KNOWLEDGE SHARING 01Here are ways to avoid the biggest barriers to knowledge sharing.

By Lauren Trees

Efficient collaboration can improve performance along the supply chain by ensuring critical details flow downstream and enriching the knowledge on which each successive group bases its decisions. But despite the variety of collaboration tools available inside organizations, most supply chains are plagued by information siloes that can cause unnecessary delays and impede perfect order performance.

 REVERSE LOGISTICSHow reverse logistics contributes to the circular economy.

By John Mugnaini

Most organizations today work under the traditional linear economy, where raw materials are made into products and are disposed of after a consumer’s use. The problem with this model is that the materials are finite, and not only are the disposed products hardly ever reused or repurposed, but the disposal process itself has a considerable impact on the environment.

 EMPLOYEE RETENTION

(Photo credit: Courtesy of LEO A DALY) 

Your warehouse may be costing you employees.

 By Linda Landry

As an architect specializing in warehouse design, one of the most common complaints I hear from clients is about the high cost of employee turnover. Labor is often the most expensive part of running a warehouse, and replacing an employee costs the equivalent of several months’ salary, after hiring, onboarding, training and ramp time to peak productivity are considered. When developing goals for a new warehouse project, designing to improve employee retention is often at the top of the list.

 PROCURECON 01Trump’s trade war could mean trouble for the procurement industry.

 By WBR Insights

Satirists and political commentators often quote the adage, “war is good for business.” However, when it comes to a trade war, it can mean all kinds of problems for industry – especially in the business of procuring goods and services from overseas.

PLANNING A ROUTE

Planning your route and developing a clear sense of where you’re going can help you stay safe on the road

 By Inbal axelrod

Driving is a dynamic experience, and there are so many important factors on the road that sometimes even the most experienced driver can overlook if they are tired, stressed or otherwise distracted.

 Even more, one simple slip up can lead to accidentally taking a wrong turn and reaching unfamiliar territory – which in turn creates more stress and less focus on the road. However, this can all be avoided if you aim to develop a clear sense of where you are going before you set off – in other words, if you plan your journey. 

Whether you’re going on a short trip to the grocery store, or have multiple destinations to reach around town, we’ve gathered some points on why planning your route will increase your safety on the road, and minimize and stress you may bear. 

Stay Focused

Understanding our vulnerability on the road is the first step in ensuring safety while driving. But, of course, there is more to it than simple understanding. We need to be sure that we remain focused on the road at all times, and to do so it’s crucial to remove any variables that can be dealt with beforehand, such as your route. 

We all have a schedule to follow whether we’re on the road to run some errands, on a road trip, or for work. But, with some cities being built like a maze, arriving at new locations, or having a general bad sense of direction, it’s very easy to get lost and start worrying about meeting that schedule or even simply where to make a U-turn. 

This means, that rather than focusing on where you are on the road, for example, busy main roads or dangerous junctions, you find yourself fixated on getting back on track. This not only increases yours and others risk on the road but also is guaranteed to make you more stressed. 

But, this could all be avoided if you familiarize yourself with where you are going, and plan your journey. Regardless of the number of stops you need to make, if you have a pre-planned route that you can follow, you can forget about needing to know every turn you must take, and place the focus back on your driving while following the route. 

Therefore, when you do reach those unfamiliar road layouts or tricky overtaking opportunities you’re 100 percent focused on what you are doing, rather than where you are going. 

Avoid Mistakes

We all know that getting lost affects the quality of driving. However, the experience doesn’t seem to be bad enough to prepare the next time we get into the car. But, getting lost and reaching unfamiliar roads does have some impact on safety due to worrying about where you are going or missing your appointment. Therefore, being distracted significantly increases the risks on the road. 

In reality, we all have busy schedules so most of the time the last thing people have time for is to sit and plan. But, avoiding a fraught journey is the key to safe driving as you are less likely to get distracted and make mistakes. And, this can be achieved with preparation and planning.  By planning, you can avoid being rushed, always know where you’re going, and therefore avoid any mistakes. A wrong turn is an easy error to fix with a planned route, and you’ll guarantee that you will feel more confident about finding your destination. 

Manage Your Journey

Before you set out, ask yourself if you really need to make the trip. If you can achieve your work or errand without driving just as effectively then it would be best to stay off the road. 

If you must drive, then ensure that you’re well-rested, ready and relaxed about the upcoming trip – as stress leads to possible incidents. 

So, rather than leaving everything to chance, you should plan your journey. Now, you don’t have to do painstaking research of the route or have a meticulous plan, but a simple route that will keep you on track will suffice. There are countless tools online, and off, that can assist you in planning, such as a satnav, Google Maps, an online route planner for multi-stop journeys, and even a paper map. 

With your planned route, you’ll be able to efficiently reach all your destinations while saving money on fuel, and ensure you’re on the road for less time. Thereby, leading to safer driving by greatly reducing any risk of accidents. 

Side note – even with a planned route it’s important to check the route, and ensure that you have a backup route just in case there is a problem with your original route. It’s better to be prepared than find yourself frantic. 

So, no matter the reason for being on the road, ensuring you are well-rested, focused and in control is crucial. And, having a well-planned route is the way to do so. A route will not only lead to fewer mistakes but also, less time on the road. Thereby, efficiently helping you arrive at your destinations safely and with time to spare. With so many types of planners on the market, the right one is out there for you. 

Try out the different options, as they could make the difference between managing to keep to your schedule worry and accident-free or, in the worst case, you may find yourself in an unsafe road situation.

Inbal Axelrod is the co-founder and CMO at MyRouteOnline, a multiple stop route planner that helps make our world greener. Individuals visiting multiple locations can plan their routes online, optimize their route, and spend less fuel and time on the road. This means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, a reduced carbon footprint, and better air quality. Inbal can be reached at inbal@myrouteonline.com.

MANAGING SUPPLY CHAINS

Managing supply chains in the face of geopolitical uncertainty can be a challenge

By Brian Alster

The global economy has given rise to – and benefits – numerous enterprises. Despite recent events that call into question the effects and the future of globalization, big corporations around the world remain critically dependent on a global supply chain.

 This intricate network of manufactured and service inputs – which often involve several countries simultaneously – can unravel amidst rising geopolitical uncertainty. Some of the recent uncertainty stems from disruption in U.S. foreign relations, as the White House posits a potential trade war with China over steel tariffs, or sanctions imposed on Russian aluminum. These actions will most certainly disrupt supply and distribution chains.

In fact, geopolitical uncertainty is a major concern for procurement leaders and C-suite executives today. A report released by A.T. Kearney and RapidRatings shows that supply chain risk management has climbed in priority among most companies, based on current geopolitical volatility. A majority of companies polled (78 percent of typical companies and 90 percent of those identified as “procurement leaders”) expect their procurement organizations to be given more responsibility for managing risk in the next two years. And geopolitical risk is a top-five threat in every region (except Asia-Pacific, where it ranks sixth) according to PricewaterhouseCoopers in its 2018 CEO Survey. Thirty-one percent of CEOs cited it as an issue in which they are “extremely concerned.” From guarding against supply chain vulnerability to avoiding costly disruption, using a data-driven approach to mitigate risk in the face of uncertainty is one of the best strategies a business can undertake: 

1. Ensure a diverse supply base – Supply chain disruption is a matter of when, not if. Working with a diverse range of suppliers from various geographies can help protect companies against the unexpected, such as border disruption, natural disasters, political unrest and regional sanctions. This is currently playing out as global oil prices rise, due in part to sanctions impeding Iranian supply; an uncertain situation demonstrating the need for a diverse supply base.  

Supplier diversity in terms of the types of businesses you work with – from minority-owned to veteran-owned businesses – also makes good business sense as these suppliers tend to be smaller and more agile, qualities that can often lead to innovation. Working with diverse suppliers can also help businesses comply with various corporate, federal and state requirements.

2. Know who you’re doing business with – In order to build and sustain reliable supplier relationships, you need broad and deep visibility into your company’s supply base. That visibility enables you to determine exactly who comprises the multiple layers of your supply chain – including parent companies, subsidiaries and their ties to other organizations. Using analytics and a data-driven strategy, enabled by technology, can reveal savings, untapped opportunities and unforeseen risks. By vetting suppliers up front, you can identify things like supply availability, lead times, and financial and operational risks, as well as avoid doing business with violators.

3. Analyze and onboard suppliers quickly and efficiently – On-boarding suppliers can be a complex process, requiring you to validate everything from whether the supplier is a legitimate legal entity with the proper tax and legal codes, to ensuring that the supplier is financially solvent. Validating vendors early in the process will increase efficiency, maintain operations and lower costs. Having an efficient vetting and on-boarding process helps companies pivot more easily during geopolitical uncertainty. Leveraging technology to streamline that workflow is one way to assure companies are able to support corporate guidelines for approving new suppliers. 

4. Maintain an ongoing health scan – It is important to monitor your suppliers on an ongoing basis. Monitoring suppliers regularly will help prevent financial waste, production shortfalls and inventory excesses, while ensuring supply chain continuity, centralizing risk, and being proactive with your supplier relationships. Developing a corporate supplier program that supports ongoing health scans involves putting the right technology in place to act on the above methods and enable continued monitoring. Taking advantage of advanced analytics will enable businesses to set corporate guidelines within the system to ensure ongoing health, and gain visibility into supplier coverage by industry, such as oil and gas, and by geographical location. 

In a year of unprecedented global political turmoil, geopolitical risk becomes more important than ever in evaluating the larger picture of a business climate.

Brian Alster, global head of Supply & Compliance for Dun & Bradstreet, is responsible for the strategy, product development, and sales efforts for the company’s Supply & Compliance product portfolio. Prior to this position, he served as the regional vice president, Financial Institution Sales for Dun & Bradstreet.

 

IOT MYTHS

IoT is bringing positive changes in the way the transportation and logistics industries work.

By Suneil Sastri

IoT is a buzzword that’s fairly new to the shipping, transportation and logistics industries; however, the functionality is not. For several years, shipping, transportation and logistics companies have been using machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions to improve their efficiency in being able to both trace and track the locations of their vehicles and devices.

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