Author Archive for Steve Banker

Shippers Claim Class One Railroads Fines are Unfair, Illogical, and Arbitrary

Railroad customers objected to escalating fines across the country’s seven Class I carriers and referred to monopolistic, unfair, illogical, and arbitrary actions by most of the railroads.

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What is a Supply Chain Control Tower?

The term supply chain control tower is being used more frequently.  Some think it is being overused.  What is a supply chain control tower? From my perspective it must be a holistic supply chain solution. What does that mean? For me, it means the following ten things.

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Robotic Process Automation Can Be Used to Automate Supply Chain Solutions

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software that is used to automate high volume, repeatable tasks. RPA can be used to improve legacy supply chain software. Ryder is using it to reduce the work required to produce quality transportation plans.

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Manhattan Associates CEO Calls for a Sustainable Approach to Ecommerce

Transportation produces large amounts of greenhouse gases. Ecommerce is inherently less green than traditional bricks and mortar retail supply chains; it contributes to larger transportation emissions than traditional retailing. Eddie Capel, CEO of Manhattan Associates, believes we need a more sustainable approach to Ecommerce supply chains.

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Do You Want Better Beef? Build a Better Supply Chain!

PFG wanted to provide better selections of beef to selective restaurants. But the commodity beef supply chain made this very difficult. They built a new supply chain that included audits, DNA testing, and better pay for better quality products.

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JDA Software Features Some Exciting New Products at their User Conference

JDA Software introduced a robust new control tower solution at their user conference. This SaaS based solution provides real-time visibility to shipments, orders at risk of not being fulfilled, and several other supply chain issues. More importantly it is visibility and remediation. It is worth noting, that being able to tap into the supply chain plans provides a much richer predictive capability than control towers that only use execution data.

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Subway Restaurants’ Journey to Improved Recalls

Traceability is one supply chain application that many pundits argue is a perfect fit for blockchain technologies. Subway and its Franchisee-owned supply chain are on an ongoing journey to improve their recall and traceability capabilities. Not surprisingly, they have taken a hard look at blockchain as a solution for improved traceability. So, what the Subway Franchisee-owned supply chain group have to say about blockchain is worth paying attention to. For now, blockchain is at the back of the bus.

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Walmart Expands Use of Bossa Nova’s Robots from 50 to 350 Stores

It was recently announced that Walmart has expanded its use of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) used for real-time, on-shelf product data. Walmart will put these AMRs in 350 stores. The robots come from Bossa Nova Robotics. I recently had the chance to talk to Sarjoun Skaff, the cofounder and chief technology officer at this San Francisco based company. I had seen AMRs with cameras designed to track inventory in stores before. The robots I saw […]

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When Real-time Visibility Isn’t

Real-time visibility is a hot topic. Everyone seems to want it. But even if you buy this solution, you do not get 100% visibility. And the visibility has gotten worse because of recent regulatory changes. But you don’t need total visibility to get good ROI.

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What Uber’s IPO Reveals About Uber Freight’s Marketplace Opportunity is Highly Misleading

Uber has a very powerful brand name. It undoubtedly contributed to Uber Freight’s growth. But if this was a stand-alone prospectus for just Uber Freight, and if the Freight division did not carry the name “Uber,” who would be foolish enough to invest in them?

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