In every EDI application, knowledge of the business needs and functions is of paramount importance. If you don't understand a "purchase order" or a "load tender" or a "health care claim or encounter" you'll never be able to map the ANSI or EDIFACT EDI data format for these transactions. In my experience, logistics is the toughest because of the many, many unrelated (by ownership) parties who need to be in the loop.
Logistics companies are generally highly distributed. Itβs the nature of the business to be in multiple locations, even if some of those locations are mobile or even not directly part of the company. UTi Worldwide is an example of a company that has found a way to expand to 230 locations and still manage its business.
SAP's recent conference - SAPinsider - was held recently in Las Vegas. That isn't really much news in itself. But one of the key revelations from the conference was its announcement that the company will be releasing something we at ec-bp.com have been talking about for quite a while... a Supply Chain Control Tower.
Just a few days ago Amazon rolled out its Amazon Prime Pantry service. We should have seen that coming even though nearly every other attempt at grocery delivery has failed. On the face of it, Prime Pantry sounds terrific for people who are too busy to go to the store (or just too lazy to get in the car). I don't have much doubt that Amazon will pull this off and be successful at it. But I marvel at the company's ability to do this on a national level.
Earlier this year Aberdeen Group published their report: "Supply Chain Visibility" in which they made some interesting observations and assertions. Among the findings reported were some very basic statistics that reflect a growing interest in visibility: "63% of respondents indicated supply chain visibility (SCV) as a high priority for improvement, with an additional 28% indicating it was a medium priority." If that's the case, why are we not further along in the implementation of the right tools?