supply chain 4.0Transacting business in the supply chain generally means communicating orders via EDI formatted files or some other equally rigid set of rules. The reasons are easy to understand; order times are critical and specifications for orders are complex so their formats need to adhere to formats that can be instantly read by computerized systems.

call centerDid you know that 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after they’ve experienced poor customer service? That’s not hard to imagine. We’ve all been customers who have called a company for help, only to be put on hold or talked to someone unwilling to find the answers we needed. Conversely, we’ve all talked to a call center representative who was cheerful and effective. When we hung up, we were ready to move forward with our day.

logisticsAccording to Gartner, one of the world’s top business research firms, the global logistics software market is growing at a faster rate with each passing year. Just take a look at the numbers: from 2012 to 2013, the supply chain management (SCM) software market grew by 7.3% to $8.96 billion. In 2014, it grew by 10.8% to $9.92 billion.

ProcurementTo be successful in today’s global economy, companies must ensure that financial resources are directed to projects that will have the most impact. And, when it comes to doing that, the enterprise should look to one department — procurement. Corporations are facing increased investor pressure and it is up to the office of finance and procurement to collaborate closely to understand where the organization can reduce costs, consolidate vendors, and find other strategic sourcing methods to improve competitive outcomes.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.