money changing_handsWorldwide trends--toward convenience, rapid action, digital integration, and away from cash--in payment systems continue to play out in the latest news. Here are a few items that reinforce the movements "The Payoff" earlier described in more detail:

if-not-nowEDI projects are complex.  How do we keep things simple?  How do we provide amazing customer service leading to successful partnerships?  Far too often in EDI conversations, noise and confusion get in the way of making progress.  Whether it is one side blindly pushing for a specific EDI transaction regardless of the benefits or the business process, technical mumbo jumbo, confusion about what customers or suppliers really want from each other, or a seemingly less eggregious violation… the self deprecating predecessor to a comment seem to appear out of thin air. 

Hamlet“To be, or not to be, that is the question.”   This well known quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet has intrigued scholars as well as theater connoisseurs since it was first spoken in the early 15th century..  While I can’t claim that EDI mapping causes one to question one’s own existence as Hamlet did (although at times it can be the cause of you questioning your sanity), there are definite parallels. In this case, managing a bank of EDI translation maps equivalent could be more like “One to one, or one to many, now THAT is the question.”

powerfulApple, Google, Sprint, Western Union, Visa: electronic wallets continue to attract investments from many of the world's largest and best-known companies.

amazonsupplyThe recent launch of AmazonSupply.com has the world of wholesale distribution asking questions about the new site’s features, functionality, and promotional offers. There are plenty of opinions about the amount of market penetration that Amazon can expect to achieve in a broad marketplace where current category leaders hold only single digit percentages.

ec-bp songThe GS1 House Band visited the ec-bp.com booth at GS1 Connect 2012 and sang our old favorite song about ec-bp. Listen close to the lyrics.

html5logoAs a logistics specialist, your focus needs to be on ensuring a minimum of delay from factory to shelf, a maximum of compliance at the loading dock, retention of your experienced staff, trouble-free account management, and other matters that bear directly on supply-chain efficiency. Computer software is at best a means to those ends, and mostly deserves to be left to the information technology (IT) staffers who devote their full-time attention to it.

web-designAs a new e-Retailer or a ‘brick and mortar’ operation needing an on-line presence, you have plenty on your mind as you build your website. The ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality that drove design activity in the past is now extinct. It’s more like an ‘if I build it, how can I get them to come, keep them on the site, present my products to them in such a way that they’ll want to buy them, and check them out quickly and securely’ paradigm that's now required. In today’s marketplace, you need a lot more than a search box, spec sheet, and item photo.

globe-cloudsIt seems that everywhere you turn in the tech world (OK, with the exception of big data, mobile, social networking and the cloud), the talk these days is of server virtualization. As a manufacturer or supplier, this should be on your radar, too.

squareM-payment, procure-to-pay (P2P), and other emerging payment techniques "The Payoff" covers each week are often regarded in terms of cost savinglogistic compliance, and automation. Those are crucial benefits, of course, and the easiest to quantify. What's truly exciting about these opportunities, though, is the way they'll qualitatively change your customers' experience in your stores.