Editor's Blog

How Many Things Will You Connect to the IoT?

iot diagramThe more I read about how smart items are evolving, the more I'm convinced that the supply chain needs to be at the front of the line in devising strategies for dealing with, enabling, and making use of these technologies. The triad of technologies that I see most important to the efforts are digital tags, 3D printers, and mobile communications.

EDIINT, VANs, But Not SaaS?

Cut-in-Half-Fees-Expenses-2013.7.2One of the most frequently asked questions regarding EDI is about its cost. There's the initial cost of startup and the ongoing cost per transaction. And while startup costs are relatively easy to calculate, per transaction costs continue to be more difficult, primarily because those costs can include a wide variety of factors including  human intervention, capital equipment, postage, and even the cost/savings of correcting for errors. A recent study presented by NewEDI reports that costs overall have been coming down. 

Are We Putting Too Much Trust in Big Data ?

trust issuesWe're constantly seeing new uses for big data. So much so that it's not even necessary to describe what the term means. Is the use of huge amounts of amorphous data making us better at our work, or is it adding layers of abstraction over the realities of the world?

Seeing Through the IoT Fog

iot fogA new term (at least to me) has emerged that is being used in conjunction with the IoT. We've discussed the Internet of Things a few times and I've even suggested that the technology behind IoT could supplant RFID. One issue with managing the thousands or hundreds of thousands of items that will eventually populate this new category is the volume of digital chatter that will crowd the existing network infrastructure and the Cloud. 

Where Is Omni-Channel and Why Isn't It?

retailersWhat's your definition of "Omni-Channel"? However you define the term it's a fair bet that your definition as a retailer or even as a supplier is very different from how consumers define it. That doesn't mean that consumers don't understand and want what they define. In fact, consumers seem to be more savvy about what they want from their retailers without regard to any kind of terminology. In short, consumers want to be able to do business with their retailers using whatever presences those retailers have. And by the way - their retailers should have many different presences if they intend to remain a favored status with their consumers.

Tags Limit Visibility

barcoderfidThe technology that supports the supply chain is pretty amazing stuff. With the multiple combinations of item tagging, sensing, reading, and recording methods it seems strange that there are still gaps in visibility. Or maybe that's exactly the problem - too many options from too many directions. 

Visibility Rising to the Top

realtimeSupply chain visibility is an interesting topic. At least it's interesting to those who want to talk about it, but possibly not so interesting to those that actually need to do something about implementing and making it a reality within their own enterprise operations. The disconnect however, does seem to be narrowing if KPMG's recent report is to be believed.

The Cloud IS the Way... Really?

cloud-erpWe've been tracking and writing about cloud based systems since the first issue of ec-bp.com. Of course back then in 2003 we referred to is as SaaS or even just 'online applications.' Since that time the world has mostly overcome its apprehensions about putting corporate data and processes outside the firewall. Even so, Cloud speculation and operations continue to be big news. To this I say - Whoop-de-doo! 

Where's Your Recovery Plan?

Disaster-EventWhen the norm for computer operations was locating all computing resources within a single location IT concentrated on maintaining frequent and accessible backups to the company data. Copies of the backup were moved offsite. Some organizations even created replication sites where they installed duplicate (but usually smaller) systems that could be brought online by restoring the offsite backup in the case of a local disaster that rendered the main facilities unavailable. For a lot of companies, the process and practice has changed... mostly for the better.

Say Goodbye to RFID and Hello to IoT Tags

Sticknfindinhand575What's the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each - Oh wait! It's the costs of each that 's keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered 'old' tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here's what I see happening over the next few years.

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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