Category Archives: Supply Chain

Yet Another Predictor For This Year

Lot of folks enjoyed this


As 2015 begins to roll, it’s time to consider what this year may bring along with it in terms of issues and opportunities along the supply chain. Certainly things will change as they always do, but whether those changes will be good for each of us individually or not will depend on circumstances that will be different for every company.

In his story “Supply Chain Predictions for 2015” our own Michael Martz looked at topics including big data, robotics, drones, and the Internet of Things. I agree that all those expanding technologies will have significant impacts on everyone in the supply chain in the coming years. But I also think that the most significant issue we will see this year will be something prognosticators tend to disregard.

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What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About EDI


Picture appears courtesy ofGiulia Forsythe.  This week’s blog was written by Kristen Kearns, Manager of EDI Services for Aurora Technologies.  Lots of people search for information on Wikipedia, don’t they?  What Wikipedia doesn’t tell you about EDI, could hurt you!  Or hurt your business.  Read on to get the 411.

First off, Wikipedia talks about Standards in EDI.  EDI standards are not the “be all end all” of a successful EDI operation.  I’ve seen all types of variations to the Standards.  This runs the gamut from data not being where it’s supposed to be to not following element code standards or putting too long or too short data in data elements, etc.  How do you work around this?  If you have a robust EDI solution, such as Liaison’s Delta/ECS, you could have separate maps for each trading partner accommodating for those variations.

Wikipedia talks about Specifications for…

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U.S. Steel closing Gary Works coke plant

New comments added March 27, 2015


U.S. Steel plans to close its Gary Works coke plant in May, displacing about 300 workers. It will mark the end of a coke-making era at the steel plant that once operated three coke batteries.

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Courtney Boone said Thursday the company notified United Steelworkers of America officials on Wednesday of the permanent shutdown. She said it was a strategic decision based on market conditions and the company’s long-term coke strategy.

U.S. Steel applied for a permit last year to construct an electric arc furnace at its Fairfield Works plant in Birmingham, Ala., to replace an existing blast furnace. U.S. Steel officials say the electric arc furnace will improve its operations so it can adapt to global demand, while reducing its capital spending and maintenance costs related to running a blast furnace.

Made from crushed coal cooked at…

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What Will the Panama Canal Do For Florida East Coast Railway?



The 48 mile-long international waterway known as the Panama Canal allows ships to pass between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, saving about 8,000 miles from a journey around the southern tip of South America. A project is underway to build new locks as well as wider and deeper channels that is expected to double the canal’s capacity. This will allow megaships to move through the Canal.

Though traffic continues to increase through the canal, many oil supertankers, huge container ships and aircraft carriers can not fit through the canal. There’s even a class of ships known as “Panamax,” those built to the maximum capacity of the Panama canal and its locks. the Panama Canal expansion project will allow ships double the size of current Panamax (“Post-Panamax”) to pass through the canal, dramatically increasing the amount of goods that can pass through the canal.

The expansion project is a little…

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Top Ten Concerns For Global Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Analyzed


The global pharmaceutical supply chain can now boast its own Top Ten list, ala comedian David Letterman. That’s because following nine months of extensive research on the topic, a report delineating and explaining the industry’s top concerns has been released.
According to Natalie Privett, an Assistant Professor of Management and Policy at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public School at NYU and one of the report’s authors, a two-part methodology was implemented to create “The top ten global health supply chain issues: Perspectives from the field.” The initial phase consisted of telephone interviews with 22 professionals with varying involvements in the worldwide pharmaceutical supply chain. The group included manufacturers, a person who works for an insurer, importers and exporters, in-country people employed by non-profits or governmental entities and an individual who toils in logistics on a global level, she says.

Based on information gleaned from those interviews, a survey…

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Supply Chain Management Control Towers are Amazing Things



Any business that manufacturers and distributes globally must have end-to-end supply chain visibility today. This means more than just the “four walls” of the factory. It means all your suppliers: the status of their shipments to you and expected delivery. Your shipments to customers. Even the weather and political risks along the route. You must be able to adjust the whole cycle almost in “real time”.

The answer is a Supply Chain Management Control Tower. Our plan is to operate one that will serve multiple companies. It will be “Cloud” based (meaning not limited to a specific computer site). It will offer “Software as a Service” to clients.

We will be using top-of-the-line elements to operate it. IBM software, operations hosted by PROSOFT GROUP (an industry leader), marketing through the National Technology Sales Engine headquartered in Chicago.

A new term is appearing in the supply chain arena: “Supply Chain Control…

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Logistics and IT – Made For Each Other

Logistics companies are generally highly distributed. It’s the nature of the business to be in multiple locations, even if some of those locations are mobile or even not directly part of the company. UTi Worldwide is an example of a company that has found a way to expand to 230 locations and still manage its business.

Part of the issue with logistics is that their responsibility extends across multiple customers and multiple locations. And a highly performing 3PL maintains visibility into not only its locations but also the orders it is managing for its customers. Increasingly, 3PLs are looking more like network operations centers (NOCs) with dashboards that show what is where, and alerts that warn when things are not happening as expected. And the network has become the centerpiece of the system, connecting the branch locations together into a single entity.

UTi has connected its 230 locations spread across 59 countries by using a technology known as a converged infrastructure that not only links the locations, but centralizes the data from each location into a standardized data center.

5 Steps To Win Big In 2015

Curious about what businesses should be doing to win in 2015?  Whether your business has it all squared away or still digging for more opportunity, these top trends will give you a peek into what’s to come:
Data scientist
This term didn’t exist five years ago and now people are looking for these unicorns with large math backgrounds that enjoy data analysis. If you don’t have someone on your staff analyzing sales and business analytics, you’ll soon be drowning. Colleges have begun offering centralized studies around analyzing data. Accessibility to granular business data will continue to spread among all types of small businesses in 2015.

Smart Data equals Big Data

Seamless Integrated Systems

Streamlined Payment Options

Personalization for Customers

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Supply Chain Predictions for 2015

About this time last year, I predicted the hottest topics in the supply chain world for 2014 would be Big Data, robots, drones, same-day delivery, and M2M. Not bad, I’d say! Now, if I could only do as well with my stock market plays, football bets, and the lottery I’d be in much better financial shape.
Those were pretty easy pickings, in retrospect. The topics were all clearly visible on Gartner’s hype cycle by the end of 2013 and there weren’t many negatives out there to impact them.

The only real question was whether Amazon’s push into drone delivery was a marketing ploy. However, throughout 2014 there was an explosion in the application of drones for myriad purposes, so even if your Christmas parcels aren’t dropped on your doorstep by a drone, chances are drones were involved in weather, farming, law enforcement, and many other processes that affect you. The economics related to same-day delivery are still in question, but the market tests and articles kept coming through the year. Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) were all over the news, and the use of robots in supply chains and many other situations continued to be newsworthy.

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Nallian Wins Prestigious Award at the European Venture Summit

Company recognised as one of the

top 25 start-ups

Keerbergen, December 19, 2014 – Nallian, a cloud-based supply chain collaboration platform, announced it was named a winner at the European Venture Contest (EVC) in Düsseldorf, Germany. The EVC is an initiative of the European Venture Summit, Europe’s foremost networking and investment event for high growth technology start-ups, venture capital investors and technology corporations.

Nallian honoured as top 25 European start-up

Each year over 800 start-ups apply to the EVC via regional technology-focussed qualifiers to present their company to top industry experts and network with potential investors. The contest element comes from the selection of companies who continue to an end-of-year major event with more than 100 entrepreneurs and also 100+ venture investors. In June 2014, Nallian was selected by the Benelux Venture Forum which qualified the company to showcase its solution and strategy at the European Venture Summit earlier this month in Düsseldorf.

At the Summit, a top selection committee of renowned investors, corporate representatives and innovation experts assessed the pitches of over 120 pre-selected companies. Nallian was elected as one of the 25 winners. Presenting companies are evaluated on their excellence in innovation, leadership, and growth potential.

Jean Verheyen, CEO and founder of Nallian comments: ‘We are thrilled and honoured to be recognised as a top European start-up by such an international panel of investors and innovation experts. This recognition demonstrates that our belief in our business strategy and growth potential is profound.’

20 companies per week connect to Nallian’s cloud platform

Over the past year, Nallian has experienced a continued acceleration in their market and numerous companies have chosen Nallian’s cloud-based solution to share rich data with trading partners. Currently, an average of 20 companies per week are connecting to Nallian’s platform. The Nallian business model allows easy and quick on-boarding of new partners, limiting integration time to a minimum and thus guaranteeing an immediate return on investment. Nallian’s solution is used in the following industries; manufacturing, logistics, computer equipment, consumer packaged goods, retail/clothing, health & medical and wholesale & distribution.

Nallian connects supply chain business partners in the cloud to enable real-time data sharing and facilitate interactive collaboration. Using social media concepts, Nallian empowers its community members to create private data clouds with trusted contacts, manage all types of data and automate cross-company processes. The Nallian solution guarantees a ‘single version of the truth’, offering higher data quality at all times and a consistent use of accurate data across the supply chain. Nallian delivers ecosystem wide supply chain visibility, higher levels of operational excellence and increased business agility. Visit for more information or connect with us through LinkedIn.