states that companies have lots of data but no data destination in mind. B2B firms are now collecting more data than ever before: from social media, marketing resource management, customer resource management. But they need to have a strategy.

long distance connectionFor most suppliers the distance between their product and their consumers is a long and twisted path with little or no direct feedback. In a perfect world, this arrangement would work fine because retailers handle the direct consumer interaction and simply order more product from their suppliers to restock their shelves. And the tight margins, short lead times, localized demand cycles, and global distribution of the supply chain make it difficult to adequately plan production and delivery schedules. What's been termed 'supply chain visibility' has been touted as the answer to many supply chain issues, but is there any reality to this kind of monitoring?

thumb Trading Partner ScaleSelecting a trading partner is becoming one of the most important tasks in the supply chain. At the same time it has become one of the biggest areas for potential mistakes resulting in financial disaster. Consumers are looking for more products available through multiple sources, lower prices, immediate availability, and reliable customer service. Delivering all that on slimming margins means both retailers and suppliers need to make the right decisions about what companies they partner with every time... not just most of the time. And that's why is introducing the Trading Partner Scale.

ROI-EDIEver heard "EDI is a huge cost savings for our company" from a manager in your organization? Invariably you will hear a resounding "YES!" from anyone that is within 50 feet of that manager all coming to agreement on the benefits of an EDI program. What do you do then if your CFO is one of those people within earshot of the comment and asks you for a number to back up the statement?

Should I get it now, or should I wait until I have more time to study? What if I study and I don't pass, and wasted all that time for nothing? Will having it actually impact my career, or will there be no change?

thumb UOM image 1I’ve made a lot of friends in my consulting travels, some of whom keep in touch by running various business problems by me. I received a note from one of my old contacts the other day that read like this:

EDI END 07 SABCAYou've read all five of my horror stories and I hope you've thought about your own business, and to make sure everything is in order. Are all of your systems running as efficiently and as smoothly as you would like? Are there areas that you now see could be a weak spot, areas that you should take a second look at? That's where your thoughts should be leading you at this point.

thumb Outsmarting YourselfThere's a recurring problem here as you may already be picking up on. Problems start small and get out of hand quickly. My next horror story takes place at a mid sized manufacturing company, whose problems snuck up on them when they least expected it. This company was sitting on top of the world. They had prepared themselves for EDI problems. They had done their research, and heard the other horror stories. They decided to take matters into their own hands, and circumvent their own technology in an attempt to "beat" any EDI problems that might arise.

thumb What You Dont Know Will Hurt YouA distribution company called me in to do a review of their EDI processes, and look for things that they might be doing wrong. The review was just a precaution. However, since the distribution company was doing well, they assumed that everything was going along smoothly as far as their EDI was concerned.

changeWhat is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “change”? For many of us, words like “anxious”, “overwhelmed”, or “unknown” pop into our head. Why is it that changes and transitions bring on so much negative energy? One hypothesis is that we may be wired to fear change. Imagine our ancestors in nomadic times as they assessed their surroundings for any sign of change and possible danger, as the two most often went hand-in-hand. Perhaps our DNA is to blame for associating “same” with safety and “change” with danger.