barcode printerWhen it comes to electronic documents supporting the supply chain, the Advance Ship Notice or 856 is just as important to the order to delivery process as the purchase order itself. While it is a robust document, its main purpose is to communicate back to the buying party what is shipping and when, as well as where it is going.

amazontaxOne of Amazon's advantages over physical retailers has been that its sales have largely been free of state sales tax. That just changed.

amazontaxOne of Amazon's advantages over physical retailers has been that its sales have largely been free of state sales tax. That just changed.

Field of_dreams_JPEGIf you build it, they will come…..this famous line has many origins - Field of Dreams movie, possible Teddy Roosevelt quote, thought to be a Jewish proverb.  This line is also a gateway into our industry.  When we build it, the transactions will come. 

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:

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

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. 

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.

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.”

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.