vn core pr 05302018Robotics, AI, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy all grab headlines and promise great things as we move into the next year. Some of the projects that are in play are truly remarkable in the ways they are expected to change how we do things. The supply chain runs in the background of consumer activities and is more complex than most people who aren’t involved with the supply chain imagine. But when issues slow the process of getting goods to their final destinations everyone has opinions about what should be done to make things better. Global delivery giant DHL has some ideas of their own that leverage its presence and the technology available.

logistics erpThere was a time when supply chain software was tightly focused on managing the transactions that went into processing orders. The software providers were specialized in EDI transactions - data files formatted according to the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standard. EDI files associated with logistics have become integral to the process. These electronic documents were originally separate from inventory control, shipping manifests, and payment processing, but the volume of transactions and the number of companies doing business electronically has made integration between supply chain logistics and ERP systems more common than ever.

black friday phoneBlack Friday 2018 is in the rear view mirror and whatever your results are they depended largely on the state of your supply chain. So now is the time to take a look at what happened while there still may be a few days to make adjustments before the final days of the retail shopping year.

maturingWe’re now well into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The First Industrial Revolution was about steam and railroads, the Second about electricity, and the Third brought about by the Internet. AI, the basis of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will completely change the way business is done and companies are run in the next five to ten years, just as the Internet has done in the last ten. The transformation will be bigger than that any previous revolution has brought about.

john salvino 417565 unsplashIt's still one of the toughest jobs an IT professional faces. It's not the providing of cloud computing services, but convincing your non-technical clients that it’s safe to take the plunge and migrate to the cloud. This remains a frustrating task; especially when they’ve reviewed reliable and credible data and still resist.

faruk kaymak 599961 unsplashIBM has made two big announcement recently. One is a technology play that brings brings cloud computing up another level and the other is one that brings blockchain technology to reality for the supply chain. While both are independent from a business standpoint they will inevitibly come together in ways that may not be obvious at the moment.

amazon deliveryThis season’s spending is projected to be 14.8 percent more than that of 2017. That is, online spending at least. Adobe Analytics looked at 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers and a wide swath of their customers and predict online sales between Cyber Monday and Christmas will produce an additional $284 million in sales over last year.

global supply chain franck v 512310 unsplashIt is well known that China has been the biggest producer of goods for many years. From children’s school supplies to the contents of every handyman’s toolbox, “Made in China” is found in small print. However, China’s labor costs, much due to its economic growth from manufacturing, have risen to the point that the competition from nearby Asian countries is taking some of that manufacturing business. These shifts, along many others over the last two decades, have been heavily influenced by the conglomerate Alibaba, affecting the supply chain of companies worldwide.

blockchain demoIn general terms we kinda think we understand what blockchain is, right? It’s a distributed database with very secure encryption making it unchangeable and at the same time publicly visible and annonymous. Sounds good but what does that mean in real terms? If you’re still curious how all this comes together, here’s a demo created by Sean Han @seanjameshan · Developer & Designer, who exlpains, “Blockchain Demo is my attempt at demystifying the technology behind cryptocurrencies. It has a living blockchain, a peer-to-peer network, and a user tour.” You can walk through the 28 steps that describe what blockchain is and how it is made. By the way, this it NOT a crypto-currency demo. Remember that blockchain has lots of uses beyond exchanging money.

max capacity chuttersnap 255211 unsplashIt’s a snowball rolling downhill once a supply chain interruption happens – but what if there was a way to pivot before any disruption to the chain occurs? AI brings new meaning to system integration, and it’s a dramatic shift to the current approach which is a manual process, one that is sometimes sluggish and cumbersome. Including Artificial Intelligence into the supply chain creates an all-seeing rapid-response level of protection against problems that typically halt production. For example, the following is a common scenario: