Author Archives: Alex Behrens



Blockchain Update: Its Use Accelerates in Food Traceability, Auto Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Global Shipping

Since we ran our first blockchain update article in January, key areas of supply chain and logistics operations in multiple industries have continued to implement successful blockchain trials and projects. The open traceability of a blockchain system has proven especially popular in the food security marketplace, where it is being used both to fight infectious outbreaks of bacteria like E. coli and drive revenue in French supermarkets by giving customers access to sourcing data on dozens of fresh products. In markets like automotive, pharmaceuticals, coffee, and global shipping, blockchain innovations continue to make headlines in a growing array of industry supply chains and applications.

5G and IoT Offer Big Opportunities for Communication Service Providers (CSPs): Ericsson

telecommunications

A handful of the first 5G enabled smartphones are being released this year, signaling the start of a new era of faster data speeds, more reliable connections and significantly lower latency for many electronic devices. The impact of 5G will be felt across a wide-reaching group of businesses and industries, creating entirely new sources of data and allowing it to be transmitted and analyzed with speed, accuracy and completeness that was simply not possible using previous generations of wireless communications technology.

The Swedish multinational telecom Ericsson has worked closely with many of the world’s leading communication service providers (CSPs) and recently released its “Realizing IoT Strategies” study, drawing on its planning, operational and strategic experience to examine the traditional strengths and weaknesses of CSPs and highlight how they are working to position themselves for the enormous opportunity that 5G technology represents.

2019’s global hurricane season to be active, DHL Resilience360 reports about supply chain risks and safeguards

supply chain disruption

Severe weather poses one of the greatest threats and the least predictable risks to global supply chains within our modern globalized economy. The summer hurricane season is a particularly problematic time because nearly half the planet, and a majority of the production capacity for many industries, are located in areas routinely struck by catastrophic weather — East Asia, the Northern Indian Ocean, and the Southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States.

DHL Resilience360 recently released Stormy Weather Ahead: A Global Outlook on the 2019 Season to compile information about the impacts that even small storms can have and discuss the short- and long-term implications of these systems on existing supply chains. And learn ways to mitigate that risk.

Workers’ Digital Skills Gap a Key Challenge for Businesses, The Hackett Group Says

Digital transformation has and will continue to have far-reaching consequences in manufacturing, purchasing, compliance, advertising and just about every other function in the business world. Another function to add to the list, according to the April 2019 Hackett Group study, will be hiring and training of existing and incoming employees.

The Next-Generation Talent Profile: How Will You Fill the Digital Skills Gap focuses on how the procurement function in particular will need to train and improve their existing workforce, because the demand for skills and knowledge like strategic thinking, smart automation, social media, creativity and innovation, and process excellence will far exceed supply over the next three to four years. The Hackett Group notes that research by the World Economic Forum indicates that more than 50% of existing workers will need to be reskilled or upskilled by 2022.

Norway tops annual FM Global Resilience Index of 130 nations’ business climates

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

The mutual insurance firm FM Global this week released its 2019 Resilience Index, examining economic indicators, risk factors and supply chain issues in 130 countries around the world — ranking the nations by the resilience of their business environments. The index is meant to be a tool for senior executives to conduct “vulnerability assessments and build their companies’ resilience around the world,” according to FM Global, which focuses on property loss issues. Norway topped the list, and Haiti came in last. Read on to find out about the U.S., China and Russia.

Certify’s SpendSmart Report Sees Uber Slip, Lyft Gain — and Air Travel Be More Competitive Than Ever

travel

Uber and Lyft continue to capture an increasing share of employee travel and expense costs as measured by the Q1 2019 SpendSmart Report from Certify. In addition to continuing to decimate taxi services in all but a few protected markets, both services have continued to increase their prices since the first quarter of 2018, with Lyft experiencing double digit growth in some key markets.

How to Get Independent Professionals into Your Company’s Contingent Workforce Plan

In a look at the contingent workforce, MBO Partners' “Client of Choice Report 2019” explores the changing needs and expectations of the independent professionals and what corporations are doing to attract and retain the best talent in this emerging labor market.

Third-Party Market Intelligence Can Supercharge Procurement

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Timely, accurate data has become more important than ever across every part of the business, and purchasing departments are no different.

When making procurement decisions, however, it can be especially difficult to source data that is often heavily related to factors external to the business, including the state and quality of suppliers and sub-suppliers and prices for materials that can change in response to competitors negotiating new contracts, geopolitical factors, and even natural or manmade disasters. But what’s the best way for your department to get in front of these challenges and opportunities while increasing credibility and buy-in from internal and external stakeholders alike?

A recent report from ProcurementIQ offers some insights on third-party market intelligence.

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.