Editor's Blog

Your Consumers Are Going Digital - Are You?

digital-consumersWe are in an increasingly digital world. Consumers are attached to their mobile devices everywhere they go, and the companies they buy from are racing to become their favorite brands. These companies are raising their digital battle cries as they attempt to connect with their audiences. And at the enterprise level, the move is on to ‘become digital.’ What does that mean for supply chain participants?

Is the Assembly Line Returning to the US?

MADE-IN-THE-USWe've bemoaned (rightfully) the loss of blue collar manufacturing jobs from the US for the last several decades. And if all else were equal it would seem the distances between US and our remote suppliers would be even less an issue than they have been because of the increased efficiency of our supply chain technology. Turns out those assumptions are wrong.

Will Omnichannel Transform Pricing?

7 Eleven 1970 yearbookA few decades ago the concept of making buying items more convenient lead to the growth of the 'convenience store.' 7-Eleven and its ilk popped up across the country. They were small stores with a limited selection of products. You could park directly at the front door, walk in and out with your purchase in about 2 minutes. Very convenient - and also pretty expensive.

The Anti-Apple Pay Scheme

Apple-Pay-mainLeave it to Apple to stir the pot. Usually it's because of an outrageously great technology, or for us in the supply chain business about how well they handle their own supply chain. This time it's about a payment scheme that involves technology in their newest devices. OK, so maybe it really isn't Apple making waves, but it's still falling on the company as the trigger to the debacle.

Is China Outgrowing the World?

digital-transformationChina is really big. Of course that's no surprise, but in the context of the supply chain it makes a lot of difference to competitors, customers and suppliers across the globe. What's either interesting or alarming based on your perspective, is just how much more growth China expects to experience in comparison with everyone else.

What Happens After Walmart?

lightsoutAt this point the news that the retail giant's same-store-sales number are in a decline. That's been reported since mid 2013. But the fact that the trend is continuing amid otherwise (relatively) strong economy growth and the lowest unemployment rate since 2008 can be looked at as an indicator of the end of... something.

Connecting the World

internet-googleWe know about visibility within the supply chain. The lack of visibility can lead to errors, missed deadlines, and other misshapes that lead to financial loss. But how far that visibility should go is still a topic for discussion. Should the supply chain be continuous from the worksheet that your buyers use to calculate quantities and discounts all the way through to your company's Facebook page? And what information should be available at each point?

Getting Small

stanford chipThe IoT (Internet of Things) is getting closer all the time. Of course it's easy to think about connecting your thermostat (already done), your refrig (already done) and your TV (also already done). But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Two of the main stumbling blocks to proliferation are price and size. But that's about to change in a big way, paving the way for the replacement of RFID devices as supply chain management tools.

Profiling the Supply Chain Staff

help wantedThe people who staff various supply chain positions are very different from people in other departments like finance, sales, and even IT because they have different talents specific to their jobs. Really? I don't think that's even close to being the case. And your HR folks would probably be horrified by the notion that you're hiring based on those notions.

Innovation in the Supply Chain

DNA-StrandI've been reading "The Innovator's DNA," an interesting book about how companies can set themselves up to be better through what they call 'disruptive innovation.' I don't think this is an entirely new concept because there have certainly been plenty of innovations created my many companies, and those companies have thrived and grown. What's different in this book is that it provides specific traits and actions that companies can take to find and develop people who can make a difference.

Editor's Blog

The ec-bp Editor's Blog is Scott Koegler's forum for communicating with readers of ec-bp.com. If you're involved in managing the supply chain in any way check Scott Koegler's posts for updates on significant events and an ever-evolving commentary on best practices in the supply chain.

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