Thursday 20th Sep 2018 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Viewing all Supply Chain Viewpoint articles

Flight of fantasy?

Can’t say I am a regular reader of the “Nikkei Asian Review”, but when it headlined a story “Toyota decides flying cars aren’t so crazy after all”, I couldn’t resist having a look.

The Oscars need a bit of logistics expertise

Millions of times every day logistics operators get the right package to the right place at the right time. Occasionally things go wrong, but rarely so catastrophically as they did for one of the world’s biggest accountancy and consultancy partnerships, PwC.

What will Black Friday bring this year?

While many retailers would love it if we all quietly forgot about Black Friday, the American import looks set to stay for some years yet. Will 2016’s promotions repeat the carrier carnage of 2014 or will retailers succeed in managing consumer demand and expectations?

Critical need for business skills

Globalisation, multi-channel retail, and rapid technological development means that supply chain is becoming ever more complex, so ensuring that organisations have people with the right skills is becoming ever more important.

Time to target supply chain fraud

Managing supply chain risk is a vital task, but to what extent are organisations targeting fraud in the supply chain?

Get ready for a digital future

Physicist Stephen Hawking has predicted a future with “machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails”. so, how could technology available today transform fulfilment? By Penelope Ody

Innovative disruption is here

A couple of months ago, at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards, I predicted that in 2016 we would start to see more examples of disruptive innovation in the logistics market.

Who’s afraid of Black Friday now?

Black Friday 2014 will haunt UK retailers and their logistics partners alike for many years to come. Consumers brawling in the aisles for discounted goods, trailer loads of parcels for home delivery left standing because capacity had been under-estimated, and worst of all, lots and lots of very unhappy customers.

Rising cost of supply chain disruption

Business interruption now accounts for a much higher proportion of the overall loss than was the case ten years ago – and that is down to increasing interdependencies between companies, the global supply chain and lean production processes.

Is your business resilient enough?

Apparently, only a third of business chiefs think that their companies have the resilience to survive into the future.

Engineering a better supply chain

Engineering and manufacturing have seen big changes over recent years with the emergence of China and India as major players. But the changes ahead promise to be even bigger and will have a significant impact on how supply chains are structured.

Time for a reality check

As online sales continue to grow so may retail losses on each order. Big data and a change in consumer attitudes to the services they want might just ease the pressure on carriers.

Time for a conceptual leap?

Are we ready to make the next big conceptual leap in the way we think about supply chains? In fact, should we be even thinking about supply chains at all any more?

Boom or bust?

With the summer sales out of the way, retailers used to start turning their attention to the Christmas peak – or they did until the arrival of ‘Black Friday’.

Getting to grips with greenhouse gases

Most of the focus of emissions legislation for commercial vehicles has been on pollutants such as NOx and particulates. For example, last year saw the introduction of Euro 6 legislation in Europe – the latest in a series of steps to cut these pollutants.

The bright star of the mail market

Royal Mail’s share price rose after Whistl revealed that it was abandoning its end-to-end service. However, the move was less pleasing for the regulator, Ofcom, which has now launched a “fundamental review of the regulation of Royal Mail”.

Wal-Mart’s challenge to retail supply chain

“I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way, and we can’t either. Customers just want us to solve their everyday problems with an easy, seamless shopping experience.”

Take the robot challenge

Can robots pick single items efficiently? It’s an important question for e-tailers that need to pick a range of disparate items to fulfil an order. So it’s no surprise that Amazon put up $20,000 as first prize in a competition to find the best robot.

What happened to Apple?

This is the time of year that I normally get to write: “Apple tops Gartner supply chain rankings”. But not this year. What is going on?

3PL market is ripe for consolidation

For many years, it’s been axiomatic for third party logistics providers that the best place to recruit new customers is from the own account sector – those retailers and manufacturers that have historically chosen to handle their logistics in-house.

Automating tomorrow’s deliveries

Drones, driverless vehicles, robots, underground tunnels… futuristic delivery options are proliferating, but will they ever replace the ‘man with a van’?

Does supply chain make people happier?

If you live in Switzerland, congratulations – you are officially one of the happiest people in the world. At least that is one of the conclusions of the World Happiness Report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Pressure is on EU-US trade negotiators

Negotiators from the European Union and United States government are meeting in New York this week to hammer out  the terms of a new free trade agreement – it’s the ninth round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Healthcare commoditisation puts focus on supply chain

To the outsider, the healthcare sector is characterised by the critical nature of so much of the activity. Getting the right drugs and equipment to the right place at the right time can mean life or death.

But what will the Eurocrats say?

It’s not the first time that FedEx has been linked with a bid for TNT. Back in 2008, shares in TNT rocketed after reports that FedEx was planning to mount a bid.

Take the triple supply chain advantage

It’s all too easy to find examples of malpractice in extended supply chains – dodgy employment practices, use of child labour, or for that matter the Bangladesh fashion factory fire in 2012.

Time to innovate

Twenty years ago, it was only too apparent that many organisations did not harness their supply chain as effectively as they could – and in many cases simply did not recognise its the importance to their business.

There’s tax in them thar supply chains

Extraction of shale gas has received a lot of bad publicity in the UK – with dire warnings of houses collapsing as a result of “fracking” – hydraulic fracturing of the rock layers to get at the gas.

Retailers are giving procurement a bad name

It’s not that unusual to hear stories about how some big retailers treat their suppliers – but it is unusual for a professional institute to come out and say that they are giving procurement a bad name.

VW set to transform automotive supply chains

New technologies and shorter product cycles pose serious challenges for the motor industry globally. And, according to Garcia Sanz, procurement board member at Volkswagen: “In future, a key success factor will be a highly efficient global supplier network.”

Managing the merry-go-round

As online sales soar so do returns, with three or four items in every ten sold heading back to the shelves – at what cost?

Acquisitive urges

The past week has seen two major takeover deals in the global logistics market – and it might be a sign of things to come, according to the latest analysis of M&A activity by PwC.

Re-shoring: a £15.3bn opportunity

It’s not so many years since companies were reconfiguring their supply chains to move manufacturing to the emerging markets of the Far East.

For ‘boom’ read ‘backlog’

With the IMRG calculating that shoppers now spend £1in every £4 online, demand for delivery services continues to grow. Can the industry cope with promotional peaks?

On track for £150bn prize?

The prize is a global market worth £150 billion a year, so perhaps the surprise is that it has taken this long to develop a long term supply chain industrial strategy to exploit the market.

New year, new risks

Business interruption and supply chain risk tops the list of business risks, according to the latest Allianz Risk Barometer.

Time to modernise construction supply chain

Lack of integration in the construction industry supply chain is leading to lost innovation opportunities – at least that’s the thesis of Innovate UK and it has £2 million to do something about it.

Online: time to focus on cost to serve

John Lewis is one of the winners out of Christmas 2014 with online sales growth of 19 per cent. Nevertheless, managing director Andy Street told the BBC: “My personal hope is that this is the high water mark for Black Friday. I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do […]

Shadow IT: unleashing creativity or creating chaos?

In most of the organisations that I have worked in, the IT department has maintained an iron grip on the IT systems used in the business. There are good reasons of course, legality, security, the ability to provide support, and integration of systems across the organisation. But, the world is changing with the development of […]

Premier case puts focus on supplier relationships

Driving a hard bargain with your suppliers is one thing, but demanding a cash gift under the threat of delisting, is downright unfair. These, and other harsh words, were directed at Premier Foods last week by the Federation of Small Businesses. It followed a complaint in the press about how Premier manages companies in its […]

Get Weekly Logistics & Supply Chain News
Get Weekly Logistics & Supply Chain News
Thank you for your subscription