Optimize B2B Supply Chain: Maximizing Efficiency from Planning to Delivery

from-planning-to-delivery
Efficiency is crucial for B2B supply chain success. Effective supply chain management techniques can streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction from planning to delivery.

Contents

1. Strategic Planning to Enhance Supply Chain Optimization 
1.1 Roadmap for Developing Supply Chain Optimization 
1.2 Integrating Supply Chain Strategy with Business Strategy for ROI Growth 
2. Effective Procurement Strategies to Maximise ROI in Supply Chain
2.1 Supplier Relationship Management 
2.2 Cost-effective Procurement Processes 
2.3 Continuous Improvement and Innovation 
2.4 Risk Management and Mitigation 
3. Optimizing Supply Chain with Effective Demand Forecasting Techniques 
3.1 Anticipate Future Demand
3.2 Overstocking and Understocking Risk Management 
3.3 Integrated Forecasting approach between Supply Chain Stakeholders 
4. Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain Optimization Leveraged by Enterprises 
4.1 AI and ML 
4.2 Blockchain Technology 
4.3 IoT 
4.4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality 
5. Leading Solution Providers for B2B 
6. Conclusion 

Optimizing the B2B logistics and supply chain management has become a crucial business strategy to increase efficiency, cut costs, and boost customer satisfaction in the fiercely competitive business environment. With the increasing customer demand, supply chain managers now emphasize on faster, more precise, and unique ways to fulfill orders with enhanced logistics management techniques.

“Companies that optimize their supply chain operations experience a 2.3 times greater EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) than their competitors.”

(Source - A survey by Deloitte in 2020)

Despite the significance of supply chain optimization, it is challenging to keep up with the latest industry trends and best practices due to the dynamic nature of the logistics industry. Learning the value of optimizing the B2B supply chain and how it can assist businesses in keeping up with the ever-growing demands of their customers through planning, strategizing and leveraging technologies helps businesses maintain a competitive advantage and achieve sustainable growth.


1. Strategic Planning to Enhance Supply Chain Optimization

To achieve optimal results, businesses must develop a comprehensive plan outlining their supply chain improvement goals, objectives, and strategies.


1.1 Roadmap for Developing Supply Chain Optimization

Developing a roadmap for supply chain optimization includes reviewing current operations that help in identifying the strengths and weakness of the supply chain management and assist in recognizing the opportunities for improvement, establishing SMART goals and objectives, defining strategies to meet these goals, involve streamlining processes, investing in technology, improving supplier relationships, and engaging customers and actions, as well as ensuring market adaptability to accommodate changing market conditions and evolving customer needs through assessment and adjusting the roadmap.

1.2 Integrating Supply Chain Strategy with Business Strategy for ROI Growth

Integration of the supply chain involves aligning the supply chain objectives with the overall business goals, such as revenue growth, cost reduction, and customer satisfaction. The integration ensures the supply chain operations support the business goals, like cost reduction, customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

"Companies that successfully integrate their supply chain and business strategies can reduce operating costs by 10-15% and increase efficiency by 20-30%.”

(Source - A study by Accenture in 2020)

The alignment further helps track KPIs and data-driven decision-making and continuously improves the supply chain operations to achieve objectives. Furthermore, it assists in better planning, coordination, and execution of supply chain activities, resulting in faster and more accurate fulfillment of customer orders.


2. Effective Procurement Strategies to Maximize ROI in Supply Chain

Procurement strategies can raise productivity in the fast-paced logistics management and supply chain industry by optimizing the supply chain, boosting efficiency, and giving a competitive edge.


2.1 Supplier Relationship Management

Effective supplier relationship management (SRM) can result in more competitive pricing, enhanced product quality, and increased dependability. To accomplish SRM, businesses must identify key suppliers, develop partnerships, communicate effectively to ensure clear expectations and mutual understanding, share information and collaborate to foster innovation and continuous improvement.


2.2 Cost-effective Procurement Processes

Implementing cost-effective procurement procedures can help businesses reduce expenses and enhance productivity. To achieve cost-effectiveness, businesses should streamline operations to save time and money, leverage technology to automate processes and improve accuracy and negotiate with suppliers for better pricing and terms.


2.3 Continuous Improvement and Innovation

Continuous improvement and innovation are necessary for logistics and the supply chain to remain competitive. This involves regularly reviewing and updating procurement processes, supporting supplier innovation, and keeping up with procurement and supply chain management technology trends and developments.


2.4 Risk Management and Mitigation

Effective risk management and mitigation strategies are essential to prevent disruptions in the supply chain. To achieve this, businesses should focus on identifying potential risks and developing mitigation strategies, incorporating redundancy into the supply chain to minimize the impact of disruptions, and establishing transparent emergency communication and escalation procedures.


3. Optimizing Supply Chain with Effective Demand Forecasting Techniques


3.1 Anticipate Future Demand

Accurate demand forecasting is crucial for supply chain optimizing done by analyzing real-time supply chain data to identify trends. For demand forecasting, businesses can utilize historical sales data, market trends, and customer feedback. To make accurate forecasts, companies must consider various factors influencing demand, such as seasonality, economic conditions, and shifting customer preferences.


3.2 Overstocking and Understocking Risk Management

Demand forecasting errors can lead to overstocking and understocking in supply chain management. Using demand forecasting rightly can determine the optimal inventory level at any given time to avoid overstocking and understocking. Businesses can predict demand and adjust inventory by analyzing sales data, market trends, and other factors.


3.3 Integrated Forecasting approach between Supply Chain Stakeholders

The integrated forecasting approach entails coordinating data sharing and communication between all supply chain stakeholders, from suppliers to customers. Stakeholder participation in demand forecasting improves accuracy. In addition, each stakeholder has unique knowledge and perspective that can help identify trends and patterns.

4. Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain Optimization Leveraged by Enterprises


4.1 AI and ML

Leading SCM providers do offer regression modeling and causal analysis for demand forecasting. Using AI and ML, the functionality is embedded within the DP module. If a more rigorous and sophisticated approach is desired, it is possible to forecast demand numbers outside the SCM system using sophisticated modeling and then upload them back into the SCM system.


4.2 Blockchain Technology

Blockchain enables secure, transparent, and decentralized transactions. It can be utilized in the supply chain to track the movement of goods, reduce the risk of fraud, and increase supply chain visibility by maintaining an immutable record of every transaction.


4.3 IoT

To monitor humidity, temperature control, and other environmental factors that affect the quality of products while in transit. IoT helps businesses enhance supply chain visibility, reduce product spoilage risk, and enhance customer satisfaction using modern temperature control technology.


4.4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

AR and VR technologies are transforming the supply chain by improving the accuracy of inventory management, reducing errors, and enhancing the training of employees. In addition, its tools can be used to create digital representations of warehouses, products, and equipment, allowing employees to visualize the supply chain and identify areas for improvement.


5. Leading Solution Providers for B2B

Several leading B2B companies have been identified based on research for supply chain optimization. To optimize supply chains, these companies have demonstrated a commitment to strategic planning, effective procurement strategies, and demand forecasting techniques. The solution providers also recognize the significance of managing risks associated with overstocking and understocking and have implemented integrated forecasting approaches with their supply chain partners and customers. In addition, these companies use emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, cloud technology, machine learning and AI, blockchain technology, and the IoT to improve their supply chain operations. By prioritizing supply chain optimization, the following B2B companies gain a competitive advantage within logistics and supply chain industries and provide exceptional customer experiences.

Coupa Software

The supply management solutions offered by Coupa Software are hosted in the cloud and make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide businesses with insights that can be used for data-driven decision-making. It assists businesses in tracking the performance of their supply chains compared to key performance indicators, identifying areas in which advancements can be made, and taking action to optimize their supply chain operations.

Stord

Stord a platform provider, offers a suite of software solutions that improve supply chain management for businesses. Its warehousing, transport, and inventory management solutions are integrated into a single platform. As a result, Stord offers companies greater visibility and control over their supply chains, allowing them to make more informed decisions and optimize operations by combining these functions into a single platform.

Roambee

Roambee is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform that provides improved supply chain and visibility solutions for real-time, on-demand, and end-to-end data. Using cloud data analytics and automation, it assists in monitoring shipments, inventories, and returnable assets to provide dependable and responsive monitoring solutions. The result is a return on investment (ROI) of 4X or more on the supply chain assets by optimizing inventory levels and utilization.

FlowSpace

FlowSpace offers cloud-based supply chain solutions. With an internet connection, businesses can access real-time inventory, orders, and shipments from anywhere. Its solutions optimize inventory and demand fulfillment with machine learning and predictive analytics. In addition, IoT sensors and beacons provide accurate warehouse operations data for the company. FlowSpace uses cutting-edge technology to provide efficient and effective supply chain solutions.

OPTEL Group

OPTEL Group's cutting-edge traceability solutions help businesses optimize their supply chain. These solutions permit businesses to track their products and materials throughout the supply chain, from production to distribution. It's traceability solutions provide businesses with real-time visibility into their supply chain operations by utilizing advanced data capture technologies such as barcode scanning, RFID, and serialization. This allows them to identify potential bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and decrease waste and inefficiency.

Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge,a provider of cloud-based supply chain solutions, has developed a suite of solutions that make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of forecasts, reduce the costs associated with inventory, and increase company's profitability. It does this by providing businesses with flexible and scalable solutions, as well as ones that can be adapted to meet the particular requirements of each business.

GMDH Streamline

GMDH Streamline makes use of complex algorithms to perform data analysis and provide insights that, when implemented in B2B logistics operations, can lead to increased efficiency and a reduction in costs. This software can analyze past sales data and make predictions about future demand patterns, which helps to ensure that the right products are always available for purchase. Because of this, there will be less of a need for excessive stockpiling, which can prevent the free flow of capital and raise the risk of stock obsolescence.

Netstock

Netstock's cloud-based solutions provide businesses the agility and responsiveness they need to stay competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. With its seamless integration with industry-leading ERPs, Netstock unlocks valuable ERP data and enables businesses to make informed decisions based on enhanced analytics. In addition, by leveraging Netstock's solutions, businesses can respond swiftly to supply and demand fluctuations, resulting in optimized logistics and efficient supply chain management.

Solvoyo

With Solvoyo's platform, businesses can optimize their supply chain performance, reduce inefficiencies, and achieve cost savings. In addition, the platform offers advanced scenario modeling and real-time analytics to help companies to make informed decisions and quickly adapt to changing market conditions. By leveraging Solvoyo's capabilities, businesses can achieve a competitive advantage and drive growth in the dynamic world of supply chain management.

American Software, Inc.

American Software provides logistics and supply chain companies with supply chain management software solutions. Its solutions including supply chain planning, warehouse management, transportation management, global trade management, and vendor inventory management are intended to assist businesses in optimizing their B2B logistics operations, increasing their efficiency, and lowering their expenses. In addition, it provides modern temperature control technology to ensure safe and efficient transport of temperature-sensitive goods in the supply chain.


6. Conclusion

“The global supply chain management market size is expected to reach USD 37.4 billion at a CAGR of 11.3% by 2027."

(Source -  Grand View Research)

The anticipated growth of the global supply chain management market presents businesses with opportunities to enhance their supply chain operations by implementing innovative technologies and strategies. The increase in market size indicates a growing demand for efficient supply chain management solutions that reduce costs, optimize efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction. Businesses can use AI, blockchain, and augmented reality to analyze real-time data, forecast demand, and streamline procurement. These technologies and strategies can give logistics and supply chain management businesses an edge in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

Spotlight

Sherway Group

The Sherway Group is an asset-based, full service, customized logistics and supply chain solutions provider. Delivering The Right Fit: one-stop customized transportation management solutions

OTHER ARTICLES
Supply Chain

Complexities in Integrating Supply Chain Analytics from Data to Action

Article | November 11, 2022

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 2.1 Barriers in Collecting and Processing Data 2.2 Insufficient Technical Skills 2.3 Issues in Managing and Integrating Data 2.4 Inadequate Analytics and Insights Generation 3 Addressing Supply Chain Analytics Complexities for Better Decision-Making 3.1 Leveraging External Expertise 3.2 Enhancing Collaboration and Communication 3.3 Improving Data Quality and Governance 3.4 Developing Analytics Capabilities 4 Power of Successful Supply Chain Analytics Integration in Transforming Businesses 5 Conclusion 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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4 Trends That Will Drive Shipping and Logistics in 2025

Article | August 3, 2022

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the logistics and shipping sectors, forcing businesses to rethink their supply chain tactics. Fresh COVID- Supply systems around the world are already under threat from 19 outbreaks. China's measures to stop the spread of Omicron by shutting down shipping terminals caused a lockjam of cargo ships. A similar scenario was seen in US and European ports that were congested as a result of a significant increase in cargo. Additionally, these difficulties have been made worse by the tremendous staff shortage in the US. Although there are more job openings than before, the total strength of the workforce has taken a hit. A report by WNS and Corinium Intelligence reveals that over 60% of shipping and logistics organizations have amped up the automation aspect of their operations by two years. So, what does that mean for the future? In this article, we will talk about the four most promising trends that will define the shipping and logistics industry in 2025. Live Monitoring Powered by Big Data and the Digital Twin Technologies Big data is simplifying the ability to be agile, efficient, and cost-effective, and connectivity with other technologies and elements of the infrastructure is driving a real-time view of the supply chain further. Other innovations such as drones and self-driving trucks will contribute to this real-time update and processing of massive amounts of data. In addition, tracking software for freight will provide even greater visibility to customers and enterprises. Automated Planning Through Collaboration Between Humans and Machines Artificial intelligence (AI)AI in shipping and logistics has grown exponentially in areas of planning. AI applications are used to alter transportation and route planning. According to Gartner, by 2030, AI augmentation, will surpass other forms of AI application and account for 44% of all AI-powered value. Predictive alerting is a prominent example of augmented intelligence. Smart alerts based on predictive analytics can be used by logistics professionals to carry out a variety of crucial tasks, such as estimating truck arrival times, anticipating equipment maintenance and product damage, and organizing for a spike in demand. Hyper-local Supply Chains Enterprise will downsize and bring their supply chains onshore over the course of the next few years, ushering in the next generation of hyper-local logistics. The two forces driving this transition are the need to stay agile and resilient to counter disruption and meet challenging customer demands for same-day delivery. The global same-day delivery market is estimated to reach a value of USD 20.36 billion by the year 2027. This will cultivate a hyper-local service to meet the growing demand. Sustainability An emphasis on sustainability will be the highlight of the shipping and logistics industry. Enhanced connectivity will enable enterprises to optimize their human as well as robotic resources. Future Forward The shipping and logistics industry has been forced to accelerate their digital adoption and increase their resilience due to the uncertainty in the past couple of years. Establishing real-time visibility, leveraging human-machine collaboration, adopting hyper-local logistics, and improving sustainability are all ways that businesses are preparing for the future.

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Cloud Technology: A Game Changer in the Logistics Sector

Article | June 29, 2022

The logistics sector is experiencing a significant technological shift similar to that of all other industries due to the growing need for remote work solutions. Social networking, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based logistics, and other technological advancements are reshaping the logistics industry and moving it in a new direction. Additionally, the supply chain and logistics as a whole are greatly influenced by factors like transportation and digital transformation. Modern digital technology is fundamentally altering how various sectors function. Increased connectivity amongst the people has also increased the needs of customers, created new purchasing habits, and gave birth to an entirely new industry as a whole, e-commerce. The Shift Towards the Could Technology Over the past few years, the transportation and logistics industry has witnessed a shift towards digitization as more and more people have access to the internet and computer for day-to-day work. From online grocery stores to local delivery apps and even on-demand airport shuttle services, the adoption of cloud technologies has given a viable solution to customers and businesses at a lower cost than before. As a growing number of businesses reevaluate their use of innovative technologies, cloud computing is becoming an increasingly serious and practical choice. The cloud is of significant use in the world of freight transportation and logistics, as it stores crucial shipping information that can be accessed at any time via transportation management systems from anywhere. The technology is emerging as a game changer for the businesses operating in the logistics industry. Here is a list of benefits cloud technologies offer: Logistical space planning Real-time package updates Leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) Vehicle health monitoring E-ticketing management Final Thought Cloud-based solutions have enormous potential to improve operational and financial efficiency in the transportation and logistics industry. Some facets of cloud-based solutions also have the ability to transform the overall shipping experience altogether. Assessing the merits of this technology, a large number of leading businesses are incorporating it for applications such as fleet-specific planning, shipment optimization, faster delivery, and others. In the coming years, cloud-based solutions are likely to become very popular in the supply chain industry as they keep getting better.

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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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Spotlight

Sherway Group

The Sherway Group is an asset-based, full service, customized logistics and supply chain solutions provider. Delivering The Right Fit: one-stop customized transportation management solutions

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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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Revoy Launches the Ultimate Scalable Sustainability Solution for Trucking

PR Newswire | February 01, 2024

<p>Revoy, a simple and truly viable solution to decarbonize the trucking industry, today announces the launch of the Revoy EV, a simple add-on for fleets that enables an easy transition to full EV without alterations to trucks or trailers. Pioneering a new sector of commercial trucking EV solutions, Revoy's technology improves fuel efficiency from 6 - 8 mpg to 20 - 35+ mpg, representing a 70 - 90%+ reduction in emissions. Economically, adding a Revoy EV to a tractor enables companies to save thousands of dollars in fuel per truck annually, inclusive of Revoy fees.</p><p>Currently, commercial trucks and fleets account for 6.7%¹ of all of the United States' GHG emissions. Revoy is helping reduce this and propel businesses towards net zero goals. Revoy EVs are on the road today actively decarbonizing trucks, and are expanding to more areas this year.</p<p>"Trucking contributes 6.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. The current approach of wholly replacing diesel engines with batteries and electric motors is too abrupt of a transition for such a critical and underappreciated part of our economy," said Ian Rust, CEO and founder of Revoy. "EV tractors are more expensive to purchase and recharge compared to diesel, and no driver can spare the time to stop and charge for hours. Luxury passenger vehicles are not engineered to generate ROI and depreciate quickly. Making commercial vehicles the same way poses a risk to any fleet that adopts them. Revoy has engineered an electric commercial vehicle that is built as an asset first. The entire vehicle is swappable in under five minutes, so no waiting on a charge, and can operate on any trucker's existing vehicle with no modifications."</p><p>Revoy handles all infrastructure and charging, and its adaptable technology offers ease of use, saved time, low upfront costs, and ongoing fuel benefits. Revoy allows truckers to drive up to 235 miles on electric power using a 525kWh LFP battery pack.</p<p>Solving for sustainability in the trucking industry is complex, but simplicity is at the core of Revoy's innovation. Revoy's EV technology is adaptable and easy to apply to existing fleets, with the option to use as needed. The process is simple: trucks visit a Revoy swap station, where an attendant swaps the Revoy EV while the driver relaxes in the truck or shops inside.</p><p>Revoy's EV technology addresses the sustainability and competitive business needs of trucking fleets and companies committed to net zero goals through the following</p> Dramatic MPG Improvement: At 235 miles of range, Revoy can take a 6 - 8 mpg truck to 20 - 35+ mpg. At a shorter range, for example 150 miles, mpg can exceed 30 - 40 mpg. This is a transformational step change in fuel efficiency. Electric Range Extension on Electric Trucks: Revoy allows truckers to drive up to 235 miles on electric power using a 525kWh LFP battery pack, and can be "recharged" nearly instantly with a Revoy swap. Long charges or battery-destroying fast charges are no longer necessary. An 800kWh long-range version will be coming out in May 2024. No Time Wasted On The Road: Revoy electric vehicles instantly convert any diesel truck into a hybrid, easily attaching to the fifth wheel automatically. Truckers can swap at an available station for a fresh battery in less than five minutes, which is 90% faster than traditional EV charging. Fleets can share Revoy EVs based on subscription tier for immediate savings, without the risk. Zero Payload Impact: The Revoy EV has no impact on payload. Trucks encountering loads that are too heavy to accept the extra battery weight can revert to diesel in minutes by dropping the Revoy EV. Compliant with Length Laws: The Revoy EV requires no additional CDL endorsements and is compliant with all length restrictions on the national highway network. Safety Features Built Into Every Vehicle: Revoy offers intelligent auto-correction to prevent rollovers, flipping and jackknifing. The Revoy EV has an extra set of brakes to automatically engage more stopping power when driving down mountains, blind spot detection and automatic reversing with intelligent computing from a series of sensors with notifications through Revoy's mobile app. <p>Revoy was founded by Ian Rust, an innovator, founder and mechanical engineer with over 12 years of experience in clean transportation and sustainability, and is backed by YCombinator, Transition Global, and Liquid2 Ventures. The team includes over 100 years of experience from GM, Tesla, Embark Trucks, Waymo, and the European Space Agency, among others. Revoy's technology is made in the USA, FMVSS compliant, and compliant with all length and weight (bridge and GVW) regulations.</p>

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Logistics, Supply Chain

Delta Cargo launches e-commerce solution DeliverDirect in collaboration with SmartKargo

PR Newswire | January 31, 2024

Delta Cargo is excited to announce the launch of its newest product, DeliverDirect, developed in collaboration with SmartKargo. DeliverDirect is a door-to-door delivery service for the U.S. market, offering a competitive and customizable solution for e-commerce retailers seeking to optimize their direct-to-consumer shipping solutions. With DeliverDirect, Delta Cargo pioneers an innovative domestic carrier approach, providing swift service with transparent pricing for e-commerce and small parcel delivery. From initial warehouse pickup to delivery at the end consumer's doorstep, DeliverDirect is a fast, seamless, end-to-end service that upgrades traditional ground or air shipping services utilized by most current e-tailers. Small package shippers will benefit from increased shipping speeds, an uncomplicated pricing structure, proactive alert management, transparent tracking and reporting, and access to Delta's vast domestic network. "We are thrilled to introduce DeliverDirect, our new offer for the small parcel delivery market," shared Alison Ricker, Managing Director, Delta Cargo Global Sales. "Through our strategic collaboration with SmartKargo, DeliverDirect gives e-tailers an alternative transportation solution that fits their customers' requirements, and we envision that this service will prove to be a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution." The DeliverDirect offering can be tailored to shippers' needs with a variety of service innovations that empower customers to customize according to their unique preferences. These service innovations include: personalized pick-up times, geo-fenced notifications for consumers, multiple delivery attempts, signature-required deliveries, proof of delivery with photos, and access to advanced reporting features for a complete comprehensive service that aligns seamlessly with a variety of needs. "E-commerce shippers are looking for simple, faster and more reliable alternatives to deliver their products to consumers. Delta Cargo has a vision for small package delivery that will transform the U.S. market and continue to diversify their already robust offering in the air cargo market. Their innovative approach makes them a fantastic partner for SmartKargo, and we look forward to growing this service together," stated Milind Tavshikar, CEO and Founder of SmartKargo.

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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, Sustainability, Transportation

Revoy Launches the Ultimate Scalable Sustainability Solution for Trucking

PR Newswire | February 01, 2024

<p>Revoy, a simple and truly viable solution to decarbonize the trucking industry, today announces the launch of the Revoy EV, a simple add-on for fleets that enables an easy transition to full EV without alterations to trucks or trailers. Pioneering a new sector of commercial trucking EV solutions, Revoy's technology improves fuel efficiency from 6 - 8 mpg to 20 - 35+ mpg, representing a 70 - 90%+ reduction in emissions. Economically, adding a Revoy EV to a tractor enables companies to save thousands of dollars in fuel per truck annually, inclusive of Revoy fees.</p><p>Currently, commercial trucks and fleets account for 6.7%¹ of all of the United States' GHG emissions. Revoy is helping reduce this and propel businesses towards net zero goals. Revoy EVs are on the road today actively decarbonizing trucks, and are expanding to more areas this year.</p<p>"Trucking contributes 6.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. The current approach of wholly replacing diesel engines with batteries and electric motors is too abrupt of a transition for such a critical and underappreciated part of our economy," said Ian Rust, CEO and founder of Revoy. "EV tractors are more expensive to purchase and recharge compared to diesel, and no driver can spare the time to stop and charge for hours. Luxury passenger vehicles are not engineered to generate ROI and depreciate quickly. Making commercial vehicles the same way poses a risk to any fleet that adopts them. Revoy has engineered an electric commercial vehicle that is built as an asset first. The entire vehicle is swappable in under five minutes, so no waiting on a charge, and can operate on any trucker's existing vehicle with no modifications."</p><p>Revoy handles all infrastructure and charging, and its adaptable technology offers ease of use, saved time, low upfront costs, and ongoing fuel benefits. Revoy allows truckers to drive up to 235 miles on electric power using a 525kWh LFP battery pack.</p<p>Solving for sustainability in the trucking industry is complex, but simplicity is at the core of Revoy's innovation. Revoy's EV technology is adaptable and easy to apply to existing fleets, with the option to use as needed. The process is simple: trucks visit a Revoy swap station, where an attendant swaps the Revoy EV while the driver relaxes in the truck or shops inside.</p><p>Revoy's EV technology addresses the sustainability and competitive business needs of trucking fleets and companies committed to net zero goals through the following</p> Dramatic MPG Improvement: At 235 miles of range, Revoy can take a 6 - 8 mpg truck to 20 - 35+ mpg. At a shorter range, for example 150 miles, mpg can exceed 30 - 40 mpg. This is a transformational step change in fuel efficiency. Electric Range Extension on Electric Trucks: Revoy allows truckers to drive up to 235 miles on electric power using a 525kWh LFP battery pack, and can be "recharged" nearly instantly with a Revoy swap. Long charges or battery-destroying fast charges are no longer necessary. An 800kWh long-range version will be coming out in May 2024. No Time Wasted On The Road: Revoy electric vehicles instantly convert any diesel truck into a hybrid, easily attaching to the fifth wheel automatically. Truckers can swap at an available station for a fresh battery in less than five minutes, which is 90% faster than traditional EV charging. Fleets can share Revoy EVs based on subscription tier for immediate savings, without the risk. Zero Payload Impact: The Revoy EV has no impact on payload. Trucks encountering loads that are too heavy to accept the extra battery weight can revert to diesel in minutes by dropping the Revoy EV. Compliant with Length Laws: The Revoy EV requires no additional CDL endorsements and is compliant with all length restrictions on the national highway network. Safety Features Built Into Every Vehicle: Revoy offers intelligent auto-correction to prevent rollovers, flipping and jackknifing. The Revoy EV has an extra set of brakes to automatically engage more stopping power when driving down mountains, blind spot detection and automatic reversing with intelligent computing from a series of sensors with notifications through Revoy's mobile app. <p>Revoy was founded by Ian Rust, an innovator, founder and mechanical engineer with over 12 years of experience in clean transportation and sustainability, and is backed by YCombinator, Transition Global, and Liquid2 Ventures. The team includes over 100 years of experience from GM, Tesla, Embark Trucks, Waymo, and the European Space Agency, among others. Revoy's technology is made in the USA, FMVSS compliant, and compliant with all length and weight (bridge and GVW) regulations.</p>

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Logistics, Supply Chain

Delta Cargo launches e-commerce solution DeliverDirect in collaboration with SmartKargo

PR Newswire | January 31, 2024

Delta Cargo is excited to announce the launch of its newest product, DeliverDirect, developed in collaboration with SmartKargo. DeliverDirect is a door-to-door delivery service for the U.S. market, offering a competitive and customizable solution for e-commerce retailers seeking to optimize their direct-to-consumer shipping solutions. With DeliverDirect, Delta Cargo pioneers an innovative domestic carrier approach, providing swift service with transparent pricing for e-commerce and small parcel delivery. From initial warehouse pickup to delivery at the end consumer's doorstep, DeliverDirect is a fast, seamless, end-to-end service that upgrades traditional ground or air shipping services utilized by most current e-tailers. Small package shippers will benefit from increased shipping speeds, an uncomplicated pricing structure, proactive alert management, transparent tracking and reporting, and access to Delta's vast domestic network. "We are thrilled to introduce DeliverDirect, our new offer for the small parcel delivery market," shared Alison Ricker, Managing Director, Delta Cargo Global Sales. "Through our strategic collaboration with SmartKargo, DeliverDirect gives e-tailers an alternative transportation solution that fits their customers' requirements, and we envision that this service will prove to be a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution." The DeliverDirect offering can be tailored to shippers' needs with a variety of service innovations that empower customers to customize according to their unique preferences. These service innovations include: personalized pick-up times, geo-fenced notifications for consumers, multiple delivery attempts, signature-required deliveries, proof of delivery with photos, and access to advanced reporting features for a complete comprehensive service that aligns seamlessly with a variety of needs. "E-commerce shippers are looking for simple, faster and more reliable alternatives to deliver their products to consumers. Delta Cargo has a vision for small package delivery that will transform the U.S. market and continue to diversify their already robust offering in the air cargo market. Their innovative approach makes them a fantastic partner for SmartKargo, and we look forward to growing this service together," stated Milind Tavshikar, CEO and Founder of SmartKargo.

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