Amazon Go – IoT to the 4th Degree

Amazon opened its check-out free Amazon Go convenience store to the general public last week. This high-tech low-touch store is a busy urban introvert’s dream. The opening triggered a second wave of media coverage that included descriptions of user experiences and a number of possible explanations about how Amazon is able to manage this high-tech customer experience. Amazon states on its website that this shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies […]

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Is it Time for Businesses to Rethink Path to Customer Satisfaction?

Books have been written, tools like Six Sigma have been embraced, and most people seem to agree that companies retain customers by providing good service and poor customer service results in lost business. Further, the cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than maintaining positive relationships with existing customers. Data consistently supports these theories. A Business Insider Intelligence Report about customer service states that 66 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to spend more […]

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The Citizen Data Scientist

Mike Guilfoyle of ARC has been doing some interesting writing on predictive analytics. One of the terms he uses is the “citizen data scientist.”  I like the concept, and will explain Mike’s thinking in this article. But let me provide a little context first.  It would be easy for a supply chain executive, or any business manager, to ask what is the difference between “predictive analytics” and “forecasting.”  Forecasting is based on traditional mathematical and […]

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This Week in Logistics News (January 20 – 26)

In yet another impressive comeback, the New England Patriots topped the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC title game to move on to their 10th Super Bowl, and 8th in the Belichick – Brady era. They will meet the Philadelphia Eagles, who crushed the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC title game, a week from Sunday in Minneapolis, MN. Logistically, hosting the Super Bowl is no easy feat, given everything that goes into it. The […]

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How Warehouse Automation is Enabling the E-Commerce Explosion

It is a well-known fact that e-commerce is growing rapidly around the globe, and this is causing a significant shift in the retail landscape. It’s changing fulfillment paths and requiring retailers, distributors, logistics services providers, and manufacturers to expand and reconfigure their fulfillment operations. These changes are in turn driving growth in sales of warehouse automation systems. All of this I knew from general interest in business and prior research into the global warehouse automation […]

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Tips to Avoid Common Customs Traps

Vague item descriptions. Wrong addresses. Potential customs traps that can cost companies time and money when moving international shipments. Even with advanced technology that has come a long way in digitizing customs procedures, risks still remain in today’s global trade environment if electronic declarations aren’t filled out completely, accurately, and plausibly. Any of these pitfalls can increase costs and hamper productivity—and simply, interrupt the flow of goods. But there is a way forward. Best-of-breed, multi-country […]

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The Logistics Hall of Fame

An organization has put created a Hall of Fame for Logistics. Some of the names are what you would expect, some make sense but are unexpected, and there are names that should not be there and glaring omissions.

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This Week in Logistics News (January 13 – 19)

Amazon has narrowed the field down to the final 20 cities for its seconds headquarters. This is just the first step in the process, from the original 238 communities that sent proposals. Each of the proposals was evaluated based on the specific criteria set forth in the RFP, including availability of software developers and other technology talent, good transportation options, cultural fit, and the ability to move into a phase-one site as early as 2019. […]

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Cost-Effective Parcel Execution Starts with Data … All the Data

There are hundreds of thousands of 3rd party and carrier-provided shipping systems in circulation like label-printing cash registers cha-chinging in warehouses all over the world.  Many shippers have more than one, each one representing a silo of valuable information that could provide valuable insight into potential performance improvements and cost-saving opportunities for parcel execution. Sadly, even as shipping costs are increasing at more than twice the rate of inflation, all of this data is locked […]

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NRF 2018: IoT and Fulfillment for the Customer Experience

Earlier this week, I attended the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. This marked the tenth straight year that I have attended the event as an analyst. Over the years, certain key themes have emerged, and many of those themes have remained in place each and every year. Namely, these themes and trends include omni-channel (or at the least the evolution from multi-channel to cross-channel to […]

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