Author Archives: Alex Behrens



Resilinc EventWatch: Top Risks to Supply Chains in 2018 Were Extreme Weather, M&A Activity, Brexit and Explosions

With deadline questions looming about Brexit and high levels of uncertainty about U.S.-China trade negotiations still hanging over global markets, risks to supply chains may already seem well above average. As reported by Resilinc’s EventWatch 2018 annual report, however, some of the greatest risks to supply chain operation may be something that stakeholders don’t realize.

10 Business Intelligence Trends: From Analytics Adoption to Explainable AI and Converging BI Platforms

“Business intelligence” has been a staple of an effective corporate entity long before computers appeared on the scene, but leaps in computing power, cloud storage and advances in data processing and visualization have allowed businesses to use their resources vastly more effectively. The advances in business intelligence (BI) also make it accessible to hundreds or thousands of workers throughout the business, instead of just a few dozen data scientists using specialized skills and software. Against that backdrop, Tableau outlines 10 BI developments to watch in its 2019 Business Intelligence Trends report.

Growing Customer Expectations: Will Digital Supply Chains Save The Day?

E-commerce and the rapidly growing digital supply chain capabilities of brick-and-mortar and online retailers have made a massive impact on customer preferences and expectations while shopping, according to the Deloitte report “The Customer-Driven Supply Chain.” Today, customers expect integrated systems that allow them to check stock across multiple retail outlets, that guarantee curbside pickup or two-day delivery, with customization options in person or online — all with complete accuracy and available in real time. Digital transformation drives these changes in consumer preferences while providing the means to accommodate a customer-centric shopping experience at the supply chain level, but with just 8% of supply chain executives responding that their organizations are prepared for such a comprehensive system, are these customer dreams a supply chain nightmare for retailers and manufacturers alike?

Supply Chain Finance Gets Faster, Cheaper with Technology Like Blockchain, IoT

Supply chain finance (SCF) has become increasingly common over the last decade, building off advances in technology in industrial monitoring and information sharing brought about by the proliferation of IoT and blockchain technology. As technology to facilitate supply chain finance proliferates at all levels, marginal gains become increasingly important.

Blockchain Update: The Power of Pairing It with IoT and Wider Adoption by NASA, Ford

Blockchain technology — with its shared, distributed ledger that allows users to collaborate and verify transactions — has companies searching for ways to deploy it in their supply chains and save money. Looking into the latest developments, it appears that blockchain holds a good amount of potential when paired with the internet of things (IoT), the devices that will measure processes or be deployed remotely via the internet for business uses. NASA, Ford and others have different ideas for blockchain.

CSR Update: Corporate Social Responsibility Can Lead Customers to Spend More, Study Says

BuyerQuest

Consumers are hungry for more information of all kinds when it comes to corporate social responsibility practices, and many are willing to pay more to companies that can provide it, according to a report in the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Journal. The study, "Supply Chain Visibility and Social Responsibility: Investigating Consumers’ Behaviors and Motives," identified a strong preference among at least 70% of consumers for advertisements with more precise information about corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities compared to ones with vague information if the price did not change.

Maverick Spend Has a Perception Problem — on Its Causes and Its Solutions

Many of the most effective ways to curb maverick spend — like using e-procurement tools with approved supplier catalogs or better contract management tools integrated into the buying process — still have not been implemented by more than half of most organizations, a survey by The Hackett Group found. And it found that perceptions of the causes and solutions for maverick spend can vary depending on a worker’s role.

Procure-to-pay technology provider Basware used the research for its study, “Perception and Reality: A Report on Maverick Spend,” which examined the practice of making purchases outside the compliant procurement process. Maverick spending can take many forms, including purchases made outside a preferred channel or supplier, or those that do not follow contract terms and miss out on negotiated savings. Some of the rogue purchases happen because employees or their managers consider the transaction to be too small to matter.

Manufacturing Skills Shortage Creates Challenges, Opportunities for Digital Transformation

Toyota supply chain

Manufacturing has a shortage of skilled workers, and year by year it is expected to grow to about 2.2 million unfilled jobs over the next decade, according to a study that has been tracking the gap for almost two decades. The shortfall in workers who can handle the technical nature of manufacturing and its digital transformation could cost the U.S. economy $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years, says the 2018 study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. As one manufacturing executive said in the study, “With the positive turn in the economy, we don’t have enough job candidates with the right skills and work ethic to fill our openings, and this is making it difficult for us to accept the orders our vendors are asking us to complete.” Find out how companies are trying to bridge the gap.

ERP Systems Under Pressure as Internet of Things (IoT) Piles on the Data, Survey Finds

As the industrial internet of things (IoT) integration grows more complex and the cost of broad-based IoT integration and monitoring continues to fall, businesses are becoming aware of the limitations of their enterprise software in making use of IoT data, a survey finds. IoT involves the monitoring of all aspects of manufacturing or a business by imbedding monitors in things like components, production lines or fleets of vehicles, so it’s easy to see how they would create a flood of data. IFS North America, a business software provider who commissioned the study with researcher IEN and analyzed the results, asked 200 IoT decision makers across a range of industries how well their software facilitated IoT data integration in 2017 and 2018. The results show a decline in confidence.

Dun & Bradstreet Compliance and Procurement Report Indicates Lower Concern For Regulatory Risks, Growing Confidence in Execution

risk

Fewer compliance and procurement professionals believe that existing regulation has increased the risk to their business and more of them had greater confidence about the implementation of compliance and procurement procedures through year’s end, according a recent Dun & Bradstreet report that updates one released over the summer. Even as the U.S. implemented several new tariffs and the UK continued to grapple with an EU exit strategy, perceived risk fell as the scope and content of the trade-related actions became clearer. That number declined 13 points to 52% for the October 2018 sentiment report.