Editor's Blog

OpenText, GXS, and ECGrid

opentext lorenWe've voiced our opinion regarding the policies and actions that both GXS and ECGrid (Loren Data) have been maneuvering around over the last several months. In our last blog we recommended that GXS, through its new management (OpenText) revise its stance and not discontinue its long standing relationship that allows ECGrid to connect its supply chain customers through GXS' VAN.

What Can You See?

tip of the icebergVisibility is a funny thing. If we look in a certain direction and see everything we want to and expect to see, then we are able to focus on the results we find. But there are plenty of times we look and don't see, or look and don't see what we don't expect... or can't see beyond a certain range, and therefore don't know what we don't see. I know, it gets complicated.

Walmart's $250 Billion Push

walmartOver the last week or so there's been some angst about a new Walmart commercial featuring Mike Rowe - the "Dirty Jobs" guy. I watched the commercial and while I think I recognized the voice, there was no specific mention of or image of Mike Rowe anywhere. But that's really beside the point. The pitch is about Walmart's $250 Billion commitment to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

Filling in the Holes in Visibility

Deutsche Telekom M2M Real Time Cargo Monitoring Segment 4459When we talk about having visibility into the supply chain, most of us think about being able to track the data about what orders are in what process of being delivered to their destination. When products are on the shelf, even though they may not yet be in the hands of the consumer, they have been delivered to the retailer, so the responsibility of delivering the product has been completed. But there are situations where the liability remains with someone other than the retailer, and it's possible to monitor the transport at a more granular level in some cases.

What Does Integration Mean to Your Process

data integrationAs the supply chain becomes more intricate, more demanding, and faster moving, margin for error decreases. The complexity of omnichannel retailing in itself means predicting the next order is impossible. It may come from a web catalog, from a retailer, or from a service like Amazon that integrates multiple processes. With the speed and complexity of product demand it's critical to record and automate each transaction when it happens. Because there's no time to go back and record it later.

Demand Supply at the Item Level

appalatchWhen is a commodity not a commodity? When each individual item is made to order. Not just made for the P.O. but to the specifics of the customer's requests. With traditional supply chain practices it's easy enough to get the order right for the specified number of items in the package. But when that package count is 1, there is literally no margin for error.

True Happiness in the Supply Chain

Happiness-Hands1Is true happiness to be found within the supply chain? Of course that depends on your definition of happiness, and I would say that it is possible to find happiness in any pursuit, given the right circumstances and attitudes. But that philosophical question may be beyond what we are looking for in our everyday dealings with shipping, carriers, cartons, and warehouses. Still - if we define happiness as having a deeper understanding of our environment, then the answer is a resounding, "yes."

Omnichannel - With Caution

snake eating itselfThe Christmas season delivery schedule is one of those things that while it only happens once each year, can put a dent in the reputation of the supply chain everywhere. When UPS underestimated the volume of packages that it would need to deliver on the last day before Christmas, these packages left sitting in the sorting facility on Christmas day put frowns on the faces of entire families.

What's Your Company Doing With Supply Chain Analytics?

deloitte reportThere’s plenty of data racing through our collective supply chain and there are lots of technology vendors bidding for your participation in their specific systems. According to Deloitte’s recent report there are a variety of factors for which timing is right for 2014 being the year the supply chain in general and procurement in particular gets beyond simply understanding that big data and analytics is important and begins to use the tools that have recently become available.

Time to Follow Walmart... Again?

walmart-truckDo you remember when Walmart lead the charge to implement EDI? If you're one of their suppliers you probably also remember the onboarding experience and the lack of choice you had. To be fair, Walmart did offer a choice - but it included the option of never receiving another order from them. For most of its suppliers this was not a viable option. Is it time to follow Walmart again?

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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