Saturday, 30 January 2016

Chit Chat: 2016 Strategic Technology Trends According to Industry Experts


Technology continues to evolve and mature. Here are the top 8 strategic tech trends we expect to see in the next 12 months.

  1. The device mesh is the use of devices to access and interact with people, information, apps, and businesses and so on. The device mesh includes tech such as wearables and smartphones.  Smartphones are expected to be further expanded upon but experts expect to see strong connections between the different models along with interactions between the devices.
  2. Ambient user experience is expected to grow through augmented reality and virtual reality but also through the flow between different devices, blending the virtual with the physical and electronic environment. Flow can be created through exploiting objects such as IoT sensors, factories and even cars.
  3. Information of everything includes sensory and contextual information along with text, video and audio.  Expect to see advances in semantic tools and analysis techniques that will improve and bring meaning to the deluge of information.
  4. 3D printing is already the talk of the town but there is much excitement about the different materials that can be used with this technology. For example, 3D printers can already use carbon fibre and glass; as well as pharmaceuticals and biological materials. Demand is high and 3D printing is expected to grow into new sectors such as energy and the military.
  5. Advanced machine learning allows the automation of tasks so that challengers from the information of everything trend can be overcome. Deep neutral nets are machines that can learn how to see the world and are intelligent, they learn from themselves.
  6. Advance systems architecture is required to make smart machines and digital mesh viable to be used within organisations. The gains of using this architecture include being able to run at high speeds while remaining efficient.
  7. Adaptive security architecture is required to deal with threats to the organisation. Treats need to be responded to and measures taken to prevent attacks. The use of application self-protection and analytics of the user and entity behaviour will help with adaptive security architecture.
  8. Internet of things platforms compliments the service architecture and the mesh app. IoT becomes a reality on the platforms, which allows all the behind the scenes work to take place while making use of technology and the service architecture to bring everything together providing an ambient user experience and becoming part of the digital mesh.


Friday, 29 January 2016

How to compete through logistics? – Part 2


Supportive Capabilities

The dependability advantage gives suppliers and consumers a sense of safety. They know that the firm can be relied upon, even when there are shortages in the marketplace. A strong reputation can be grown by proving your worth through a dependable service achieved by meeting corporate goals and missions and following through with promises and commitments with the supply function of the organisation.

The agility advantage can be achieved with a well-managed supply function. Being flexible increases the agility of the supply chain. Being able to react quickly to risks requires supply chain managers to recognise the risks and to plan and prepare for potential problems.  Managers need to be educated and trained and use their resources effectively to build a responsive supply chain that is able to manoeuvre around any challenges, be they internal or external in nature.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

How to compete through logistics? – Part 1


Hard Objectives

Quality advantage is one of the ways of competing through logistics. The products need to be of good quality in order to please the consumers, but the service from beginning to end also has to help deliver quality. The quality is shown through the orders being delivered on time and in the right quantities. If the orders are delivered to a high standard, the competition can be won.

The time advantage also provides a way of competing. If the firm is able to deliver the same quality products at a quicker time the organisation is able to give the rest of the competition a run for their money. Consumers don’t want to wait and if they are able to get what they want quickly they will often choose that option, even when considering using brands and organisations they have used for years. 

The cost advantage is perhaps an obvious way of gaining traction in competitive marketplaces. Delivering quality in time are two methods, but being able to deliver the same level of service and the same quality products for a better price will help the firm to compete.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

How do products win orders in the marketplace? How do logistics contribute to competitive advantage?


It is important for an organisation to understand how each group of products competes in the marketplace and how to align its capabilities with those of its partner.  A “product is referred to the physical product (determined by marketing and R&D) and its accompanying service (influenced by logistics). The mission of the organisation, along with the vision and the strategy are the drivers for how the supply function of the firm will be managed. Competition is high in the consumer marketplace and so the supply manager needs to focus not only on the traditional values such as quality and price, but also additional concerns such as the environment, risk, innovation and transparency.

Consumers want value but they also want the best price, but they are prepared to pay for quality. Products need to deliver but they also have to be delivered on time in the right quantities with impeccable service to the customer. By achieving this high level of service the products can win orders in the marketplace. The supply function plays a big role in achieving this goal, without the effective supply chain firms miss out to the competition. An effective supply chain will give the firm the advantage in the marketplace and will gain a strong reputation with consumers, helping them to grow and gain loyal consumers.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

What is the relationship between material flow and information flow?


The supply chain goal is to keep materials flowing from source to end customer. Parts are usually moved through the supply chain in a coordinated and synchronous fashion in order to prevent local inventory buildup. 

The supply of materials or services, delivered on time when shortages present a problem can be a challenge, but when pulled off, it gives the organisations a competitive advantage. Another advantage can be to provide lower cost or of better quality. The contribution that supply can make to strategy is obvious but that does depend on the top executives being aware of the potential and how making use of these resources. The managers have to be sure that the executives get the information they need to see the advantages.

The flow of materials will not be a success unless there is an efficient flow of information. Everyone across the supply chain needs to be aware of their role in the success of the chain and executives have to be aware of the advantages, so information flow is of paramount importance that binds the supply chain process together.  Information technology can enable sharing of detailed demand and supply data  while painting an accurate picture on the nature of business process, markets and end customers thus increasing competitive advantage for the company.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Automotive Logistics Mexico 2016



This year’s Automotive Logistics Mexico 2016 conference, now in its 2nd annual, will be held 26-28 January at the Marquis Reforma, Mexico City. 2015 brought together over 340 senior logistics executives, including 165 OEMs and tier ones who shared information, ideas, and solutions with their peers, tier suppliers and logistics service providers.

This year's event is set to be even more influential and rewarding. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in a fantastic number of networking opportunities to allow you to introduce your business to key players in the industry, including; sessions delivered by industry-leading speakers, interactive workshops, lunches, coffee breaks, glamorous cocktail reception and a luxurious gala dinner.  

Visit the website to find out more: www.mexicoautomotivelogistics.com


What are the six major challenges facing the supply profession?


There are plenty of challenges that the supply profession needs to face in the next 10 years. Today we’re looking at six of the major ones.
  • Supply Chain ManagementThe opportunities presented by the supply chain have been successfully exploited by giant firms in automotive, electronics and retailing resulting in recognition in the field of supply chain management. However, there are challenges, especially among the smaller firms that don’t have the same power over the supply chain as the larger firms. Each form needs to work out their amount of influence and learn how to respond to the supply chain initiatives by others. Smaller firms should also remember there are lots of opportunities such as reducing the size of their inventories to shorten lead times and distance, remove waste and so on.
  • Measurement
    Measurements provide a way of providing senior management with useful information about the contributions from the supply chain. Measurements also play another role as they can be used in supply chain experiments to clearly assess their benefits. Organisations need to work out their own set of measurements as there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’.
  • Risk Management
    Global supply chains risk interruptions such as fluctuations in exchange rates and finances, variability in the supply chain, security threats and so on. Disruptions have also been increased by single sourcing. Supply chain managers need to be assessed for risk on a continuous basis. Risks have to be balanced with the opportunities of reward in order to come up with the right decisions.
  • SustainabilityThe supply chain has always been concerned with reverse logistics and disposal but the sustainable responsibilities now include reducing the impact of the supply chain on the environment.  The EU has put in place aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas reductions and reduce energy consumption. The supply profession is at the forefront of the sustainability initiatives.
  • Growth & Influence
    A recent CAPS study put the responsibilities of the supply chain both inside and outside the organisation in four classifications. The supply chain can grow with the percentage of the organisation’s total spend and then the growth supply responsibilities are witnessed in the supply chain activities under the supply leadership or under purchasing. The third area of growth is seen in the acquirement and the supply chain responsibilities.  Finally the growth can come through involving corporate activities that may have been excluded before.
  • Effective Contribution to Corporate Success
    Supply needs to be measured so the contributions to the overall success of the business can be seen. Supply has to be a team member of the organisation.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Chit Chat: 2016 IT Industry Predictions



  1. IT Vendors are expected to struggle during 2016. 30% of IT vendors will either be merged, stripped down or out of business. HP has already split into two companies and Dell is considering buying EMC, so the effects are already being seen in the industry. It is believed that the larger vendors are at the most risk.
  2. Cloud providers are going to be windowed down, although major providers such as Amazon and Microsoft will continue to gain strength. Many of the smaller providers will be pushed out as they won’t have a bank account big enough to stay in the race and compete.
  3. Big data will continue to grow in importance as analysing real data is overtaking the urge to follow instincts or act on gut. Data scientists have even been given the title of the sexiest job of the 21st century!  A challenge in big data is the need for storage space and therefore big data cloud providers are taking advantage of this need.  Big data will be big news in 2016 and for many years to come.
  4. Enterprises are heading toward cloud providers and becoming software companies. They are making good use of open source. Responsibilities and expectations are going to be high and software companies will not be able to survive by merely outsourcing roles.
  5. IT spending is expected to grow by 50% by the end of 2017 in areas such as 3rd platform technologies, services and solutions. Developers will be using new languages, frameworks and databases and they will continue to be a scarce commodity.  The developers will be fought over as the different companies compete to obtain the next generation talent.

Friday, 22 January 2016

How Can the Expectations of Supply Differ for Private Versus Public Organisation?

      
The design of supply structure and the management of the supply are influenced by a number of factors, including whether the organisation is private or public. Public institutions are mainly service providers, but not exclusively. They are subject to regulatory requirements that have to be followed. The public organisations include all levels of the government. 

The public sector can include health, utilities and education along with institutes, agencies and so on. Public spending concerns mean that transparency is essential and all eligible suppliers need to be given a fair chance. The supply manager is responsible to define and specify the needs so that many bidders can apply. 

Private organisations include companies that have public traded stock. Private organisations are not as restricted by regulatory requirements as the public organisations. Transparency in private organisations has become more important in recent years and long term commitments need to be disclosed in the financial statements of the company. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

What are the Differences between Purchasing, Procurement, Materials Management, Logistics, Supply Management and Supply Chain Management?


Purchasing, procurement and supply management refer to the integration of functions that are related to one another in order to provide effective and efficient materials or services to the organisation. They can be used interchangeably and therefore purchasing or supply management is concerned with the following:

1.     Steps that are taken in a standard procurement process
2.     Recognition of the need
3.     How the need translates into a commercially equivalent description
4.     Search for potential suppliers
5.     Selecting a suitable source
6.     Agreement of the order or the contract details
7.     Delivery of the service or product
8.     Payment of suppliers

Supply chain activities and the physical movement involved in purchasing focus on logistics. Logistics management is the activities of the supply chain management process that plans for and implements the forward and reverse flow of the storage of goods and services between a point of origin and the point of consumption.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

How is the Financial Impact of the Corporate Spending Often Illustrated?

Organisations spend a lot of money with suppliers. The amount spent does depend on the industry and varies greatly between organisations. Interestingly, outsourcing has become more popular over the years and this has contributed to the growth in spending.

Profit-leverage Effect of Supply
The profit leverage effect of supply savings can be measured by the profit increase that is reached by the decrease in purchase spending.  Firms that haven’t already invested in their supply could reduce purchase costs while those who have invested and paid attention to their supply function may find it more difficult to achieve cost savings. The profit leverage effect of supply makes it possible to achieve large savings that are relative to the work that’s required to increase sales.

Return on Assets Effect
Corporate performance is measured in return on assets in many financial circles. By reducing purchasing costs by 10% can benefit the firm by reducing the inventory asset base by 10%. The result can increase return on assets by a significant amount.

Reduction in Inventory Investment

Supply needs to manage the supply process with the lowest levels of inventory that can be reasonably attained. The turnover and level of the inventory are major measures of the supply chain management performance.  The financial impact of the supply is recorded on the income statement and balance sheet and these are two of the key indicators of the financial health of the company by investors, managers, analysts and the financial institutions.

How Does Supply Contribute to Organisational Goals and Strategies? Part 2


The three major perspectives on supply are:
  1. Operational verses strategic contribution of supply
  2. Direct and indirect contribution of supply
  3. Negative, neutral and positive contribution of supply
Today we’re looking at the final two perspectives.

Direct and Indirect Contribution of Supply

Supply can potentially contribute to the objectives of the organisation, directly or indirectly.  The direct contribution that supply can make to the financial statements of an organisation can be seen in the profit leverage effect and the return on assets effect.  The flow of savings is often spent on other requirements other than making its way all the way to the bottom line. Financial controllers are hired to make sure the savings do make it to the bottom line rather than being spent elsewhere.

Indirect contributions come as a result of supply’s role as a source of information along with the effect it has on efficiency, risk, the image of the company and competitive position of the company. Indirect contributions can be very difficult to measure as the benefits are often very difficult to quantify.

Negative, Neutral and Positive Contribution of Supply

Supply can be used to train new managers. The training ground gives exposure to the pressures experienced when dealing with decision making in uncertain circumstances. The individual can learn about communicating with people across all levels and functions, thus learning more about the inner workings of the organisation. Supply is also used as a management and social policy tool. Management may want to stimulate competition.

The focus could be put on environmental or social concerns, geographical representation and the minority interest. A great way of gaining an advantage is by offering products or services when they are in short supply.


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

How Does Supply Contribute to Organisational Goals and Strategies? Part 1


Supply has a huge impact on the following goals and strategies of the organisation.
The Three Major Perspectives on Supply are:
  1. Operational verses strategic contribution of supply
  2. Direct and indirect contribution of supply
  3. Negative, neutral and positive contribution of supply
We’ll be taking a brief look at each of these over the next couple of days. Today we begin with the first perspective, Operational Versus Strategic Contribution of Supply.

Supply is operational and strategic. Operation is characterised as avoidance and strategic is opportunistic. When the supply fails to meet the minimum set characteristics most of the organisat ion will feel the effects. Late deliveries, wrong quantities or wrong quantities all cause problems for the end user. The operational side of the supply is to do with day to day operations and these can be organisedand streamlined to free up time for the supply manager so that the manager can focus on the strategic side of the supply. Strategic side of supply is used to find competitive advantages; it focuses on the future rather than the day to day.

Monday, 18 January 2016

How is the Financial Impact of the Corporate Spending Often Illustrated?



Organisations spend a lot of money with suppliers. The amount spent does depend on the industry and varies greatly between organisations. Interestingly, outsourcing has become more popular over the years and this has contributed to the growth in spending.

Profit-leverage Effect of Supply
The profit leverage effect of supply savings can be measured by the profit increase that is reached by the decrease in purchase spending.  Firms that haven’t already invested in their supply could reduce purchase costs while those who have invested and paid attention to their supply function may find it more difficult to achieve cost savings. The profit leverage effect of supply makes it possible to achieve large savings that are relative to the work that’s required to increase sales.

Return on Assets Effect
Corporate performance is measured in return on assets in many financial circles. By reducing purchasing costs by 10% can benefit the firm by reducing the inventory asset base by 10%. The result can increase return on assets by a significant amount.

Reduction in Inventory Investment

Supply needs to manage the supply process with the lowest levels of inventory that can be reasonably attained. The turnover and level of the inventory are major measures of the supply chain management performance.  The financial impact of the supply is recorded on the income statement and balance sheet and these are two of the key indicators of the financial health of the company by investors, managers, analysts and the financial institutions.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Chit Chat: 2016 Trends to Look for from Industry Experts


The mobile has become more than a simple communication device in recent years. Smartphones have developed and become powerful gadgets that can be used in all areas of our lives. Here’s a brief look at some of the trends we’re expecting to see in 2016.

Mobile Workstations

Phones are now able to run Microsoft Office 10 and can be connected to external monitors and therefore can be used as workstations, will PC’s become obsolete?

Security

Mobile phones are used to run and compliment the way we live our lives and therefore security is paramount. Security measures such as PIN codes and fingerprint scanners are used as a method of security but work still needs to continue to prevent hackers gaining access to our personal data. Rumours have been circulating about the iris scanners being incorporated by LG and perhaps retinal scanning is something that will become more commonplace.

Strengthened Call Technology

A huge problem in India is the high level in call drops for mobile phone users and past efforts to fix the issues have failed. However, the use of voice over LTE, VoLTE and voice over Wi-Fi, VoWiFi, are allowing faster transmissions of voice and data that can be used to stop calls from dropping.

Stronger Batteries

Battery problems are still commonly experienced and as yet improvements in battery management have been slow coming. The problems come from lacking the ability to create a sleek and ergonomic device with a high powered battery but times are changing and solutions have been found.  Fast charging options and shutting down services of battery draining apps could prove to be a game changer.

Improved Experiences

There are a few ways that user experiences will be improved in the future:
  • Faster operating systems
  • Sharper screens to reduce eye strain
  • Connecting devices to make lives easier
  • Use of 3d touch and virtual reality

Friday, 15 January 2016

What are the Roles of Human Factors in Supply Chain? Part Four


Here are some key elements that human resources management (HRM) must have:

Technology

Technology has evolved rapidly and has a massive impact on job design and the skills that are required for the role. The supply chain commonly uses technology in inventory and the management of warehousing but employers are now looking at ways of using technology in different areas including customer services and transportation. Large businesses have already implemented technology on a higher level than their smaller competitors and those looking to improve efficiency need to embrace and use technology and face the challenges.

Skills and Education

The required skills don’t vary much so it’s not difficult for the supply chain employees are able to move easily between different regions. One of the main skills employers require is the ability to communicate and an abundance of analytical skills to use across all sub-functions.  Other common skills include customer service skills, interpersonal skills and technological skills. These skills include:
  • Business implication knowledge
  • Business skills
  • Change management skills
  • Contract administration
  • Cost analysis
  • Currency markets
  • Employee engagement
  • Financial planning
  • Forecasting
  • General management skills
  • International business practices
  • Knowledge of the supply chain and logistics functions
  • Law and regulations knowledge
  • Languages tactical operational
  • Optimisation of workflow
  • Performance measurement
  • Quality management
  • Negotiation skills
  • Regulatory knowledge
  • Transportation knowledge
  • Vendor management and relations

Supply Chain Talent Demand

The demand for supply chain positions are expected to remain the same but some positions are expected to increase in areas such as warehousing, customer services and transportation. There is an increase in the reliance on some of the knowledge based positions such as supply chain specialists, customer service positions such as customer service and sales. Management level positions are proving difficult to fill along with analyst roles and supervisory roles.

Training and Career Development

Training in technical development is essential in order for the supply chain personnel to remain current. The most common forms of training perform on the job, but the use of external courses is also used. Most employees are happy with the training they receive and fill their own needs are being met by the training provided. Common support that is provided to employees includes: 
  • Provision of in-house training
  • Time off for external training
  • Reimbursing tuition



Thursday, 14 January 2016

What are the Roles of Human Factors in Supply Chain? Part Three


Human resources management (HRM) and supply chain management are interlinked and are highly dependent on each other. Problems arise when the links between HR and supply chain managements are not aligned due to the constant evolving changes that need to be addressed and the lack of professional expertise and experience in this area.

People working in logistics need to have multiple skills in order to be effective in this ever changing environment:
  • Integrative vision in order to create cross functional programs that allow products to flow quickly and responsively across the company and the channel
  • Human Resources abilities – Utilising human resource policies to ensure programs are properly and effectively implemented throughout the company
Cross functional coordination is now beginning to be recognised for its economic power. However, having human resources abilities are still not fully recognised and it’s still uncommon, resulting in many companies failing to reach their targets and meet the set objectives. Human resource management is vital in creating and managing a productive flow and so HRM needs to be one of the skills that logistics professionals hold.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Royale International expansion of membership with X2 Critical Network


11 Jan 2016 - The Royale International Group has been providing leading quality, customised courier solutions since 1980.  As one of the market leaders in Time Critical services across the global markets, we are also a member of the X2 Critical Network for Hong Kong.  We are proud to also announce we have expanded our membership with the X2 Critical Network to include China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. 

Since the development of our group in the 1980s, we have striven to guarantee the safety & promptness on our On Board Courier (OBC), Next flight Out (NFO) and Hand-carry delivery services to our clients. 

Our professional OBC teams are committed to serve 24/7/365, with promises to provide a flight solution with quotation to clients within 30mins.  Upon confirmation & documentation clearance; clients could enjoy the benefit of real-time tracking and update, as well as a personal supervision of shipment from the pick-up point to the arrival of destination.


We have a comprehensive network of offices on every continent, and we are always here to deliver.

For more inquiries, please visit our time critical page on our corporate website or reach us at:

24/7 hotline: +852 2218 5682
24/7 email:  handcarry@royaleinternational.com

What are the Roles of Human Factors in Supply Chain? Part Two


The supply chain is a recognised term that is used to describe the efforts of producing and delivering a service or final product from the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer. Supply chains are used internationally and the main focus is on the cost and the efficiency, making sure materials flow from a variety of sources to wherever their final destinations might be. Businesses are dependent on their supply chains as they need them in order to survive. Each business will fit into a certain supply chain and they have a role to fulfil. Companies have to understand their position in the supply chains they’re in and be committed to the role they play in order to strengthen the supply chain.

There is a difference between supply chain management and logistics. Logistics is the activities that take place within the set boundaries of the organisation, the supply chain is made up of a whole network of companies that will work together to deliver a product or service.  Logistics is concerned with procurement, maintenance, distribution and inventory management, whereas supply chain includes these aspects, but add new product development, finance marketing and customer services. Effective supply chain management needs to improve the customer service that’s provided while ensuring the company operates an efficient supply chain. Customer services need at the very least to show consistent high order fill levels and on time deliveries. Efficient supply chains require a positive return on investments in the assets and inventory while lowering operating costs and sale expenses.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

What are the Roles of Human Factors in Supply Chain? Part One

Supply chains will always have uncertain factors, so it is important to develop strategies with acceptable cost that matches supply with demand. The successful firms are the ones that recognise that the human capital is the most important assets and that through understanding the human insight, will result in the creation of an effective global process networks.

While occupations are chosen, it is important for the organisation to create an organised structure with job definition and culture through its environment requirement and available resources. Some of the structures within a company depend on the way the human resources adapt and embrace the culture. Good individual and team work can result in the creation of a great place to work, allowing for personal growth while meeting the goals of the company. Failing to establish a good corporate culture with defined roles within the company will result in high turnover and an unsatisfactory work environment due to the undefined task, inability to self-decision making and the affirmation of unpleasant working atmosphere.

Human Resources Management (HRM) is responsible for managing the people within the organisation from the hiring to training and developing the employees. HRM Managers help the firm to meet the goals that have been created while recognising that human element, people are not machines. HRM includes the activities, organisational procedures and plans that affect the behaviour, attitudes, organisation culture and achievement of staff in the business process so that  the productivity and flexibility of the workers increases while creating the distinctive competitive advantage.

The following are highlights of successful Japanese principles on organisational policies and HRM best practices that resulted in higher employee dedication, productivity and motivation that helped lower the total cost of operation:
  • Recruit and promote based on competence skills and knowledge
  • Invest highly in training employees
  • Build a strong team culture and develop teamwork
  • Develop multiple skills in the employees
  • Improve communication between managers and employees
  • Commit to quality
  • Listen to employees and build initiatives they will respond to
  • Create status symbols in the company with company coffee shops, sporting facilities, uniforms and restaurants

Monday, 11 January 2016

Five Things to Look at When Improving Service Through Better 3PL – Part Two

Managing Expectations
The relationship between the outsourcer and the 3PL needs to be constantly managed. The outsourcing company will have expectations of the service provider and vice versa. It is vital that the expectations are managed and so they must be shared between both parties so everyone is aware of what the expectations are.
Managing Relationship
The relationship has to be managed and the best way to do this is by monitoring the performance of the 3PL, checking the agreed service levels are being met and delivered at the right cost. The performance can be measured using KPS, customer service measures or through financial measures. Set the targets for the service level, accuracy and delivery times and use any historical data, industry standards or the budget as your benchmarks.
Operational control
The performance measures are now to be worked into a rolling operational plan. The costs need to be divided by the time period (weekly or monthly), the functional element, logistics component and activity. The implemented operational plan might show deviations during monitoring. The 3 main causes of deviation are as follows:
·         Fluctuations in the activity levels
·         Changes in the costs
·         Efficiency of performance changes
If the deviations are dramatically different from the expected targets it might be necessary to alter the targets or changing the operations. You may even have to consider changing your providers and starting the tendering process all over again.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Chit Chat: A Look at Online Retail Trends in 2016


The omnichannel is real; it’s no longer just a buzzword that’s being thrown around. Digital marketers need to accept that online retail is being changed thanks to the following three trends, mobile, Millennials and beacons.
Mobile Devices
Apps can work well for retailers as the app can provide information and assistance on top of being a smaller version of the original website. The apps allow the online store to be in the hands of the customer at all times. Customers are able to gain the information and make purchases when they need to. However, if the app is poorly executed and doesn’t add to the customer experience, the customer may turn to the competition.
Millennials
Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Businesses need to recognise and target the tech savvy Millennials. These consumers have a large amount of purchasing power. They expect you to meet their needs across all channels that they use. If you’re not where they want you to be, they will go to brands and businesses that are. They love social media and they expect to have blended experiences with retailers both on and offline.
Beacons
Improve in store experiences with marketing beacons. The beacons interactions with mobile apps, so customers are able to get access to information such as special offers, accurate and relevant information and product details, along with price information.  They use Low Energy Bluetooth transmitters and so the beacons can target signals coming from tablets and smartphones owned by the consumers. This gives online retailers a change to deliver personalised content at the right time in order to increase product interactions.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Five Things to Look at When Improving Service Through Better 3PL – Part One

If you’re already outsourcing you can always benefit by looking at ways of improving operations and making the relationship between outsourcer and contractor even stronger. The best way to improve things is to have a shared goal that helps both you and the contractor work for better outcomes, a win-win for everyone involved. Over the next two days we’ll be looking at the five ways to improve services, beginning today with the first step, disputes and why relationships fail.
Disputes and its Reasons
Sometimes outsourcing contracts fail. There can be a number of reasons for failure on the side of the 3PL but some of the most common reasons are:
·         Not enough involvement during the negotiation, design and implementation phases
·         The 3PL makes promises it cannot keep
·         A lack of expressing clear customer requirements
·         Bad implementation on the side of the 3PL
·         Failure to work towards improvement
·         Poor service levels
·         Failing to act as part of the customer’s supply chain
Sometimes disputes are down to the outsourcers, the most common reasons for failure being:
·         Incorrect volume information
·         No suitable resources to manage the 3PL
·         Not having a realistic or clear expectation on the outcome
·         Unsatisfactory implementation on their side
·         Focusing too hard on reducing the costs
·         Considering the 3PL as just another supplier
·         Failure to have an SLA
Sometimes both parties are at fault. They may both be responsible if there isn’t a clear contract in place, if they don’t have a performance measurement or goal in place. Poor communication and implementation is also a reason why both parties may be responsible.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

What are the Nine Tendering Processes of Outsourcing – Part Two

Today we’re continuing our look at the nine tendering process of outsourcing.
Step 5 – Assess tenders
All the tenders must be assessed and discussed. All of the teams involved in distribution must be included in discussions, including logistics, finance, human resources, and procurement.
Step 6 – Select contract and assess risks
Gather the information and assess the tenders and pay a visit to the current top spot contractors so you’re able to engage with them further and get to know the site and the management better. It’s a good idea to carry out a risk assessment at this point covering:
·         The operational risks
·         The business risks
·         The external risks
Step 7 – Determine contract
Now it’s time to formulate and agree upon the final contract. Make sure the contract includes lots if information and the requirements you have. The three most important areas are the object factors such as equipment, warehouses and personnel, the costs such as operational and management costs and the service related factors.
Step 8 – Implement contract
Plan the implementation carefully and use project management to oversee the implementation. The tasks need to be involved in the company and the 3PL and there needs to be some contingency plans in place.
Step 9 – Manage the relationship
With the contract implemented, it’s now time to focus on managing the ongoing relationship and work on improving services together.