logisticsProcessing the order is just the first step in the getting products to their markets. Some will say that getting the order to the loading dock is the easy part while moving it to its final destination has become increasingly complex. If you’re running in-house EDI systems you already know that it isn’t the truck that is the issue but tracking the order through the chain of events between docks.

uberAccording to a December 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal, Uber Technologies was valued at a staggering $41 billion. That’s an amazing statistic, especially considering the freelance taxi service owns no inventory to speak of. And, according to Ken Jones, the Director of Education and Applied Solutions at the Western Michigan University Center for Integrated Supply Management, if Uber plays its cards right, it could interrupt supply chain logistics in ways not previously contemplated.

logistics1In reviewing the business elements of a company that interfaces with EDI, I am certain the most difficult to understand is the “Supply Chain”. The most common mistake is thinking that “Supply Chain Management” (SCM) is just another name for “Logistics”.

compliance-requirementsSimply filling orders is not enough to ensure retailers their customers are pleased with the products and services they receive from a company. In addition to fulfilling customer demands, retailers need to be concerned with the timeliness and accuracy of the orders they fill. Sales lost due to the shipment of incorrect or damaged products or even delayed delivery can lead to red ink coloring a bottom line. Certainly, that’s not an ideal situation.

risk managementBusinesses must put more effort into pre-planning for business interruption according to a survey by Zurich Insurance and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). They are concerned about supply chain disruption and term it a "blind spot". We are concerned too. Zurich recommends mapping out your supply chain and quantifying each supplier by financial stability, geopolitical issues, et al. If you have a lot of global suppliers, this could be a tall order. I think Zurich is sitting in an "ivory tower" and not a "SCM Control Tower".