Shipment tracking is one of the most critical services in supply chain management. Millions of dollars worth of goods are lost in transit every year due to a lack of visibility during the shipment process. Therefore, the ability to give an exact and immediate answer to the question, "where is my order?" is critical to the efficiency and robustness of any supply chain. TPSynergy's new IoT tracking devices integrate seamlessly into its award-winning supply chain platform, giving customers the ability to locate their shipment any time of the day.
If you had been involved in the supply chain 2012 and took a leave of absence till the beginning of 2018 you would have walked into an industry that has changed significantly in terms of technology. Some of the new tech may have been obvious to general IT managers who live in the world of change. But some of the changes are surprises to almost everyone. Here are a few of the tech that’s trending according to MHI’s 2018 Annual Industry Report.
- 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.
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.
Technology can be a tremendous help in getting our products to market and there are plenty of technologies finding their way into both the supply chain and the products traveling along the paths to market. The initiatives and purposes these technologies address are all initially aimed at solving problems but like all well-intended technologies some are bound to be subverted and cause unintended consequences. Here are a few current technologies that should be watched with an eye toward caution.
Bar codes have been with us for a while now and their application makes tracking products and processing sales simple. For grocers it has meant the demise of the label gun and the need to update price stickers every time costs changed. But the traditional bar-type label has been supplanted by the higher density QR code that can store much more information in smaller spaces and now a new innovation lets suppliers put code directly on edible products.
- Written by Monica Eaton-Cardone
- Category: Technology
According to recent financial technology (FinTech) industry data, “billions of dollars have been poured into blockchain companies” as of September 2017, with initial coin offerings or token sales climbing to roughly $2 billion compared to just $256 million in 2016. Private investments into blockchain companies exceeded $4.5 billion from Q1 through Q3 of 2017—including the $3.6 billion acquisition of Canadian FinTech firm DH Corporation by Austin-based Vista Equity Partners and more than 150 additional blockchain transactions totaling $965 million—versus the $624 million raised over the same period last year.(1)
Managing orders in a fast moving environment can lead to some unusual (and sometimes strange) conditions. And when conditions are extremely time sensitive even the position of a worker’s hands can make the difference between delivering the order and missing. And that’s the issue Amazon seems to be tackling with its latest patent.
- Written by Elizabeth Ballou
- Category: Technology
Did you know that 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after they’ve experienced poor customer service? That’s not hard to imagine. We’ve all been customers who have called a company for help, only to be put on hold or talked to someone unwilling to find the answers we needed. Conversely, we’ve all talked to a call center representative who was cheerful and effective. When we hung up, we were ready to move forward with our day.