It is no secret that e-waste is one of the biggest issues facing the high-tech supply chain. Shorter product lifecycles, the proliferation of mobile devices, the complexity of these devices, and the Internet-driven media boom have dramatically increased the number of electronic devices produced each year. In turn, the amount of e-waste that is generated per year has dramatically increased as well.

According to a study published in 2012 by the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University, in the United States 3 million tons of e-waste is produced every year. The study goes on to state that on a global basis, e-waste generation is growing by 40 million tons per year.

Trade globalization today is advancing at a rapid pace. It has become imperative for shippers across the world to market and supply products globally to sustain a competitive market.

Being the cheapest and safest option, container transportation has evolved as the largest mode of transportation for shippers to transport their goods across the globe. However, managing containers in the supply chain is becoming a challenge, resulting in high detention costs, rising inventories, vessel misses, and rejection of cargo by the buyers. These in turn result in significant losses for manufacturers, export houses, logistic service providers and other partners in the supply chain.

Issues between healthcare providers and third party suppliers have been well documented over the past few years. Because of the need to ensure adequate access to medical supplies, healthcare providers are particularly vulnerable due to their dependence on third parties to supply and distribute an array of products.

Relationships with outside entities such as vendors, sales agents, distributors, consultants, suppliers and business partners present potential compliance, reputational, supply chain and financial risks.

Industry standards and regulations, such as GMP, ISO 22000 and the Food Safety Modernization Act provide the framework for ensuring food safety across parts of the supply chain including producers, suppliers, processors, logistics and retail locations to implement Hazard and Critical Control Points (HACCP) for food safety.

Reducing Risks

It has come a long way, but the food and beverage industry continues to find ways to expand outside current markets. Mergers and acquisitions have increased footprints in other parts of the world but sourcing materials from foreign suppliers has impacted supply chain transparency. Now manufacturers must validate suppliers and track performance for compliance and consistency, verify the quality of the material and track Certificate of Analysis and Country of Origin documentation before production.

Energy companies can derive benefits from using mobile enterprise apps for supply chain management. The key resides in planning, and the ability to answer questions.

Why Mobile Enterprise?

Regardless of the supply chain, the goal is always to make the supply process run more smoothly, quickly and efficiently to avoid exceptions, shortages and service disruptions. For energy companies, security and compliance issues add an extra level of complexity.

The world of fuel retail harkens back to the demanding days of living in the wild, wild West. It takes a hardy bunch with real grit to overcome the difficult and volatile conditions they encounter with fuel. Dramatic price swings, bad weather, intense competition, shifting demand and unanticipated events affect the survival of the retail station and ultimately the profitability of the chain.

Like life in the Western frontier, bringing order requires visibility into conditions that can affect fuel retail success, the ability to impose a set of rules that achieve business goals, and ultimately a strong measure of determination as every day presents a new set of challenges. For fuel retailers to gain better control over their part of a volatile supply chain, it means real-time fuel management software and services. This approach gives businesses the ability to anticipate business-impacting problems and take remediating actions before they become expensive ones. In fact, automation can enable businesses to turn volatility into a competitive advantage in the market.

The New England Compounding Center (NECC) is tied up in a federal investigation with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center of Disease Control (CDC) because authorities believe a steroid solution prepared by the compounding pharmacy was contaminated with fungus and injected into as many as 14,000 people nationwide.

An injection that was originally intended to relieve pain infected more than 460 people, primarily with fungal meningitis, and resulted in more than 30 fatalities to date. Legislators wasted no time around the election demanding the FDA respond to and control the outbreak, freeing the supplies from the contaminated ingredients.

Food and beverage supply chains can shorten the cash conversion cycle, Increase profitability with paperless ERP.

The food and beverage landscape has changed considerably over the past decade, and 2013 will also bring new demands. For example, companies will invest more money in regional production of frozen and prepared foods to ensure freshness and convenience for customers, according to a recent study by Nestle, which will surely bring new logistical challenges. With the ever-changing customer demand and need for the supply chains to run efficiently, supply chains should examine their internal infrastructure, such as their accounts payable/accounts receivable (AP/AR) solutions, to find opportunities to streamline and optimize processes.


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