New Articles

The emergence of logistics platform

integrate logistics automation freight

The emergence of logistics platform

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, the logistics supply chain industry began to experience difficulties. Due to the air traveler restrictions in most countries, air transport was the first to reduce their normal scheduled flights which disrupt air transport shipments. Then, ocean transport experienced its own set of problems; vessels had to berth longer out of the ocean since ports were operating at half capacity because of the alternating work schedule of its workers. Problems worsened with an increased demand of containers capacity by Asian manufacturers due to an explosive demand by e-commerce. As a result, ocean liners were not quick enough to return empty containers back to Asia, which created a supply chain backlog and a price increase to the industry.

The International Trans-Pacific Ocean freight charges significantly increased over the last two years. For example, the cost of moving shipment from South East Asia regions cost $3,000 USD/container to the US. It gradually increased every other month and reached $11,000 USD/container by December of 2020, an increase of more than 300% in over a year. The cost reached $16,000 to (US-West Cost) and $19,000 to (US-East Coast) in main ports by December 2021. An inland transport to the final destination, for example, Atlanta, costs $26,000/container. Imagine, a container that has 1,000 items from Asia to the US with a transport cost of $3.00 had become $26.00/ item. It is why inflation has been unusually high.


The logistics company (transporter) has been operating an offline business method for decades. Operating business in an offline environment makes operation and administration slow, expensive and non-transparent. Quotations given by transporters listed too many itemized charges, making it difficult for shippers to analyze. Charges at origin and destination varies among transporters. Shippers who want to get five quotations must make inquiries to five different local transporters, requiring about 2-3 days for one quotation to be delivered. Companies using an offline business method lack efficiency and are far behind those who have adapted to technology. We are now living in an online world where platform news, social communication and shopping is done in an instant, and businesses should use a technology platform to its advantage.

Shippers who participate in Logistics Platform would be able to analyze available transporters at Origin and at Destination. Logistics service information is properly displayed and all questions can be answered directly by transporters with the chat feature in the platform. With just a few clicks, shippers will be able to confirm shipments to transporters with transparent detailed services: pricing, schedules, document requirements at origin and at destination. Once the shipment is accepted by transporters, work-order and reminder note are issued by the platform to alert everyone involved. A shipper that paid $26,000 from Jakarta to Atlanta in an offline environment, would only pay $22,500/container in platform business model.

Internet technology is an important factor in our daily lives. The relationship between transporters and their shippers is now more interactive with direct communication. A platform with its embedded algorithm into digitalization would speed up and minimize transporter manual operation and paper administration. The status of delivery in Bangkok can be instantly viewed by the Shipper in Amsterdam. The identity of the truck and driver is available for shippers in Tokyo to track before shipment is released. Digital Proof of delivery in Los Angles is transmitted to the transporter in San Francisco to speed up invoicing and confirmation of acceptance by Shipper. Warehouse space becomes easily searchable with the selection of available warehouse operators where the platform operates. Decision-making is faster with less human involvement and operation becomes simpler.

We are now able to do almost everything using our smartphone, and it has become our identity and trusted 24/7 companion. Any individual with a smartphone can create products and sell online from every corner in the world. There are now more individuals who have joined Global Digital Market as either Buyer or Seller, driving the demand of logistics services. A platform that fits into the Business-Consumer trend will open up new channels and bridge the transition from traditional systems would attract many followers. The integration of the Logistics Industry with Internet Technology will be beneficial for all parties involved. With no barriers, shippers in Jakarta able to make a seamless transaction to select transporter at Jakarta and at Atlanta via smartphone or computer in just a few clicks. Companies that fail to catch up with Digitalization and Automation will lose out their Development Growth to connect the Online World, which demands direct interaction, competitive pricing and consolidated services.


Taking The Mystery Out Of AI: 4 Ways It Makes Life Easier

Artificial intelligence is significantly impacting the world, yet there’s still a great amount of mystery – and misconceptions – about it.

The public’s imagination has been heavily shaped by science fiction, with the term AI evoking images of robots like WALL-E, C3PO from Star Wars, and David from Stephen Spielberg’s movie A.I. Scientists and technologists refer to this kind of humanlike AI as “general artificial intelligence.” General AI attempts to mimic the kind of abstract thought and typical problem-solving skills seen in humans.

I say attempts because there is currently no existing general AI system even approaching the sophistication of the human brain. The technology is nowhere close to creating a system capable of abstract thought or general intelligence. But “applied AI” is rapidly becoming a mainstream technology, improving the efficiency and profitability of businesses in many industries.

Why applied AI is faster but not yet smarter than us 

Current AI systems, for all their computational ability, do not have the ability to understand and analyze context the way human brains do. For example, we can see a barking dog and instantly determine the threat level. Sufficiently advanced AI can recognize the dog but may be unable to determine the breed, its physical agility, and whether it has been encountered before. Unlike humans, AI cannot connect dots and judge context to solve problems creatively.

But AI systems can make decisions far more rapidly and accurately than humans. The strengths and limitations of the current generation of artificial intelligence make it most applicable for solving fit-for-purpose business problems. (Fit-for-purpose is the concept in which a product or service is adequate for the purpose for which the consumer selected it.) AI systems are designed to handle a specific task while operating within imposed contextual constraints. These fit-for-purpose systems and tools are known as applied AI.

There are four primary business applications of applied AI in industry. Here is a look at each and how they create efficiencies and value:


Automation saves countless man hours and resources, as computers can process

data in a fraction of the time it takes humans. Some of these processes require decision-making. This is where AI comes into play. Most business processes involve a structured set of inputs, and decisions are made based on defined policies and guidelines. The variables in the equations are well known and operate within a narrow context. Algorithms can make these decisions rapidly and accurately.

These algorithms allow much of the workload that companies do to be offloaded onto automated systems. That advancement provides conveniences for consumers in the age of online shopping. Capital One Shopping, for example, offers customers a browser add-on claiming to save money by automatically comparing prices, applying promo codes and providing deal alerts.

Banks use AI to automate the loan process. Relevant financial records are collected automatically, validated, and analyzed. The system can give a recommendation on the loan before a lender ever sees the application. This may sound frightening and impersonal, but these systems actually assess loans more accurately and fairly than humans. They look at a borrower’s credit history, credibility, liabilities, and other factors and make an impartial decision. Quite often, these individual metrics are also calculated by AI. Credit scores, for example, are calculated automatically.


The data produced by automated business processes holds valuable insights. These insights can be about almost anything; they may reveal something about a business process, unlock untapped opportunities, or even allow companies to make predictions about the future.

The data analysis that leads to insights is mostly automated. Given the volume of data that companies now work with, we need these automated AI systems to find the signal in the noise. AI looks for patterns and makes decisions based on training and defined guidelines. The exponential power of these systems can be seen in machine learning.  IBM Watson, for example, can predict when an elevator is going to fail. AI systems are able to return insights about insights into their own operation, and this allows them to improve their data sets and algorithms. As a result, AI systems draw insights that the designers may not have ever considered or been looking for.


Insights have many applications, but one that is rapidly transforming industries is personalization of user engagement. The insights drawn from consumers, users, and other stakeholders can be used to improve their experiences by engaging with them in a personalized manner.

There are many ways companies can use data to personalize the experience for the stakeholders they serve. Google maps knows through habits a driver’s route and daily schedule and will give them an outlook for the day based on the current data. Retail companies have their websites feature inventory designed to appeal to the specific viewer. Online ads are micro-targeted at individuals based on insights into their specific consumer behavior. Social media platforms also customize news feeds to increase user engagement. Search engines provide results that are tailored to the user’s location, demographics, search habits, online shopping history, and other data.


Sensing produces a kind of insight that deserves special mention due to its revolutionary potential. The exponential explosion in data and computing power now allows us to better recognize patterns as they are forming and predict how they will develop, which in turn allows us to actually sense trends as they form and develop.

This ability has huge business applications. Consider the sudden rise and success of TikTok. ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company that developed the app, hit it big by filling an emerging niche for teens who could use a platform for recording and sharing short videos. TikTok noticed the trend among teens, built a dedicated app, and marketed it to the emerging user base as the trend developed. TikTok is now worth billions of dollars and is changing the social media landscape.

Many companies using applied AI have built fortunes and improved the world for billions of people. They did so by leveraging exponential technology and riding the development curve. We can likely achieve higher levels of AI-powered efficiency and improvement in all industries.


Rajeev Ronanki ( is the president of digital platforms at Anthem Inc., and the ForbesBooks author of You and AI: A Citizen’s Guide to AI, Blockchain, and Puzzling Together the Future of Healthcare. Before joining Anthem, Ronanki was a partner at Deloitte Consulting, where he spearheaded a myriad of technological healthcare innovations. Ronanki is a frequent contributor to Forbes and other publications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Osmania University and a master’s in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania. 

demand planning

Demand Planning: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Demand planning has evolved to be an integral function of business over the past decade. It addresses the major concerning issue of matching the demand while avoiding wastage. In this article, we will try to cover everything important related to demand planning and why has become so important for business. Before we delve into the details of demand planning, let us understand the concept of demand planning vividly.

Demand Planning: Definition and Concept

As the name suggests, demand planning refers to planning the stock against the forecasted consumer demand. It is a cross-functional process that enables businesses to always have the necessary stock of products while minimizing excess inventory and avoiding supply chain disruptions. It is a continuous process that forms an important function of a business. The constant improvement in technology has made this business function possible. However, its accuracy is still not dependable.

Demand Planning Vs. Demand Forecasting

Often the two are used interchangeably but they differ in their scope and function. Demand forecasting is only a part of the supply chain demand planning process. Demand forecasts are usually done for a specific period of time that varies for different organizations. The demand forecasting process lays the groundwork for the crucial process of demand planning.

Demand Planning: Process

Demand planning is done through close observation of sales, seasonality data, historical sales, and consumer trends. This assessment enables the business to meet customer demand in an efficient manner. In order to achieve accurate results, businesses use statistical forecasting. In statistical forecasting, statisticians use historical data to generate supply chain forecasts using various advanced statistical algorithms. Data-backed forecasts in demand planning help to avoid stock-outs or overstocks while ensuring customer satisfaction.

Each business has different demands and hence demand different algorithm. In order to select the best algorithm for a business, the statisticians have to try different algorithms to see which forecast is more accurate by reviewing each model’s accuracy and bias measures. With the help of statistical forecasting, demand planners can easily identify outliers and exclusions that are based upon user-defined parameters that include standard deviation or the interquartile range.

Demand Planning: Significance

The most important function of demand planning is to strike the right balance between customer demand and stock inventory. This is imperative for delivering customer satisfaction and thereby filling the sales funnel of the business. Although the function of demand planning is very crucial, it is very difficult to achieve accurate results. The complexity associated with demand planning is due to the fact that it requires coordination across the entire organization.

Excess inventory not only blocks the working capital of the business but also adds inventory carrying costs that could otherwise be utilized towards buying fresh stocks or developing the technologies used in the business. On the other hand, a shortage of stock supply can lead to backorders, hasty buying of costly raw materials, and most importantly a bad image of the organization. Shortage of stock is one of the most prominent causes of customer dissatisfaction that can adversely affect the goodwill of the organization.

Demand Planning: Procedure and Best Practices

Demand planning is as complex as it is important for the business. It is a multi-level process that involves speculation and good analytical skills. To make you understand things better, we have broken down the entire process into simple steps.

1. Defining and Collecting Relevant Data

The first and most important step is understanding the data that would be relevant in forecasting the demand. The data is subjective to the nature of business and the scope of its operations. For this, the planners discuss the data with the internal sales and marketing team about the timing of price changes, marketing campaigns, and promotions that could affect demand.

2. Utilizing External Data

Now that your internal database is ready, the next step is to collect the relevant external data. The external data could include metrics regarding the recent performance and delivery timelines of suppliers and distributors and the latest purchasing habits of your key customers. Other factors include the economic conditions that can have a bearing on the demand and sales of your product.

3. Analyze Demand Forecast

After collecting and analysing the internal and external data, professionals decide upon the most appropriate forecasting model that is relevant to your business. After a model is decided, the next step is to determine how much inventory is needed to fulfill the forecasted demand.

4. Measure Results

The final step is to measure the results against the forecasted demand. This step is very important to ensure that you are able to plan the future forecast accurately. For measuring the results, demand planning professionals identify the Key Performance Indicators(KPI) that help you determine the efficiency of your planning.

Your Takeaway

Now that you know the importance and other nuances of demand planning, it is just about time that you invest in a good team that can ensure a smooth flow of supply.


The Tech Bet is Essential for 3PLs in 2021

It’s now clear that consumer expectations are changing at a much faster pace than ever before, especially in the B2C arena. The pandemic has made us realize that market evolution, while already familiar to industry professionals, can be much faster and more demanding than we might think, but undoubtedly irreversible.

Companies are faced with the challenge of adapting their distribution and production models to align their operations with the changes taking place. Being equipped with greater agility, efficiency and transparency is no longer a simple competitive advantage. Every day, new competitors emerge who are well prepared in terms of technology and perfectly able to manage new challenges. Relying on a 3PL capable of offering efficient, robust, and scalable solutions becomes a primary need.

The five key tools a 3PL must have to succeed

Warehouse Management system

-Visibility Solutions (tracking)

-Electronic data exchange

-Web portals




What does the customer look for in a 3PL partner?


The 3PL must be part of a logistics ecosystem capable of ensuring integration between customers and suppliers. Only in this way can it guarantee the visibility that is essential for a supply chain capable of offering a high-quality service to the end customer.

Collaboration between different partners is an added value for the logistics chain and avoids one of the endemic evils that have always afflicted the supply chain: the interruptions in the exchange of information. Having an integration platform to manage the electronic exchange of data has become an indispensable factor for today’s logistics operators.

On the other hand, it is important that the warehouse management system be capable of integrating with external automated tools, such as sorters, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), RFID, pick-to-light, robots for automated picking, and all solutions that optimize a wide range of processes within the warehouse.

Finally, it is important to emphasize the ability of logistics to provide visibility, both internally and externally, by making use of tools such as collaborative portals, where information related to warehouse operations and shipment tracking can be consolidated. In this case, through connectivity with transportation companies or mobility apps.


The 3PL must have access to information about the client’s operations so that they can make thoughtful decisions and direct interventions toward improving operations based on real and accurate data.

The information also speeds up the billing process for logistics services with tools that collect billable items and issue invoices in EDI or any other format.


The 3PL needs to focus on Software as a Service (SaaS) tools. Businesses and markets can change in a matter of months, so it is essential to be able to adapt quickly. A SaaS operating model allows for scalability, but it also reduces “time to market” by allowing various information systems to be integrated in a shorter timeframe.


The 3PL must be able to respond in moments of peak activity.

Logistics has become an increasingly short delivery time, so it is essential to react quickly, not only to manage peaks in activity, but also to be able to adapt with agility to the different ways of preparing orders. In this sector, warehouse management software is an essential tool for achieving the degree of planning and process automation necessary for the rapid and efficient execution of activities.

What technologies do customers require from a 3PL?

Technology has now been implemented within the entire supply chain, and the technology is advancing rapidly. Current logistics operators are aware of this, just as they know that present and future economic investments will have to go in that direction if they want to remain in the market and compete with new operators, who are starting with the best technology.

A bit like a race where you never reach the finish line, in the future technologies will evolve and shift to Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Technologies that will profoundly transform logistics and, more importantly, allow whoever adopts them to have an advantage in quality and an unbeatable positioning. Providing the customer with a plus in service, such that they do not have to resort to strategies based solely on prices, which are the biggest threat to the profitability of the logistics sector.

Tools that can bring tremendous value to the supply chain are the adoption of a control tower that can provide greater visibility across the chain, the use of blockchain, automated warehouses and robots to manage repetitive tasks such as warehousing, order picking, and arranging goods on the loading docks.

Investing in this type of technology will:

-Provide quick responses to the consumer.

-Take advantage of excellent customer service.

-Focus on differentiating yourself from the competition, a goal that, from a pricing strategy perspective, will allow you to provide a service that others cannot.

-Have an unprecedented amount of data that enables comprehensive supply chain analysis.

-Improve warehouse storage density.

-Increase the productivity potential of different operations.

Generix software for 3PLs who want to adapt to customer needs

The Generix Supply Chain Hub platform, which is offered in SaaS format allows logistics operators to manage the supply chain in an integrated and efficient way through its various tools, which have already been mentioned throughout the article.
Warehouse Management System

Recognized in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, it responds precisely to the needs of the main sectors of activity (retail, eCommerce, automotive, beverages, food…) by providing the flexibility and configuration power demanded by logistics operators.

Generix WMS allows managing multi-warehouse and multi-customer operations through a tool with complete standard functionality. Thanks to its more than 30 years of experience in the market, Generix offers solutions for the management of e-commerce flows, the invoicing of logistics services or the connection with automated systems.

Technology is the bet that the most competitive 3PL companies are making to keep up with market demands and to be able to meet their customers’ expectations. We are facing a difficult but exciting change that will undoubtedly transform the logistics sector in a very short time.

Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more.

trade finance

Ushering in a New Era of Efficiency for Trade Finance   

Trade finance has earned a reputation for an industry reluctant to adapt in the face of change. Characterized by unwieldy and cumbersome legacy processes, the industry has seemingly remained stagnant whilst other sectors have steamed ahead with digitization. But, the pandemic has prompted the call for change that the trade finance industry has sorely needed for years, and steps towards technological innovation have been seen, most notably across the Asia Pacific. These technological advancements are helping to revolutionize the trade finance space and, hopefully, trigger a coordinated, global approach to creating more efficient trade.  

The list of challenges that trade finance faces, point to an industry reliant on paper. Incorrect documentation and KYC, non-interoperable systems and manual reconciliation could all be overcome with appropriate technological input. These issues are now finally being addressed by various progressive digital solutions. 

One of the technologies which seem most encouraging is enterprise blockchain. Trade is a fundamentally decentralized system. The industry is heavily intermediated – predominantly by banks that help to facilitate transactions and provide the financing behind them, but also by insurers, customs officials and other market participants. Firms have tried countless times to apply centralized solutions to this decentralized system, but, unsurprisingly, none have really worked. 

The decentralized nature of blockchain makes it a perfect fit for trade finance. For the first time, the entire industry is getting behind technology and moving it into real-world deployment at a record pace. 

Meanwhile, regulators are working with technology providers to understand how to audit and gain insight into the transactions taking place on these new blockchain-based platforms, and ensuring suitable laws are in place, including those relating to electronic documentation and electronic signatures. 

The architecture underpinning the entire ecosystem of trade is undergoing complete digital transformation – but how are participants benefiting from this change? 

Sizing up the challenge  

Many of the processes and technologies underpinning trade finance have not been modernized in decades. The result is that those transactions continue to rely on paper-heavy processing, unsuitable for the current digital age. Traditional technology required corporates to log into multiple portals and juggle relationships and documentation for each shipment. 

These inefficiencies in trade finance mean that nearly USD $1.5 trillion of demand for trade finance is rejected by banks, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with 60% of banks expecting this figure to increase over the next two years. Developing markets that rely heavily on access to trade can be severely hindered through these outdated processes. 

In addition, businesses all over the world must navigate the growing threat of cyber-attacks, changing regulations, and ever-changing sanctions lists. Despite this complexity, cumbersome and time-consuming paper-based exchanges are still commonplace.  

Take, for example, invoice financing. While a common activity, managing invoice payments and terms can be slow and inefficient for companies and their trading partners. They must navigate different currencies and jurisdictions, each with unique requirements in terms of contract terms and payments.  

By digitizing these manual processes and superseding aging legacy systems, technology such as blockchain has a real impact on reducing the costs, risks and delays to participants involved in trade finance.  

If applied effectively, the technology has the potential to unlock the potential $1.5 trillion opportunity in global trade finance. Companies of all sizes will benefit from better visibility into trading relationships and easier access to financing options, beyond point-to-point relationships, to a global network of trading parties.  

Calling for a decentralized network  

Blockchain’s integration across the financial services ecosystem has delivered some encouraging results so far. While the rollout has been more gradual than some of the more over-enthusiastic predictions, many see it as a brilliant innovation capable of remedying a lot of the operational pain points perturbing financial services. As such, there is growing debate about how blockchain can provide decentralized solutions to solve many of the problems facing trade financing.  

One such solution is real-time visibility, which is available via permissioned access to authorized network users and gives buyers and sellers unprecedented transparency into the status of their transactions.   

This single source of truth and use of smart contracts could remove a number of inefficiencies in the paper-heavy processes that exist in trade finance, such as negotiations of letters of credit. In addition, settlement finality removes the need for intermediaries to perform reconciliations. All of these applications could streamline the entire process.   

Coordinated action  

In order to move towards a truly digitized and connected ecosystem for trade finance, mass adoption on a global scale is essential. This elusive network effect can only be achieved if technology players prioritize forward-thinking and inclusive integration solutions that lower the barriers to entry for all types of companies involved in the trading process.   

If only a handful of firms adopt a blockchain solution for invoice financing, for example, the solution is useless if one company needs to trade with another that is outside this circle of early adopters. All the other benefits of blockchain such as speed, efficiency and lower costs mean nothing if you cannot use the platform to connect with the necessary counterparties.   

Marco Polo is a key example of a solution built for its market. The Marco Polo Network provides an open enterprise software platform for trade and working capital finance to banks and corporates and allows for the secure exchange of data and assets between participants. The network leverages blockchain to provide a rapid and secure way to access working capital and efficient solution to provide trade finance. When it launched in 2017, it introduced to the market an integrated solution to overcome critical trade finance challenges including lack of connectivity, time-consuming processes and high onboarding costs.  

Although blockchain has the potential to revolutionize trade finance, it is unrealistic to expect an industry that is still one step behind to adopt new technology in a ‘big bang’ moment. In reality, most businesses will continue to use their long-standing legacy systems throughout this transition to a fully digitized space. Blockchain platforms that offer high levels of interoperability with existing infrastructures will therefore prove themselves to be the best fit for purpose in the move to digital.  


As Head of Trade and Supply Chain at R3, Alisa is responsible for trade strategy, standards and governance design. Alisa was previously a senior economist at the Asian Development Bank and holds a PhD from MIT.


3 Biggest Threats to a Bank’s Cybersecurity

Our world is changing. It is undergoing rapid and massive digitization. It would be safe to claim that we have the global pandemic to blame for that. However, we believe that we would have gotten there anyway given the trajectory of our current technological advancements.

Education, various business processes一almost everything can already be done online these days. The world has passed a point of no return and will never go back to what it was pre-pandemic. What has been made digital will remain digital. While this new normal does offer a lot of conveniences, it also presented a new set of challenges, particularly in cybersecurity. And of all the industries that have gone online, it is probably the world of banking that we are most concerned for. What are the financial problems that these changes will pose?

In this article, we are going to talk about the biggest threats to cybersecurity in the banking sector. Let’s start with the most basic: unencrypted data.

Unencrypted Data

Data encryption is the process of converting data from a readable format into a decoded one. Various institutions usually have their own specific codes. In this way, no one would be able to easily read their data outside the firm, should their data fall into the wrong hands.

Think of data encryption as both the vanguard and the rear of cybersecurity. An effective encryption process can deter people with malicious intent. And if they ever get their hands on the said data, they would still have to try to decrypt it anyway before it can be of any use to them. These added security measures can be truly valuable for any financial institution.


The next imminent threat is malware. While we have no doubt that most financial institutions work with competent cybersecurity agencies in order to protect their devices from being hacked, it is also true that this might not include their staff.

A breach into a system is still possible through a compromised employee phone. All he needs to do is to connect to the office’s computer network and a hacker can already begin accessing compromising information.

The same thing can happen when you’re collaborating with a third-party service. We understand how convenient it is to employ a third-party service. It can potentially save time, money, and other resources.

However, it can also expose your financial institution to certain risks if your partner doesn’t have effective cybersecurity measures in place.

The best solution to prevent potential attacks in this manner remains to be adequate employee training. Make your staff aware of the very real (and billion-dollar) repercussions of a security breach.

It is also possible to limit the access of your employees. Just let them access the minimum data that they need in order to perform their tasks. This is for their own protection as well.

Finally, running comprehensive background checks and being particularly careful with the people you hire will also help. Just make sure that your checks remain compliant to prevent any issues.

As for business partners, one should never be afraid to ask about potential partners’ cybersecurity efforts.

Data Manipulation

Another big concern is data manipulation. There are three ways in how your data can be manipulated. First, it can be stolen, copied, and distributed elsewhere, much like how hackers are able to create realistic company pages for phishing. This is called spoofing.

Data can also be deleted. This is particularly true for bigger financial institutions with competing firms. An attacker might not really have the intention to steal information but to mess up the system by deleting crucial bits of data.

Can you imagine the panic that will ensue if a financial institution suddenly lost all its client information?

Finally, data can be edited without the owner’s knowledge. Despite the common belief that data-stealing is the worst cybersecurity attack that can happen, we still believe data alteration worse. That’s because this attack is a bit difficult to detect right away.

It’s easy for bigger companies to detect if their data has been stolen and being used with malicious intent. Data deletion is a complete giveaway. You will learn that an attack has happened right after it did. There’s even a chance of stopping it halfway if you’re lucky to catch it early enough.

What makes data alteration particularly detrimental is the fact that it can’t easily be detected. A firm can go on for months without even knowing that an attack has happened. After all, the manipulated data may look unaltered on the surface, but the truth is, hundreds (if not thousands) of micro edits have already been made. If the hacker succeeds, the financial institution may be held liable to pay millions of dollars in damages.

How Imminent Is the Threat?

The cybersecurity threats that we have mentioned above are just some of the most common ones that financial institutions globally are faced with every day. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are definitely other forms of cyberattacks out there, and even more, being developed by the minute.

According to Mark Whelan, a banking expert from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, cyberattacks are more prominent and brazen than ever before. It has even reached the point that they are receiving up to 10 million attacks in a month.

For him, this is the biggest threat that financial institutions are currently facing, and experts predict that it’s only going to get worse.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, it is a brave new world that we’re living in. The risks and threats that we are facing right now are so stark in contrast to what we have experienced in the past. Gone are the days of bank heists with guns blazing. Instead, the bigger threat is probably wearing a sweatshirt right now in a random room somewhere across the globe. The fact that you wouldn’t have to take such a risk on your life makes the prospect even more appealing.

This has led financial institutions to prioritize cybersecurity efforts and training. Fortunately, with adequate risk assessment and planning, we are confident that you will be able to prevent severe cyberattacks from happening.


Jim Hughes is a content marketer who has significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business topics. At the moment, he is the Director of Content at


Why Your Supply Chain Software Has to be User-Friendly

When it comes to supply chain software, companies are quickly learning that user experience or “UX” is everything. Put simply, it doesn’t matter how much a company invests in technology systems that provide all of the latest bells and whistles, if employees either don’t know how to use it – or, if they simply won’t use it – then those supply chain solutions will gather “virtual” dust in the corner as workers go back to their old ways of doing things.

Digital Natives’ Expectations

This is particularly true for the younger generations who are entering the workforce, and who know a good (or, bad) user interface when they see one. These digital natives grew up with mobile phones, devices, and applications in their hands, and expect the same experience with their business technology.

As the Baby Boomers continue to retire—and as they take their memories of using IBM Green Screens with them—Generations Y and Z are becoming the next supply chain managers and leaders. These new entrants to the field expect to have technology tools that make their jobs faster, easier, and more accurate.

Professional and End-User Friendly

“Making things as easy as possible for the end user is the best way to ensure successful adoption and use of any new communication tool,” InformationWeek states. “While organizations are understandably keen to arm workers with the best technology to boost productivity, end users’ needs aren’t the only priority. Throughout the evaluation process, it’s important to remember that the user interface (UI) is just as vital for IT professionals as it is for the end user when it comes to adoption.”

What is UX?

As the name implies, UX is all about creating an immersive experience for the user while keeping costs of development and implementation under control. In the context of software development, user experience looks like something focused purely on design and entertainment.

“UX has become a cornerstone of custom software development. Companies aiming to develop customer-facing software use this as a top competitive advantage, while those creating enterprise applications for internal use have learned to pay attention to this dimension to improve user acceptance of new software,” UX Planet explains. “This is no longer just a nice-to-have layer added at the end of the development cycle, but a significant aspect included right from the design phase.”

It’s important to note that where user interface (UI) is the collection of tangible elements that allow a user to interact with an application or website, UX is not defined by a specific set of visual objects, but rather what the user takes away from interacting with those visual objects that make up the experience. In this sense, UX is all about the subjective, internal feelings of the user. For example:

-How does the experience leave users feeling?
-Are users empowered or inhibited?
-Are users engaged or distracted?
-Are users encouraged or frustrated?

“In a world where we spend most of our workday interacting with technology,” bakertilly writes, “shouldn’t we at least feel empowered, engaged, and encouraged while we are doing it?”

Functional, Intuitive, and Easy to Use

When supply chain software has a good UX, the typical user can learn the program by simply using it, rather than reading a manual or taking lessons. For example, a program with intuitive icons and simple menu bar options may be easy for a new user to understand, TechTerms points out. “However, if a developer creates a program with non-standard icons and complex menu options, it will make the program less intuitive, likely resulting in a negative user experience.” Efficiency is maximized when a solution such as a WMS enables users to streamline their processes in the easiest way possible. Find out more about ease of use and results, click here.

A product that provides a positive user experience is:

-Functional: It does what it says it can do.
-Intuitive: The program was built with a friendly interface.
-Easy to use: It doesn’t make it too hard on the user.
-Reliable: It’s there when the user needs it.
-Enjoyable: The software is easy and fun to use.

When shopping around for supply chain solutions, such as WMS, look for user-friendly software that not only comprises functionalities that can benefit the user, but also makes it easy for users to access all its features. “The goal of efficient software development is to make the product reliable and compatible for end-users,” software development firm Rezaid states. “To deliver an excellent user experience, it is important to know your users well.”

As companies continue to invest in digital supply chain technologies to increasingly automate the supply chain, the ones that put their users first will surely get the best return on investment (ROI) and results from those applications. By seeking out software that features intuitive, easy-to-learn interfaces, companies can more readily integrate those new solutions into their busy operations without missing a beat. Those that ignore this advice may find themselves up against a formidable force when it comes to putting new innovation to work in their supply chains.

Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more.

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.


When Determining the Right Preference and Consent Provider, Know the Differences in Capabilities

Thousands of companies today, large and small, are realizing the importance of building trust and giving customers a voice through functions such as customer consent and preference management. Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, as well as customer backlash related to poor customer experiences, has forced much of this shifting environment for brands today.  

Why is consent and preference management becoming more important? 

Customer consent is important because it grants permission for brands to provide marketing or service communications with prospects and customers. Preference management is also important. We all sign up for newsletters, product information, promotions as well as lifestyle preferences related to things such as travel. Therefore, it is important for all customer-facing departments (e.g. marketing, sales, and customer service) within a business to make it very easy for customers to indicate and change their preferences as their interests evolve over time. 

Companies today are spending millions on marketing technologies that enable seamless customer consent and preference management. Research firm Markets and Markets1 estimates that the consent management industry will represent $765 million by 2025, up from $317 million in 2020.  

Not all preference and consent providers are equal  

While many businesses are realizing they need these critical technologies to enhance, refine and preserve the overall customer experience, they should do their homework when selecting the right preference and consent management technology provider to work with – as not all are created equal. 

All-in-one may not mean the best solution 

At first glance, there are a handful of enterprise-level technology providers that do everything from customer relationship management to marketing automation to preference management. These cloud-based software companies have the look and feel of a “Big Box” provider and offer a suite of applications that help companies manage all aspects of their business.   

The allure of working with a provider such as this is the single vendor, “all-in-one” solution where there are often no additional costs or integration required for a core platform. However, what they gain in their single-stop allure, they often fall short in truly satisfying the unique, holistic, and cross-platform solutions needed for preference and consent management requirements for each individual company. 

Specialty vendors can build custom solutions 

On the other hand, specialty and boutique providers that focus on preference management and consent solutions offer a more holistic approach that includes strategy, best practices, process, and governance in addition to technology. They often start by interviewing their customer’s customer to understand what’s truly important to the consumer. With this insight in hand, they are able to design a holistic solution that meets both the consumer’s and organization’s needs. With this roadmap in place, they are ready to manage the deployment process and help gain adoption. This greater internal and external adoption leads to increased customer engagement, improved marketing ROI, and higher revenue potential.  

Along with internal adoption comes the ability to help integrate preferences for consumers across the entire organization and its many departments – a critical function that can be missed by “big box” providers whose offerings aren’t designed to meet this unique set of needs. As a result, this leads to a single view of the customer, greater customer trust, and assurance of regulatory compliance.  

On the surface, listening to customers and honoring their preferences is not only obvious, it’s also a must in today’s customer-driven business climate. Every business today must listen to their customers and the outcomes are immediate and apparent. As digital environments grow increasingly more complex – along with the penalties introduced for non-compliance – businesses of every size, and in every region must rely on the right solutions. It is up to each individual business to determine the right provider to work with for the right set of unique solutions. 


Editor’s Note: Tom Fricano is the Practice Director of Strategy and Consulting at PossibleNOW. With more than 25 years of experience, Tom assists clients with customer experience, preference management and consent initiatives through advisory and strategic consulting, technology expertise and project to product to implementation roadmaps.

Learn more at: 




Risk is an inherent part of any trade and logistics business, big or small. How you handle risks and the decisions surrounding them can make or break your venture.

No matter how experienced you are as an entrepreneur or a small business owner, taking risks is one thing that can always trip you up. However, without taking them, your trade or logistics business will never have the opportunity to really grow and flourish in the direction that it needs to. The key is to weigh up the risk versus the potential gains and to make your decisions based on these facts.

It’s also important to remember that there is a fine line between taking an unnecessary risk and making a bold decision. The one will see you in trouble, and the other will be applauded as a stroke of genius for going that route. As the business owner, it’s your job to work out if a decision is good or bad. In other words, is taking a chance worth the risk?


Taking risks is all part of the job description of being a business owner, especially in the startup world and trade and logistics industry. You have to use your reputation and often your own money to get your venture off the ground. This in itself is a risk. You need to prepare to put yourself out there and go for the bold choice if you want to reap the rewards.


Just because decision-making, and mostly big decisions, is part of the job, it doesn’t mean that you should just go for it. Any business owner who jumps into a decision without proper planning or research is asking for trouble, making each decision far more of a risk than it needs to be. Planning is critical.

Experienced trade and logistics business owners will look at a decision from all angles, plotting out the various outcomes of courses of action. For many, the most important factor to consider is what the worst-case scenario is if they go ahead with their decision. By figuring out the worst-case scenario, you can see if you and your business can survive should things go wrong when taking a risk. It’ll also help you put mitigating factors in place to help prevent the worst-case scenario from happening.

With all of this planning and research done before deciding, you’ll find that the associated risks are somewhat diminished. Or, you’ll realize that the risks are too great and you won’t need to make a decision at all.


As with just about anything in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The same is true about having to make big decisions. You can reach a point where you can confidently make business-altering decisions without too much stress. It’s just important to ensure that you always do your planning and research first, and don’t get overconfident.

You’ll also likely find that over time you don’t need to do as much initial research or planning. This is because you will be comfortable enough with your business to see the possible outcomes of the decision more easily. You will also have several contingency plans already in place, thanks to previous decisions you’ve had to make.


The most important factor to consider when making decisions for a small business is that you can’t always afford to take a big risk. Your resources are generally less than a larger organization, and that can make it a lot harder to recover if things go wrong. This means that it’s often better to go in a phased approach—making smaller changes or taking smaller risks over a period of time to get to the same outcome as one big leap of faith.

This is a good strategy early on in the life of a trade or logistics business because it builds up a resilience and a better tolerance for risk. You can take the time to build up your resources or recover to a place where you are ready for the next step or phase. All the while, your business is moving forward and not stagnating.


There are some risks that are easy to evaluate, and taking action is common sense. For example, if your business is in an area that’s prone to break-ins, not having a properly installed safe is a risk that’s not worth taking. Spending the money and installing a safe is a non-negotiable. But with other businesses risks, the answers aren’t always so cut and dried.

The place where most people get tripped up is getting too weighed down on the details of a decision. You can end up going round and round in circles, and miss the opportunity to take that leap.

You cannot wait forever or until things are just right to take a risk or make a big decision. Learn when the time is for research and planning, and when to take action. It all needs to be part of the process—researching possible outcomes, getting advice and input from others, planning for the worst, and then deciding to go or not to go. Inaction is far worse for a business than deciding not to take action.


There will always be the possibility of failure when making big decisions for a small business. There is no way to avoid this entirely. However, you can’t live in fear of failing because if you do, you will never see your business reach its full potential.

Failure is also a great teacher. Making a mistake or taking too big a risk gives you the chance to learn from those outcomes. You’ll be in a far better place to evaluate a risk next time one comes along because of the experiences you’ve had through failure. In fact, most entrepreneurs will tell you they have experienced far more failures than successes in their careers, and happily learned valuable lessons each time.

The trade and logistics business offers plenty of opportunity for risk taking and making bold decisions. With knowledge, experience, and insight, you can grow your venture in the right direction and carve a niche in an industry that’s highly competitive and demands forward thinking.


Benefits of using HMI for Industrial Purposes

HMI stands for Human Machine Interface. We use HMIs to control and monitor machines in any industry. It is mainly used in the manufacturing sector. Process industries massively use HMIs, such as in oil and gas and mining processes in which many operations are managed remotely from a control room. Industries have implemented HMI software where human interference with a machine or automated equipment is needed. This could be in a system, plant, building, or even a vehicle. The level of assimilation and refinement may vary, but we can use HMI for just about any application type.

Let’s come to the point and see the benefits of using hmi for industrial purposes:

Improved Productivity

A human-machine interface, i.e. HMI, improves the performance of the given task. Even if a person can perform that same task, this kind of software/device increases productivity in an enormous amount. Using an HMI facilitates more work in any industry in a short time.

 Troubleshooting with old data

The HMI system detects, have the systems inspected based on past data feed. The entire evaluation, isolation, and correction of the alarm took less time to do it manually. HMI’s makes it troubleshoot the problems in early stage.

Report generation

The creation of a perfect report and save it for data analysis is one of the crucial tasks. As a human, we can make many mistakes while recording such things. Maintenance and feeding the data for future use is something that should be done on time.


With the ability to control a device easily, their use in production and ease systems has dramatically improved people’s lives by increasing comfortability. The machine should be accessible from a long distance so that the operator can be at more ease.

Keeping Records

They have high abilities to keep records. By inserting instructions into an HMI, the system to which it is connected can automatically store the data. Such data can be utilized later for other researches, for example, troubleshooting future analysis.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of things refers to a combination of devices that are all coupled to the internet. HMIs can also connect to the internet since they are devices too. This enables remote access to the devices.

Reduce the Cost of Hardware

An HMI reduces the expense that an industry acquires in terms of devices like consoles, connections, and control panels. An HMI can replace them, thus saving on costs.

Asset management

Accuracy in real-time data and reports gives managers the ability to be more efficient and make just the right maintenance plans for businesses. The drilling and fracking industries have to handle some of the most challenging circumstances in managing and observing large numbers of regularly moving assets.

Data availability

Data is an essential input when making decisions. How users utilize these records will discover the value applied to the process. The power is in the availability of data and relying on people’s abilities and skills to get insight and make enhancements. This data is available for other analysis too.