Small to mid-sized companies are better positioned than large corporations to take advantage of cloud-based solutions because they have not made big investments in enterprise systems, says Yogesh Pathak of Technoforte. The supply chain is one of many areas where cloud solutions promise to change the game, Pathak says.
Today's supply chains are so complex and change so rapidly that optimization efforts often are overtaken by events, says Mike Comstock of Grand Canal Solutions. Planning needs to become much more dynamic, with analytics adapted to make optimization a continuous process, he says.
The goal for 3PLs always is to negotiate a win/win contract with existing and new customers, says Mike Bautch of Universal. He offers insights and examples on how to create win/win relationships that keep improving over the years.
John Reichert, director of supply chain execution solutions at Tecsys, discusses factors driving increased demand for 3PL services and describes the type of provider best positioned to leverage this growth environment.
Truckload marketplace Transfix is adding a new dimension to matching drivers with available loads, says CEO Drew McElroy. By making greater use of smartphones, McElroy says Transfix makes more efficient matches, which reduces empty miles and driver wait times.
The term "digital supply chain" describes the integration of advanced technology, big data, and analytics to better manage and execute the physical supply chain, says Frederick Hartung of Jabil. He explains how this is playing out today and what it means for the future.
Even though the invoice-to-cash cycle is critical to corporate health, many companies give little attention to the billing process, says Sean Smalley of Billtrust. Many opportunities exist within that process, however, to speed payment and reduce costs.
Echo's recent acquisition of Command Transportation will grow its revenue by 50 percent and strengthen its presence in the truckload brokerage market, says Echo CEO Doug Waggoner. He explains the role of acquisitions in Echo's growth strategy and his view on 3PL consolidation trends.
Retailers increasingly are using customized packaging to meet the preferences of customers in specific stores, regions or channels, says Jason Tham, CEO of Nulogy. This work often is outsourced by brand manufacturers and Nulogy has developed software to link and streamline the process.
Today's businesses need to go beyond visibility to full transparency, says Nancy Marino, partner at Columbus Consulting, whose clients are mostly retailers. This means using technology to focus the performance of independent silos on corporate KPIs, thus improving performance, she says.