It’s no secret that the supply chain has become key to enabling commerce and production around the world. But the employees who manage it have been unrecognized and considered as technicians at best. The Institute for Supply Management found that overdue recognition is finally coming to managers who can take control of costs and processes.
- Written by Bonnie Bain
- Category: Technology
Blockchain technology will play a key role in supporting supply chain transformation in the healthcare sector by helping to reduce fraud and better manage quality in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
If you’re involved in any way with technology you’re innundated with stories about how blockchain is changing the world and every bit data is now saved from corruption and theft because… blockchain. Is the hype justified? Should you have been developing blockchain oriented systems for the last year? Will your entire supply chain crumble because you haven’t converted to blockchain?
- Written by Victoria Greene
- Category: Management
Data is a topic that’s warmer than lava. The implementation date for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is 05/28/2018 and if your business isn’t ready for this change in legislation you’ll be in seriously hot water.
The advent of 3D printing for production at scale seems to be getting closer to reality. Sure 3D printers have been used for prototyping and remote delivery of pre-production items. And creating one-off parts and custom designs is becoming increasingly common. But forward thinking companies see a future in which goods are delivered by high volume 3D printers that can match manufacturing quantities and lower costs by using generic production materials that are printed in the shapes and quantities needed. That vision is not yet a reality but at least one company is delivering the first wave of production scale printers.
- Written by Larry Light
- Category: Retail
The business news is full of bleak outlooks or bankruptcies for a number of big retail stores, with iconic Toys ‘R’ Us one of the latest casualties. The crumbling of several brick-and-mortar giants continues during the rise of e-commerce, led by Amazon. Some of those still in business are attempting to improve their online capabilities as a way to compete better in the changing landscape. Walmart, for example, plans to open fewer stores so it can focus on e-commerce while enhancing existing stores. Target has been building out its digital offerings, with same- and next-day delivery services being tested.
Supply chain managers are not generally considered to be heroic in their daily efforts. Sure, there are plenty of difficult issues they tackle all the time, but the individual things they take care of generally amount to keeping the business running on schedule - in other words, doing what they were hired to do. Supply chain managers can make themselves more important to their organizations by thinking ahead of their daily operations and keeping an eye on these 4 areas of concern that are already emerging in 2018.
The answer is that you should be caring about the security of your supply chain more now than you ever have. In fact supply chains have had a relative free period for many years because… well, because it’s a supply chain and not something hackers can easily monetize. But the games and the stakes have changed.
Your manufacturing, shipping, warehousing, and retail channels are all perking along just fine. You have a great team handling your EDI transactions and managing exceptions and your trading partner relationships are in good shape. So what could go wrong and threaten all the good work you’ve done?
Supply chain transactions, mostly in the form of EDI transactions, generate huge amounts of data. But the advent of IoT devices, RFID tags, and retail sales transactions are making what seemed to be unimaginable volumes of data unmanageable and as useless as when the records were simply deleted after they had served their purpose. Analytics was supposed to be the answer but even that has turned out to be insufficient. Artificial intelligence is stepping in to extend analytics and add action to its insights.