New Articles

Innovative Solutions for Your Business: Navigating Supply Chain Dynamics

supply chain global trade ASCM

Innovative Solutions for Your Business: Navigating Supply Chain Dynamics

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, navigating supply chain dynamics has become increasingly complex. From sourcing raw materials to delivering finished products to customers, every step in the supply chain requires meticulous planning and execution. However, with the right innovative solutions, businesses can overcome common challenges and streamline their operations for greater efficiency and competitiveness.

Introduction to Supply Chain Dynamics

Efficient supply chain management is vital for the success of any business. It involves the seamless flow of goods and services from suppliers to manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and ultimately, to the end consumers. A well-managed supply chain ensures timely delivery, optimal inventory levels, and cost-effective operations.

Common Challenges in Supply Chain Management

Despite its importance, supply chain management is fraught with challenges. Inventory management issues, transportation bottlenecks, and supplier reliability are some of the common hurdles that businesses face. Managing these challenges requires innovative solutions that can adapt to the dynamic nature of the supply chain.

Understanding the Need for Innovation

Innovation is key to staying ahead in today’s competitive market. With rapidly changing consumer preferences and technological advancements, businesses need to constantly evolve their supply chain strategies. By embracing innovation, companies can address emerging challenges and seize new opportunities.

Innovative Solutions for Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is crucial for minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency. By adopting innovative technologies such as RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification), businesses can track their inventory in real-time, reducing the risk of stockouts and overstocking. Additionally, implementing just-in-time inventory systems and AI-powered demand forecasting can further optimize inventory levels and reduce carrying costs.

Overcoming Transportation Bottlenecks

Transportation bottlenecks can significantly impact supply chain efficiency. Leveraging blockchain technology can provide transparency and traceability in logistics, allowing businesses to track shipments and verify their authenticity. Furthermore, route planning software and autonomous vehicles can optimize transportation routes, reducing delivery times and fuel consumption.

Enhancing Supplier Relationships through Innovation

Enhancing supplier relationships through innovation can help your business establish long-term partnerships built on transparency and mutual trust. By leveraging supplier collaboration platforms and blockchain technology for enhanced supply chain traceability, businesses can mitigate risks and ensure smoother operations. Additionally, the implementation of smart contracts can further strengthen accountability and efficiency in supplier transactions, ultimately benefiting your business’s bottom line.

Conclusion

Innovation is the driving force behind effective supply chain management. By embracing innovative solutions for inventory management, transportation optimization, and supplier relationships, businesses can navigate supply chain dynamics with confidence. As market demands continue to evolve, embracing innovation will be crucial for staying competitive and ensuring long-term success.

chain global failure friedman footprint relationship chinese registrar supply analytics life

Haelixa Strengthens Leadership Team to Drive Supply Chain Innovation and Growth

Haelixa, a leading provider of physical traceability solutions, is pleased to announce strategic appointments aimed at fueling innovation and accelerating growth in the supply chain industry. Patrick Strumpf has been appointed as the new CEO, while Stefan Karlen joins the Board of Directors, marking significant milestones in Haelixa’s journey towards advancing supply chain transparency solutions and fostering positive industry change.

Bringing over 20 years of experience in business building and scaling, Patrick Strumpf assumes the role of CEO with a strong entrepreneurial background across manufacturing, distribution, and retail sectors. His leadership prowess, commercial acumen, and customer-centric approach position Haelixa for continued success and innovation. Strumpf expresses enthusiasm for Haelixa’s traceability solution, emphasizing its potential to set high standards and deliver significant advantages to brands and manufacturers, particularly in compliance and credibility realms.

Joining Haelixa’s Board of Directors, Stefan Karlen contributes over 30 years of supply chain industry expertise, having served as the Group CEO of Panalpina, a global freight forwarding and logistics leader. With a deep understanding of global supply chains and a track record of driving innovation, Karlen’s insights will be invaluable in shaping Haelixa’s strategic direction. Passionate about environmental responsibility, Karlen aligns with Haelixa’s values and is eager to leverage his skills to support the company’s sustainability-focused mission.

Dr. Gediminas Mikutis, Haelixa’s co-founder and CTO, expresses excitement about the new appointments, highlighting their extensive knowledge as key assets that will propel Haelixa to new heights. With the addition of Karlen and Strumpf to the team, Haelixa aims to achieve its mission of providing transparent and sustainable solutions to address supply chain challenges.

The appointments of Stefan Karlen and Patrick Strumpf mark a significant milestone in Haelixa’s global pursuit of becoming a benchmark in physical traceability. Leveraging their expertise, Haelixa is poised to drive innovation and tackle supply chain transparency challenges to create a positive impact in the industry.

shippers

DIGITIZATION HELPS SHIPPERS ADDRESS CHALLENGES, CAPTURE OPPORTUNITIES

For today’s shippers, these are unprecedented times. Importers and exporters were clearly challenged by a supply chain that met with disruptions unlike any others previously experienced. Now, in the “post-pandemic” period, where things are slowly starting to return to what many are calling the “new normal,” shippers still face challenges but also opportunities. The key to regaining control over supply chain operations and remaining competitive is in knowing how best to mitigate the challenges and capture the opportunities. You can be sure that digitization will play an integral role in addressing both goals.

Shippers Facing New Challenges, Opportunities

It is true that the global supply chain is far more resilient and agile today than it was as recent as a decade ago. The pandemic, however, has disrupted what was steady progress in advancing the supply chain. Most significantly, it prevented the movement of raw materials, components and goods due to national lockdowns and the cessation of various modes of transportation.

The lack of transparency and information only exacerbated the challenges shippers faced in attempting to conduct business and protect their supply lines. Those businesses that did have some degree of visibility into their supply network fared much better than those left in the dark not knowing what materials they would receive and when, how their production lines might fare, and if they could deliver any orders and if so, during what time periods. Even major natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis caused less uncertainty.

These are undoubtedly distinct times for global trade and commerce. While boundaries between B2B and B2C began eroding some time ago, the pandemic has introduced what will be long lasting, if not permanent, changes to how trade is conducted worldwide. The Amazonified business that wants its shipments now and in smaller quantities has added to the challenges and complexities, further straining even the more efficient supply chains. The need to coordinate more efficiently across the supply chain, keep operations agile and flexible, and maintain a workforce capable of adapting to the changing environment are among the primary challenges facing today’s shippers.

According to a Forbes Insights survey, 65 percent of logistics, supply chain and transportation executives acknowledged the need to revamp their existing models and add flexibility to their business operations so that they can ensure delivery across multiple channels, reduce operational costs and meet the heightened and changing demands of today’s consumers. This revamping of the supply chain will not only help shippers address the new challenges they face but also help them position their companies for new opportunities.

It’s not all doom and gloom. As the expression goes, “Necessity is the motherhood of invention.” The calamitous effect of the pandemic on the supply chain also gave shippers pause to consider how they could improve their operations. Specifically, it introduced new opportunities to identify and access the right clientele for their companies, reduce costs through better exception management, and optimize their operations. It also presented an opportunity to plan better for the future, and other potential disruptions and disasters, by leveraging digitization and prescriptive analytics. By understanding these advanced technologies, shippers can position themselves more opportunistically and to better sustain future disruptions and uncertainties, whether caused by a global pandemic, geopolitical uprising or natural disaster.

Digitization Delivering Enhanced Decision Making

Digitization’s most valuable deliverable is in facilitating accurate decision making and, in turn, improving operational efficiencies. While improved efficiency means better coordination across the supply chain, more precise decision-making translates into a more agile and flexible corporate culture. Through this more nimble culture, customers receive a value that previously didn’t exist, which positively impacts the company’s bottom line. These two outcomes go hand in hand with an engaged workforce that understands the criticality of the digital transformation and, in parallel, benefits from it by accessing a better toolbox containing valuable data that helps them perform better.

Moore’s law, which has been empirically proven to be accurate for more than 50 years, states that computing power roughly doubles every two years, while the cost of doing so comes down. Assuming the trend continues over the near future, we should expect that new opportunities afforded to shippers will continue to be amplified since they all depend closely on how well we record, process and make sense of data –which together defines digitalization. These three things are also the key drivers for shippers looking to position themselves for today’s market opportunities.

Where Digitalization Succeeds, Manual Processes Fail

In Gartner’s “Weathering the Supply Chain Storm Survey, 2020,” participants were asked to select which of these terms–highly resilient, moderately resilient or not resilient–best described their supply chain networks. As for how Gartner described each term, it was as follows:

Highly resilient – good visibility to the supply network; recognize the need to increase flexibility/resilience as a necessary investment for the network; are able to conduct scenario planning for trade-offs in the network; can shift sourcing, manufacturing or distribution within the network fairly rapidly

Moderately resilient – good visibility to the supply network, hard to justify making an investment to modify supply chain footprint; focus more on managing disruptions once they occur than investing in resilience

Not resilient – dependent on existing sourcing, manufacturing, and/or distribution footprint, and need to find other ways to compensate for changing conditions; have yet to invest in analytics to support network decision-making

Here’s what Gartner learned: Only 21 percent of those surveyed said their supply networks were “highly resilient,” 62 percent said “moderately resilient,” and 14 percent said, “not resilient.” While just in time (JIT) systems of the past helped improve operational efficiency, they did not address the “what if” scenarios such as those introduced by the pandemic. That’s where resiliency comes in. Resilient shippers are better able to pivot and adapt to supply chain disruptions, whereas those without the prescriptive analytics and transparency that digitization provides cannot. Unlike manual processes and JIT systems, digitization supports better planning, adapting, and reacting to new “what if” scenarios.

There are also other differences in manual processes versus digital processes. Manual processes are human dependent and therefore not scalable. To get a unit of output, one must insert a certain input. Even if manual processes are made more efficient, they are still limited by human capabilities. In contrast, digital processes by default are scalable.

Consider this example: A talented member of a shipper’s company is hand stamping holiday calendars being sent to each client. The number of hourly shipments is limited by the human capacity to stamp, box, and ship each calendar. Conversely, a digital calendar can be sent to a significantly larger group of customers at a fraction of the time. As illustrated, there are finite benefits provided from manual processes that are resource-heavy, prone to human error, and non-scalable.

Making Shippers and the Supply Chain More Resilient

Through digitization, shippers can benefit from advanced platforms that are fully-connected, fully-integrated, and facilitate their ability to better cope with supply chain challenges and capture new business opportunities. The most future-proof of today’s new digital supply chain platforms give shippers the opportunity to quickly access automated rate quotes, fast bookings, and real-time tracking of their shipments. These platforms enable them to quickly view delays or disruptions through an online supply chain map and issue customer notifications promptly

This not only streamlines manual processes like back and forth phone calls and/or emails but also supports a higher level of customer communications and service quality. This real-time access to information increases shippers’ overall resiliency while decreasing their costs of doing business. Advanced reporting capabilities, paperless document sharing, and storage further support shipper’s more cost-effective operations. Ultimately, this resiliency will pave the way for the shipper’s long-term viability.

______________________________________________________________________

Matt Goker is the CEO of Quloi, a Garden City, New York-based technology firm focused on providing quantified logistics solutions that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep logistics expertise to transform and optimize the supply chain.

How Drones Could Transform Biopharmaceutical Supply Chain Innovation

Drones have made the news once again. This time, to aid in swift and reliable delivery of life-saving temperature-controlled medications required in emergency situations. A collaboration between Direct Relief, Merck (MSD outside the U.S. and Canada), Softbox, AT&T and Volans-i is pushing the boundaries and capabilities of UAVs- also known as drones, and confirmed a successful fourth pilot proof-of-concept mission was conducted in the Bahamas last week.

“This successful pilot demonstrates the potential of innovative UAV technology to aid in delivery of temperature-dependent medicines and vaccines to people who critically need them,” said Craig Kennedy, senior vice president, Supply Chain, at Merck. “The potential of UAV technology is just one of the many areas in which we are innovating across our business and our supply chain to maximize our ability to save and improve lives around the world.”

As the partners focus on biopharmaceutical supply chain innovation and strengthening humanitarian efforts,  concerns on how to  overcome challenges in global regulations are considered in order to solidify official application in various global markets. Previous test flights were conducted in Switzerland and Puerto Rico.

“Experience and research consistently show that those most at risk of health crisis in disasters live in communities which are likely to be cut off from essential health care due to disruption of transportation and communications,” said Andrew Schroeder, who, among other responsibilities, leads analytics programs, data visualization, and geospatial analytics for Direct Relief.

“Drone delivery is one of the most promising answers to this problem. More remains to be done to operationalize medical cargo drones in emergencies. But successful tests like this one demonstrate that remarkable new humanitarian capabilities are emerging quickly.”

Real-time data analysis and collection in conjunction with fully autonomous controlling enabled test flight success. Additionally, the cold-chain technology ensured temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius were maintained, all while providing accurate temperature tracking and reporting.

Photo credit: Direct Relief

“Our goal is to revolutionize the way goods and people move in the world,” said Hannan Parvizian, CEO and Co-Founder of Volans-i, in San Francisco. “Successfully demonstrating our ability to make temperature-controlled drone deliveries in various climate and terrain conditions across these pilots is a first step towards realizing our vision for a world in which no one should be deprived of access to life-saving medical supplies and vaccination due to lack of infrastructure and responsiveness of the transportation ecosystem.”

“This most recent proof-of-concept test has once again demonstrated the capabilities of the Softbox SKYPOD for the transportation of life saving medicines, this time at ultra-low temperatures,” added Richard Wood, Director, Digital Connected Technologies at Softbox. “To ensure full track and trace throughout the test flight Softbox utilized Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and data dashboard services provided by AT&T. The data collected during the successful flights has shown everybody involved the power of IoT to provide full visibility of the Cold Chain, even in the most extreme environments while using innovative transportation modes.”

“Through close collaboration with Direct Relief, Merck, Volans-I and AT&T, we have successfully proven the capabilities of this unique and ground-breaking combination of cutting-edge technologies and now will focus our efforts on completing subsequent pilot projects,” Wood concluded.