3plFor any logistics operation to be effective, it has to share information with the back-end systems that run most businesses. That is true for companies who run their own logistics, and for those who hire third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to manage some, or all, of their supply chains. But information-sharing takes commitment and seamless integration between multiple IT systems in geographically different locations. The good news is that 3PLs have begun implementing the necessary technology to share information—often in real-time—with their customers; and Web-based tools used by both the 3PLs and user organizations have made the systems integration much easier.

SAS_PortalLast week we asked you (via a quick survey) about your experience with analytics, and analytics derived from EDI transaction data in particular. The topic of analytics in general has become a widely discussed area, and I thought I'd provide a little perspective both on the comments we received in our survey, and on just exactly what analytics are.

saascloudConfusion reigns over whether hosted or software as a service (SaaS) is the better choice for that next software overhaul. It doesn't help that so many hosted vendors are touting their wares as SaaS or Cloud. Of course, there's a reason for the blurring of label lines – SaaS is on an upswing in most markets. Put another way: everyone has their heads in the Cloud these days.

Organizations may think solutions that link newer SaaS-based EDI systems to their back-end systems are too incomplete. Work still needs to be done, but there are options. EDI paved the way for the standard, real-time exchange of business documents, such as purchase orders, ASNs, bills of lading and more. But the traditional platforms on which EDI transactions—the Value Added Networks—are being overshadowed by Internet technologies such as Software-as-a-Service (Saas).

kitorderAs retailers continue to squeeze as much as they can out of their supply chain they are continuing to look at having the right product in the right place. To faciliate this, many are looking at working with assortments, musical runs, or prepacks which they will create by region. Two years ago I wrote an article on this topic, but thought it woud be relevant to address the concept again and make sure that if your company is considering supporting multiple skus, sizes, and color products within a caselot or prepack, that you are aware of what others are doing, in order to support a colaboration with your trading partners.