Archive for Guest Commentary

How to Mitigate the COVID-19 Impact on Your Supply Chain Operations

We’ve been receiving a number of questions from customers asking how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) on their operations, employees, customers and carriers. The good news is there is a lot that can be done now with your existing logistics and supply chain solutions. You could also quickly take advantage of new ones to be safe and mitigate the financial impact on your business. Here are a few ways you can help […]

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AI is Changing Everything We Thought About Forecasting Demand

The rise of cloud computing, smart devices and IoT have all resulted in a massive data explosion. By 2025, the amount of data will double every 12 hours. AI now has the ability to consume data far more efficiently than humans, delivering on the possibility of insights and predictions never before imagined. But McKinsey reports that only 33% of organizations are effectively using internal and external data to take advantage of AI capabilities. Predicting future […]

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Growing Up to Become a Sustainable Supply Chain

Is your supply chain immature? Does it resemble a 14-year-old boy, as a planner I met at an Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning event described his company’s supply chain? Grown up beyond diapers but not yet making good decisions consistently. In an immature, disconnected supply chain, planners operate inefficiently and in reactive mode. Not only does this mode make the daily life of a planner difficult, but it does not position the company toward […]

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Five Ways Data Is Transforming the Supply Chain

Real-time supply chain data is the foundation for trust between supply chain partners. And so it follows that the data – and the data supplier – that underpins any network should be agnostic. From a technology perspective, the typical enterprise in the supply chain is a collection of silos. With a solid foundation of common data across these silos, trust can blossom between supply chain partners.

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Digital Twin is an Old Idea – Just New to Supply Chain

It has been many decades since a circuit is designed digitally and its performance tested using a digital twin; an architect constructed the building and laid out its HVAC and plumbing on the building’s digital twin; a company invested in a new distribution center only after significant number of simulations and animations on the digital twin; a dentist scanned a mouth and planned for the treatment on the digital twin; and pilots learned how to […]

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Global Shipping Trends: What to Expect in 2020

Now that the fireworks are over and New Year’s resolutions are set, it’s time to prepare for global shipping in 2020. And that means looking at ongoing trends and changing regulations. One thing’s for sure, freight forwarding never has a dull moment. Recapping 2019’s top global shipping disruptors Before we jump into expectations for this year, let’s set the stage by looking at some of the top events in 2019 that may have affected global […]

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To the Point of No E-commerce Returns

As e-commerce returns volume continues to skyrocket alongside continued growth of online shopping, top shippers are challenging the notion of returns as a cost of doing business they must accept. In some cases, in fact, a lot can be done to counter the growth of returns from an operational perspective, and many of the world’s biggest retailers have identified game-changing insights by looking at the returns process more critically. In 2020 and beyond, look for […]

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How Much is it Worth to Steer Customers’ Delivery Appointment Choices?

Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the chance to work with companies that have turned home delivery into a competitive advantage or reduced their costs by using counterintuitive strategies and tactics. On a recent trip to Europe, I had a chance to catch up with a customer who, for several years, has been using the concept called the “eco-friendly” delivery option to steer its customers’ delivery choices to improve productivity. The results they shared […]

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Winning at Buzzword Bingo (even when the board keeps changing)

Analytics, big data, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, heuristics, optimization – do you feel beaten down playing buzz word bingo on a constantly changing board? It can be hard to understand which new buzzwords bring business value and which are best left in the lab to mature. And yet this barrier hasn’t stopped many companies from adopting corporate initiatives around data science or artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML). To keep it simple, I […]

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Attention Logistics Companies: Temporary Labor Is NOT the Answer

Each year, as the holidays approach, logistics companies are in preparation for the anticipated peak season demand surges. Traditionally, to alleviate the pressure during peak periods, these companies have turned to temporary labor to increase outputs. In fact, holiday hiring hit a multiyear high in 2018, and is expected to continue to rise this year as companies like UPS, Target and Macy’s have announced plans to hire up to 130,000 seasonal workers. However, this year, […]

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