Executive Briefings

Opinion: Big Data and an Outside-in View of Your Supply Chain

Enterprise applications have data and generate content, but it is largely internally generated content. It is content that is generated from transactions occurring inside the four walls of the enterprise. But in the supply chain world we need an end to end view of the supply chain that includes content external to the enterprise. New Content as a Service offerings can help provide this perspective.

Providers of Global Trade Management (GTM) solutions like Amber Road and Descartes have long provided CaaS. GTM solutions help to ensure that trade regulations are being followed. But a GTM cannot function without external content:  the way products are classified, which companies are on denied party lists, and the differing trade documentation required by nations around the world. In theory, companies could gather this information themselves. But in practice, few companies can stay on top of the ever-changing regulations.

Anthony Hardenburgh, the Vice President of Global Content at Amber Road, argues that content alone is not sufficient. Rather content plus logic is what drives the value in CaaS. Amber Road has trademarked the term Global Knowledge to reflect the importance of having one solution that automates trade decisions based on the latest and most up to date supply chain and regulatory rules. If a GTM solution does not come with integrated trade CaaS, the burden of interpreting, maintaining, and applying any regulation change will fall to the trade professional. This ultimately creates inefficiencies, risks, and a higher total cost of ownership.

Supply chain design solutions also require external content to work effectively. A supply chain design solution looks at where factories and warehouses and cross docks should be located, and the trading lanes goods should flow through in a global supply chain. These solutions seek to provide a designated level of service, create a resilient supply chain, and achieve both resiliency and service with the lowest possible cost structure. LLamasoft, the largest provider of supply chain design solutions, does have data services offerings. They offer four levels of data access ranging from a free offering to various types of data content that customers pay for.

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Providers of Global Trade Management (GTM) solutions like Amber Road and Descartes have long provided CaaS. GTM solutions help to ensure that trade regulations are being followed. But a GTM cannot function without external content:  the way products are classified, which companies are on denied party lists, and the differing trade documentation required by nations around the world. In theory, companies could gather this information themselves. But in practice, few companies can stay on top of the ever-changing regulations.

Anthony Hardenburgh, the Vice President of Global Content at Amber Road, argues that content alone is not sufficient. Rather content plus logic is what drives the value in CaaS. Amber Road has trademarked the term Global Knowledge to reflect the importance of having one solution that automates trade decisions based on the latest and most up to date supply chain and regulatory rules. If a GTM solution does not come with integrated trade CaaS, the burden of interpreting, maintaining, and applying any regulation change will fall to the trade professional. This ultimately creates inefficiencies, risks, and a higher total cost of ownership.

Supply chain design solutions also require external content to work effectively. A supply chain design solution looks at where factories and warehouses and cross docks should be located, and the trading lanes goods should flow through in a global supply chain. These solutions seek to provide a designated level of service, create a resilient supply chain, and achieve both resiliency and service with the lowest possible cost structure. LLamasoft, the largest provider of supply chain design solutions, does have data services offerings. They offer four levels of data access ranging from a free offering to various types of data content that customers pay for.

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