gymnastics 89613 640Today’s mid-market companies are pressed with demands to be better, faster and cheaper via supply chain efficiencies. According to the 2016 Material Handling Institute (MHI) Annual Industry Report, robotics and automation are the top emerging technologies at 51%, seen as a source of either disruption or competitive advantage.

In this day and age, it is no longer a question of if you should automate, but rather when and to what degree. Mid-market companies can not only learn to automate smarter, but also find that perfect balance to achieve performance improvement and cost reduction within supply chain operations.

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Superior Supply Chain Technology Fulfills the Promise of Mobile Engagement

Consumers today rely on technology more than ever. According to Pew Research, 64 percent of Americans owned a smartphone in 2015. Understandably this has driven companies to increase their efforts to engage with consumers on mobile platforms. The restaurant industry exemplifies how this can change the dynamics of doing business. Most major restaurant chains, including such powerhouse corporations as Wendy’s, Chick-fil-a, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Burger King and Panera, now utilize mobile apps to cater to the needs of the American consumer’s ever-changing demands. These apps offer a variety of conveniences and perks to guests, including the ability to order and pay ahead of arriving at the location, view the menu, earn rewards through loyalty programs and play games. No longer a luxury, such technology is now mandatory for today’s most successful restaurants to compete at the highest level.

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The key to seamless order fulfillment and operations

Online shopping and consumer demand for instant gratification have created the need for an inventory management makeover for many brands and retailers. These trends, which have changed delivery expectations, were recently underlined in UPS’s 2015 Pulse of the Online Shopper report. The survey found that when checking out online, 50 percent of shoppers cited the availability of an estimated delivery date as an important factor when completing their purchase – something many companies fail to report accurately due to issues with inventory management. But, when seeking an inventory management makeover, it’s important to first improve supply chain visibility.

API art copyRapid growth in the realm of e-commerce merchandising has facilitated a shift in consumer purchasing behavior by providing on-demand delivery services like Amazon Prime. Relatively overnight, shoppers were buying faster, purchasers were demanding more, vendors were escalating production – and the supply chain was left playing catch up.

Like any evolutionary process, Darwinism had injected its “fight or flight” dictum into the heart of logistics, changing the industry for the better, forever.

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Improving customer service with integrated technology

The global economy continues to infuse uncertainty throughout the process industries, causing businesses to review demand forecasts, supply chain plans and inventory strategy. With excess feedstock capacity and fierce competition, many specialty chemical companies are focusing their attention on driving value-added innovation and improving customer service.

With greater visibility and agility, companies can react faster to make better informed decisions that affect the operation. In doing so, those companies must use cutting-edge supply chain software to help optimize supply planning through scheduling and in navigating complexity.

 

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