Category Archives: Supply Chain

Logistics News After New President Takes Over

Panama Canal overtakes Suez on Asia-US East Coast route. This makes sense….. those new locks makes it easier on shippers.

Top US trucking lobby outlines wishes for Trump administration

City officials have dropped the idea of selling the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, but are continuing to explore the possibility of a public-private partnership for the short line that handles switching for the port’s six Class I railroads.

RailAmerica for Sale, Report Says

Transport providers hold firm against attacks on NAFTA, trade pacts.

Democrats and Republicans alike are encouraged that a Trump Administration could inject freight infrastructure with a much-needed funding boost.

Steady growth in e-commerce activity is driving a surge in the parcel delivery business, and strengthening the role of EDI in processing and auditing freight payments.

The Trump administration’s plan for a broad-based regulatory rollback could shorten the duration of any future truck capacity shortfall.

Shippers, trucking companies, container lines and others are starting to get a better idea of what Trump can and can’t deliver. Ignore the armchair analysis of Trump’s campaign rhetoric.


Beware The Shopper

Omni-channel has become a dated term. In this age of digital information available anytime and anywhere there are precious few shopping decisions being made without fact based information. A MasterCard report from 2015 shows that 8 out of 10 purchases made by retail shoppers are informed by some kind of digital information. With 80 percent of purchase decisions influenced by shopper research, their decisions about just where to buy is likely to come down to convenience and timing rather than loyalty. Omni-channel shopping is now just plain shopping.

Retailers need to be sure they are focusing on the most important factors driving their customers – information. In fact the source of information needs to begin at the source, and that source should be the manufacturer or supplier. It may be a strange environment for manufacturers but the production and dissemination of product information can’t come from a better place. But capabilities vary widely in terms of the ability of product suppliers to create, produce, and market their products.

Enhanced Retail Solutions Announces Wholesale Inventory Integration in its POS Software Platform

What was a feature in its Demand Planning Software has been added to its Retail Sales Analysis software based upon client requests.


Enhanced Retail Solutions (ERS), a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) retail analytic and demand planning solutions to suppliers, their retail trading partners and licensors announces the additional of Wholesale Inventory to its Retail Synthesis point of sale analysis software.

Originally developed for its Demand Planning Software, a supplier’s Wholesale Inventory information can be automatically added to the ERS Software Platform. This information combined with projected sales at retail helps manufacturers determine what inventory buys to make and went to make them.

Once ERS clients learned of this capability, they wanted the inventory added to the Retail Sales Analysis software. While ERP systems offer such information, they typically are not very flexible in how it is reported. ERS’ Intelligent Retail Platform allows for total customized reporting. For instance, now clients may list their Wholesale Inventory position in a column in their retail sales reports, making it easy for salespeople to see if they were in stock before they contact their retail partner to offer to ship fill in inventory. As all values pass to reporting – from POS to forecasts – retailers and suppliers have past, present and future views in one report.

“We did not anticipate the need for wholesale inventory in sales reporting” says David Matsil, President of Business Development at Enhanced Retail Solutions. “Yet once the need was described, we understood the benefit immediately and were happy to open up that functionality”.

Contact Enhanced Retail Solutions
+1 (212) 938-1991 Ext: 103


Why Out-of-Stock Inventory May Kill Electronic Businesses this Holiday Season

With the holiday season quickly approaching, electronics retailers couldn’t be in a better position to make record breaking sales, exceeding the $1 trillion earned in 2014.  Electronics make ideal gifts, and electronic stores are one of the largest revenue generating distributors, accounting for 13.6% of all holiday sales. However, OEMs won’t cash in unless they have the right omnichannel infrastructure in place.

Electronics constitute one of the leading purchases made for dads, and accounted for 20% of Father’s Day sales this past June. With the rise of tablets, mobile phones and wearables, retailers can expect this category to grow. While 2015 looks at sustained growth with these product lines, Steve Koenig, senior director at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), advises not to overlook other electronics that are also predicted to be big for business. Koenig explained, “Consumer decisions to replace their TVs at home with Ultra HD 4K units should provide a much-needed boost to the TV industry, while new smartwatches and other high-tech wearables will also expand that growing category this year.”

In the news, Apple has already created fierce demand with the launch of its latest rendition of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.  To address this frenzy, Apple executives released a statement that online orders have been “exceptionally strong and exceeded our own forecasts for the preorder period.  We are working to catch up as quickly as we can, and we will have iPhone 6s Plus as well as iPhone 6s units available at Apple retail stores when they open next Friday.”

It’s not only smart phone and tablet producers that will go through this inventory and production pressure. The CEA advises that while total shopping category continues to grow, the channels that consumers shop across have changed drastically, leading to the introduction of omnichannel shopping.


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Best Practices For Managing Quality In The Supply Chain

Yes, there are always obstacles to supply chains running perfectly.  There are for example recalls and visibility.

There are lots of good ideas around.

Here are just a few:

Broaden supplier assessments
Define clear measurement program
Invest in infrastructure that supports visibility into the supply chain
Close the quality loop with suppliers

5 Supply Chain Questions Answered By Network Design

The supply chain of an organization is an overarching structure that encompasses the suppliers, plants, warehouses, and flows of products from their origin to a customer’s location. While the network in itself is complex, the degree of complexity only increases when various business functions of a company have different expectations of the same network. Executive A’s main objective would be to reduce transportation costs but Executive B might want to increase customer service level, which might increase transportation costs! 

Network Design is a method that can be used to find solutions for such conundrums. A Network Design study can help improve the long term performance of the supply chain of an organization, while answering numerous questions for people from different facets of the business.

Network Desing involves modeling the entire supply chain in order to analyze the network, identify trade-offs and calculate total landed costs. It gives the firm the ability to visualize the network and pinpoint significant bottlenecks.

One of the most important tradeoffs that executives want to understand is Cost versus Service Level. In addition to having a Cost versus Service Level trade-off, network design models offer a selective turning of the levers and we can do the tradeoff curves tier by tier and see which affects the network more.

Suppose a product which is currently made in a manufacturing facility A has a prospect of being produced in an external supplier facility, then the best way to calculate the benefits of procuring it from an external supplier is through modeling.

Based on current demand, plant capacity, product flows and customer distribution, a network design model can answer whether you need to set up any new DCs/Plants/Suppliers.

Network models can also be used to understand the effect of demand growth on the network. Can the existing network handle the growth? Do we need to expand existing facilities or build a new DC in another location?

Find out more