January-February 2018

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January-February 2018

If you frequent supply chain conferences, as I do, you’ve probably noticed that some of the best-attended sessions are the ones that focus on emerging technologies—or what we’re calling the NextGen Supply Chain. You may have noticed something else: While topics like Big Data, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blockchain and robotics play to standing room audiences, there’s a lot of confusion about what to do with the information. At the 2016 APICS conference, one member of the audience asked a direct question at the end of an excellent session on Big Data by Hannah Kain, the CEO of Alom: “This sounds great. But there’s not a single individual in our operation who knows anything about this. Where do I start?”
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Get ready for the NextGen Supply Chain

If you frequent supply chain conferences, as I do, you've probably noticed that some of the best-attended sessions are the ones that focus on emerging technologies—or…

From the March 2018 Issue: Why procurement matters

Finding solutions to the rising cost of supply is just one reason why procurement matters (as if readers who are planning on attending ISM 2018 in Nashville have any doubts)

Are you capturing enough “quick-response” revenue?

To capitalize on all revenue opportunities, companies need what we call QRF to identify when a demand spike or drastic change in demand might occur.

Oil Update: Back to the future, again

A look forward—and a look backward—on oil consumption and pricing.

Can we trust the “trust machine?”

In 2015, The Economist magazine famously dubbed blockchain technology “the trust machine” owing to its ability to create trust in business networks. This capability…

Unlocking the potential of India’s high-tech start-ups

Although India is the world's 7th largest economy and one of the fastest growing economies on the planet, it lags many developing countries— notably China—on indicators…

Procurement is getting its digitized act together

While supply chain managers have been slow to integrate digitization in the procurement function, the trend may finally be gaining traction, says a new report.

Measuring risk and reward in the global marketplace

2018 promises to be an “exciting year” for supply chain managers, say analysts at Panjiva Research. The think tank has published a series of eight reports investigating the…

Get Smart (about replenishment)

Smart replenishment systems that continuously track inventories at the point-of-consumption (POC) are powerful technologies that can radically change supply chains.

The Right Way to Procure Indirect Materials and Services

A new IP standard offers a framework to get the most from your indirect spend.

The Benefits of Blockchain: Fact or Wishful Thinking?

Blockchain is still a largely unproven innovation in the supply chain, but it's also one that companies can't afford to ignore.

Power to the buyer

Buyers may feel powerless facing a sole-source, but they have more power than they think because they overlook the pressures on the supplier.

NextGen Supply Chain: The Robots are Here

Long a fixture on the factory floor, a new generation of robots are ready for a broader range of applications. The only thing standing in their way is end-user adoption.

Contracting for Success with Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

Foreign firms doing business in or with China are likely to sell products and services to Chinese state-owned enterprises. When a dispute requires the Chinese legal system for…

Transportation’s Tricky Balancing Act

Done right, economies of scale can lower a carrier's average costs and the freight rates charged to their customers. Getting it right is a balance.

Measuring Supplier Innovation

Most CPOs understand that the next big innovation is out there, being invented by someone. But, new research indicates that few have a process in place to identify and measure…

Cold Supply Chain: Keeping it fresh

Enabling the global promise of fresh food requires a new framework IF YOU FREQUENT TRENDY RESTAURANTS or shop at your

Serving Up An Experience

The next generation of supply chains will be tasked with delivering an experience as well as a product.

A.I. and the path to breakthrough supply chain planning

Just as electricity transformed every industry 100 years ago, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is poised to transform every industry in the coming decade.

Blockchain’s great potential

Blockchain's potential is immense, but most organizations have not yet made the investment.

Building resiliency in your supply chain

The ultimate effect of populism on global trade is unclear, but the risks are high. Supply chain managers need new tools to value risk under different scenarios.

Leveraging Supply Chain Finance

The evolving supply chain finance sector is making it easier for suppliers and buyers to work out their own win-win financial arrangements.

Less than Truckload (LTL) market in high gear

Buoyed by surging demand, less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are revving up for 2018, warning that tightening capacity means sharply higher rates in a new era of pricing.

Sustainability and supplier management

Aligning supplier performance with sustainability goals takes effort, but can lead to efficiency.


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