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Gather AI Becomes the Largest Autonomous Inventory Management Platform in the World

AI logistics

Gather AI Becomes the Largest Autonomous Inventory Management Platform in the World

Gather AI, a provider of AI-powered autonomous inventory management solutions for warehouses using commodity hardware, announces today that it is acquiring the business of Ware, another large player in the market. With this acquisition, Gather AI is now the market leader in the space with 25 customers, more than any other autonomous inventory management company, and the technical platform best able to meet accelerating customer demand.

The global warehouse market is expected to grow at 7.7% CAGR and reach USD 1.26 trillion by 2030. Driving this growth are the global restructuring of manufacturing and logistics and a transition to online commerce. This strategic shift is causing a rapid overhaul of the supply chain with 71% percent of warehouses reporting that this is driving a change in the way they manage their inventory. To keep up with this restructuring, operators are accelerating their digital transformation.

Gather AI is transforming warehouse operations. With its solution, AI software enables drones to fly autonomously through warehouses to photograph inventory stored in pallet locations. AI reads bar codes, text, and other information in the images and automatically compares it with what’s in the warehouse management system (WMS). The warehouse manager can view inventory data in real time from a web dashboard and easily view their warehouse.

Gather AI has seen an 8x revenue growth in the last year. Customers have seen a tremendous benefit from the solution including a reduction in inventory counting staff from six to one, finding $1 million in lost inventory, reducing full facility scans from 90 days to 2.5 days, and boosting revenue with innovation and differentiation. Results like these helped Gather AI raise a $10 million Series A last year.

Customers will be integrated into the Gather AI platform in the coming weeks with the support of the combined Ware and Gather AI teams.

productivity supply chain 4.0 goods

Here’s What It Takes to Be Agile During Global Supply Chain Disruptions

Despite the hindrances the pandemic put on it, the global beauty industry is worth an estimated $511 billion. That persistent growth continues despite an environment where global manufacturing has declined, traffic has piled up, and workforces have been slashed. While still thriving, beauty brands are just one of many industries left vulnerable to these disruptions — and this may be why you’re waiting months for an item to restock or why store shelves lay empty.

To be sure, most industry supply chain issues aren’t just pinned to one specific barrier. They’re a combination of factors, from ingredient sourcing and manufacturing to employment shortages and importing issues. Supply chain disruptions have impacted countless brands’ packaging and ingredient needs, resulting in companies having to scale back on new product launches, change their timelines, and alter their order quantities. In some cases, brands are running out of product and being forced to order much larger quantities than usual to ensure they’re fully stocked to meet customer demand.

Thus, supply chain management in every industry requires agility. Companies that plan accordingly and use fresh data to adjust their methods and procedures are the ones that will continue to thrive.

How Industry Supply Chain Challenges Impact Business Operations

The challenges faced by the cosmetics industry in the supply chain mirror those of just about every other industry and have the potential to be endless. Mismanaged supply chain and fulfillment issues impact business operations in a plethora of ways.

First is the obvious result — companies having too much or too little of the products they need. Then, there’s the aforementioned pushing back (or complete forgoing) of product launches due to delayed packaging or ingredient shipments caused by those backed-up supply chains.

Companies such as Meraki Organics Inc. had to list items as “sold out” on its website due to such ingredient shortages and packaging issues — not great timing, considering it was around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Peak selling seasons are integral for companies, so it’s extra important to plan during those times for any supply chain hiccups. A lack of proper preparation could seriously impact revenue in negative ways.

A way to properly plan ahead is to list out all materials needed to create and package your products. Keep a keen eye on the news to monitor supply chain issues so you can anticipate delays and shortages before they directly impact your company. For example, during peak Covid times, there was a shortage of glass bottles since they were in high demand for vaccine producers. This inadvertently affected many sustainable beauty brands that rely on glass for their products.

Supply Chain Strategies to Stay Ahead of the Curve

The industry supply chain can create many challenges for just about any business on earth. For companies to stand the test of time and thwart any curveballs thrown their way, they must have a comprehensive plan to deal with problematic supply chain issues. Here are three tips for leaders in all industries that rely on steady manufacturing and an efficient supply chain on how to do just that.

  1. Get proactive.

Track product sales and usage to forecast when you need to put in orders to restock. Sales cycles will vary across different companies, so it is important you track your company patterns closely so you can identify instances when you’ll likely require more product than usual.

To do this, choose a time frame that makes sense for your business. It could be over the course of a month, quarter or year. Then, choose what you will measure. Are your clients buying more skincare-related products or makeup? Are they buying moisturizer with sunscreen all year round or only during the sunny months?

As you are keeping tabs on your sales, simultaneously track factors that may be affecting your final conclusions, such as inflation on raw materials, internal changes, new competition in the market, etc. Tracking outside factors will give you a better grasp on what is affecting the purchases of your consumers and help you better forecast for the future.

Sales predictions can be a good indicator for investors when making important business decisions. It is always best to estimate your numbers conservatively — the old “underpromise and overdeliver” mantra. Keep in mind all the factors that can impact your products’ sales, such as industry competitors, economic variables, material issues, and overall market indicators.

  1. Work with a transparent contract manufacturer.

Companies are increasingly realizing the importance of tracing their products in the supply chain. This requires strong relationships with the manufacturing companies you work with. It is crucial that your CM be transparent with you about what is being delayed and for how long, as this is vital for your planning purposes.

Remember the two Ts: traceability and trust. When you have trust, you can trace — and thus you can plan appropriately when unavoidable delays arise.

  1. Have a backup plan.

If a product or collection can’t launch or will be delayed, it’s crucial to have a Plan B (or C) in place. You never know what issues might arise and catch you flat-footed when urgency is key.

Let’s say your CM is low on an essential ingredient. Make sure this partner has other vendors it works with so you have other options at your disposal. That way, if they run out of an ingredient, they can try to source it from elsewhere. Different products obviously require different technical skills from research and development and different machinery for production.

As company leaders, you must prepare for crises such as shortages and industry supply chain issues. Your ability to manage these supply chain issues not only helps your company stay afloat but it also further solidifies your reputation in a market where consumers are looking for reliable brands. Utilize these tips to give your brand breathing room when supply chain challenges inevitably affect your business.

Mark Wuttke is the Chief Growth Officer at Cosmetic Solutions Innovation Labs, a globally recognized contract manufacturer and innovation partner that offers the operational excellence of large-scale contract manufacturers with the proactive leadership and flexibility to help brands grow on their terms.



Canadian Potassium Chloride Exports Rise Due to Burgeoning Supplies to Asia

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Canada – Potassium Chloride (MOP) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Canada dominates the global exports of potassium chloride, providing 42% of its total volume. In 2020, Canadian potassium chloride exports grew by +8.8% y-o-y to 21M tonnes. The U.S., Brazil and China remain the key importers of Canadian potassium chloride. Last year, supplies to India, Indonesia and Brazil saw the most prominent growth rate among other trade partners. The average export price for Canadian potassium chloride dropped by -16.1% compared to the figures of the previous year. 

Potassium Chloride Exports from Canada

Canada remains the largest potassium chloride (MOP) exporter worldwide. The supplies from Canada account for 42% of the global potassium chloride exports.

Potassium chloride exports from Canada reached 21M tonnes in 2020, growing by +8.8% on 2019 figures. In value terms, potassium chloride exports dropped to $4.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

The U.S. (10M tonnes) was the main destination for potassium chloride exports from Canada, accounting for a 48% share of total exports. Moreover, supplies to the U.S. exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Brazil (3.4M tonnes), threefold. China (2.4M tonnes) ranked third in terms of total exports with a 11% share.

In 2020, the average annual growth rate of volume to the U.S. stood at +3.8%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Brazil (+19.9% per year) and China (-3.6% per year).

Last year, supplies from Canada to India, Indonesia and Brazil saw the highest growth rate among other destinations. Exports to India grew by +40% y-o-y to 1.8M tonnes, while supplies to Indonesia and Brazil rose by +45% y-o-y to 1.3M tonnes and +20% y-o-y to 3.4M tonnes respectively.

In value terms, the U.S. ($2.2B) remains the key foreign market for potassium chloride exports from Canada, comprising 48% of total exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Brazil ($698M), with a 15% share of total exports. It was followed by China, with an 11% share.

The average potassium chloride (MOP) export price stood at $212 per tonne in 2020, shrinking by -16.1% against the previous year. Average prices varied noticeably for the major foreign markets. In 2020, the destinations with the highest prices were the U.S. ($214 per tonne) and China ($214 per tonne), while the average prices for exports to India ($207 per tonne) and Brazil ($208 per tonne) were amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to the U.S., while the prices for the other major destinations experienced a decline.

Source: IndexBox Platform


Dispatches: GEP and GEODIS Make Big Moves

GEP wins the prestigious Asia Pacific Procurement Success Awards…

GEP, a Clark, New Jersey-based leading provider of supply chain software and services to Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises worldwide, announced that it has won Asia’s prestigious Procurement Consultancy Project Award at the Asia Pacific Procurement Success Awards 2020, held recently in Shanghai.

“This award is an important acknowledgment of GEP’s ability to integrate consulting, managed services and technology to significantly improve the financial performance of global companies on a sustainable basis throughout Asia,” says Michael Seitz, vice president, GEP Consulting, China. “We are even more excited about the third year of this program, as we apply demand management, the total cost of ownership management, and strategic supplier partnerships to drive additional cost reduction, user satisfaction, and compliance for our client.” 

Meanwhile, GEODIS in Americas links 3PL Services with Amazon and Shopify… 

Geodis is a division of SNCF, which is based in France, but the Geodis in Americas is among the top 3PLs in the United States. The American subsidiary of Geodis recently announced two major marketplace integrations with Shopify and Amazon Drop Shipping. Geodis in Americas is now integrated directly with Shopify to fulfill online orders and ensure seamless data flow between Shopify’s digital storefront and supply chain. Geodis is also now fully integrated with Amazon’s third-party marketplace that enables brands to sell products through Amazon while continuing to utilize Geodis as its logistics partner to fulfill orders and ship directly to the end consumer.  

“As online shopping has accelerated, Geodis is constantly strengthening and evolving our IT solutions to provide the brands we serve with easy, efficient and effective ways to get their products to consumers,” says Pal Narayanan, executive vice president, chief information officer with Geodis in Americas.