Category Archives: EDI/Electronic Commerce

THE NEXT 20,000 EDI HUBS

If you are a regular reader of our blog, then you are comfortable with terms like EDI, EC, Logistics, Supply Chain and Technology. Let’s dig a little bit deeper and discuss HUBS and SPOKES.

A HUB is just one type of EDI customer. Hubs are characterized by high volume, lots of partners, high availability and high accuracy. The concept of the “Hub” is simple. These are the companies who reach out to their trading partners and request those partners to trade electronically. Let’s characterize the three types of EDI customers:

(1) Hubs

(2) Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements)

(3) Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSB) (a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”).

What is wrong with the current approach to EDI implementation? We need a new concept. Everybody wants to be a “Hub” not a “Spoke”, because that is where the money is made. That is also why new EDI implementations have stagnated. Our answer is to turn “Spokes” into “Hubs”. Currently, the “Hub” realizes benefits; the “Spoke” does not. Why can’t a Spoke become a Hub and trade electronically with lower-tier suppliers and with their own customers? Only because traditionally they have thought it was too complicated.

A generation ago, we had about 1,000 Hubs. This number has not grown! But the number of Spokes has grown astronomically. It is time for bigger Spokes to take advantage of newer technologies and become Hubs

For answers to this question, plan to attend this presentation:

Future of EDI The Next 20,000 Hubs

Todd Gould, CEO, Loren Data

The EDI relationship has frequently been characterized as a Hub & Spoke model, and we have seen major companies (often referred to as 800lb gorillas) dictating EDI to their vendors and suppliers. The future growth of EDI depends on the additional midmarket enterprises entering the market as the new Hubs. Learning from what worked and did not work in the past, along with leveraging the substantial EDI ecosystem will be instrumental in the success of the next growth phase in this market. Together we will explore the Technology Adoption Life-Cycle in a new perspective of how it applies to EDI, what it is to be a Hub, the challenges of being a Spoke, and a roadmap to the exciting explosive growth phase just ahead.

Where and when?

New England Electronic Commerce Users’ Group

Annual 2 Day Conference & Educational Session

Wednesday & Thursday May 11-12, 2016

A Key Speaker

EDI and The Next 20,000 Hubs

Todd Gould

CEO, Loren Data Group

The New England Electronic Commerce Users’ Group (NEECOM), formerly the New England EDI Users’ Group (NEEDI), is a nonprofit organization established in 1990. Members are large and small organizations in a variety of industries. which include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, hospitals, insurance companies, motor carriers, universities, banks and government agencies. The common thread is an interest in EC/EDI and related technologies.

Meeting Registration

All registrations & memberships must be performed online using the website

http://www.neecom.org

All questions about registration should be addressed to Ira Keltz (617) 724-1832

Space Is Limited! Please Respond Before May 9, 2016.

So why do we have a donkey for the featured image ? Because I like donkeys.

Actually a Donkey is like a SPOKE. Give it « good grass » and it is happy. Never realizes if it became a HUB it could be sitting across the street in a 5-Star hotel enjoying a first class lunch !

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Five Ways Big Data, Analytics Are Transforming the Trucking Industry

1. Mobile Notifications

Using an open-architecture remote diagnostics system, truck drivers and fleet managers can receive mobile notifications about pending performance issues. The ability to predict issues before they happen helps avoid unplanned downtime. Notifications can be delivered via computers, email, cell phones and more, making it easier for drivers and fleet managers to receive and act on critical updates.

2. Over-the-Air Engine Reprogramming

Much like mobile phones, today’s engines benefit from frequent software updates and recalibrations, and will soon be able to receive these updates remotely via over-the-air reprogramming. Benefits like improved fuel economy can thus be achieved without having to schedule multiple service visits. Over-the-air reprogramming can potentially be used to recalibrate engines for new usage patterns, such as mountainous terrains or heavier loads, to optimize vehicle efficiency.

3. Truck Health Reports

Open-architecture remote diagnostics systems that work with a truck’s existing telematics systems pull diagnostic-related data from vehicles to create vehicle health reports. Using these reports to capture insights into the operational health of the vehicle, fleet managers can understand the severity of vehicle issues and identify the appropriate corrective actions, ultimately leading to increased uptime. By gaining advance visibility to potential maintenance issues, fleets can also schedule maintenance during planned downtime, avoiding service visits while the truck is scheduled to be in use.

4. Environment Tracking

Truck drivers’ on-time delivery is enhanced when mobile data is used to track emerging traffic and weather patterns, approaching truck stops, hotel locations and more. Real-time access to this information enables drivers to cut down on time spent fighting traffic, braving hazardous weather or searching for lodging. It can also speed drivers’ access to the right maintenance or repair facility for their needs, thus contributing directly to improved uptime

5. Fuel Economy

Analysis of vehicle data can pinpoint driver behaviors that reduce fuel efficiency, such as excessive idle time, harsh braking or rapid acceleration. Fleets will also be more empowered to select the right product features and other specifications needed to optimize their vehicles’ fuel economy. Tailored vehicle specifications will increasingly be relied on to address truckers’ emphasis on fuel economy, as well as other user needs.

SENSORS (What do they have to do with Vending Machines?)

PenneyVanderbilt

Image

Recently, Mike Martz introduced us to the Internet of Things (IoT). This is what happens when you combine cloud technology, wireless networks, standardized communications protocols, RFID, worldwide IP networks, Big Data, miniaturized sensors, and cheap storage and computing power. Let’s drill down on SENSORS!
The concept of IoT originated in the Auto-ID Lab at MIT in 1999 and was based on RFID, but has been expanded since to include sensor devices that enable machine to machine communication and autonomous event-driven decision making. Sensors are appearing in traffic signals, factories, distributors, homes and even the weather. A while back I reported on XML in Your Weather. While I was primarily focusing on the METAR coding scheme to send weather data around the World, the “Weatherman” told me a lot about Big Data and things like “smart” rain gauges.

Not like they sprung these sensors on us overnight. They have…

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Algorithm Will Tell All UPS Trucks Where to Go

PenneyVanderbilt

A UPS driver has, on average, 120 stops to make each day. But what’s the most efficient route that driver can take?

The company is hoping its Orion (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) computer platform will solve this issue for its 55,000 US routes using an algorithm that examines travel costs, distance, and other factors to spit out not necessarily the optimal route, but the most reliably good one, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Customers and drivers like consistency,” a UPS senior director of process management tells the Journal. “Orion has to know when to give up a penny to make the results more stable.”

This efficiency has become paramount as UPS struggles to compete with FedEx, boost earnings growth, and figure out a way to optimize the many residential stops it now makes.

Rough Patches
The deployment of Orion isn’t always so smooth, though. That is where Mr. Levis

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The First and Only Industrial Cloud

Companies have been tapping into cloud technology for years now to reduce data storage costs and manage vast quantities of data generated by the Internet. However, GE found that the existing cloud systems did not effectively address the unique requirements of industrial organizations, so GE invested in creating Predix. This platform-as-a-service (PaaS) enables industrial companies to capitalize on the cloud’s potential in a way that was never before possible.

Predix goes beyond the traditional cloud storage, networking, and computational abilities to take advantage of the huge quantities of data to be obtained by the increase in connection over the next five years. Analysts estimate that more than 50 billion assets will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Predix will have the capability to capture and analyze the volume, velocity, and variety to effectively transformative the industry.

As Jeff Immelt, CEO and chairman of GE, observes, “Cloud computing has enabled incredible innovation across the consumer world. With Predix Cloud, GE is providing a new level of service and results across the industrial world.”

In contrast to platforms that have to rely on outside vendors to supply specific operational capabilities, GE Predix’s secure and comprehensive environment ensures consistency of service, performance, compliance, and security even for global deployment. The “service delivery” model also means customers can scale up and down in a rapid and cost effective manner as their requirements change.

Predix is different from any cloud services currently available to businesses, as it has been purpose built to capitalize on the opportunities to be found in the Industrial Internet. To that end it includes the following features:

  • Asset Connectivity: Predix Cloud provides advanced connectivity-as-a-service for the billions of connected industrial assets that analysts predict for the near future. That will be achieved by combining proprietary technologies with global telecommunications partners to enable rapid provisioning of sensors, gateways, and software-defined machines.
  • Scalability for Machine Data: Machines produce different types of data, which consumer cloud services are not built to handle. Predix Cloud was created to store, analyze, and manage machine data in real time. From capturing and analyzing time series data from a locomotive with thousands of sensors to delivering large object data like a 3D MRI image to a doctor for diagnosis, Predix Cloud is built for the variety, volume, and velocity of industrial data.
  • Security + Compliance: Incorporating decades of experience in operational security and information security, Predix Cloud is designed with the most advanced security protocols available, including customized, adaptive security solutions.
  • Governance: Leveraging GE’s global network and deep expertise across more than 60 regulatory areas, Predix Cloud is designed to streamline governance and drive down compliance costs while respecting national data sovereignty regulations globally. Consequently even highly regulated industries such as aviation, energy, healthcare, and transportation, can build and deploy services.
  • Interoperability: Predix Cloud will operate seamlessly with applications and services running in a broad spectrum of cloud environments, allowing businesses to capitalize on its optimized security and data structure offerings while maintaining legacy solutions.
  • Gated Community: Unlike public cloud services, which are open to any individual or organization, Predix Cloud is based on a “gated community” model restricting access to members of the industrial ecosystem.
  • Developer Insight: Developers will have visibility into their operating environments and all connected to it. That gives businesses the ability to deploy and monitor machine apps anywhere and to adjust to changing demands in the physical and digital world without any loss of security or visibility.
  • On-Demand Availability: Businesses will be able to easily access and scale with the Predix Cloud through a convenient on-demand, pay-as-you-go pricing model.

The gain in efficiency and productivity engendered by the Industrial Internet is predicted to save hundreds of billions of dollars each year. But only if they have the means to tap into it effectively. That’s what GE Predix allows companies to do. It’s a platform that GE was able to develop due to its unique combination of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) expertise and deep industrial domain knowledge.

Businesses will have access to GE Predix beginning in 2016.

Can The United States Postal Service Be Saved?

PenneyVanderbilt

Pictured above represents a Supply Chain Management Control Tower. Don’t expect to currently find one in back of your local post office. Look for lots of them at company called DHL which is the German Post Office.

Jim O’Reilly, writing in EBN, presented a very good discussion on saving the USPS.

Yes, his ideas are good and I encourage you to read his article. Other countries, like Canada, have postal cost problems and are following a deliberate path to shed unneeded buildings, cut home delivery, etc.

But out there is a winner: Germany, the owner of DHL Express, a division of the German Post Office.

The United States government, and the sometimes-awkward Congress have surprisingly “thought out of the box” a couple of times in the last forty years in a very successful way. First in 1976 with CONRAIL, then more recently with General Motors.

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Guess What? A “Traditional” Retailer Might Beat Amazon and Google at “Same-Day Delivery”

PenneyVanderbilt

Much has been made of Amazon’s  race for same-day delivery and Google looking to cut them off at the pass. In fact, Google just revealed they have been testing their own airborne drone delivery system, dubbed Project Wing, that could deliver small items to customers. While Google and Amazon’s drones are still a few years away – these online giants are still going to need physical space from which to distribute. That’s a substantial capital expenditure.
What if then, there were a store that already had “distribution centers” all over the country from which they could offer same-day delivery right here and right now.
That store could be MACY’s
Macys
It is a known fact that they are piloting it in four markets. They are working with FedEx, UPS and eBay. They are adding all sorts  of  technology as part of the renovation of their New York City flagship store.
Got…

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