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Logistics in the eCommerce-Era

logistics

Logistics in the eCommerce-Era

Plans of business expansions and holiday vacations have been shattered and ruined by the pandemic. Memories of Christmas dinner and going to the local store without precautions are engrained in our minds. The world’s behavior has shifted to adapt to the consequences of a pandemic.

Many people are experiencing losses in business, losing employment and many other effects. The global ecommerce has over 3.5 billion registered users in 2020, providing many companies to grow in a new business concept without the brick and mortar store, and additional office workers. Ecommerce business has allowed supporting businesses to grow, in particular, the logistics industry.

As one of the oldest and largest industries, logistics is predominantly owned and operated by the older generation who has operated businesses with the same routine and procedures. Many logistics companies are still practicing the traditional method of doing business, with back and forth communication to negotiate and coordinate detailed requirements. However, consumers in ecommerce era are now demanding faster decision-making and transparency. With the right technological solution to handle multiple procedures, many important tasks such as administration, operations coordination, financial background check and verification, etc. can now be handled by complex computation algorithms instead of humans.

Companies can reduce miscommunication, mishandling, minimize delinquent accounts and improve response of customer service levels by creating a logistics technology that can perform job functions, such as Customs Clearance Procedures, Sales-Marketing Cross Promotion, Driver Instruction, and Operation Procedures, Warehouse and Airline Operation Procedures, Invoice and payment reminder, and others. With one platform, all of these features to help companies consolidate all logistics functions in one place.

The logistics industry involves many various parties in running its operation such as Shipper, Domestic and International Transport, Consignee, Customs officers, Warehouse Personnel, Accounting and others. This is a full operation which needs to be administered and monitored in order to be executed properly. With the help of technology algorithm, multiple information will be able to be distributed and delivered to the right operator’s smartphone device and will speed up notifications, operations, and processes.

Another key feature is the Face/Vehicle identification processes, allowing convenience to Shippers and Transporters to better monitor pick-up and drop-offs of shipments. With integrated technology features, the logistics industry will see improved service levels and the benefits of transparent cost structures to each transaction.

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of logistics digital transformation. Many new changes are seen as a result of the world crisis, including an increase in ecommerce businesses, remote work, online mobile orders and deliveries, and other changes. In order to survive as a business that has shifted away from traditional concepts, it is important to minimize costs and make smart decisions.

For the logistics industry, most infrastructure job functions and operation administration tasks can be performed through a smart algorithm platform. With an all-in-one platform, information can be accessed on mobile devices or desktops and is available on all operating systems. Logistics in technology platforms will allow better communication, organization, transparency, and companies will benefit by being more cost-efficient, connected, and productive.

optimizing

Reducing Waste and Optimizing Your Supply Chain

Waste is, well, it’s a waste; and if you’re trying to optimize your supply chain, it can be an expensive waste. There are a lot of sources, both internal and external, which can create waste in your supply chain, like process inefficiencies, communication gaps, lack of or delayed responses, and even errors in ordering or procurement. Whatever the reason, they often end up becoming an enormous waste of time and money, which can be drastically reduced by making supply chain processes more efficient. In fact, most successful companies focus heavily on decreasing waste and reducing wasteful processes.

One of the most effective methods for reducing waste is developing lean methods for supply chain management.

How to reduce waste and optimize your supply chain

Analyze Product Design

One way of not just reducing waste, but also optimizing your production is to examine and re-evaluate your products’ design. Identify any areas or methods to reduce raw material use or replace expensive materials with cheaper ones. If you can shave off small costs, they might result in substantial savings.

You should also evaluate your product packaging options and see if there’s any way you can use cheaper materials.

Manage Resources

Apart from just looking at just using cheaper materials, you should examine each of your production processes to identify which ones are generating waste. Redesign processes that are creating non-recyclable or non-reusable waste. Even recyclable waste should be assessed and you should take the cost of recycling into account.

When you’re optimizing processes, the cost of implementing changes may seem high, but the cost of the waste, as well as associated handling, disposal and even recycling, can add up over time.

Select the Right Equipment

On the topic of handling and disposing of waste, having the right waste management equipment can save time, money and a lot of hassles. We’ve made a lot of advancements in waste management technology and equipment. Trash compactors are a great example of simple solutions to make managing and handling waste much more efficient and save a lot of money over time.

It’s very important to first know how much and what kind of waste your supply chain produces, so start with that. There are a host of solutions, some with very specific uses which you might benefit from.

Improving Production Quality

Quality control is often focused on finished products, but one of the goals of quality management should be minimizing raw material wastage. If you optimize your manufacturing processes to reduce overall waste, it might have a two-fold advantage of increasing the number of goods that clear quality inspection.

Employee Feedback

The employees who have the task with the actual production will probably have a much better idea of where waste is being produced and the challenges with managing it. They could also provide a lot of feedback on how best to reduce waste and optimize waste management.

You can create focus groups tasked with identifying and optimizing waste since this kind of collaborative approach tends to have effective results.

Inventory Management

Lean approaches like JIT (Just-in-time) logistics can help you get closer to a 100% perfect-order measure. Apart from reducing order errors, it can also help you cut down tremendously on a lot of associated costs of inventory management like warehousing, utility costs rentals, and even insurance and taxes.

However, placing multiple orders may increase transport costs and your vendors might charge higher rates if each order is of a lower value, so weigh the pros and cons carefully.

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Erich Lawson is passionate about saving the environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog.

disruption

Navigating Through the Disruption – An Oceania Perspective

Logistics has always been the backbone that silently keeps the world moving but, in this time of uncertainty, its importance has been magnified. COVID-19 has caused disruption globally to all business, in one way or another, and navigating this unprecedented time has highlighted many challenges.

With the evolving landscape, forward planning has become essential to ensure business continuity plans are effective. The need for a recommencement plan for businesses who have temporarily closed and a diversified supply chain for those who operate as essential services is paramount to ensuring business survival for now and success in the future.

What we learned from New Zealand’s Lockdown

The level-4 lockdown of New Zealand has shed some light on the potential challenges that may arise should Australia follow suit.

The Port of Tauranga has announced it is prioritizing the unpacking of essential goods so that the cargo can be handled and transported first. Container loads are able to be delivered to customer’s sites, if the site is accepting deliveries, however, they cannot be unpacked until the level-4 lockdown period has finished. By doing this, the Port and Government are ensuring the movement of essential goods remains efficient and that essential services can continue operations as usual.

Where a customer site is closed, we see the Port of Wellington waive storage fees for shipments that cannot be transported out of the Port.

We are working with our clients to identify if their goods would be considered essential in the event of a complete lockdown. We’d advise that all companies start considering what sort of goods they have incoming and work with their strategic partner to qualify if their goods would be restricted to such delays if a lockdown were in place in Australia.

Be realistic and confirm whether your goods are considered an essential service and put suitable business measures in place.

If you find that your business cannot be considered essential or it is not viable for you to remain open, you’ll need to prepare to get back to production quickly once the lockdown is lifted. We recommend that non-essential businesses put a plan in place for the commencement of reopening. It is important to consider whether the recommencement of operations would be staggered, what goods or orders are required to meet the operation recommencement timeline, and are these urgent.

Diversify your Supply Chain

Sometimes the best solution for a business’s supply chain issue is to consider diversifying your shipment options.

For example, it may be beneficial to combine different transport types by flying goods to Singapore before shipping them to Australia rather than just shipping from their location of origin. Combining the two transport types is a faster and cheaper option than purely using air freight in a volatile market.

Businesses may consider using Less than Container Loads (LCL) if they require certain goods for essential service production because it is more cost-effective than their standard full product shipment in a Full Container Load (FCL).

An alternative to air freight, road, and rail in Australia is the Domestic Coastal Shipping Service. After ships have unloaded goods in Eastern Australia, on their return journey to their location of origin, they are able to pick up and deliver domestic goods as they travel West along the coast. We have seen more than a 20% increase for the quarter year-on-year due to the additional pressure on the Australian road and rail market. Rail is at capacity with customers experiencing damage to goods, severe space, and equipment issues as a result whilst the state border closures are posing potential delays for trucking. Many major clients, especially in the food and beverage sector, are switching large volumes to our coastal service as a solution to ensure continuity of business supply.

This domestic shipping service provides a saving of up to 60% over rail and road services. Businesses would need to take into consideration the increased travel time required over other domestic modes of transport and plan this into their supply chain model.

When new challenges arise, it is best for businesses to discuss their options with their strategic partner, who will help navigate this uncertain time.

As businesses struggle to meet the demands of this new normal, C.H. Robinson’s trusted advisors around the globe are continually looking for the best solutions to keep your supply chain moving.

costs

10 Tips for Cutting Costs and Improve Customer Service in Supply Chain Logistics

As organizations continue to create and source raw materials from overseas, controlling expenses remains the number one priority for players involved in international trade.

One critical factor that executives should monitor closely is logistics management. This sector covers important activities relating to procurement, transport, and storage of goods. In most industries, supply chain logistics account for 5% to 50% of a product’s total cost.

Some of the issues that affect logistics costs include fuel prices, complex international trade laws, and security. High transportation fees are mainly caused by high fuel prices delays in ports. Complex international trade laws increase warehousing costs by lengthening delivery times.

As technology evaluation.com reports, air-freight shipment takes about eight to twelve days. During these days, the cargo is on ф route around 5% of the time. 95% of the time is spent lying in warehouses waiting for compliance checks and documents. So, how can you cut down costs and improve customer service in supply logistics? Keep reading!

1. Use your space efficiently

Using your space efficiently will save you a lot of money in the long run. As you already know, storing your supplies in a warehouse comes at a cost. Figure out whether you are making the most out of your space or not.

You might discover other ways of finding spaces that are best suited for your business. As we’ve seen, supplies, spend most of their time in warehouses waiting for compliance checks. The more efficient you are at warehousing; the more profits you’ll generate at the end of the day.

2.  Automate your processes

Organizations that use technology solutions to automate compliance processes have the power to speed up the process four times as much compared to organizations that rely on manual work. Automating tasks such as document preparation will eliminate expensive mistakes and errors.

Automating your processes also leads to fewer delays at crossing points thus resulting in timely deliveries, increased customer satisfaction and avoidance of expensive fines.

3. Inform decision-makers

According to dissertation service, providing decision-makers or your customers with the costs of freight associated with each service level, the reliability of every lane and the total cost of transporting inventory will make it easier for them to make informed decisions and work with you in the future. In most cases, your customers will select the cheapest option that complies with the laws to meet their needs.

4. Figure out the real costs of sourcing overseas

Before sourcing overseas, you need to calculate freight, brokerage, duty, and transportation costs to support these long supply chains. You should factor in other costs such as engineers flying overseas. Once you figure out the total landed cost and its impact on your business, you might discover that domestic buy is quite attractive. For instance, sourcing from Ohio to your plant in the US might be cheaper in the long run compared to sourcing from China.

5. JIT inventory management

There are many benefits to implementing Just-in-Time inventory management. With this system, you can order and receive inventory only when you need to. In the long run, this will reduce your inventory transportation costs, protect against write-downs attributed to dips and eliminate unnecessary overhead costs caused by excess inventory.

6. Sales and operations planning

For a supply chain to function at its highest efficiency, sales, and operations planning is required. Optimal performance greatly depends on creating proper plans. However, it can be complicated and expensive in the long run.

By working with a third-party logistics provider, your team will eliminate waste and redundancies thus enabling you to analyze data, forecast and enhance visibility so that everyone is involved. During the sales and operations planning process, you should address issues such as unrestrained stock-outs, obsolete inventory, inaccurate forecasts and adjusting demand and production schedules.

7. Package your products well

Packaging your products well will result in less or no damages during the shipping process. Ensuring that the people responsible for packaging your products do it properly will minimize quality costs and build your reputation. As the saying goes, it’s the smallest things that matter the most.

8. Assess your performance

You have to measure the performance of your strategies to forge the way forward. Doing business without assessing your performance regularly is a recipe for disaster. By not assessing your performance, you’ll have a hard time determining how much money you are spending and saving. Come up with your key performance indicators and gauge how well your business is doing.

9. Eliminate variability during transit times

The more variable the transit times, the higher the likelihood that the receiving party is using premium freight, ordering more quantity than is necessary to compensate for the uncertainty of creating buffers of inventory. When you understand these dynamics, you’ll realize that paying for higher freight costs will enhance variability and save your company loads of cash in the long run.

10. Choose your mode of transport.

Which mode of transport is the cheapest? Trains? Airplanes? Automobiles? In most cases, rail is cheaper when transporting bulky goods than air or trucking. Also, water is cheaper than air. Regardless of the delivery model, it’s important to get all the quotes from different modes of transport available.

Conclusion

Managing a supply chain logistics company is not the easiest thing to accomplish. You have to make the right move every time out to avoid expensive mistakes and losses. The ten tips discussed above will help you reduce your costs and grow your business. You owe it to yourself to assess your situation and determine what needs to be changed or implemented.

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This guest post is contributed by Kurt Walker who is a blogger and college paper writer. In the course of his studies he developed an interest in innovative technology and likes to keep business owners informed about the latest technology to use to transform their operations. He writes for companies such as Edu BirdieXpertWriters and uk.bestessays.com on various academic and business topics.

bentonite

Global Bentonite Market Slipped Back Slightly to $4.3B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Bentonite – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global bentonite market revenue amounted to $4.3B in 2018, going down by -5.1% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Over the period under review, the global bentonite market attained its peak figure level at $4.5B in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Consumption By Country

The countries with the highest volumes of bentonite consumption in 2018 were China (5.5M tonnes), the U.S. (2.9M tonnes) and Turkey (2.7M tonnes), with a combined 54% share of global consumption. Germany, Greece, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Iran and Indonesia lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 25%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of bentonite consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Indonesia, while bentonite consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest bentonite markets worldwide were China ($1.1B), the U.S. ($624M) and Turkey ($450M), together accounting for 51% of the global market. Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Russia, Greece, Canada, Iran and Indonesia lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 30%.

In 2018, the highest levels of bentonite per capita consumption was registered in Greece (70 kg per person), followed by Turkey (33 kg per person), Canada (13 kg per person) and Germany (10 kg per person), while the world average per capita consumption of bentonite was estimated at 2.69 kg per person.

Market Forecast 2019-2025

Driven by increasing demand for bentonite worldwide, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance is forecast to accelerate, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.5% for the period from 2018 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 28M tonnes by the end of 2030.

Production 2007-2018

Global bentonite production stood at 20M tonnes in 2018, dropping by -3.2% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.3% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. Over the period under review, global bentonite production reached its peak figure volume at 21M tonnes in 2017 and then declined slightly in the following year.

Production By Country

The countries with the highest volumes of bentonite production in 2018 were China (5.6M tonnes), the U.S. (3.7M tonnes) and Turkey (3.1M tonnes), with a combined 62% share of global production.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of bentonite production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Turkey, while bentonite production for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Exports 2007-2018

In 2018, the amount of bentonite exported worldwide totaled 4.7M tonnes, growing by 4.2% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.2% over the period from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations in certain years. The global exports peaked in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future. In value terms, bentonite exports amounted to $796M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

India (950K tonnes) and the U.S. (845K tonnes) represented the major exporters of bentonite in 2018, recording approx. 20% and 18% of total exports, respectively. Greece (427K tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total exports with a 9.1% share, followed by Turkey (8.2%), Italy (5.8%) and China (5%). Slovakia (210K tonnes), the Czech Republic (164K tonnes), Azerbaijan (148K tonnes), the Netherlands (146K tonnes), Germany (75K tonnes) and Morocco (72K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Azerbaijan, while exports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the U.S. ($193M) remains the largest bentonite supplier worldwide, comprising 24% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by India ($77M), with a 9.7% share of global exports. It was followed by Turkey, with a 8.2% share.

Export Prices by Country

The average bentonite export price stood at $169 per tonne in 2018, rising by 4.6% against the previous year. Over the last eleven years, it increased at an average annual rate of +1.5%.  Over the period under review, the average export prices for bentonite reached their peak figure at $190 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, export prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Germany ($350 per tonne), while Azerbaijan ($58 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by China, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports 2007-2018

In 2018, the amount of bentonite imported worldwide stood at 5.3M tonnes, standing approx. at the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The global imports peaked at 5.3M tonnes in 2017, leveling off in the following year. In value terms, bentonite imports amounted to $844M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

The imports of the twelve major importers of bentonite, namely Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Poland, Sweden, South Korea, Malaysia, the UK, Russia, Italy and France, represented more than half of total import.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Indonesia, while imports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest bentonite importing markets worldwide were Germany ($93M), Canada ($56M) and the Netherlands ($42M), with a combined 23% share of global imports. Indonesia, France, the UK, South Korea, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Malaysia and Russia lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 26%.

Import Prices by Country

The average bentonite import price stood at $158 per tonne in 2018, increasing by 3.2% against the previous year. Overall, the bentonite import price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was France ($191 per tonne), while Russia ($91 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Canada, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

10 Tips to Manage Labor More Effectively in Your Supply Chain Logistics

The productivity of the supply chain logistics you’re running is at the hearts of the workforce working for you. With improved productivity, the company stands to make more revenue and profits because the entire workforce will be wisely using their work hours.

As the business owner or the operations in-charge, how can you improve productivity within your workforce? Here are 10 tips to manage labor more effectively in your supply chain logistics business.

Train the workforce

Training the workforce you have employed will help them know exactly how to do the tasks assigned and won’t spend much time trying to figure it out. Above that, employees will be more engaged in the jobs they do if they see that the employer cares about them.

If you care about the employees working for you, that can be manifest by developing their skills through organizing and investing in their training. Collect data about the company you are running and arrange training based on the critical factors that keep the business running.

Understanding all employees

To manage the workforce better, you need to understand them more and that will enable you to care for their individual needs. If you know their skills and abilities and assign them tasks that will make them function at their best potential, they will be more confident and be more productive.

That can be achieved by open communication between you and each employee. Instead of staying in the office all day every day, you can consider going to the common area during lunchtime to communicate with employees.

Gauge the performance

To manage your workforce more efficiently, you need to track their work performance and determine if they are working to their full potential. You can do so by figuring out the customer satisfaction rate. If customers are satisfied with the service, it might mean that everything is still under control.

Don’t wait until there is a complaint that comes to you but rather ask for each customer’s opinion about the service they got. Using a review system like that will help you know exactly how customers feel about the performance of the workforce you’ve employed.

Integrating technology in operations

Another way to empower employees is by offering them all the resources necessary to accomplish their daily tasks. That can be fulfilled by integrating technological systems that will assist them to do their tasks more efficiently.

For example, you can use wearable technology to help with scanning packed boxes and determining what is inside them. If the work of employees is lighter, they will be happier to come to work and that will result in increased productivity. Another measure you can take is automating some of the tasks that were burdening the workforce.

Practically assist employees to be more productive

Some employees are destined to be great leaders in the industry you are in and caging them by not giving them development opportunities can be harmful. The workforce you have deserves to grow and show leadership skills in the teams they are working in.

Instead of hiring managers when the need arises, groom the employees you have right now to be able to fill that role when that opportunity comes. The employees will also be motivated at this and will start putting in some more effort when doing their work. The same applies to you as well.

If you are the head of the operations or an employee in supply chain logistics, and you don’t feel productive in the place you work in, look for a new job that can cater to your needs. Go through top resume reviews and ivory research to get the best resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter designed.

Observe and report

You probably know the way you would like certain tasks to be carried out for optimum productivity, but the question is how do you implement it?

The most important thing is to understand where you are in relation to that goal you have set for yourself. That can be accomplished by observing the employees and seeing how they do things and determine where they can improve. Once you have done so, you can come up with a plan of action on how to incorporate those ideas you have.

Periodical motivational meetings

Everybody needs some motivation once in a while and you as an employer can arrange meetings with the entire staff. Those meetings will discuss the milestones and goals you have accomplished as a whole.

You can also include a snapshot of the work that is still upcoming and express that you believe in the entire team you work with. The motivation will help employees see what they are doing is truly worthwhile and that their efforts are appreciated.

Implement Warehouse Management Systems

You can implement a warehouse management system to oversee the tasks done at your workplace and try to optimize them. All the tasks that are optimized by these systems will help you cut down costs and have a more productive and engaged workforce.

Unlike humans, these systems primarily care about carrying out tasks efficiently. In that way, it can be a good balance between generating revenue and managing the workforce better.

Instill effective labor management systems to managers

Managers are the tip of the spear in the workforce. They have to report to the big bosses and still deal with the employees under them. Because of that, it is very important to speak to managers and train them on how to manage employees better.

They know the individual employees better and they should be tasked with the work of encouraging employees on the effort they are putting in the company. Managers should also be able to spot underperforming individuals and help them improve.

Incite professional competition

Professional competition is a great way to keep your employees on their toes. By having leaderboards on the work that the teams produce weekly or monthly, more workers will be keen on getting more done.

Also, you can have an employee of the month award and other rewards for workers that outperform and always show great work ethic. The awards don’t have to be expensive, simple things like recognition can do really well.

The bottom line

You can manage your workforce more effectively in the supply chain business by implementing warehouse management systems and integrating technologies in the daily operations of the business. Also, focus more on individual performance and then motivate and encourage based on that and help employees improve in their respective jobs they do.

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This guest post is contributed by Kurt Walker who is a blogger and college paper writer. In the course of his studies he developed an interest in innovative technology and likes to keep business owners informed about the latest technology to use to transform their operations. He writes for companies such as Edu BirdieXpertWriters and uk.bestessays.com on various academic and business topics.

healthcare

5 Ways For Healthcare Providers To Build A Fortress Against Cyber Threats

The healthcare industry has yet to find a cure for cyberattacks. Housing personal health data, all kinds of providers are vulnerable targets of hackers and patient care can be put at great risk.

News of breaches in healthcare computer systems is a regular occurrence. Over 100,000 medical records were recently leaked as a result of a data breach at a Montana hospital. And research this year showed an upsurge in malware attacks on healthcare providers. Phishing messages, a means of malware delivery via email, have been found to come in the form of alerts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As cyberattacks become more sophisticated and widespread, the need for adequately securing computer networks at hospitals and all medical facilities has never been greater, says Alex Zlatin, CEO of Maxim Software Systems (alexzlatin.com).

“The costs of cyberattacks for healthcare providers can be enormous,” Zlatin says, “but how hackers can literally stop facilities from functioning and keep patients from getting care and medication should get everyone’s attention. “It’s all about prevention, and for many providers, being secure as possible will involve a retooling and re-thinking of how they approach cybersecurity from the human and technological standpoints.”

Zlatin provides five tips for healthcare providers to better protect against cybersecurity threats:

-Educate employees about phishing attacks. Many breaches start with human error. Employees make the mistake of responding to an email, link or website designed by hackers to access private information. “Email is a popular phishing technique,” Zlatin says. “The best ways to prevent them from doing damage are to educate your employees on what suspicious emails look like and to use strong email spam filters. Also, your software should automatically scan any links or attachments. This prevents new or unrecognizable URLs from sneaking past company safeguards.”

-Beware of ransomware. Ransomware has been a big menace to the healthcare industry, holding data for ransom, paralyzing facilities and putting patients at risk. Zlatin says the first step in dealing with ransomware is backing up your system, ideally with a cloud backup to protect data. “Failure to do backup can cause irreparable damage,” he says. “And while hackers continually find ways to infiltrate, your security software should contain the most updated anti-malware and anti-ransomware protection. When a ransomware attack occurs, the first thing employees should do is contact their IT team — not try to resolve it themselves.”

-Have a top-down security program. There can be a disconnect and gaps in cyber security procedures when a medical facility’s security staff and IT team don’t overlap. “Including cybersecurity duties at a managerial level, perhaps even as an executive position, can ensure that correct initiatives are created, launched, and enforced, and that funding for security initiatives is available,” Zlatin says. “This also helps enforce regular risk assessment, which should be part of any healthcare provider’s cybersecurity threat program.”

-Make sure vendors have protection. The Healthcare Industry Cybersecurity Task Force, which was established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, warned providers about areas of security vulnerability in the supply chain. “Vendors should take the proper steps to detect threats,” Zlatin says. “They include all healthcare business partners, such as insurance companies and infrastructure providers, all of whom should have good security records and be able to protect medical information. It’s especially important for organizations that outsource IT personnel from third-party vendors.”

-Update passwords often. “Using the same passwords for most platforms is a big mistake,” Zlatin says. “It increases vulnerabilities. If a criminal discovers one password used for several accounts, it leads to a disastrous theft of data. So, have employees generate new passwords periodically and not get stuck on convenience.”

“Too often, many healthcare facilities aren’t vigilant enough about defending their medical records security,” Zlatin says. “Healthcare providers face a constant threat that requires constant vigilance because they and their patients have too much to lose.”

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Alex Zlatin, author of the book Responsible Dental Ownership (alexzlatin.com), had more than 10 years of management experience before he accepted the position of CEO of dental practice management company Maxim Software Systems. He earned his MBA at Edinburgh Business School and a B.Sc. in Technology Management at HIT in Israel.

His company helps struggling dental professionals take control of their practices and reach the next level of success with responsible leadership strategies.

 

 

ISO 9001:2015

Dachser USA Preps for 2020 with Renewed ISO 9001:2015 Certification

‘Tis the season for new year preparations. Today, Dachser USA confirmed its continued efforts towards quality customer service through the successful renewal of its ISO 9001:2015 quality management system certification. The certification – provided by Dekra Certification, covers the logistics leader’s contract logistics, road transport and value-added services and further illustrates the company’s commitment to maintaining the highest levels in customer service. The company’s Contract Logistics locations in Chicago and Atlanta, in addition to its Atlanta regional office, were confirmed for the renewal.

“We work in a dynamic, challenging industry, so our quality management systems need to be able to respond to market shifts and changes in business demands,” says Vincent Touya, Managing Director of Dachser USA.
The certification contributes to Dachser’s overall quality control standard previously established through the Dachser Management System in 2016. This system spotlights ways the company can improve quality and overall operational excellence while ensuring risks are immediately mitigated at each point in the supply chain.
“We are committed to be the preferred provider of supply chain logistics services and solutions, and the ongoing certification is a recognition of our invested effort to establish and maintain the highest quality standards per the requirements set forth by ISO 9001:2015,” concluded Touya.
ISO 9001:2015 holds an international observance by more than 170 countries and one million global companies. To successfully earn the certification, companies must first prove that product, customer experience,  system and regulatory standards are met and maintained with customer satisfaction as the driver and end-result. It’s no surprise, however, that Dachser USA can yet again boast this certification as part of their portfolio of excellence.
machine learning

How Machine Learning Is Transforming Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a complicated business. A lack of synchronization or one missing entity can interrupt the entire chain and result in millions in losses.

In a market environment where businesses are continually striving to cut costs, increase profits, and enhance customer experience, disruptive technologies like machine learning offer a window of opportunity. By exploiting the enormous amount of real-time data and leveraging the cloud power, it improves decision making, process automation, and optimization. It can create an entire machine intelligence-powered supply chain model. It also helps companies improve insights, mitigate risks, and enhance performance, all of which are crucial as the global supply chain war wages on.

Gartner recently announced that innovative technologies like blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning would significantly disrupt existing supply chain operating models. In addition to advanced analytics and Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning is considered one of the high-benefit technologies. This is because it allows dynamic shifts across industries and enables efficient processes that result in significant revenue gains or cost savings. 

So, it is no surprise then that, in another industry update, Gartner predicted that at least 50% of global companies would be using AI-related transformational technologies in supply chain operations by 2023.

There are three key ways in which these transformational technologies empower businesses:

Monitoring: By connecting equipment, products, and vehicles with IoT sensors, companies can monitor goods and operations in real time.

Analyzing: Advanced analytics convert data into actionable insights and help businesses understand the reason behind specific incidents and how they impact the business.

Acting: Valuable insights as a result of data crunching help businesses address planning challenges and automate processes to improve efficiency.

So, adopting machine learning in supply chains is critical for companies to stay competitive in the long run. However, what aspects of the supply chain will be impacted by machine learning? Let us find out.

A Myriad of Benefits to Supply Chains

If you get the algorithms right, the benefits of using machine learning are innumerable. The algorithms can predict supply trends based on human behavior, resulting in personalized customer service with lower inventories and better utilization of resources. We take a look at several such benefits of machine learning below.

Brings Real-Time Visibility Which Improves Customer Experience

According to a Statista survey, visibility is a significant organizational challenge for 21% of supply chain professionals. Visibility has been a buzzword in supply chain circles for more than a decade now and every technology so far has promised to improve visibility in some way. But, is machine learning contributing anything here? 

The combination of IoT, deep analytics, and real-time monitoring is improving supply chain visibility, helping businesses achieve delivery commitments and transforming the customer experience. By examining historical data from various sources, machine learning workflows discover complex interconnections between various processes along the value chain.

Amazon is a prime example as it is using machine learning to enhance its customer experience by gaining an understanding of how product recommendations influence customers’ store visits.

Cuts Costs and Reduces Response Times

As per Amazon’s regulatory filing in 2017, their shipping costs increased from $11.5 billion in 2015 to $21.7 billion in 2017. And, it’s not just Amazon. Many other players are struggling because of rising shipping costs. In fact, in one survey, more than 24% of supply chain professionals expressed that delivery costs are the biggest challenge for B2C companies.

By applying machine learning to handle demand-to-supply imbalances and trigger automated responses, businesses can improve the customer experience, while minimizing costs. Operational and administrative costs can also be reduced by integrating freight and warehousing processes and improving connectivity with logistics service providers.

Machine learning algorithms’ ability to analyze and self-learn from historic delivery records and real-time data helps managers and dispatchers optimize the route for each vehicle. This allows them to save costs, reduce driving time, and increase productivity. 

Machine learning can also be used to detect issues in the supply chain before they disrupt the business. Having an effective supply chain forecasting system means a business has the intelligence to respond to emerging threats. And, the faster a business can respond to problems, the more effective the response will be.

Streamlines Production Planning and Identifies Demand Patterns

When it comes to machine learning’s role in optimizing complex supply chains, production planning is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sophisticated algorithms are trained on existing production data in such a way that they start identifying future buying, customers’ ordering behavior, and possible areas of waste. This helps businesses tailor production and transport processes to actual demand as well as improve their relationships with specific customers.

For example, by anticipating and acting on the specific needs of your customers before they even arise, businesses can establish themselves as reputed brands capable of recognizing customer needs. 

There is so much volatility in global supply chains that it will be challenging to forecast demand accurately, without technologies like machine learning. However, reaping the full benefits of machine learning might take years. So, businesses should plan for the future and start taking advantage of the machine learning solutions available today.

Investing in machine learning and the related technologies today means increased profitability and more resources for your business tomorrow. Businesses that can use machine learning in their supply chains will have better plans, resulting in less “firefighting” and fewer inefficiencies.

 

6 Important Tips for Effective Logistic Management

The larger your operation, the more steps you will have in your logistics plan and the harder it is to manage. A supply chain has to be very efficient to supply different materials to varying locations at specific times.

It’s also important to be able to respond speedily when there’s a problem. Here are six tips to help you manage logistics effectively.

1. Define your goals

The business sector uses the term logistics to describe the efficient flow and storage of goods from where they originate to where they’re consumed. The supply chain includes transportation, shipping, receiving, storage and management of all these areas.
 
Some of the key goals for all businesses are increased efficiency, more sales, and greater customer satisfaction at the lowest cost. However, for every business there are different logistic/supply chain needs and they must support the goals of the business.

For example, if one of your goals is to make your supply chain as lean and efficient as possible, you will continuously strive to identify opportunities to streamline work processes and minimize waste.

In order to implement a logistics management strategy, business owners need to take a thorough look at every part of the chain, define how it should work and how it contributes to the overall supply chain management goals i.e. are the distribution centers in the right locations and are there enough of them?

2. It’s all in the planning

Logistics can be very stressful without good planning. The entire operation should be able to progress smoothly with minimal interruptions and this requires planning ahead.  Of course, there are always unexpected hiccups but the fewer off-the-cuff decisions that have to be made the better.

Shawn Michaels who works for paper writing services has spent a decade motivating business owners across various industries. He suggests logistics managers should devise flow charts for the entire operation. It needs to include factors such as goods procurement, storage facilities and delivery of products to an exact location.   

3. Have a contingency plan

Logistic managers need to have a contingency plan for every aspect of the logistics. No matter how good the original plan, covering every eventuality is impossible. Managers have to follow the supply chain at every point and be ready to switch to a backup plan if necessary.

Inventory management is often one of the main culprits that can adversely affect business goals. Being able to track and manage inventory in real-time helps with smooth and efficient functioning and increase sales.

If there isn’t the capability to give the alert about potential shortages and relay information about bottlenecks, costly delays can be expected that can significantly affect the company’s bottom line.

Logistics managers need to know that they can’t depend on one supplier or vendor and usually have an extensive network of sources for products and services. Michael Osborne who works as a writer for rush essay stresses the importance of having a network of contacts to rely on in event of an emergency. 

4. Hire the right logistics manager

Your company needs a good logistics manager who knows how to sort out issues and keep things moving. He must be able to keep a cool head and think on the fly. 

He needs to be good with people and have the interpersonal skills to communicate with employees and make alternative arrangements when necessary. It helps if he has a network of industry contacts he can rely on when he needs to sort out problems. 

Richard Alderman, manager of My-Assignment.Help, says that apart from good interpersonal skills, and the ability to remain calm under pressure, good logistics managers also need strong leadership skills and good financial acumen.

5. Adopt automation

Technology can play a major role in increasing еру efficiency of the supply chain. Today’s software is able to measure and analyze just about anything, improving the chances of success in any logistics venture. Valuable software saves time and maximizes performance.

Potential problems in the supply chain such as inadequately tracked fleets, scattered inventory or mismanaged warehouse processes can be improved by automating systems.

For example, using fleet and inventory management software and HR software can help refine processes taking into account factors that have the most impact on the bottom line. Tracking a truck in transit not only provides valuable data but helps to make sure delivery is on time as a driver may have questions about the freight and problems could occur.   

Kenneth Novak who heads up a writing service has found that using systems to centralize information and automate provides access to real-time information. This can help a business to reach its maximum potential with a minimum investment in planning and implementing solutions.

6. Learn from your mistakes

Poor logistics management can undermine a company’s future. In order to optimize your supply chain, you have to learn from your mistakes. This means regularly sitting down as a team, being open about mistakes and discussing how to put systems in place to prevent them from happening again. 

According to John Abrahams who writes easyessay, learning from mistakes is vital when it comes to conducting logistics-related activities in an economic and efficient way. Team meetings need to be held frequently that include all the primary functions of the business in order to review and discuss problems and solutions.

The aim of effective logistics management is to improve operations, ensure customer satisfaction, and increase productivity.  Using the best logistics practices can help your company to gain a competitive advantage. The supply chain environment is continually shifting and so logistics strategies need to be constantly reassessed. If you keep these tips in mind, you can make sure your supply chain is as effective as possible.

This guest post is contributed by Kurt Walker who is a blogger and college paper writer. In the course of his studies he developed an interest in innovative technology and likes to keep business owners informed about the latest technology to use to transform their operations. He writes for companies such as Edu Birdie, XpertWriters and uk.bestessays.com on various academic and business topics.