Hurricane Harvey web photo 2

The petrochemical industry is learning painful but necessary lessons from Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the supply chain.

By Yves Thill, Vijay Kasi, Vincenzo Sposato and Brandon Kennedy

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas in August, the damage predictions were dire. But the relentless, unprecedented rainfall that caused such massive flooding and destruction caught even the pessimistic off guard.

The impact of Harvey on the region’s petrochemical industry has been substantial, causing ripple effects across the entire supply chain. The vast majority (90 percent) of Texas ethylene capacity and more than 60 percent of all U.S. capacity came to a halt, and around 20 percent (more than 3.5 million barrels a day) of U.S. refining capacity was shuttered for nearly two weeks.

Loftware Labeling Trends web photo 2

Five ways labeling contributes to the shifting supply chain landscape.

By Josh Roffman

Supply chains and the solutions used for managing them have become increasingly important as businesses become more global and interconnected. This is why it’s critical to identify, understand and measure how labeling has a strategic impact on your supply chain and your company’s business growth.

Labeling is Being Viewed as a Global Initiative

Approximately 65 percent of those surveyed in a recent poll, claim that they recognize the necessity of having labeling addressed on a global scale. More than half of those work for companies that maintain labeling across a global operation, with five or more locations. Therefore, labeling, which intersects the supply chain at all levels, has become mission critical in meeting evolving customer requirements, keeping up with emerging regulations and avoiding disruptions from the manufacturing line to the warehouse. At the same time, as companies are looking at labeling on a global basis they must consider how to effectively deploy and maintain their labeling solutions, how to support enterprise-wide labeling changes and how to scale effectively as their businesses continue to grow and enter new markets.

Drones and the Demand Chain

Rapidly developing drone technology promises to change how deliveries are made.

By Roei Ganzarski

Since 1980, the supply chain has rapidly evolved with the introduction of logistics systems via computers to the emergence of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. And 2017 only fueled this progress bringing about a new era of logistics with the introduction and emergence of next-generation technologies like drones and sidewalk bots, driverless delivery vehicles and next-generation intermediaries such as technology-driven brokers.

These technologies are being rapidly developed and introduced due to the changing nature of the economy and resulting shift from supply-driven to demand-driven operations. It’s no longer the manufacturer or distributor deciding what to sell and when, but rather the consumer dictating what to buy and when to have it delivered.

Securing Supply Chains

Businesses and industry organizations are working together to secure supply chains.

By Janice Meraglia

Counterfeiting represents a tremendous, growing threat to the integrity of global supply chains. Within multiple verticals – from defense to industrial parts to textiles and beyond – counterfeit goods pose serious safety risks and jeopardize consumers. The automobile industry, for instance, considers each car part a safety part – from microprocessors to bearings.

Although each sector is aiming to stem the tide of fake products from entering supply chains, one trend transcends sectors: the realization that cooperation is essential. Manufacturers are banding together with government initiatives to establish traceability, realizing that fake goods pose as much, or more, of a threat to supply chains than actual known competitors. By working together, legitimate manufacturers will reclaim the market from counterfeiters (shadow competitors) and will be rewarded for their diligence in driving out fakes. By taking a proactive approach such as molecular tagging, proving the positive becomes the quality standard – versus finding the fakes, which is reactive and allows counterfeiters to call the shots.

Supply Chain Sustainability

Supply Chain sustainability should be top of mind with peace of mind.

By Joanne Sonenshine

Is a company that takes a bold stance on an issue impacting human health, the environment or a social cause only doing so for reputation building, or is business conscious a real thing? Can't profitability be motivated by social change? 

There are many companies operating successfully without contemplating how their investments impact the planet, the communities in which they source or the populations they serve. Yet there remain pretty significant challenges that companies cannot avoid even if they wanted to. Stories still plague food companies about slave labor in seafood supply chains, and clothing companies still grapple with how to improve the lives of apparel workers confined to sweatshops. Transportation companies deal with volatile gas prices and emissions, and big manufacturing is still evaluating ways to be pollution free.

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