Archive for Guest Commentary

Thought You Knew Everything About Delivery/Service Appointment Scheduling?

Delivery and service appointment scheduling strategies have been aggressively evolving for more than 10 years. In my conversations with customers, I continue to learn how far they have advanced and the expanding impact that logistics technology can have on the enterprise. TyresOnTheDrive.com, now Halfords Mobile Expert (HME) part of Halfords Group PLC, a UK provider of automotive and cycling products and services, is a great example of taking delivery and service appointment scheduling to another […]

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E-Commerce Is Booming: Is Your Final Mile Strategy Up to The Challenge?

While retailers welcome the surge of online orders, the increased sales of big and bulky items pose unique final mile delivery changes. As the name implies, final mile (also known as last mile) logistics is a specialized mode focused squarely on the final leg of a shipment’s journey to its destination. Final mile arose as a standalone mode due to the complexities in delivering to locations that lack loading docks and other receiving and storage infrastructure.

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3 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Wait: Agility, Resiliency, and Sustainability

Supply chain is in the spotlight. It is the business function that is front and center – on top of the minds of consumers and executives. The global pandemic has ripped the rug out from under supply chains, but also highlighted its importance. Agility, resiliency, and sustainability are keys to supply chain survival, so you can’t afford to wait to invest in building these capabilities, which are entwined with each other. We can’t know what path the current disruption will take, only that there is [,,,]

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Your Supply Chain Applications Can’t Handle Disruption

COVID-19 catalyzed rapidly shifting commerce models that were reshaping how goods and services were procured and delivered. In a matter of weeks, entire countries came to a near standstill as governments issued mandatory stay-at-home orders to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Highways and roads became desolate, and e-commerce became vital as the consumer’s appetite, both literally and figuratively, could now, in most cases, only be satisfied via online shopping with home deliveries. […]

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Editor’s Choice: 5 Ingredients for Predicting Accurate Shipment ETAs

Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. This article comes from Vivek Vaid, CTO at FourKites, and examines how to predict accurate shipments ETAs. Predictive intelligence is a big deal these days. In talking to one of our customers, it occurred to me that despite the advances FourKites has demonstrated in machine learning and data science, […]

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Simplifying the Burden of Hazmat Returns

Most companies are familiar with the federal, state and local rules and regulations established by departments of transportation for outbound HAZMAT shipments. HAZMAT returns, on the other hand, introduce a new and much less reliable player into the game: the consumer. When a consumer needs to return items that qualify as HAZMAT, they must follow the same established rules and regulations – and those rules and regulations must be provided by the retailer accepting the return shipment.

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4 Ways Supply Chain Modeling Enhances Enterprise Resilience

Supply chain modeling is essential to substantiated resiliency analysis and to the planning of risk responses. A supply chain model is the digital representation of the structure, product flows and policies of a physical supply chain. It is created by transforming data into predetermined structures, so that such data templates can be used in conjunction with mathematical algorithms, to determine improved future state structures, product flows and policies. Here’s a look at four areas of risk that can businesses can address through modeling and analytics.

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Integrated Assortment Planning: A Vital Capability for Retailers

In today’s changing market dynamics, the retail business is getting more competitive by the day. Increasing competition by online marketplaces, along with evolving consumer expectations and shopping patterns are making the category management decisions more complex. As customers’ options increase, so do their expectations. Assortment planning decisions made by these teams need to be more dynamic and localized as manual analysis based on broad assumptions and averages do not suffice anymore. Here are the vital capabilities for surviving in the new world of retail.

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Navigating the Challenges of Cross-Border Trade

U.S. companies that conduct significant volumes of cross-border manufacturing and trade with Mexico have had to contend with a variety of challenges since 2019, including tariff threats, the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain and the subsequent challenges of restarting idled manufacturing, and the forthcoming implementation of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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Why Supply Chain Complexity Isn’t a Bad Thing

When I started my career the term “supply chain” was just emerging. Most professionals I interacted with during my early days in this industry were still referring to “materials management” and “procurement” when they spoke of what we call “supply chain” today. We also had a role called a “master planner” who was typically an APICS certified genius who could schedule a factory, inbound supply schedule and procurement plan via grease board, or if very […]

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