The Supply Chain Visibility Category

The Role of Logistics in Reviving Retail Markets [PRO]

Everybody knows about “bricks and clicks” in the supply chain, but I have a question: Can the clicks save the bricks for those who’ve been getting Amazoned? In other words, does an increasingly fragmented and tech-enabled market for logistics services have the right “stuff” — the information-based mortar to put traditional retail’s bricks back together? While Amazon’s vertical integration has experts predicting a knockout blow to competitors, across the supply chain the industry’s largest players are getting even larger and they’re learning how to counterpunch.

Amazon has single-handedly accelerated the evolution of logistics from a retail and distribution standpoint. But Wal-Mart is no slouch either, even if it’s generally a step behind. Together, their demand and requirements for ever-increasing service levels have quickly reshaped the logistics services landscape, redefining what’s possible not only for their own businesses but for all businesses across industry. Yet the mega players aren’t just in the retail end of the supply chain. Contract manufacturers are going big and going digital (e.g., Flex’s foray into incubating supply chain startups like Elementumand Jabil, too). Carriers are also supersized, with FedEx and UPS are expanding their digital capabilities, and DHL is doing some extremely innovative work in supply risk management that we’ll be featuring soon in an upcoming PRO series. The logistics market is a very interesting ecosystem for the broader supply chain because logistics is like the circulatory system in an animal — and it’s critical to support all the animals big and small, not just the gorillas.

Supply Chain Visibility: Big Brother Shippers and Truckers Need a Prenup

trucking

Over the last several weeks, I have watched five supply chain visibility product demos from very different and successful solution providers — each focused on track and trace capabilities designed to benefit freight shippers — who explained to me that knowing the exact location of a shipment has become an industry requirement. Yes, I raised my hand and asked “why,” because watching an icon move on a map, while cool, just didn’t strike me as essential. As I learned, Wal-Mart and Amazon, once again, are responsible for the shift.

Blockchain Technology & The Reformation of Procurement as We Know It

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Thomas Cherian of GEP.

The reality of blockchains becoming the basic building block of tomorrow’s connected world is fast approaching. According to some, that day has already arrived. A lot has happened over the past year regarding the revolutionary concept of blockchains, which are expected to store an estimated 10% of global GDP in its network over the next decade.

Many Companies Still Struggling with Conflict Mineral Reporting

mining

Nearly two-thirds of the companies that filed conflict mineral reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this year did not disclose the country of origin for the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) in their supply chains. According to a new analysis of the 1,216 conflict mineral reports filed for 2015, just 33% of companies identified whether these minerals were sourced from conflict zones in Africa.

Big Data Presents Opportunities for the Supply Chain, but are Organizations Taking Advantage of It?

big data

Big data analytics has a number of applications within the supply chain. Yet there is still some lag in adoption of solutions that help mine through the wealth of information that can lead to an increase supply chain visibility, reduce business risks and other benefits. Recent research has shown while the majority of companies understand the opportunities big data presents, fewer are actually implementing analytic capabilities and integrating these tools into supply chain functions.

GSA Issues RFI For Solution to Tackle Counterfeit IT Products in Federal Supply Chain

Supply Chain Fraud

The U.S. General Services Administration announced early last week it looking for a supply chain solution as part of a pilot program aimed at helping federal procurement professionals authenticate IT and communication products in the government’s supply chain. The independent organization that supports federal agencies issued an RFI May 9 to gather information about the development of a supply chain solution and interface that would prevent counterfeit IT components from entering the federal supply chain.

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Black Swan Events: A Double-Edged Sword for Supply Chain Resiliency Proponents

In 2011, the unthinkable occurred in Japan. A massive earthquake triggered a tsunami, which in turn triggered a nuclear power plant meltdown, all of which combined to create a humanitarian disaster of epic scale. It is during times like these that many companies rethink their supply chain vulnerabilities and threat matrices. The result is an upswing in interest in supply risk management and resiliency strategies and initiatives and associated technology solutions.

Infographic: Accomplishing Supply Chain Visibility Through MRO-as-a-Service

A few weeks ago, we published a four-part series focused on how maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) is a significant — yet often overlooked — business function in the supply chain. Authored by Michael Lamoureux, research analyst, and Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer, the series explores how this ignored category is abundant with possibilities for cost savings and overall supply chain improvements, especially when using a managed service provider model that works in the product supply chain in your approach.

FM Global’s Index Identifies Most Resilient Countries Around the World

FM Global Resilience Index

Oil prices, exposure to natural disasters and political turmoil, including terrorism threats, were the major factors impacting a country’s business resiliency in 2015, according to the recently released FM Global Resilience Index. The index ranks 130 countries on their ability to respond to supply chain disruptions, a tool FM Global, a commercial property insurance provider, intends for companies to use to manage risk and make business decisions.

5 Critical Supply Risk Mitigation Principles for Your Sourcing Process

supply risk

Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is becoming a top priority in procurement, as organizations lose millions because of cost volatility, supply disruption, non-compliance fines and incidents that cause damage to the organizational brand and reputation. Bribes to shady government officials, salmonella in the spinach and forced labor in the supply chain can all result in brand-damaging headlines that can cost an organization tens of millions in sales and hundred of millions in brand damage. And while reputation may only be important for name brands, cost volatility and supply disruption affect all manufacturers.

Is Your Favorite Fashion Brand Transparent with its Supply Chain Sustainability?

fashion

Levi Strauss & Co, H&M and Inditex, which owns the popular brand Zara, rank the highest among fashion brands when it comes to supply chain transparency, according to a new report published by the Ethical Consumer in partnership with Fashion Revolution. The Fashion Transparency Index scored fashion companies according to how well they publicly communicate their supply chain sustainability initiatives.

Consumer Goods Companies Lack Supply Chain Visibility, Unable to Assess Environmental, Social Impacts of Products

supply chain visibility

The majority of consumer goods manufacturers lack visibility into their supply chains and are unable to truly track sustainability practices or identify problem areas such as possible deforestation and forced labor, a new report from The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) shows. The group’s 2016 Impact Report stated that of the 1,700 companies surveyed, only 19% indicated they had full supply chain transparency. Twenty-seven percent said they had partial visibility into their supply chain and 54% had no supply chain visibility.