Thought Leadership Blog

  • Ever find yourself asking why RFID will have a real impact this time around? Or how credit conditions in Asia are impacting production costs and delivery times in Europe? How about the pitfalls to look out for when sourcing from Bangladesh?

    Get fresh perspectives and points of view from people who have their finger on the pulse of global trade and supply chain management.

    Our experts share these valuable insights and more on our blog.
  • The Big Opportunity that Big Oil Might Be MissingAugust 26, 2014By Richard Vandermeulen

    I recently read that if all globally produced oil in just 5 days was stacked up in 55 gallon barrels, the pile would reach all the way to the moon—and at approximately 90 million barrels per day, the math checks out. That’s a huge industry with a huge supply chain.

    So why isn’t oil & gas paying attention to one of the hottest topics in supply chain? The term “assurance of supply” is making headlines in…

  • Global Market Expansion – What Happens When the Supply Chain Can’t Keep Up?August 21, 2014By Greg Kefer

    For the past few decades, most talk around global supply chain excellence was focused on how to optimize production in low-cost regions and get them back into well-established consumer markets. But times are changing—production and go-to-market decisions are far more convoluted and external supply chain factors are varied and abundant.

    A recent Reuters story on Target paints a picture of this complexity—even in serving developed markets— by delving in their geographic expansion into Canada, the…

  • The Future of Retail in a Networked WorldAugust 19, 2014By Lloyd Mallison

    Technology and connectivity will cause people, homes, machines and businesses to converge–blurring the lines between them.

    The Wall Street Journal had its 125th anniversary this July, and to celebrate, a feature ran titled “The Future of Everything.” Bill Ford, of Ford Motors, predicted cars will be able to talk to each other, driving down road collisions and accidents. Billy Bean, of Moneyball fame, estimated an increased use of performance analytics in sports…

  • 7 Ways to Strengthen Assurance of Supply With Cloud TechnologyAugust 14, 2014By Laura Dambrosio

    A couple of weeks ago, we did a post on 5 supply chain symptoms that can really bring you down. Now, we find the cure! If you can identify with problems related to visibility and supply flow, you’ll probably benefit from better technology and collaboration with partners.

    Here’s how using a cloud-based supply chain platform can improve assurance of supply, and how to use it to gain visibility and control of your supply chain.

  • How Retailers Can Win Over the Elusive Millennial ShopperAugust 12, 2014By Leela Rao

    The elusive millennial is sought after by all retailers. Millennials aren’t just hanging out at the mall—their hangouts are on Google and other social platforms. Millennials are today what baby boomers were in the past—the pursued, rising spend category where retailers spent their precious marketing dollars. Right now, millennials make up about 25% of the U.S. workforce and spend about $600 billion a year, according to a recent Accenture report. Still, two major…

  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil–Beyond Tier One SuppliersAugust 8, 2014By Bryan Nella

    This week, GM responded to a factory explosion at one of its suppliers with a surprising blind eye. Bloomberg reported that the incident killed at least 75 workers at Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co., a subcontractor to car-wheel-maker Citic Dicastal Wheel Manufacturing Co. Citac Discastal is a direct supplier to GM. 

    The response from GM? “Our tier-one suppliers on a global basis are required to make sure that they are sourcing from suppliers that…

  • How Cloud is Upping the Game in Supply Chain FinanceAugust 5, 2014By Bill Jetter

    In supply chain, it’s fairly well-known that cloud technology helps put a complex network of partners on the same page. The focus has largely been on the benefits to the physical supply chain—the logistics of goods moving across the globe and the visibility into that activity. The other piece of the puzzle is the financial supply chain: where buyers, sellers, and financial institutions can collaborate to free up cash and create solid supplier relationships by…

  • Don’t Let These 5 Supply Chain Symptoms Get You DownAugust 1, 2014By Laura Dambrosio

    A huge challenge in supply chain is finding a way to reliably meet volatile global demand while maintaining a strong profit margin. When you’re uncertain as to whether you can ensure supply flow to customers, you’ll likely notice several of these symptoms—all of which amount to weakness in the supply chain that can translate to millions in lost profit. If you don’t have a strong assurance of supply strategy in place, it’s probably…

  • EKN Analyst Research Survey Reveals to Retailers: P2P Solutions & Strategies for Supply Chain Assurance & CollaborationJuly 30, 2014By Leela Rao

    Retailers are always looking for ways to improve their business.  Some of these changes are apparent to end consumers, like website updates, launch of mobile apps, and speedier delivery options. But what about back-end improvements that happen behind the scenes? Operational investments can save retailers millions by squeezing cost out of their supply chains, streamlining their international trade operations and injecting financing where appropriate. When retailers have complete visibility and transparency for themselves and…

  • Is Smart Manufacturing Hopelessly Overrated?July 24, 2014By Boris Felgendreher

    The idea of smart manufacturing has been around the block a few times. The big promises of this concept have been touted ad nauseam in PowerPoint decks at conferences around the world as the holy grail of making the manufacturing process so intelligent and so flexible that it would finally align with every imaginable customer need—no matter how extravagant or fickle. And this development, we were promised, would be filled to the rim with the…