Editor's Blog

Logistics at the Local Level - on a National Scale

prime pantryJust a few days ago Amazon rolled out its Amazon Prime Pantry service. We should have seen that coming even though nearly every other attempt at grocery delivery has failed. On the face of it, Prime Pantry sounds terrific for people who are too busy to go to the store (or just too lazy to get in the car). I don't have much doubt that Amazon will pull this off and be successful at it. But I marvel at the company's ability to do this on a national level.

SAP Joins the Movement to Control Towers

a3-52 control towerSAP's recent conference - SAPinsider - was held recently in Las Vegas. That isn't really much news in itself. But one of the key revelations from the conference was its announcement that the company will be releasing something we at ec-bp.com have been talking about for quite a while... a Supply Chain Control Tower.

Omnichannel Nirvana

Omnichannel-definitionIt seems we've been talking about omnichannel selling for a long time now. Maybe it's only been the last 5 years or so that the topic has risen to the level of certified buzzword, but for the majority of consumers who shop online, it's been a very long 5 years... and even at that, has yet to deliver on their expectations.

Global Business, Trade Sanctions, and Taxation Affect Everyone

global trade mintJust when doing business on a global scale seemed to be getting more manageable there is an increasing number of signs that indicate gamesmanship is going to trump openness... sooner than later. If there was ever reason to understand the status of your supply chain, the time looks to be now. Here are some of the signals I'm watching.

Where's the Slowdown in EDI?

slowdown 1The supply chain is really composed of several 'chains.' There's the supply chain we generally think of - the one that connects trading partners in order to move products from manufacturers to consumers. And there are the internal chains that move the various components of data between applications, departments, functions, and staff members. 

Strategic Integration Needs a Plan

hyper connectedWe talk a lot about integration. That is, integration of your supply chain components with your enterprise operations and ERP. I don't believe that anyone thinks this is something that can simply happen because it's the best thing to do. The complexity of each of the processes and components that have already been put in place, and the amount of effort each required just to get them to the point of functionality can bring tears to the eyes of those who struggled through them - or at least cause a twitch of pain. The point is that the first steps were not simple ones.

Is EDI Important to the IoT?

iot supply chainYou already know that IoT is a term used to loosely identify items that have been imbued with enough intelligence and communication abilities to send messages across the internet. First of all, this means that these items are not human in the ways we normally think of humans using computers to send information via the Internet. But that doesn't mean that some of these 'things' can't be humans, or at least humans carrying with devices that do the communicating for them. The connections and the information are triggered by conditions as they change.

Does 'Navel-Gazing' Deliver the Best Visibility?

navel-gazingWhen it comes to developing reliable supply chain connections, it's important to consider that there are multiple sources of data that produce multiple instances of the data that is collected. The majority of manufacturers have at least 2 sets of applications that are used for managing their supply chain. Those include an ERP system and an EDI/transaction management system. The question is, which application set can deliver the best and most reliable visibility into the supply chain?

Establishing Visibility - The Long View

TakingTheLongViewI've been harping on what it takes to be visible... that is to have visibility into your supply chain. The truth is that gaining visibility is an ongoing process that is never really 'done.' But that's the nature of the supply chain. Once you have good connectivity with one trading partner and the facilities they use, another trading partner comes along with an entirely different set of connections and different service providers. 

Data That's Meant to be Shared

big-dataThe very nature of EDI and other forms of trading data is that it is to be shared. But as the volume of transactions grows, the details of individual transactions becomes less available. As trading transactions become part of what we now know as 'big data' the old tools to deal with these details simply are not sufficient to deliver meaningful information.

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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