Stefanini web photo 1

Stefanini is helping to prepare businesses for the fourth industrial revolution.

By Kat Zeman

Another industrial revolution is coming. Some claim it’s already arrived. Known as the fourth industrial revolution, or 4IR, it is the fourth major industrial era since the industrial revolution of the 18th century.

Stefanini, a global IT outsourcing services company, is at the forefront of this digital revolution. A $1 billion provider of business solutions with locations in 40 countries across the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia, Stefanini offers onshore, offshore and nearshore IT services. That includes application development services, IT infrastructure outsourcing, systems integration, consulting and strategic staffing.

Vanguard Software Corp. web photo 1

Vanguard Software Corp.’s cloud-based supply chain planning applications give large and mid-sized companies an advantage.

By Jim Harris

Vanguard Software Corp. founder and CEO Rob Suggs believes a little bit of planning can go a long way toward making mid- to large-sized companies successful. “The impact of having the right forecast can be dramatic,” he says. “We’ve been able, as a small company, to go into large, billion-dollar corporations and produce phenomenal impacts.”

Users of Vanguard’s Integrated Business Planning (IBP) system have seen cost savings of between $20 million and $30 million the first year of its use. The cloud-based platform enables companies to perform complex modeling and simulation, budgeting and planning, reporting and forecasting, and data integration functions.

“Our platform gives users a lot of power to build mathematical models and simulations to optimize their business,” Suggs says. “There are a lot of things in a business environment that companies don’t know. Building simulations on top of models can show a company the range of possible outcomes if they chose a particular strategy.”

Covenant Transportation Group web photo 2

CTG enhanced its already strong service with safety and leadership initiatives.

By Alan Dorich

For more than 30 years, Covenant Transportation Group (CTG) Inc. has been guided by values such as perseverance, hard work, faith, humility, planning and talent management. “Those are the keys to [getting us] where we are today,” President Joey Hogan declares.

Based in Chattanooga, Tenn., the transportation and logistics services firm is a holding company for multiple business units with offerings that range from truckload and intermodal freight transportation to tractor/trailer sales and leasing. Founders David and Jacqueline Parker started CTG in 1986 with just 25 trucks.

Today, the company has 2,600 vehicles across its divisions, Hogan says. These include Covenant Transport, Southern Refrigerated Transport, Star Transportation, Covenant Transport Solutions, Transport Financial Solutions and Transport Enterprise Leasing.

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INAP used a phased approach to create buy-in as it shifted its procurement structure.

By Tim O’Connor

A successful supply chain transformation requires buy-in from the people executing its everyday functions. If a person in the field is unwilling to learn or follow the new processes and procedures the implementation can fall apart. Those employees must understand how those changes will improve their jobs before they are willing to go along.

For data center services company Internap Corp. (INAP), the pitch for its switch to a centralized procurement structure was straightforward: the change would take purchasing decisions out of the hands of the field agents and allow them to focus on providing technology solutions for customers. “I’d often tell them to think back at the job description when they applied for the job,” Senior Director of Procurement Adam Crowe says of explaining the change to field personnel. “I’m pretty sure ordering parts wasn’t one of the bullet points.”

Xerox Corp web photo 1

Xerox Corp. created efficiencies by more closely connecting its regional supply operations to its global network.

By Tim O’Connor

People don’t buy copiers and printers for the sake of having the equipment. Copiers and printers are a means to an end, a way to disseminate information among a team or to a client. In an increasingly digital age, these modes of communication are becoming more complex as communication that once took place in a single conference room now occurs all over the world.

To accommodate how modern business functions, Xerox has become a technology company focused as much on intelligent workspaces and cloud applications as it is on the broader printing market. “We’re a big player in an even bigger pool,” says Ken Syme, senior vice president of global manufacturing, supply chain and procurement at Xerox.

At the heart of Xerox’s technology is the interface between the digital and physical worlds. Customers want to convert their printed information into a digital format, distribute it to stakeholders and be able to interact with the material in a digital format. At the same time, paper documents are not going away anytime in the foreseeable future.

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SCI’s three-year ‘roadmap’ will bring savings and new talent to its operations.

By Alan Dorich

It is always a difficult time when a family loses a loved one. Service Corporation International (SCI) strives to make it easier. “We try to take some of the administrative load off of our locations so they can do what they do best, serve the families,” Sr. Managing Director of Procurement and Supply Chain Rone Luczynski says.

Based in Houston, SCI is North America’s largest provider of funeral and cemetery services. The company has spent the last seven years focused on streamlining and making its supply chain more efficient, Luczynski says. 

In 2013, SCI completed a five-year plan that allowed it to significantly cut costs and expenses,. In 2016, the company started its journey on a three-year “roadmap” to improve purchasing for its more than 2,000 funeral homes and cemeteries in 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

SCI carried over some areas of focus from the five-year plan into its current one, Luczynski notes. “The first five years were about people, process and technology,” he recalls, noting that the company’s focus on people never ends.

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