SENTINELS 01By Brian Higgins 

It’s 1 a.m., and real-time event data from a supplier of material used on many of the products by a multi-location North American manufacturer will experience a significant delay in a shipment from an Asia facility. Immediately, always-on “sentinels” take over to sense, interpret and process key information to manage key alerts and activities. This includes providing supply chain visibility by generating alerts related to the expected shortfalls and shipment delays, cascading the impact on its own production plan and shipment schedules and leveraging heuristics and advanced analytics to determine the potential impact on service levels, revenue, and cost. 

 UNBREAKING 01Broken IT processes are halting supply chain automation.

By Ryan Duguid

Without technology, our modern-day supply chains wouldn’t be able to produce at the quality and speed that’s expected today. In fact, manufacturers are producing at a rate of 1.5 times more than they were 20 years ago. In keeping pace with this growth, IDC predicts one-third of manufacturing supply chains will be automated by the end of 2020. 

But, a firm’s ability to grow and adapt to new challenges corresponds to the strength of its IT team. Tech troubleshooting is the top broken process in offices nationwide, and two-thirds (62 percent) of employees think company IT processes are flawed, according to a recent report by Nintex. If IT teams are bogged down by cumbersome processes the entire team, including the manufacturer, also falls behind. 

 REVOLUTION 01Using new technology and smart inventory management to boost efficiency in an often-overlooked portion of the supply chain.
By Joe Stephens

Supply chain executives tend to pay a great deal of attention to the external components of a supply chain. Issues such as lead times, shipping schedules and even custom packaging receive the lion’s share of financial resources and strategic focus.


It can’t be denied - supply chain digitization has escalated quickly over the last 30 years as enterprises needed a better way to manage the amount of data coming through their doors. With the increased availability of analytical solutions, and the adoption of machine learning capabilities, looking inside CPG and retailers’ supply chains today you’ll see operations that go well beyond basic optimization. 

Prescriptive analytics allows companies to perform an increasing array of advanced analytical tasks – taking business intelligence solutions beyond their previous capabilities. Let’s look at how it has evolved. 

 OUTSOURCING 01Here’s how to find the best 3PL for your business.  

By Nicholas Daniel-Richards

Any successful ecommerce business owner will tell you that managing a warehouse effectively can be a challenge. Whether it’s ensuring climate control for perishable products and managing inventory or hiring staff and processing orders, running a warehouse can monopolize a merchant’s time and resources. Unfortunately, these demands are completely different from the skills and resources needed to successfully sell products and ensure customer satisfaction.


In a field driven by precision and efficiency, logistics organizations are looking for the right measures to track their performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Key performance indicators (KPIs) for logistics processes are not unknown, but organizations must determine which of these measures are critical for their business. In addition, many organizations struggle with the challenge of ensuring widespread employee engagement and linking performance improvement for the organization with individual performance. 

The first step for managing logistics measurement effectively is to identify measures that are strategically aligned and relevant.

 BEST PRACTICES 01Avoid risks to your operations from suppliers’ losses.

By Luke Foley

Hurricane Harvey rocked Texas. Devastating monsoon rains swept India, Nepal and Bangladesh. A deadly earthquake hit Mexico City. And a record-breaking typhoon landed in China. 

These are just some of the natural disasters that created destruction around the world in 2017. And regardless of where you are headquartered, your business operations were likely at risk during several of the year’s catastrophic weather events if you have a global supply chain. 

D2624 295 smallHere are Three Considerations for Subscription Commerce Startups

By Kirk Anderson

The irony was lost on no one when, last summer, Amazon announced it planned to construct a new fulfillment center inside one of the world’s largest abandoned malls. Big box and anchor stores are re-evaluating their business models, with many facing extinction. 


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