Complexities in Integrating Supply Chain Analytics from Data to Action

complexities-in-integrating-supply-chain
Data volume in supply chains is usually enormous. Analytics applied to the supply chain help make sense of the pile of information by identifying patterns and drawing conclusions.

Contents

1 Importance of B2B Supply Chain Analytics
2 Obstacles in Supply Chain Analytics Integration 3 Addressing Supply Chain Analytics Complexities for Better Decision-Making


1 Importance of B2B Supply Chain Analytics

Supply chain analytics has become a pillar of contemporary business strategy, enabling organizations to leverage data insights and enhance vital supply chain processes. By utilizing real-time data analytics, businesses can streamline their supply chain operations, boost productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. With unparalleled visibility into key performance indicators, B2B supply chain analytics provide the opportunity to identify inefficiencies, reduce costs, and react swiftly to ever-changing market dynamics, streamlining the process for supply chain business analysts who manage supply data.

Leveraging the power of supply chain analytics tools is important for the success of modern businesses in the age of data-driven decision making. With the ability to optimize inventory levels, manage lead times, and reduce transportation costs, supply chain data analytics provides a competitive advantage that can increase the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of businesses of all sizes and in all industries.


2 Obstacles in Supply Chain Analytics Integration

Supply chain analytics integration has become increasingly critical for companies seeking to optimize their supply chain operations. However, several obstacles hindering successful implementation often complicate the integration process; hence, understanding and knowing them in advance is vital for smooth operations.


2.1 Barriers in Collecting and Processing Data

Effective data collection and processing are critical in generating accurate insights to drive supply chain analytics decision-making. However, it comes with challenges; the most critical obstacle is data silos, where data is stored in isolated systems or departments, leading to difficulties in accessing and integrating it. It gets more complex when different departments or partners use varied data formats or standards. Additionally, cleaning and processing data is also challenging, as it involves identifying and eliminating duplicates, inconsistencies, and errors that can negatively impact analytics accuracy.


2.2 Insufficient Technical Skills

Successful supply chain analytics integration depends heavily on technical skills and knowledge. Insufficient technical talent and expertise are significant barriers to successful integration. The integration process requires specialized technical expertise and the supply of skilled professionals with expertise in ETL, statistical analysis, knowledge of ML, IoT, SQL, and more in managing supply chain analytics Talent lacking technical skills cannot accurately interpret data, leading to ineffective
decision-making. Preliminary data analysis, processing, and visualization due to a lack of technical expertise results in suboptimal decision-making, which can be costly for businesses.


2.3 Issues in Managing and Integrating Data

Data integration combines data from various sources and formats to create a unified view. However, businesses face data governance, quality, and standardization issues, resulting in incomplete or inconsistent data. Lack of accurate information reduces the efficiency of supply chain analytics and impacts decision-making. Additionally, data management is complex, and business face difficulties creating effective data management processes, resulting in problems related to storing, retrieving, and updating data.


2.4 Inadequate Analytics and Insights Generation

Obtaining valuable insights from enormous data collected during the supply chain process requires advanced analytics tools and technologies. Many businesses, however, continue to rely on traditional reporting methods, which limit the range and complexity of insights generated. The lack of expertise in data analysis and visualization can lead to poor interpretation and use of data, resulting in suboptimal decision-making. In addition, businesses experience difficulty identifying relevant data sources or may struggle to establish the necessary data governance frameworks to ensure data quality and accuracy.


3 Addressing Supply Chain Analytics Complexities for Better Decision-Making

Supply chain analytics can provide valuable insights, but the complexities involved in analyzing and interpreting data can be a significant hurdle. Learning the strategies for addressing these complexities to improve decision-making in supply chain management has become essential.


3.1 Leveraging External Expertise

Leveraging external expertise can be a powerful strategy for addressing supply chain analytics complexities related to collecting and processing supply chain data during integration. External experts bring specialized skills, experience, and knowledge that may not be available in-house, enabling organizations to overcome talent shortages and expand their capabilities. Furthermore, consultants, data scientists, or technology providers provide an objective viewpoint on the organization's data and processes, identifying areas for improvement and optimizing performance. By collaborating with external experts, organizations can access the latest tools, technologies, and best practices, ensuring that their supply chain analytics are up-to-date and relevant.


3.2 Enhancing Collaboration and Communication

Enhancing collaboration and communication can effectively address the challenge of insufficient technical skills in thriving supply chain analytics integration. By promoting cooperation and cross-functional communication, organizations can leverage the skills and expertise of team members from various departments to fill gaps in technical knowledge. This approach can also help to break down data silos and improve data sharing and integration. In addition, collaboration and communication can facilitate knowledge transfer, enabling team members to learn from one another and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the supply chain analytics process. Ultimately, this can lead to improved decision-making, as a more skilled and knowledgeable team can generate more accurate and insightful analytics.


3.3 Improving Data Quality and Governance

Businesses ensure accuracy, completion, and up-to-date data by establishing standardized processes and protocols for collecting, storing, and analyzing data. Data quality checks, including data cleansing and normalization, can help eliminate errors, redundancies, and inconsistencies that can negatively impact the accuracy and usefulness of analytics. In addition, effective data governance, including establishing data ownership, security, and privacy policies, helps ensure that data is managed and shared appropriately across the organization. As a result, it reduces the risk of data breaches, compliance violations, and other data-related issues, ensuring that organizations have access to reliable data for better decision-making.


3.4 Developing Analytics Capabilities

Developing capabilities significantly help organizations overcome inadequate analytics and insights generation challenges in analytics integration. Investing in advanced analytics tools and platforms like technical skills, data infrastructure, and advanced supply chain analytics techniques help businesses generate real-time, accurate, and actionable insights from collected data. Developing analytics capabilities requires creating a culture that values data and analytics, establishing robust data governance frameworks, upskilling the workforce and creating cross-functional teams collaborating on data-related projects. In addition, it helps businesses gain a competitive advantage.


4 Power of Successful Supply Chain Analytics Integration in Transforming Businesses

Effective supply chain analytics integration is revolutionizing business operations. Real-time and supply chain predictive analytics have helped businesses gain unmatched transparency in their supply chains, enhance critical processes, improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, and experience revenue growth and profitability. The ability to identify inefficiencies and supply chain optimization opportunities enables businesses to effectively allocate resources and reduce expenses. In addition, successful supply chain analytics integration enables businesses to respond quickly to changing market dynamics, optimize inventory management, and strengthen the resilience of their supply chains.
Businesses are leveraging the power of big data analytics to disrupt and transform supply chain at all levels. The concept of data, which was once a fundamental component of digital supply chain transformation, is now revolutionary. Therefore, it is essential to achieve advancements in supply chain analytics integration and management.

5 Conclusion

With technological and data analytics advancements, businesses can utilize real-time data insights to make data-driven decisions, optimize supply chain processes, and improve customer experiences. Integration of supply chain analytics is crucial for supply chain businesses of all sizes. Utilizing supply chain analytics software can further streamline integration as well as enhance data analytics and supply chain management.

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Supply Chain

A New Mobility Landscape Is Coming (but not fully yet)

Article | March 23, 2023

A sector which has been heavily disrupted in the last years is the mobility sector. Following decades of "car being king", we have reached a saturation and mentality shift. People want to be more healthy and more ecological (sustainable) and also avoid losing precious time in traffic jams. As a result a whole eco-system of companies has been created to find solutions for this. This article tries to provide an overview of the trends in this market, with a focus on the Belgian market. First of all when looking at mobility and the offers on the market it is important to make a distinction between private and professional displacements. This last category can additionally be split up between the daily commute and professional displacements during working hours. When looking at private mobility (the so-called B2C market), the car remains an important pilar. Especially for families with (young) children it remains difficult to do everything without a car. Obviously, there is a trend to be more sustainable, which is reflected in more sales of hybrid and electric vehicles, more usage of (e)bikes and (e)steps and an increasing usage of shared mobility options (like shared bikes, steps or cars). Statistics from China, which is already the furthest in the post-Covid era, show that most mobility options have lost terrain (compared to pre-Covid), with the exception of the car and bike. The car, although still not very sustainable, is still the most flexible and has the least chance for contamination. Especially the flexibility will become more important as office hours also become more flexible. Additionally due to the increased home working, in some cities traffic jams have considerably reduced, making room again for more people to switch back from public transport to their car. Additionally there is the bike. This is a very flexible, individual, healthy and sustainable mode of transportation that many have discovered during the crisis. Furthermore with ebikes becoming more and more common, bigger distances can be covered without needing to be in excellent physical shape. The professional mobility (i.e. B2B(2C) market) is however even more in evolution, as governments provide all kinds of fiscal incentives to change the mobility habits of employees and employers. Furthermore employers want to offer more flexibility (in working hours, in working location and in mobility options) and less administrative burden to their employees, allow them to profit from those fiscal incentives (resulting in an increased buying power) and become more sustainable. As a result a variety of new offers to be more flexible and optimally profit of those extra-legal advantages has come to the market. This makes it very complex for an employer to find his way in this tangle. Obviously, every company is unique, with multiple axes determining which mobility options are possible and best suited for the company: The location of the company, i.e. Is the company situated in a city with a lot of mobility difficulties (traffic jams)? Is the company situated near public transport options? Is the company situated in a city where a lot of shared mobility options are available? Are the employees typically living close or far away from the company? Which kind of parking facilities does the company have? Does the company have multiple offices geographically spread over the country? The type of work done at the company, i.e. Does the work require physical presence at a specific location (i.e. time- and location-dependent work)? Is remote work possible? Does the work require a lot of displacements to customers (and/or partners, suppliers…) during working hours? The type of employees working at the firm, i.e. Are the employees typically living close or far away from the company? What is the age distribution of the employees within the company (e.g. lot of young people, lot of employees with children…)? How strong is the war for talent for the desired employees, forcing the employer to offer a lot of extra advantages to attract people? The size of the company, i.e. a bigger company has the means to setup more complex mobility plans/options, as they often have dedicated people within HR specialized in these setups. This makes it difficult to define a "one-solution-that-fits-all" approach, but rather a more tailored approach is required, with some degree of customization per customer. Some examples: Promoting commuting by bike via bike leasing and a bike allowance is mainly interesting for companies with employees not living too far away from the company and not requiring doing customer or other professional displacements during working hours. Additionally it depends on the profile of the employees and the safety of the trajectory between the home of the employees and the office. Note that 54% of Belgian employees does not want to use a bike to come to work, with the main reason people finding it too dangerous. At the other hand a similar percentage of employees indicates they would be very interested in options like bike leasing and bike allowances. Shared mobility options are of course only interesting in the bigger cities, where those options are also strongly available. As a result incorporating those options in a mobility plan does not make much sense when the employer is situated in a location where those options are (almost) not available. The same applies for "multi-modal transportation" (and the associated multi-modal route planners), which are also only interesting in the larger cities where multiple mobility options are readily available. Furthermore a company introducing this multi-modal mobility concept should be able to put a whole change management trajectory in place, as it requires discovering new mobility options and changing existing commute habits (for most employees the commute is a routine activity, which they do in "auto-pilot") Setting up a Cafeteria plan or Mobility budget can be quite complex, making the costs and effort, especially for smaller firms, not always outweigh the benefits. New digital solutions can provide a (partial) solution to this, but they typically do not take away the uncertainties for employers to deal with something they do not fully understand. Electric cars are still difficult for people doing large distances on a regular basis, due to their limited action radius and the too low number of charging stations (especially in the South of Belgium). On the other hand for companies where employees come to the office the whole day and that have the required space to setup charging stations, this can be a very interesting option both fiscally and ecologically. Collective organized transport is typically only economically viable for large companies, for which a large number of employees are coming from the same region. Platforms exist to manage this cross-employers, but this raises a number of other concerns and reduces the added-value. Options like "no-mobility" (i.e. home working) and "less-mobility" (flex-offices / co-working places) depend on the work culture and the type of work to be done. For some companies the shift to homeworking during the Covid-confinements was already a serious stretch, which will take years to get fully absorbed. Introducing new concepts like "flex-offices" (co-working places) is probably a bridge too far, especially as there is still a lot of unclarity of who will be paying (and what the fiscal implications are) for the office space (employee paying out of his mobility budget or employer paying) and even more for the added-services like drinks, snacks, catering… … In general employers have a big interest to do something around mobility, but when having to deal with all complexity (fiscal and operational concerns like policies, load administration…), many employers drop out. Employers fear especially all exceptions, as they often represent hidden costs and lot of extra effort. E.g. what happens if an employee leaves the company? What if someone is fired? What about the liability in case of accidents/theft/vandalism? What will be the exact total cost for me as an employer? How do I need to manage VAT? What is the exact value of benefit of all kind for the employee? Which proofs do I need to collect for the tax authorities? Does it fit with the agreements made in the collective labor agreement of the joint committee?… These questions mainly originate from the existing unclarities in the fiscal regime, which is due to the fact that many HR managers are not yet acquainted with these new offers, the fact that new mobility offers are created continuously (making it impossible for the government to stay up-to-date) and the continuous change in regulation (e.g. "Mobility Budget", "Company Car Legislation"…). This lack of maturity in the industry puts a break on the adoption and this maturation might take years to unfold. E.g. meal vouchers took 40 years to arrive to a market penetration of 50%, while this is a much simpler HR product than most mobility options. Until this maturity level is reached, resulting in more well-known, better integrated, more frictionless and cheaper offers, the traditional company mobility options of reimbursing public transport subscriptions and salary cars will remain mostly used. Those are still most widely known by HR managers, are fiscally still very interesting and fit well the needs and desires of most employees. This last argument is important, as no mobility option will become mainstream unless employees are happy with it. This means the mobility option should not only give a solution for "Professional displacements" but also for the "Private displacements" (in evenings, weekend, holidays…), often with the whole family. Nonetheless we see the market is maturing and transforming, as millions of euros of VC money are invested in promising new start-ups. Almost all of those start-ups are not profitable yet but given the market potential a few of them could grow out to become unicorns. Today’s students are more acquainted and open for these new mobility services, so likely some of them will become mainstream in the next decade. Today a whole eco-system of young start-ups and existing incumbent players are offering mobility services, like Car leasing companies: Alphabet, ALD Automotive, ING Lease, KBC Autolease, LeasePlan, ARVAL… Car rental companies: Sixt, Avis, Dockx, Hertz, Rent a car… Car sharing companies (in the form of cars that can be easily used for individual trips up to platforms facilitating sharing your private car or co-driving): Cambio, Poppy, Partago, Zipcar, Cozywheels, Getaround, Dégage, Share Now, Stapp.in, Tapazz, BlaBlaCar, Klaxit, TooGethr, Carpool (Mpact)… Taxi services: Uber, Wave-a-Cab, Taxi.eu, Heetch, Bolt, Free Now, Allocab… Bike leasing companies: Ctec, O2O, Joulebikes, KBC-Fietsleasing, B2Bike, Cyclis, Lease-a-bike, Cyclobility, Cycle Valley… (e)bike, (e)step and scooter sharing & renting: Lime, Dott, Bird, Felyx, Scooty, Villo!, Billy Bike, Mobit, Blue Bike, Swapfiets, Spinlister… Fuel card and Electric charging card issuing companies: Network Fuel Card, Modalizy, Fleetpass, Belgian Fuel Card (BFC), XXImo, EDI (Electric by D’Ieteren), New Motion, Plugsurfing, Blue Corner, Luminus, EVBOX, Cenergy, Eneco, Dats24, EV-Point,… Parking companies (either companies providing public parkings or platforms to share individual and company parkings): Yellowbrick, Indigo, QPark, BeMobile, BePark, Pasha, ParkOffice… Companies helping to define mobility plan and manage setup of policies and mobility plans/budgets: Social Secretariats (SD Worx, Partena, Securex, Acerta, Liantis…), Payflip, Mbrella, MaestroMobile (Espaces-Mobilités)… MaaS (Mobility as a Service) players: Modalizy, Skipr, Optimile, Olympus, Be-Mobile, MyMove, Vaigo (Eurides), Moveasy… (Inter-modal) Route planners: Google Maps, Coyote, Waze, Mappy, Jeasy, Skipr, Stoomlink… Co-working place companies (either companies providing co-working places or platforms allowing to reserve spaces over multiple co-working places): Bar d’Office, Workero, Cowallonia, Burogest, Regus, Welkin, Meraki, Frame 21, Fosbury & Sons, Start it, Coffice, Spaces, House of Innovation, Ampla House, WeWork, Betacowork, Startbloc, SilverSquare… Expense management solutions for local and international (mobility) expenses: Rydoo, XXImo, MobileXpense, N2F, Certify, SAP Concur, Travel Perk, Trippeo, SpenDesk, Splendid, Declaree, SRXP, Dicom, WebExpenses, Notilus, Expensify, ExpensePath, Abacus, ExpensePoint… It will be interesting to see which of those companies will still be around in 10 years (i.e. which of the start-up have sufficient funding to bridge the long-time gap to profitability) and to which form they have evolved. Clearly regular pivoting will be required as this market is in full evolution.

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Supply Chain

What’s the Latest on EV Charging Infrastructure in Rural Areas?

Article | August 17, 2023

Contents 1. Accessing The State and Federal Benefits 2. A Learning Portal to Educate Rural Communities On EV Charging 3. The Significance of an Equitably Relevant EV Charging Network Electric Vehicles (EVs) are making waves in cities and are more than just the latest trend in transportation. With the advancement of the EV charging network and its deployment across urban areas, experts are asking what’s next and how this growth can be replicated in rural areas. 1. Accessing State and Federal Benefits Based in Oregon, Forth is an EV research and advocacy group that recently announced a partnership with General Motors to build grant templates that can help rural communities win and access state and federal grant money to build EV charging networks. The templates will be provided free of charge and cover 80% of a complete grant. Geoff Gibson, the senior program manager for Forth, believes this will give rural communities the impetus to seek out the grant money and get over the initial hurdle of framing a grant proposal. 2. A Learning Portal to Educate Rural Communities on EV Charging Forth also announced the slated launch of a learning portal that will address the lack of know-how on deploying a charging program for EVs. The portal will empower communities with not just the knowledge of implementing charging programs but also their significance and long-term impact on the community. The learning portal will tentatively go live in 2023 and will be free for local communities, counties, cities, and states, as well as community organizations. The program will be accessible for a year and could be further extended. According to Steve Lommele from the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, he reiterated the importance of building a national EV charging network. He states that this is the first time a major program has been put in place that covers all 50 states in the U.S., including Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. 3. The Significance of an Equitably Relevant EV Charging Network Deploying EV charging stations in rural areas has to be meaningful for the communities that will be using them. Forth’s Geoff Gibson emphasizes that the needs of the communities need to be given priority when designing the charging network. For instance, DC charging or charging that is publicly accessible should be preferred at trailheads. EVs as part of our transport in the future is inevitable and charging networks and program need to be prioritized to ensure all communities are able to access its benefits equally.

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Software and Technology, Supply Chain

Reverse Logistics: A Priority for Distribution Strategy

Article | July 18, 2022

The rapid growth of e-commerce continues to create new challenges for retailers as they plan distribution strategies. One of those challenges is managing the high volume of returns. One in three shoppers returns items, and more than half read a company’s returns policy before making a purchase. Retailers lose $50 billion annually due to inefficiencies in processing returns, and distribution centers handling returns need 15% to 20% more space than a traditional facility.

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Software and Technology

Put Strategy First When Pondering Automation for Your DC

Article | April 19, 2022

The unsurprising investment eagerness of venture capital funds is manifesting in an automation tech glut in the distribution center space. Motivated by enabling trends like labor and land shortages, DCs are amid an automation transformation. Never has defining an automation strategy been more important. There’s no shortage of VC cash available to logistics tech startups With a brightly shining spotlight centered on supply chains for the past two years, it’s no surprise that total funding in logistics startups has seen a dramatic increase – growing at over 70% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). Logistics technology startups raked in over $25 billion in the first three quarters of 2021. That’s more than half of the total amount raised in the whole of 2020, and the incentives for continuing investment persist. The rise of the of the “micro” DC “Micro” is a relative term. The size of a micro fulfillment center (MFC) can range from 5,000 to 50,000 square feet. Those reduced square footages allow location in dense urban areas, typically within 40 miles of most of their intended customers. In addition, smaller footprints lead to reduced rents compared to a standard customer fulfillment center (CFC), and the proximity to consumers makes for lower final mile delivery costs. It’s no wonder that MFCs accounted for more than half of the logistics real estate leasing activity in the third quarter of 2021. The “urban logistics” trend is fueling demand for these highly automated, smaller locations. Vertical logistics integration grows ever more fashionable among retailers It’s a very “in” thing right now, these acquisitions and partnerships, and they won’t be going out of fashion soon. For example, American Eagle took in Airterra and its parcel optimization tech and third-party logistics (3PL) provider Quiet Logistics. Target started early. They bought Grand Junction, a software platform that helps retailers determine the best delivery method and track carrier performance, in 2017. Their 2020 acquisition of Deliv brought with it same-day delivery routing technology that they’re now applying to their 2021 purchase, on-demand delivery service Shipt. Target uses Delivs’ tech to generate more efficient routes for Shipt. Kroger has partnered with UK’s e-grocery specialist Ocado to build automated CFCs across the US and expand their retail footprint. The first CFC opened last spring in Ohio and their second in Florida later that year. They plan to open 20 CFCs over the next three years. “The proliferation of DC automation solutions and modalities, the rise of MFCs in high-density urban areas, the increasingly automated vertical integration of logistics, and the need to rapidly expand order fulfillment capacity have all, in combination, advanced the need for and application of clearly defined strategies concerning the implementation of automation technology. Do not operate without one.” Vikas Argod, Principal, Supply Chains Operations practice at Chainalytics Coping with shortages in warehouse space and labor availability Third quarter, 2021 US demand for industrial real estate exceeded supply by 41 million square feet. This pushed the national vacancy rate in the fourth quarter down to a record 3.7% in the Cushman & Wakefield US National Industrial MarketBeat report for Q4 2021. Who knows what the record might be when the Q1 2022 report breaks in a few weeks? On the labor side, the December 2021 US unemployment rate was 3.9%, lower than in December 2019 (3.6%) yet reflecting a tighter labor market. Labor force participation rates are at 61.9%, nearly 2% below February 2020 levels, because of lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rising wages and signing bonuses of the past year offer silent testimony to the ongoing constraints in today’s labor market. Both trends will remain with us for the near- and mid-term, making an automation strategy a necessary part of your DC operations as you attempt to mitigate the effects of both. In addition, warehouse labor shortages are most pronounced in markets with high distribution center densities – Greater Memphis, In-land Empire, Allentown, PA, et al.) Building the capability to rapidly open DCs at scale No other factor drives home the need for a coherent DC automation strategy like this one. Let’s explore it with an example. We’ll call this “A Tale of Two Companies.” One jumped on the automation bandwagon without hesitation – not a bad thing – but applied no strategic groundwork. The other is, well, Amazon. Company one responded to increasing demand by creating DCs in their usual, strategically located fashion. However, with automation, the lack of a logical strategy led to adopting “the best that money could buy.” So, while these DCs work fine on their own (most of the time), each employs unique implementations from a variety of vendors, with little to no overlap of methods, capabilities, and management procedures between DCs. It’s functional, but a needlessly complicated hodgepodge. On the other hand, it definitely looks like Amazon has a standardized automation strategy. One that can easily adapt to exploit the individual physical specifications of any space. This makes it simple to arrive and equip it with a standard package of automation solutions. That’s probably how Amazon blanketed the US with over 400 new DCs in just the last two years. They waste no time or money on repeating unnecessary decisions along the way. Now, we all can’t have the resources of an Amazon. However, the rise of on-demand warehousing companies like Stord and Flexe allow organizations to dramatically decrease the cycle time of standing up additional fulfillment capability. Developing an automation strategy will feel familiar. It begins with benchmarking, order profiling, current performance drivers, EBIT targets, and theoretical evaluations of newer technology options. All this leads to the creation of a decision framework for DC automation. The goal here is achieving alignment among the leadership on critical capabilities to focus on. These include rapid fulfillment, labor shortage, capacity constraints, safety challenges, or sustainability. Those that commit to this process will start slowly but finish with a strategy that will underpin thousands of decisions and enable sustained rapid growth. If, in the end, you decide that automation is not right for your operation, that’s a perfectly valid strategy as well. So long as you have a method to evaluate all of your options, and you base your decision on cost-service-sustainability trade-offs, the right strategy for your organization may be no automation at all. There’s no point in chasing shiny robotic objects if automation makes little sense‌. The rise of automation and the multitude of technologies to choose from require the development of a strategic decision framework. Contact us and see how Chainalytics – an NTT DATA company – can be your guide in developing this critical part of your foundation for growth. Our top supply chain talent, enabled by proven, leading-edge digital assets – tools, methods, and content – deliver actionable insights and measurable outcomes to some of today’s largest and most complex supply chains.

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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