aislesRetail drives a big portion of the EDI traffic along the supply chain. Whether it’s online retail or brick and mortar retail, the issues are the same. But let’s face it… sometimes it’s just easier to find the product you’re looking for by using a search engine online rather than wandering aimlessly through the aisles of a big box store. Increasingly, retailers are supplementing the in-store experience with apps on shoppers’ mobile devices.

barcodesWe pretty much take barcodes as a given in the retail world... and in plenty of other realms. Here's an interesting historical perspective put together by GS1. They talk about standards as the overarching reason for the origination of the barcode.  Be aware that some part of this is a promotional effort for the expansion of the barcode... not a terrible idea. Here's the GS1 presentation.

internet-of-thingsRecently, Mike Martz introduced us to the Internet of Things (IoT). This is what happens when you combine cloud technology, wireless networks, standardized communications protocols, RFID, worldwide IP networks, Big Data, miniaturized sensors, and cheap storage and computing power. Let's drill down on SENSORS!

VisibilityHow many distinct systems make up the supply chain? OK, that’s probably an unfair question, so let’s just talk about the number of systems or software applications that make up the supply chain within a single company. The answer is likely to be more than 1 and could easily be as many as 20. If that’s the case how is it possible to actually achieve what we’ve been calling Visibility?

social media checkThe end of the supply chain (retail) is probably the only place that makes any sense for any kind of social media activity. At least that's the common belief. What would a supplier, manufacturer, 3PL, or any other part of the supply chain hope to gain from a Facebook page, a Twitter stream, or even a Google+ account?