shadow-itShadow IT is IT activity that occurs outside of sanctioned IT. Shadow IT is growing in many organizations driven by consumerized technology, mobility, the availability of cloud solutions and quite frankly relatively slow cycle times within captive IT organizations.

switzerland 1It seems that nearly every day, another nation falls in line, like a domino, with other countries that have embraced electronic invoicing. The latest to do so is Switzerland, which recently announced that as of January 1, 2016, suppliers to the Federal Administration with contracts valued at or above 5000 CHF will be required to utilize e-invoices. 

digital-consumersWe are in an increasingly digital world. Consumers are attached to their mobile devices everywhere they go, and the companies they buy from are racing to become their favorite brands. These companies are raising their digital battle cries as they attempt to connect with their audiences. And at the enterprise level, the move is on to ‘become digital.’ What does that mean for supply chain participants?

paper-invoicesAccording to a survey recently released by Canon Business Process Services, a majority of account payable (AP) departments are overwhelmed by the volume of paper and investment of time necessitated by conventional billing practices. The survey also revealed that both elements decrease efficiency while increasing the likelihood for errors and late payments. 

hp migrantsHP, the world’s largest computer manufacturer, has also become a leader in the fight against exploitative labor practices worldwide. In a November 10, 2014 press release, HP announced it will now require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in its supply chain. The additional standard “combines this direct employment requirement with rights relating to worker retention of passports and personal documentation and the elimination of worker-paid recruitment fees,” according to the release.

Egypt-mapEgypt hopes it will reap a financial windfall when the new Suez Canal, being built alongside the existing 145-year-old waterway, opens for business in August 2015. In fact, that nation foresees the new shipping canal will bring in upwards of $13.5 billion annually by 2023.

MADE-IN-THE-USWe've bemoaned (rightfully) the loss of blue collar manufacturing jobs from the US for the last several decades. And if all else were equal it would seem the distances between US and our remote suppliers would be even less an issue than they have been because of the increased efficiency of our supply chain technology. Turns out those assumptions are wrong.

digital-transformationChina is really big. Of course that's no surprise, but in the context of the supply chain it makes a lot of difference to competitors, customers and suppliers across the globe. What's either interesting or alarming based on your perspective, is just how much more growth China expects to experience in comparison with everyone else.

switzerlandThe Swiss Federal Council recently decreed that as of January 1, 2016, suppliers will be required to submit electronic invoices to the government if the value exceeds 5,000 Swiss Francs.

Expect the UnexpectedWe thought everything was working fine. Great planning, a great network in place. Excellent computer systems. Visibility into our supply chain. Well-trained staff. We thought the “i”s were dotted and the “t”s were crossed. Then SOMETHING happened. Could be almost anything, but it was unexpected, had no easy fix, no recovery plan in place, you name it. So now two things have to happen: (1) damage control; and (2) fix the system.