount of ink remaining and an average use rate.

Furthermore, 3-D printers are becoming more common allowing companies and consumers to make their own products on-site. What’s next? Products beamed right into your house. Beam me up Scotty!!

Back to reality, today’s manufacturers face a long list of difficult supply chain challenges including increasing demand variability, inventory proliferation, manufacturing capacity constraints, increasing risks both nature and human based, more environmental compliance regulations, intense global competition, increasing customer expectations and a shortage of talent.

To survive in today’s highly competitive global environment, manufacturers need to piece together the many parts of the supply chain puzzle to lay the foundation for more mature capabilities in the future.

An estimated, 75% of available supply chain data originates from outside the ERP system. Complexity opens risks of miscommunication and disruptions, often from incorrect or incomplete data.

Clean and consistent data is required to harness the power of investments in analytics, digitization, optimization, machine learning, big data and other advanced supply chain capabilities. A supply chain Master Data Management (MDM) solution provides consistent, harmonized, standardized and actively managed data from across the extended supply chain.

Accurate demand forecasts lay the foundation for an effective supply chain. With greater forecast accuracy comes greater predictability ensuring downstream supply chain processes run smoother at less cost.

To be successful at demand planning requires an in-depth knowledge of your business, experience forecasting your products, and an advanced demand planning solution. Demand planning solutions use science to automatically apply a variety of forecasting methods in an unbiased way to create forecasts for all stages of a product’s life cycle.

Manufacturing facilities are pressed by market demand to provide greater product variety and shorter delivery times. Shifting to production lines that are more flexible and closer to customer demand helps produce a greater variety of products with shorter lead times with smaller batch sizes and more frequent change overs.

However, multi-plant sourcing and scheduling increases complexity and the need for enabling technology to develop an integrated plan for both aggregated levels of production and site level production to meet customer orders.

Eliminating excess and obsolete inventory is a priority for many manufacturers. Effective inventory reductions are best achieved by synchronizing demand forecasts, inventory quantities, and supply capacity throughout the extended enterprise. Multi-echelon inventory optimization replaces rules of thumb with science to optimize where and how much inventory should be held across the extended supply chain.

Many manufacturers find it extremely challenging to align supply capacity to variable demand, while meeting corporate objectives. Marketshare can be won or lost based on how well a company predicts and reacts to demand shifts. A well run Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process supported by an advanced IBP solution can mean the difference between success and failure. Companies that take a spreadsheet driven approach spend too much time manipulating data and not enough on value-adding activities.

Manufacturing supply chains have many moving parts, each with their own challenges and potentially conflicting objectives. Only a scalable, interoperable supply chain planning and optimization platform can ensure a company’s supply chain performance is optimized.

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Five Steps to Transform Your Consumer Goods Supply Chain

 

Today’s modern supply chains are multi-enterprise, starting with consumers, retailers, distributors; and flowing through an extended network of suppliers, contract manufacturers, and other third parties.

Successfully managing such supply chains requires visibility, planning, and execution across all trading partners.

Here are 5 steps to transform your extended supply chain into a competitive advantage:

1. Look beyond the enterprise and adopt analytics that uses real-time data

While traditional planning applications are restricted to mostly historical data from within the enterprise, current data from the extended supply chain – from retailers or distributors – contains critical information. Use it.

2. Automated algorithms are here to help

Automated algorithms enable the next step in supply chain performance through the systematic analysis of large amounts of data. It, therefore, frees professionals from mundane, low-value activities to focus on more strategic areas such as planning promotions or inventory policy decisions. Leverage technology to do more.

3. Connect logistics to S&OP

Finished goods are planned weeks or even months in advance yet shippers are the last to know, often finding out as orders cross their desks.

As a result, logistics is stuck in reactive mode, scrambling to secure capacity each day. New transportation forecasting algorithms can now predict logistics requirements that are synchronized with S&OP to ensure that everyone executes against the same plan.

4. Create healthy inventory across the entire supply chain

Managing inventory to support the business’ growth requires the simultaneous optimization of all echelons of the extended supply chain.

Removing unproductive inventory across the value chain frees millions in cash to invest in other parts of the business and lowers operating expenses by having the right product in the right place the first time.

5. Better serve customers by accurately sensing demand and connecting it to a timely supply response

Linking real-time demand with a timely supply response allows companies to commit with confidence and profitably capture growth opportunities in today’s volatile markets.

If your company is not already working on leveraging its extended supply chain, the time is now.

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End-to-End Supply Chain Connectivity and Integration
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Graph Blockchain Solutions Targets $15.5 Trillion Global Supply Chain Management Logistics Sector

August 23, 2018 · By 24/7 Staff ·

Blockchain Data Management & Global Logistics Market

With globalization and the increased consumption of various products worldwide, efficient supply chain management and the role of freight and logistics has become increasingly complex.

The global logistics market involves all activities of Supply Chain Management (“SCM”), including transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and the flow of information and order processing.

As previously published by Transparency Market Research, this market is estimated to reach US $15.5 Trillion by 2023.

Multi-national global logistics and freight companies such as FedEx, UPS, and Purolator have openly acknowledged their endorsement of blockchain technology, with all three joining the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA), noting that it will bring efficiencies to their industry through consistent, transparent and immutable data.

“We’re quite confident that blockchain has big, big implications in the supply chain, transportation, and logistics,” FedEx CEO Frederick Smith said at the Consensus 2018 conference.

On their company’s press release, Linda Weakland, UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation, said: “Blockchain has multiple applications in the logistics industry, especially related to supply chains, insurance, payments, audits and customs brokerage.”

Tied to global logistics, South Korea has one of the world’s highest e-commerce rates, however, they have lagged in keeping pace with warehouses and distribution centers. As such, as reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, there has been a wave of investment into high-specification logistics projects across the country, both by the South Korean government through incentives and into Korean logistics properties by institutional investors such as the Canada Pension Investment Board.

Graph Blockchain Solutions

With the growth of this sector as a tactical objective, Graph’s foray into the global logistics industry commenced with providing solutions to divisions of Samsung and LG corporations. Both companies are South Korean based multinational conglomerates, known to be the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones and smartphones, and the world’s second-largest television manufacturer, respectively.

By participating in the development of technology that could revolutionize logistics for multi-nationals, Graph has secured a solid position with the goal of becoming a leading solution provider in the sector, focusing on building a global logistics eco-system wherein the graph blockchain solution would reduce downtime by providing real-time monitoring, tracking and business intelligence analytics.

This will enable companies to realize cost savings by mitigating delays and minimizing the impact of lost goods due to cargo theft and fraud, while at the same time driving efficiencies across their SCM.

Most recently, building on the company’s new-found presence within the global logistics space, Graph announced a memorandum of understanding with the Korean Trade Organization, KTNET, a Korean government Agency, to develop a blockchain based electronic trade services platform. KTNET affects US $5.57 billion annually in trade and services and links 97,000 customers and trade-related organizations through its trade system. By integrating the benefits of blockchain technology with real-time insights and reporting tools, Graph’s data management platform is part of the continued improvement of trade processes by KTNET, and further establishes Graph’s capabilities to provide viable leading-edge blockchain solutions in the global trade services sector.

“While blockchain data management is commonly viewed as a nascent technology, the increasing demand to address efficiency issues in supply chain management clearly dictates the need for rapid adoption of blockchain solutions such as Graph’s. Our successful partnerships to date show that we are a trusted solutions provider, and granted how big these industries are set to grow, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Peter Kim, President and COO of Graph.

About Graph Blockchain Limited

Graph Blockchain is in the process of listing as a public company on the Canadian Securities Exchange, by way of a reverse-takeover, resulting in a pre-financing valuation of approximately $39 Million CAD (click here for more information). Graph was started as a joint venture formed between Datametrex and Bitnine, with the mandate to bring the value of Graph Database technology to the blockchain environment where there is a great need to enhance performance and present the verified and authenticated data in unique ways.

About Datametrex AI Limited

Datametrex AI Limited is a technology-focused company with exposure to four exciting verticals. Big Data, collecting data from the retail point of sales environments. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning through its wholly owned subsidiary, Nexalogy. Implementing Blockchain technology for secure Data Transfers through its joint venture company, Graph Blockchain. Industrial scale Cryptocurrency Mining through its wholly owned subsidiary, Ronin Blockchain Corp.

Related Article: UPS Blockchain Patent to Route Packages through International Supply Chains via Multiple Carriers

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US GDP Q2 Growth Highest in Almost 4 Years

July 27, 2018 · By Joana Taborda

Personal consumption expenditure (PCE) contributed 2.69 percentage points to growth (0.36 percentage points in the first quarter) and rose 4 percent (0.5 percent in the first quarter).

Spending of durable goods rebounded (9.3 percent compared to -2 percent) and rose faster for nondurable goods (4.2 percent compared to 0.1 percent) and services (3.1 percent compared to 1 percent).

Fixed investment added 0.94 percentage points to growth (1.34 percentage points in the first quarter) and increased 5.4 percent (8 percent in the first quarter).

Investment rose less for equipment (3.9 percent compared to 8.5 percent), intellectual property products (8.2 percent compared to 14.1 percent) and structures (13.3 percent compared to 13.9 percent) and continued to fall for residential (-1.1 percent compared to a -3.4 percent).

The contribution from private inventories was negative (-1 percent), compared to +0.27 in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, exports jumped 9.3 percent (3.6 percent in the previous quarter) and imports rose at a much slower pace (0.5 percent compared to 3 percent). As a result, the impact from trade was 1.06 percent, much better than -0.02 percent in the first quarter and the highest contribution since the last three months of 2013.

Government spending and investment added 0.37 percentage points to growth, slightly higher than 0.27 percentage points in the first quarter. It increased 2.1 percent, above 1.5 percent in the previous quarter.

GDP growth figures for the previous years were revised due to comprehensive updates of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs), which are carried out about every five years.

The updates incorporate newly available and more comprehensive source data, as well as improved estimation methodologies. The GDP growth for 2017 was revised slightly lower to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent.

Related: Tariffs Present Different Supply Chain Challenges for Shippers

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Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth

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C.H. Robinson CEO John Wiehoff Talks Transportation Trends

April 27, 2018 · By 24/7 Staff ·
John Wiehoff, CEO of C.H. Robinson, is one of the keynote speakers for the Connections 2018 supply chain conference, which will take place June 25-27 at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.

He recently spoke with SMC³, which has served as one of the 3PL’s long-time partners, about emerging technologies in the industry, unique supply chain opportunities, and how C.H. Robinson uses technology to optimize its business.

What are some of the major trends you’re currently seeing in the LTL marketplace?
Demand for LTL is higher than we’ve seen it in nearly 10 years. This shift is an especially significant change when paired with supply changes. Both manufacturing and e-commerce are extremely strong right now, and both have close ties to LTL.

Online orders are driving smaller shipments to the LTL space, not just in the final-mile area. Smaller orders are becoming more common for the middle mile – from one distribution center to another.

LTL capacity is tight because carriers have not added a significant amount of equipment to their fleets in recent years. But even if there was an influx of tractors, there aren’t enough drivers available.

Historically, the driver shortages that affected the truckload market remained mostly out of the LTL space, but even that is changing. Growth in other sectors that have a shared labor force with truck drivers means more LTL drivers are leaving for options that are more lucrative.

As LTL carriers look to be more productive, we are seeing them place a large emphasis on optimizing their networks. With the data, analytics, and tools like dimensionalizers available to them, LTL carriers are paying more attention to accepting the right freight in the right lanes at the right time. More isn’t absolutely better anymore.

How has the ELD mandate impacted the domestic transportation market?
Drivers are reaching their hours of service in shorter timeframes, especially given the tight capacity. Organized and efficient loading/unloading times will become even more important. Reducing driver wait time at either the origin or destination can have a significant impact in a driver’s hours of service.

Both carriers and shippers may rely more heavily on 3PLs. A 3PL can help identify and solve capacity shortages, handle potential rate increases and address other issues from the mandate.

John Wiehoff, CEO of C.H. Robinson

How does C.H. Robinson use new technology to optimize its business, and are there any emerging technologies that will be game changers for the supply chain industry?
We are using technology to reinvent what it means to be a leading 3PL for this industry, our customers, and carriers.

Our technology offering is at the center of what we do and is embedded in our services and solutions every day.

You can see the importance technology has within C.H. Robinson by the number of IT staff and investments we have made and continue to make – we’ve added more than 800 IT staff and invested over $1B in the last decade.

As our business grows – now to more than 120,000 customers who worked with us on more than 19 million global shipments last year – we increasingly rely on technology.

Technology backed by data is critical to the success of our business. As one of the largest 3PLs, we have arguably more first-party data than anyone else in the industry. But, that data doesn’t matter if we don’t use it to our and our customers’ (shippers and carriers) advantage.

That’s why we are continuing to invest in and build tools that leverage the amount of data we have available to us.

The Connections 2018 supply chain conference is perfectly positioned at the midpoint of the year, giving speakers a chance, to sum up, the first half of 2018. What themes have defined the first half of the year, and what will define the transportation market during the second half?
For the first half of the year, we saw efficiencies in utilizing capacity, as truckload utilization climbed to more than 95 percent, according to FTR Transportation Intelligence. At the same time, new trucks increasingly entered the market to replace retiring trucks.

For the second half, these factors will combine for a focus on hyper-efficiency and the most effective use of capacity. We’ll be able to see if the strong truck sales of the first half of the year will add capacity or primarily serve as replacement capacity. We’ll also be able to put our finger on the real effects of ELD.

How can shippers and 3PLs better position themselves to take advantage of supply chain opportunities in the marketplace?
As supply chains grow in both size and complexity, transportation management technology will be an important way for 3PLs to help shippers gain a competitive advantage and exceed their customers’ expectations. That’s why we are invested in delivering and implementing flexible, efficient and integrated technology solutions that connect all aspects of the supply chain.

Read: Transportation Management Systems Market 2018

It is not so much what changes are coming to the industry; it’s more important to focus on what the innovative supply chain of the future will look like and recognize that it will take people, processes, and technology to bring positive change.

Digitalization of supply chains is our opportunity to continue bringing technology to our customers and their supply chains that make them smarter and more efficient. The technology we are able to bring today and into the future has to go beyond freight matching to encompass the complexities of today’s and tomorrow’s supply chains.

An algorithm can do amazing things, but when a truck gets delayed or a delivery window changes, people are still able to provide the most effective solution.

To hear more from John Wiehoff and other industry experts, sign up today for the three-day supply chain conference Connections 2018 to learn about emerging trends, current challenges and new innovations in the supply chain.

Register here by April 30 to take advantage of early-bird pricing.

Raise Your Supply Chain IQ
Connections 2018 | June 25 – 27 | The Greenbrier, WV

Why Attend Connections 2018

To REGISTER for SMC³’s Connections 2018, visit www.smc3connections.com

Related Article: SMC³ Announces Connections 2018 Speaker Lineup

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