2017 Parcel Express Roundtable: Paying for peak performance

It can be hard to believe that very much happens in a year, but that theory is put to the test when it comes to the parcel express market.

In fact, over the past 12 months we’ve seen major changes in pricing from the parcel duopoly of FedEx and UPS; the accelerated emergence of regional parcel players; and don’t forget we’re all watching the increasing power and reach of e-commerce giant Amazon as it grows its own delivery capabilities globally.

These developments require parcel shippers to do whatever it takes to stay on top of their parcel game from both a financial and operational perspective. To help them along, Logistics Management has gathered Jerry Hempstead, president of Hempstead Consulting, a parcel advisory firm; David Ross, transportation and logistics director at investment firm Stifel; and Rob Martinez, president and CEO at Shipware, an audit and parcel consulting services company.

Over the next few pages, our experts offer their insight into what’s driving parcel market trends and offers some practical advice for how shippers need to re-adjust to ever-changing market conditions.

Logistics Management (LM): How would you describe today’s parcel marketplace?

Jerry Hempstead: All of the parcel carriers are doing well in volume and earnings—even the USPS is making money if you back out the Congressional mandates. And it’s clear that e-commerce is driving the volumes. To top it off, service levels this year are at record levels and are predictable and consistent.

My observation is that there’s no statistical difference between the service performance offered by FedEx and UPS across a year’s worth of activity, although FedEx offers a faster delivery on ground to about 25% more city pairs than UPS. This pressure on speeding up the promise and refining the networks to make the magic happen will only improve the consumer experience in parcel services.

Read more at 2017 Parcel Express Roundtable: Paying for peak performance

Leave your comments below if you have any opinions and subscribe us to be the first to get our updates.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Big data analytics technology: disruptive and important?

Of all the disruptive technologies we track, big data analytics is the biggest. It’s also among the haziest in terms of what it really means to supply chain. In fact, its importance seems more to reflect the assumed convergence of trends for massively increasing amounts of data and ever faster analytical methods for crunching that data. In other words, the 81percent of all supply chain executives surveyed who say big data analytics is ‘disruptive and important’ are likely just assuming it’s big rather than knowing first-hand.

Does this mean we’re all being fooled? Not at all. In fact, the analogy of eating an elephant is probably fair since there are at least two things we can count on: we can’t swallow it all in one bite, and no matter where we start, we’ll be eating for a long time.

So, dig in!

Getting better at everything

Searching SCM World’s content library for ‘big data analytics’ turns up more than 1,200 citations. The first screen alone includes examples for spend analytics, customer service performance, manufacturing variability, logistics optimisation, consumer demand forecasting and supply chain risk management.

Read more at Big data analytics technology: disruptive and important?

Share your opinions regarding this topic in the comment box below and subscribe us for more updates.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

How IoT logistics will revolutionize supply chain management

As with many other areas of the economy, the digital revolution is having a profound effect on delivery logistics.

The combination of mobile computing, analytics, and cloud services, all of which are fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing how delivery and fulfillment companies are conducting their operations.

One of the most popular methods for fulfilling deliveries today is through third-party logistics, which involves any company that provides outsourced services to move products and resources from one area to another. Third-party logistics, or 3PL, can be one service, such as transportation or a warehouse, or an entire system that maintains the whole supply chain.

But the IoT is going to change how this process operates. Below, we’ve outlined the impact of IoT on supply chain, and how IoT management will transform inventory, logistics, and more.

Internet of Things Supply Chain Management

One of the biggest trends poised to upend supply chain management is asset tracking, which gives companies a way to totally overhaul their supply chain and logistics operations by giving them the tools to make better decisions and save time and money. Delivery company DHL and tech giant Cisco estimated in 2015 that IoT technologies such as asset tracking solutions could have an impact of more than $1.9 trillion in the supply chain and logistics sector.

And this transformation is already underway. A recent survey by GT Nexus and Capgemini found that 70% of retail and manufacturing companies have already started a digital transformation project in their supply chain and logistics operations.

Asset tracking is not new by any means. Freight and shipping companies have used barcode scanners to track and manage their inventory. But new developments are making these scanners obsolete, as they can only collect data on broad types of items, rather than the location or condition of specific items. Newer asset tracking solutions (which we’ll get into shortly in the next section) offer much more vital and usable data, especially when paired with other IoT technologies.

Read more at How IoT logistics will revolutionize supply chain management

We would like to know what you think about this topic, share your opinions with us in the comment box. If you need assistance, you can contact us via email. You can subscribe us to be the first one to get the latest article.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

How Big Data And Analytics Are Transforming Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a field where Big Data and analytics have obvious applications. Until recently, however, businesses have been less quick to implement big data analytics in supply chain management than in other areas of operation such as marketing or manufacturing.

Of course supply chains have for a long time now been driven by statistics and quantifiable performance indicators. But the sort of analytics which are really revolutionizing industry today – real time analytics of huge, rapidly growing and very messy unstructured datasets – were largely absent.

This was clearly a situation that couldn’t last. Many factors can clearly impact on supply chain management – from weather to the condition of vehicles and machinery, and so recently executives in the field have thought long and hard about how this could be harnessed to drive efficiencies.

In 2013 the Journal of Business Logistics published a white paper calling for “crucial” research into the possible applications of Big Data within supply chain management. Since then, significant steps have been taken, and it now appears many of the concepts are being embraced wholeheartedly.

Applications for analysis of unstructured data has already been found in inventory management, forecasting, and transportation logistics. In warehouses, digital cameras are routinely used to monitor stock levels and the messy, unstructured data provides alerts when restocking is needed.

Read more at How Big Data And Analytics Are Transforming Supply Chain Management

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager

It’s been written that a career in supply chain management can be like climbing a mountain.

While there is often a map for the path forward in professions like accounting, medicine and the law, in supply chain management – as with mountaineering – there are any number of paths that can reach the summit.

Those were among the findings from a research series conducted for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and published in the July/August 2015 issue of Supply Chain Management Review, and reinforced by research conducted by McKinsey & Company and Kuhne Logistics University.

The latter, for instance, found that while many supply chain management executives had experience in logistics, procurement and sales/marketing, “… a surprising number of supply chain executives are appointed without any previous exposure to SCM…in our sample, supply chain executives spent 88% of their previous career span outside the SCM function.”

Are those findings consistent with readers of Supply Chain Management Review and members of APICS Supply Chain Council? And, if so, who is today’s supply chain manager? And, how did he – or she – navigate to their position on the mountain?

Did they start out in the supply chain going back to their college days, or, as in the McKinsey study, did they come into the profession from other parts of the organization?

Moreover, what are their duties today and how do they see the job changing?

Read more at A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager

Share your opinions with us in the comment box and subscribe us to get updates in your inbox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

One step ahead: How data science and supply chain management are driving the predictive enterprise

DHL, the world’s leading logistics company, today launched its latest white paper highlighting the untapped power of data-driven insight for the supply chain. The white paper has revealed that most companies are sitting upon a goldmine of untapped supply chain data that has the ability to give organizations a competitive edge. While this wealth of supply chain data already runs the day-to-day flow of goods around the world, the white paper has revealed a small group of trailblazing companies are utilizing this data as a predictive tool for accurate forecasting.

“The predictive enterprise: Where data science meets supply chain” is a white paper by Lisa Harrington, President of the lharrington group LLC that was commissioned by DHL to identify the opportunities available to companies to anticipate and even predict the future. It encourages companies to get ahead of their business and direct their global operations accordingly.

Data mining, pattern recognition, business analytics, business intelligence and other tools are coalescing into an emerging field of supply chain data science. These new intelligent analytic capabilities are changing supply chains – from reactive operations, to proactive and ultimately predictive operating models. The implications extend far beyond just reinventing the supply chain. They will help map the blueprint for the next-generation global company – the insight-driven enterprise.

Jesse Laver, Vice President, Global Sector Development, Technology, DHL Supply Chain, said, “At DHL, we’re helping our customers get ahead of the competition by working with them to harness the wealth of data information from across their businesses, allowing us to develop smarter supply chain solutions that factor in their wider business operations. For our technology customers, we use data analytics to predict what’s going on in the supply chain, such as what products are in high demand, so we can tailor our solutions accordingly.”

While supply chain analytics technologies and tools have come a long way in the last few years, integrating them into the enterprise is still far from easy. Companies typically progress through several stages of maturity as they adopt these technologies. The descriptive supply chain stage uses information and analytics systems to capture and present data in a way that helps managers understand what is happening.

Read more at One step ahead: How data science and supply chain management are driving the predictive enterprise

Please post your questions or comments below, and subscribe to get updates in your inbox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

How data science and supply chain management are driving the predictive enterprise

DHL, the world’s leading logistics company, today launched its latest white paper highlighting the untapped power of data-driven insight for the supply chain. The white paper has revealed that most companies are sitting upon a goldmine of untapped supply chain data that has the ability to give organizations a competitive edge. While this wealth of supply chain data already runs the day-to-day flow of goods around the world, the white paper has revealed a small group of trailblazing companies are utilizing this data as a predictive tool for accurate forecasting.

“The predictive enterprise: Where data science meets supply chain” is a white paper by Lisa Harrington, President of the lharrington group LLC that was commissioned by DHL to identify the opportunities available to companies to anticipate and even predict the future. It encourages companies to get ahead of their business and direct their global operations accordingly.

Data mining, pattern recognition, business analytics, business intelligence and other tools are coalescing into an emerging field of supply chain data science. These new intelligent analytic capabilities are changing supply chains – from reactive operations, to proactive and ultimately predictive operating models. The implications extend far beyond just reinventing the supply chain. They will help map the blueprint for the next-generation global company – the insight-driven enterprise.

Jesse Laver, Vice President, Global Sector Development, Technology, DHL Supply Chain, said, “At DHL, we’re helping our customers get ahead of the competition by working with them to harness the wealth of data information from across their businesses, allowing us to develop smarter supply chain solutions that factor in their wider business operations. For our technology customers, we use data analytics to predict what’s going on in the supply chain, such as what products are in high demand, so we can tailor our solutions accordingly.”

Read more at One step ahead: How data science and supply chain management are driving the predictive enterprise

Please share your opinions in the comment box, and subscribe to get updates in your inbox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Beware the ‘black swans’ in your supply chain

Enterprises know that merely having a supply chain involves a certain amount of risk, but few do enough to protect against the one-off, extreme incidents that can disrupt them.

That’s according to Yossi Sheffi, an MIT professor who is director of its Center for Transportation & Logistics.

Such events — sometimes referred to as “black swans” — include unanticipated catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, the BP Horizon oil rig explosion, the 9/11 terrorist attack, the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, and even the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

While most risk-planning processes focus on events that happen relatively often, such as routine weather emergencies, they often ignore the extreme ones that are considered too unlikely to worry about, Sheffi argues.

While such events are unlikely, the probability that they’ll happen isn’t zero — as history has proven again and again.

“Black swans are never expected,” Sheffi said in an interview. “There are many examples of low-probability, high-impact disruptions. People don’t believe they can happen, but they do — and there will be more.”

Vendors such as Resilinc and Elementum along with IBM, SAP and Cisco are increasingly coming out with software to help companies protect themselves, he noted.

Read more at Beware the ‘black swans’ in your supply chain

Share your opinions with us in the comment box. Subscribe to get updates in your inbox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Cloud Solutions for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Software

Logen Solutions, a software company that specializes in logistics efficiency software, released CubeMaster Online, a comprehensive cloud solution for logistics and software for supply chain management.

CubeMaster Online is a load plan and optimization software, and palletizing and packaging design software that calculates the optimal loads for pallets, trucks, trailers, and sea and air containers. Companies can help reduce 5 to 20 percent of the trucks or container loads used. This can result in significant time and cost savings for many companies.

CubeMaster Online helps facilitate collaboration with teams working together in distribution areas. This collaboration feature presents logistics, engineering, marketing, management and distribution centers with an easy, efficient way to share and control load planning and execution across various geographical areas.

CubeMaster Mobile provides mobile pages built on HTML 5, which enables connection to any service with any mobile devices. This mobile version is designed to run on mobile devices such as iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.

CubeMaster Web Service is the most recent technology to enable the integration of CubeMaster Online with customer applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS) at the application level. It allows the remote applications written by ASP, APS.NET, Java, PHP and SAP to call remotely the application program interfaces (APIs) served by the CubeMaster Online server.

Read more at Cloud Solutions for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Software

Have you used the cloud solution for logistics and software for supply chain management mentioned in the article? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box. Subscribe to get updates in your inbox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

The Next Revolution in Supply Chain Management

In the first revolution, the concept of supply chain, as opposed to logistics, was put forth. Constraint based optimization tools for the extended supply chain were developed to support the new philosophy. As this was going on, Lean and Six Sigma approaches to improving capabilities, not just at the factory level, but in other internal departments, as well as across the supplier and 3PL base, were gaining in strength.

It took a while, but it was recognized technology was not enough. The key process in SCM is the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process that balances supply with demand intelligently. S&OP itself is going through a second rev and we now talk about integrated business planning (IBP), a form of S&OP that is more closely aligned with finance. A related “revolution” that improves the demand half of S&OP is based on the concept of demand driven supply chains; this is the idea that it is important to not just create a forecast based on historical shipments, but having real visibility to demand at the point of sale to improve demand management.

In recent years, the topic of supply chain risk management has emerged and new processes and ideas have begun to be codified and turned into a distinct discipline. An emerging topic is supply chain sustainability; and indeed in many corporate social responsibility reports the topics of both supply chain risk management and sustainability are addressed.

Read more at The Next Revolution in Supply Chain Management

Share your opinions with us in the comment box below, and subscribe to get more updates delivered in your inbox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone