Author Archive for Steve Banker

Warehouse Robots Enable a Digital Transformation

Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services began their digital transformation three years ago.. Because about half of this company’s 2017 revenues are related to warehousing services, several of their digital projects have been related to improving efficiency in their warehouses. This case study describes their approach to testing out mobile logistics robots.

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Blockchain Gains Traction in the Food Supply Chain

12 of the world’s biggest companies, including Walmart and Nestlé, are building a blockchain to remake how the industry tracks food worldwide. The group is focused on solving the traceability problem is known as Food Trust. There are many initiatives using Blockchain. This initiative is further along than any other.

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Robots with Swarm Intelligence

Robots with swarm intelligence. Austrian headquartered Agilox designs and manufactures mobile logistics robots that use “swarm intelligence” to intelligently navigate through warehouses and factories, delivering pallets and totes where they are needed. This article discusses this technology.

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Reshoring Isn’t Happening

A.T. Kearney publishes an annual study on reshoring. Their July 2018 release – their fourth annual “Reshoring Index” – shows record imports from traditional offshoring countries in 2017. “Imports of manufactured goods into the United States from the 14 largest low-cost-country trading partners in Asia rose by a staggering $55 billion, or 8 percent—the largest one-year increase since the economic recovery of 2011. Tariffs and political pressure is unlikely to change things very much in the near term because changing global supply chains is not quick or easy.

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No Driver Working Today Will Need to Change Careers Because of Autonomous Trucks

Mike Reid, the Chief Operating Officer at Embark Trucks, said that “Anyone employed as a driver today will be able to retire as a driver.” What makes that statement surprising is that Embark is a leading developer of autonomous trucks. One might think that the goal of an autonomous truck company is to render drivers superfluous.

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Robots for eCommerce Fulfillment

For robots in eCommerce fulfillment, last year was the year of pilots. This year customers are willing to publicly speak about the benefits they got from eCommerce robots at eft’s 3PL & Supply Chain Summit in Atlanta.

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SummerCon 2018: A Great Supply Chain Conference

There is terrific payback from supply chain design solutions. At GM, the supply chain design team is an in-house consulting group. Annually, the projects they take on save between 5 to 10 percent of the in scope spend. They have done many projects in the logistics area, some on an ongoing basis. Logistics costs as a percentage of revenue decreased every year from 2013 to 2018. That is a remarkable feat in today’s freight environment. Considering the size of GM’s transportation spend, $6.5 billion, and the length of time they have been at this, it would not surprise me at all if this small team has saved GM over a billion dollars.

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Will Delivery Bots Revolutionize Last Mile Deliveries?

Starship Technologies has designed delivery bots that make last mile deliveries. They are not the only company operating in this space, but they are the only company, that has moved beyond the pilot stage to actual commercial operations. To revolutionize last mile deliveries, continuing funding will be needed.

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Shippers Caused the Truck Driver Shortage

Land O’Lakes Chief Supply Chain Officer, Yone Dewberry, told an audience at eft’s 3PL and Supply Chain Summit in Atlanta in on June 6th, “We’ve created it” (the truck driver shortage). “As an industry” (shippers), “we’ve done this to ourselves.” Land O’ Lakes is a member owned cooperative with revenues of $15 billion. The company is best known for dairy products, particularly butter, but the company also has divisions devoted to animal nutrition and seeds/crop […]

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Manhattan Associate’s Warehouse Management Solution Changes the Rules of Automation

Manhattan Associates made significant enhancements to their warehouse solution. They have changed the rules of automation, employed significant forms of optimization not currently used in warehouse management systems (WMS), and greatly improved the ability to fulfill e-commerce orders.

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