Best Practice - Technology

 

Flip the Switch from Paper to Automation

Mark Connell, Senior Logistics Architect for WiseTech Global, suggests that hanging on to paper-based practices means throwing away profit. Visibility into every aspect of a transport or warehouse business is essential for keeping the operation humming and pinpointing its strengths and weaknesses. But shuffling through paper files and Excel spreadsheets only slows things down. Today’s Transport Management Systems (TMS) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) provide the automation needed to put an end to paper-based practices once and for all, and they're the only means to get ahead of the accountability and compliance regimes that can lock up the operations of every player

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Using Supply Chain Information to Create a Closed Loop Customer Experience

Consumers want to engage with retailers more than ever and this presents an excellent opportunity for supply chains to add value to the overall customer experience and minimise costs. While delivery performance is paramount, interacting with the consumer via supply chain information iscritical to maximising the customer experience. This strategy goes beyond the traditional delivery process, starting when the consumer is ordering and ending after the delivery was made. The pervasiveness of smart phones, real-time systems and GPS-enabled technology make engaging the customer during the order lifecycle easier and more compelling than ever. There are five basic steps in the customer

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Working Smarter and Faster with Automation in Logistics

Darren Matthews, Business Development Analyst for WiseTech Global, encourages you to investigate how today’s technology can help redefine and streamline your business. Due to the rise of globalization and ever-changing regulations and security over the last decade, logistics providers have had to change how they do business. However, it is the shift in IT that has had the most profound effect on the logistics industry. Advancing technology in the past meant reducing staff, but the tech coming in the future may not necessarily lead to layoffs. While some companies may be able to survive without advanced technologies, they certainly can’t thrive

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Does demand forecasting for promotions have to be this difficult?

Forecasting demand for promotions is a major challenge for retailers, not least because of the impact it has on driving sales. With it generally accepted that better forecasting means improved cost effectiveness and availability in the supply chain, UK retailers can benefit greatly by applying this to promotions. In the UK grocery market as much as a third of all sales are promotion driven. The impact of price promotions on sales has become ever more important to the extent that they often play a dominant role in profit generation and really drive consumer behaviour, which is of course exactly what they are

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Three Reasons Why You are Never too Busy for Better Software

Bill Todd, Business Development Manager for WiseTech Global, lists three common reasons businesses hesitate to adopt new solutions and explains why you shouldn’t put off the move to new technology. The decision-making dilemmas for buying technology seem similar to those for many of life’s milestones. Should we buy this house now or wait for better options and interest rates? Should we have children now or wait until we’re more settled with less debt? Should we go on vacation now or wait for cheaper airfares later in the year? To wait ‘until the time is right’ or to make a move now may

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Better understanding of Business Intelligence required

Access Group surveys show that there is still considerable misunderstanding among business managers about what Business Intelligence (BI) is. Only 16% of financial professionals say they are using BI today while 35% either don’t recognise the term or think it is a piece of technical jargon for the IT people to deal with. Yet BI can transform an organisation by simplifying the way people use data and making it a natural part of the decision making process. By deploying BI a company can make good use of all the data at its disposal without the need to make assumptions. As Ian Roper,

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Black Friday Blues. Welcome to the world of roller coaster retail

Black Friday, November 28th 2014, still dominated the conversation at a major retail supply chain conference last month [a few weeks back] months after the event.   Five years ago Black Friday wasn’t even ‘a thing’ this side of the Atlantic. But last year it arrived with a vengeance as near riots broke out. MPs demanded Black Friday be shelved, Britain shuddered and wondered ‘is that really us?’ while supply chain executives asked ‘how the heck do we deal with that?’   As Andrew Starkey of the online retail trade body IMRG pointed out last year’s “unprecedented” event “caught everyone in the industry by

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Battling the returns explosion

Fashion retailers are facing a fierce battle to protect margins and corporate profits against the heavy costs of an explosion in returns. The larger retailers are putting in place systems that offer visibility and control over the returns process, creating a competitive edge in the market. But what can medium and smaller sized retailers do to leverage available technology and steal a march on the competition? By Gareth Thomas Returns in the fashion and garment sector are not exactly a new phenomenon. There has always been a small percentage of mail-order items that are discovered to be faulty, damaged in transit

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Consider More Than Price When Evaluating Cost

Mike Coney, VP of Business Development with WiseTech Global, explains how SaaS models can add value to your business in low cost labor markets. Even with the shift from traditional licenses to Software as a Service, productivity gains from technology investments have to be significantly higher in low wage economies to justify the commitment. The truth is the flexibility within the SaaS model overcomes this issue too. How is this possible is a good question. Until very recently, developing economies have had the luxury of being able to throw more people at any problem. But now, developing is becoming a reality across

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Which Warehouse Management System

Efficiency, customer focus and operational benefits are the key requirements identified by Rocket Consulting   Warehouse management systems (WMS) should enable efficiency, support customer-centric service and offer operational benefits.   These key requirements are identified by supply chain and mobility specialist Rocket Consulting in its online survey, ‘Which WMS’, offered to customers to enable them to select the WMS solution that best fits their individual needs.  The specific functionalities are as follows:   Efficiency: labour and workflow management   Workload management: Labour management tools that enable operational data to be analysed so workloads can be managed and any exceptions investigated.  Mixed pallet splitting: The ability to split pallets with

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Push Paper Aside to Find Efficiency

Craig Seelig, Product Manager for Customs and Government Compliance - Americas, for WiseTech Global explains just how much paper-based data entry and reporting costs your business.   The investment troubles you see on the horizon - the ones that have you second-guessing your move to new technology - might just be a mirage. The long-term costs in delaying only bury you a little deeper every day. If you’re stuck in the past, losing vital funds from inefficient, outdated business practices, then over time these losses will far outweigh the expenditures for the software you need to keep up with the competition.   It’s understandable

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Buy! Do not be Sold!

Marius Ionel Toma, Senior Business Development Analyst Manager at WiseTech Global, encourages you to take control of your own buying cycle.   When you’re in the market for new software, look for a solution to solve your current pain points, support efficient business continuity, and guide you to the future you envision for your company. Don’t be pushed into buying for the wrong reasons.   As a buyer, it can be hard enough keeping focus on getting exactly what you need, let alone partnering with a supplier that actually listens to you. You’ll be under pressure from many internal and external forces driving you

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Uncovering the Real Pain Points in Your Business

Bill Todd, Business Development Manager for WiseTech Global, gets to the root of what harms your business, taking the essential first step in forging successful change.   Chicago, USA, May 5, 2015.  Uncovering our prospective clients’ real pain points can be a daunting task. Finding out why their businesses aren’t truly prospering depends largely on finding the right time, place, and person to have an open and frank discussion about the root causes that hold them back. Change takes incredible effort, and it’s only worth it if you know exactly why you’re doing it.   As is often the case, the world can be

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Unique Robotics Based Goods to Person Automation Provides Growing E Commerce Retailers the Flexibility to Expand

Many smaller online retailers are faced with the challenge of scaling up the efficiency of their picking operations to successfully compete against big online players.  Until recently, these e-businesses were forced to purchase expensive, complex systems for what they could only project they might need well into the future.  The latest highly scalable and cost-efficient robotics-based goods-to-person automation, however, provides an ideal solution for these growing e-commerce fulfillment centers.   by Patrick Roberts   A problem that almost all e-commerce retailers are grappling with is how to adapt fulfillment requirements to meet the exponential growth of online ordering.  Online purchasing in the United States is growing by more

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Are postal logistics companies using data in the right way when getting a parcel from A to B?

Logistics companies live or die on their ability to get a parcel delivered from A to B. Irrespective of the timeframe within which a customer expects a delivery, the parcel must arrive by then. Anything that can impact on this happening will have a negative effect on the customer’s experience and on the company’s reputation.   If they haven’t already, companies must start looking at new ways to take a more proactive approach to their supply chain and their use of data analytics; changing their approach to one that allows them to predict possible problem areas, rather than finding themselves doing a

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An Open Mind on Innovation

Martin Lee, Business Development Executive for WiseTech Global, explains how taking advantage of new ideas impresses customers and keeps competition guessing.   All organizations rely on a constant flow of new ideas to keep themselves fresh and competitive. But companies in the logistics sector too often build barriers and cling to the old in an effort to maintain secrecy over client lists and rate cards. In the process, they restrict their ability to retain current customers and find new revenue streams.     As Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Being open

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Dodging the Dangers of Non Compliance

Simon Clark, VP Business Development with WiseTech Global, helps you navigate along the safest route through the regulated world.   Milton Keynes, UK, April 14, 2015.  Compliance hits the logistics sector at every turn, leaving an impact at both the macro and micro levels. From geo-political agreements and domestic industry standards, to government customs, taxation, security regimes, and even supplier demands and customer service level contracts, the ramifications of non-compliance are enough to kill your operation.   The resolutions designed to simplify trade compliance have instead created endless change, adding more and more complexities. The global initiatives to harmonize standards and reduce the friction

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Going from Good to Great

Gene Gander ,VP Business Development, Americas , illustrates exactly why it’s important to never stop chasing innovation.   To follow a best practice is to only say ‘me too.’ Innovation is what sets you apart, what makes you a leader. To shift your business from being a good company to being a great company – and staying there – involves getting the mix right. You’ll need to find your own flavors of leadership, people, and underpinning technologies to accelerate growth. Becoming ‘great’ involves only one constant: the willingness to change.   Whether you’re mass shipping 40’ containers on a pure commodity cost base, or

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Finding Reliable Efficiencies in a Changing World

Darren Mathews, Business Development Analyst for WiseTech Global, encourages you to consider costs when implementing newer, more efficient technology. In the past, the technologies that transformed business often had to reach an affordability price point before they got your attention. Today, you don’t have to wait long for the next best thing, as new solutions enter the market almost on a daily basis. If you migrate now, today’s subscription-based applications will deliver the kinds of efficiencies that you could only dream about just a few years ago. To get a sense of how far and wide productivity gains can be stretched, consider

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Welcome to the customer facing supply chain

In the quest for competitive differentiation, we are beginning to see more and companies highlighting the merits of their supply chain. While this tactic may not be ground-breaking in itself, the difference we’re now experiencing is that companies are exposing their supply chains directly to their customers, with capabilities that are intended to benefit the customer as opposed to just themselves.   In fact, making the supply chain and supply chain technology truly customer facing – ie. part of the ‘front office’ – can not only help an organisation make their selling proposition more compelling and sticky but can also prove mutually

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Handling Legislation Human Resources Technology Distribution Warehousing