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How Supply Chain Managers Can Use
Artificial Intelligence to Their Advantage

Artificial intelligence (AI) now touches almost every industry and walk of life. Driverless cars are chauffeuring themselves through Pittsburgh’s roads, robots dominate the activity within Amazon’s warehouses, and increasingly sophisticated algorithms for demand planning and design have gone digital. Personalization and machine learning continue to improve customers’ experiences and open countless doors for the tech […]

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E-commerce Retailers Target Germany

Germany is the most important European future market for U.S. brands expanding their e-commerce business (see chart), according to Internationalizing Your Brand in 2017, a study of e-commerce retail decision makers commissioned by Arvato and conducted by the Worldwide Business Research Digital agency. Companies that focus consistently on omnichannel and offering convenient, flexible, and reliable […]

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Food Transportation: Missing Ingredients to FSMA Compliance

Sanitary transportation compliance is currently mandatory for many and will be required for all shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers in April 2018. While the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011 set the guidelines and rulemaking for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STHAF) in process, there are still gaps in compliance. […]

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Fashion Supply Chain: What to Where

While most fashion and apparel executives are optimistic about the 5-year outlook for the industry, the percentage fell from 92.3 percent in 2016 to 71 percent in 2017, a record low for the United States Fashion Industry Association’s annual Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, which surveyed executives from leading fashion and apparel brands, retailers, importers, and […]

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NAFTA: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

Many Americans see the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a contributing factor to the growth of the U.S. economy over the past 20 years and to the proliferation of high-skilled jobs, and believe the focus of the NAFTA negotiations should be modernizing the agreement, not withdrawing from it. Though it is often portrayed […]

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Engaging Customers Through AI

Engaging Customers Through AI

Retailers will rely heavily on technologies such as live chat, Facebook Messenger, and Amazon Alexa for customer service, according to a new research study from Linc and Brand Garage. How AI Technology Will Transform Customer Engagement highlights the overwhelming emphasis retail executives are placing on automated platforms to improve customer communication, with 87 percent of […]

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Best Practices for the Gift of Successful Holiday Sales

Best Practices for the Gift of Successful Holiday Sales

For some retailers, holiday sales can represent up to 27.4 percent of annual sales, and in 2017, overall retail holiday sales are expected to increase from 2016. Debra Glassburn, Partner, Columbus Consulting, offers these tips to help retailers make the most of the 2017 holiday season and leverage every sales opportunity. Understand historical trends. Having […]

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Consumer Behavior: The Missing Link

Consumer Behavior: The Missing Link

In today’s highly competitive, omni-channel market, companies are realizing the path to success hinges on their ability to understand consumer behavior. Retailers and manufacturers can unlock significant competitive advantage by leveraging consumer insights to make category decisions and create localized merchandising assortments. Most companies lack the ability to mine and leverage important customer data, and […]

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FedEx and UPS Set Aside Rivalry to Lobby White House on Infrastructure

An amusing meme that occasionally makes the rounds on social media shows a FedEx truck parked nose-to-nose with a UPS truck, with the caption "it’s about to go down." For the moment, however, the two major rivals have set aside their differences in the interest of the greater good. David Abney, CEO of UPS and […]

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IBM: Working on the Blockchain Gang

IBM: Working on the Blockchain Gang

Security. Transparency. Efficiency. These buzzwords have circled the supply chain for years as consumers demand more responsible supply chains, forcing shippers and providers to explore new ways to make these terms reality. Alongside these buzzwords, another word surfaces as a potential solution to many major concerns: blockchain. IBM aims to make this solution tangible for […]

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The Calm After the Storms

The Calm After the Storms

Among the lasting effects of catastrophic natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is a positive one: Knowledge. It’s an understanding of what companies need to do in the wake of a disaster, which efforts worked and which failed, and how to be better prepared. How Walmart, FedEx, and other big companies have adapted […]

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4PLs Will Benefit Most from Supply Chain Digitalization

Will digitalization reshuffle the deck in the marketplace of logistics services? Yes, say the IT experts at cloud-based supply chain management solutions provider AXIT, a Siemens company. A new paper published by the firm highlights how the digital transformation is affecting the industry. The authors believe that the fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider model will be […]

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Supply Chain Shout Out: Forklift Power

Powered industrial trucks, or forklifts, are an indispensible part of doing business for logistics operations. They are used to move and lift materials and offer load capacities from a few thousand pounds up to 180,000 pounds. They also come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the application: lift trucks, tow tractors, rough terrain vehicles, […]

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E-Commerce Commentary: Three Ways Shippers Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

The Amazon Effect continues to weigh heavily (pun intended) upon the supply chain. Consumers expect to receive packages at their homes within a few days—or within a day—of placing an order, and the demand for lightning-quick fulfillment coupled with the myriad of small-order additions has led to a complex operating environment for supply chain leaders. […]

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Supply Chain Commentary: The Future of Blockchain in Ocean Shipping

The potential for blockchain goes hand in hand with digitization. Blockchain will require digitization and can also help drive it with the goal of minimizing the manual processes that many shipping industry participants still use today. Blockchain’s added value to digitization is authentication, non-repudiation, immutability of data, improved business process support through smart contracts, and […]

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Third-Party Refurbishers Help Get
First-Quality Goods to Market

Ideally, every step of your supply chain runs like clockwork, without interruption. You want to keep operations, transportation, and distribution ticking along precisely. A significant interruption can deliver a serious blow to the timeline—and the bottom line. But life happens… An overseas shipment of suits gets soaked with saltwater, plunging the distribution center into a […]

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Supply Chain Commentary: 3 Ways to Prepare for the ELD Mandate

The upcoming electronic logging device (ELD) mandate affects more than just the carriers and owner/operators that will be directly responsible for using the devices in their trucks. It’s truly a law that could change the entire trucking industry. And your truckload strategy may need to adjust accordingly. ELD Mandate: The Benefits Before delving deeper, we […]

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How to Prepare Your Supply Chain for Inclement Weather

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma both made landfall causing destruction and devastation in their paths. Hurricane Harvey is said to be the biggest hurricane to hit Texas in 50 years and Hurricane Irma is the first major hurricane to hit Florida since Wilma made landfall in 2005. As a result, businesses were forced to shut […]

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