Why supply chains need to get excited about autonomous transport robots

(A case study on their impact)

Imagine robots whizzing about in a warehouse, all coordinated with a defined purpose. A hive of activity...efficient and focused on completing their next task. 

This future is quickly approaching with BMW leading the way. 

They just launched the first fleet of autonomous transport robots in their warehouse and assembly operations.

It’s about the size of a suitcase.

We all know automation is next big thing in the supply chain industry.

Well, now it’s already arrived . . . An initial fleet of ten self-driving Smart Transport Robots (STR) transporting components through the logistics hall at BMW’s Wackersdorf plant in Germany.

Interested? This article explains why autonomous robots are the future of warehousing and assembly. 

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Blockchain technology poised to transform supply chains

"Like Internet or Wikipedia, blockchain is not owned by any single company or government. You will not be dependent on Googles and Facebooks of the world that owns your data. What if nobody owns or stores that data – this is what blockchain can do,” says Kunal Nandwani, Founder and CEO, uTrade Solutions

For supply chains, blockchain can significantly increase transparency from the origin of a product, through the shipping process, and ultimately to customer delivery.

Currently, only a handful of companies are experimenting with blockchain implementation but the opportunities are boundless. 

In this article, you’ll learn about block chain technology and read some examples supply chain giants using the technology. You’ll also get a glimpse of its potential future in logisitcs.

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Enterprise resource planning software: 20 must-ask questions before buying (to save you money)

The top enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can significantly improve your business operations.

Lately, ERP supply chain software received bad press.

They’re developing an expensive reputation ewithout living up to expectations.

ERP is a powerful and adaptable business tool.

Yet, there are a growing number supply chains experiencing software operational shortfalls.

This article looks to explain these problems are happening. 

And you'll learn foundational questions you need to ask before making a ERP purchase.

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Supply chain transformation challenges: How to make a successful change

So how do supply chains handle the rapid pace of innovation?

A pace that can leave them struggling to adapt and make the right decisions?

There’s intense competition in the global economy…where only the strong survive.

Breakthrough technologies meeting the growing demand of e-commerce are the drivers of change. 

Also, the pace of on-demand customers entering the market is always changing.

The speed of technology advances mean entire supply chains are continuously adapting. But major transformations are notorious for not delivering on their original intent.

However, achieving successful business transformation is not easy.

According to the McKinsey Global Survey 2015, two thirds (74%) of respondents said the transformations they’re most familiar with are short term. 

They've been unsuccessful at improving performance and equipping organizations with the skills to sustain improvements over the medium to long term.

Riddled with cost and schedule overruns, critical projects requiring organizational transformation often miss the mark with negative consequences. 

Some of the key considerations are:

  • issues with inconsistent delivery
  • negative impact on service
  • direct impact on profitability
  • potential damage of organizational and personal reputations.

This article will highlight three strategic approaches designed to provide you with some insights and keys for a supply chain transformation roadmap.

Before going any further, let’s get on the same page on what supply chain transformation is about.

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Top 10 reasons to join the Supply Chain Management Association

Have you heard of the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA)?

With almost 8,000 members, it’s the leading and the largest association in Canada for supply chain management professionals.

It sets the standard of excellence for professional skills, knowledge and integrity.

You’ll find this article helpful if you’re considering a career in the supply chain or a student in the field.

SCMA is a welcoming organization to anyone with an interest in the supply chain. 

Here are our top 10 reasons to become an SCMA member:

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How to prepare your distribution centre for holiday fulfillment (and plan for next year)

Many supply chain distribution centres are on the home stretch for peak season holiday distribution centre fulfillment.

Whether you service wholesale, retail or e-commerce (or any combination of these), you're already out of time to prepare for another peak season.

With the unprecedented demands placed on distribution centres (DCs) with the rise of omnichannel, e-commerce and rapid direct-to-consumer delivery, many are scrambling to meet the final rush before Christmas.

The rise of Amazon distribution centres with their rapid delivery times has made for very competitive holiday distribution logistics.

We’ll give you seven valuable inside tips on making that list and checking it twice to ensure your set up for success for peak holiday logistics

for the final days of this holiday season as well as next.

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Square One Supply Chain Podcast #47: Taking advantage of growing inland ports

In this episode, we discuss why inland ports are growing and why your business should be using them. We also look at the internet of things and its impact on the supply chain. Finally, we have some big news to announce regarding the show.  

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5 ways to vet suppliers to reduce your supply chain risks

One in three organizations experienced cumulative losses in the millions of dollars during the last year as a result of supply chain disruptions.

That’s according to a report, Supply Chain Resilience Report 2015, published by the Business Continuity Institute and supported by the Zurich Insurance Group.

There's no question the risk in global supply chains is rising.

This is confirmed by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Risk Index.

The index is produced for CIPS by Dun & Bradstreet economists, who track the impact of economic and political developments on the stability of global supply chains.

According to the index, the figure is the highest since 2013. 

It's been driven by increases in supply chain risk in Western and Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Dun & Bradstreet, “The upward trend in supply chain risk is in part driven by a disintegration of the political consensus over globalization, with the World Trade Organization reporting an average of 22 new trade restrictive measures a month in its latest report.”

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Why supply chains must pay attention to the explosive growth of inland ports

With seaports growing rapidly in size and limited capacity, an inland port provides an effective counterbalance.

Increasingly, supply chain professionals are looking to inland ports for warehousing and distribution.

Good are taken directly from seaports to inland ports by containers.

According to a research report by CBRE Group Inc., top inland ports in North America are in a time of rapid growth and expansion.

This article examines the explosive growth of inland ports and why we are seeing this trend.

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How a Donald Trump administration could benefit Canada's supply chain

With United States president-elect Donald promising to renegotiate/withdraw from the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or, withdraw from the as-yet non-ratified Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there could be impacts to the total landed costs of goods imported by Canadian businesses. 

But, all is not doom and gloom, said Bennett Jones international trade lawyer Darrel Pearson and Jack Mintz, a professor in the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. 

Indeed, they said there are business and trade aspects to a Trump presidency Canadian businesses might use to their benefit if they do some research. 

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