WREST SUPPLIER 01Turn procurement into a revenue generator through supplier innovation.

By Samuel Wrest

“If ideas are not turned into projects, then they waste time. The focus needs to be on taking those ideas through the pipeline and turning them into revenue.”

You might expect these words from someone in product development or R&D, but they come from a more surprising source – a procurement executive.

With a mandate to source innovation from the supply base, this executive has tracked the contribution of tens of millions of dollars to their business’s top line, underlining the revenue impact that a supplier-innovation program can have if done correctly. 

 SUSTAINABILITY 01Here’s a look at how companies can engage their supply chain in comprehensive sustainability efforts.
By Khoi Do

Global companies are investing in sustainability efforts that proliferate across the value chain – a practice that drives long-term growth and earns trust with customers. Public data collected from the largest 200 Fortune-ranked companies in 2017 indicated 94 percent have established sustainability targets, up from 77 percent in 2016.  While the measuring and reporting of direct energy usage and emissions are now common KPIs for many valuable brands, the transparency in doing so has grown increasingly more critical to both a brand’s reputation and competitive advantage. However, there is an emerging piece of the puzzle preventing us from truly taking corporate social responsibility and sustainability to the next level – supply chains. 

 SENTINELS 01By Brian Higgins 

It’s 1 a.m., and real-time event data from a supplier of material used on many of the products by a multi-location North American manufacturer will experience a significant delay in a shipment from an Asia facility. Immediately, always-on “sentinels” take over to sense, interpret and process key information to manage key alerts and activities. This includes providing supply chain visibility by generating alerts related to the expected shortfalls and shipment delays, cascading the impact on its own production plan and shipment schedules and leveraging heuristics and advanced analytics to determine the potential impact on service levels, revenue, and cost. 

 UNBREAKING 01Broken IT processes are halting supply chain automation.

By Ryan Duguid

Without technology, our modern-day supply chains wouldn’t be able to produce at the quality and speed that’s expected today. In fact, manufacturers are producing at a rate of 1.5 times more than they were 20 years ago. In keeping pace with this growth, IDC predicts one-third of manufacturing supply chains will be automated by the end of 2020. 

But, a firm’s ability to grow and adapt to new challenges corresponds to the strength of its IT team. Tech troubleshooting is the top broken process in offices nationwide, and two-thirds (62 percent) of employees think company IT processes are flawed, according to a recent report by Nintex. If IT teams are bogged down by cumbersome processes the entire team, including the manufacturer, also falls behind. 

 REVOLUTION 01Using new technology and smart inventory management to boost efficiency in an often-overlooked portion of the supply chain.
By Joe Stephens

Supply chain executives tend to pay a great deal of attention to the external components of a supply chain. Issues such as lead times, shipping schedules and even custom packaging receive the lion’s share of financial resources and strategic focus.


It can’t be denied - supply chain digitization has escalated quickly over the last 30 years as enterprises needed a better way to manage the amount of data coming through their doors. With the increased availability of analytical solutions, and the adoption of machine learning capabilities, looking inside CPG and retailers’ supply chains today you’ll see operations that go well beyond basic optimization. 

Prescriptive analytics allows companies to perform an increasing array of advanced analytical tasks – taking business intelligence solutions beyond their previous capabilities. Let’s look at how it has evolved. 

 OUTSOURCING 01Here’s how to find the best 3PL for your business.  

By Nicholas Daniel-Richards

Any successful ecommerce business owner will tell you that managing a warehouse effectively can be a challenge. Whether it’s ensuring climate control for perishable products and managing inventory or hiring staff and processing orders, running a warehouse can monopolize a merchant’s time and resources. Unfortunately, these demands are completely different from the skills and resources needed to successfully sell products and ensure customer satisfaction.

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