Globalization 900Disruptions are all around us and supply chain has a critical role in making companies successful in the new environment. For example - Globalization, which started earnestly in the 1990s, is getting disrupted. Many multinational corporations are struggling to compete in developing countries.

lossesSince the news first broke several weeks ago, we’ve learned that the Equifax breach is one of the biggest consumer security incidents in history - potentially affecting roughly 143 million Americans. With most American credit users left vulnerable by the hack, it’s understandable that customers would be worried how this will impact their credit and their long-term financial well-being. It’s merchants, though, who are really left holding the bag for these losses.


modern mechanics blimp coverWalmart’s recent patent application seems like something out of a 1959 issue of Popular Mechanics. Who would conjour up a mixture of last century tech to fill modern supply chain demands? Turns out it may be Walmart who mixes and matches blimps, drones, mechanized warehousing, and wireless communication to bring near-instant delivery to the masses and do better than Amazon’s Prime 2 day delivery service.

returned goodsIt’s the 4th quarter of the year when retailers are finalizing their stock in anticipation of the holiday season. Historical trends set the stage for quantities, locations, and pricing but a major shift in how consumers consider their own purchase strategies will play havoc with retailers. The problem is with product returns and how consumers now consider their purchases to be temporary.

trucksHow are various kinds of sensors being used in your supply chain, and do they make a difference? Here’s a look at transportation and the use of a variety of sensors, black boxes, and mobile computing that are driving efficiency and already showing up on trucking fleets.

chatbotsYou’ve likely encountered chatbots even if they didn’t introduce themselves as such. Today you’re most likely to encounter them when you call a customer support hotline or online chat service. They ask questions and deliver answers and act surprisingly like human operators… except they’re much more quickly available.

blockchain chainIt’s true that blockchain is in many ways just another technology looking to intrude on EDI’s entrenched place in the B2B world. But there are issues with the way we’ve dealt with supply chain documents that even after 40 years, have not been sufficiently addressed. Blockchain may have that silver bullet that makes the benefits of adoption worth the pain of change.

smart logisticsGlobally, there is a demand for smarter, cost effective and sustainable operations to suit the needs of consumers who expect higher customer service levels. Business can not go on as usual. There have been major disruptions in the logistics tech market, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a dramatic impact in the industry.

what is the blockchain and why is it so importantEDI documents and the supply chain data ecosystem seems to be pretty secure. By secure I mean that it’s rare to hear of any cyber breaches affecting commerce. Most often cyber attacks are identified in POS systems and other environments where consumer information is stolen and sold. But just because it isn’t a hot news topic doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t happen. And because the documents that run the order processing systems across the globe were created long before cyber warfare was a real threat, new ways of protecting them are being introduced.

It’s been a while since Walmart first insisted that its suppliers moved to its digital order process. Back then the prospect of using EDI rather than fax or phone to place orders seemed like a technological hurdle. And in fact it was a significant hurdle that plenty of suppliers bucked against. But today Walmart’s tactics have become accepted and electronic order processing is no longer the pariah it once was. Now the retailer is making another mandate to its suppliers. But this time it’s not about what but where.