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.
  • 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…

  • Why the iPhone 5C Missed the Mark in ChinaJuly 22, 2014By Amanda Hinton

    Recently I read a review about a new smartphone from Chinese manufacturer OnePlus. The new phone, called the One, costs $300 yet delivers the same screen and internal components of top-of-the-line phones, many of which run $500 or higher. After the article was published, the reviewer was inundated with requests for information and access to the device. While the author was surprised at the level of interest, I’m not. China is the world’s largest…

  • AAFA 2014 Annual Traceability Conference: The Growing Need for Traceability in Your Supply ChainJuly 15, 2014By Leela Rao

    Retailers are going to great lengths to meet consumer demands. At the top of mind these days is the need for sourcing and traceability transparency—and retailers are trying to figure out just how to do it. That’s what brought big-name retailers like Nike, LaCrosse, VF Contemporary, North Face, Columbia, REI, A&F, and many others to AAFA’s 3rd annual traceability conference. The meetings were appropriately housed in Portland, dubbed the footwear capital of the world,…

  • World Cup Footwear: A Lot Goes into Getting Kicked AroundJuly 8, 2014By Leela Rao

    Many of us mourned the loss of Team USA’s shot at winning the World Cup, when they were eliminated in Tuesday’s nail-biter game. Neither the USA nor Belgium scored in the first two halves, despite the latter as the clear favorite. It took nearly two hours for Belgium’s 2-1 win in overtime, to knock out Clint Dempsey and his US Teammates. The US team has much to be proud of, surviving the “group of…

  • Labor Strike Causes Supply Chain Disruption for RetailersJuly 2, 2014By Leela Rao

    The fate of many retailers is still in limbo as labor negotiations affect the 20,000 workers at West Coast ports. Remember in 2002, when a breakdown in negotiations resulted in a 10 day lock-out? That stoppage was estimated to “have cost the US economy $1 billion a day, and disrupted supply chains for six months” according to Jonathon Gold, Vice President of NRF’s Supply Chain and Customs Policy. Reuters published a great article on this…

  • What Retailers Need to Know—Bridges 2014 RecapJune 30, 2014By Leela Rao

    A few weeks ago, GT Nexus held its biggest annual conference to date, Bridges, in Hollywood, Florida. Key retailers like Guess, Wolverine, Patagonia, Gap, and TOMS were just a few of the many speakers who shared their brand stories and described how taking their supply chain to the cloud enhanced customer engagement, operational efficiencies, and overall business models. Here’s a few recurring themes during the event:

    Social Responsibility and Customer Engagement

    Many retailers today build their brand…

  • Assurance of Supply – A Hypothetical Case StudyJune 26, 2014By Diane Palmquist

    We’re going to be talking a lot about assurance of supply this quarter—after being a hot topic at Bridges 2014 and a major priority for our customers, assuring a reliable supply flow is a pretty big deal. Here’s a scenario to consider—and if it sounds familiar, you might want to take a look at this piece on securing assurance of supply for manufacturers.

    Here’s the scene…

    It’s the end of the quarter and you’re…

  • World Cup 2014: Demands on the Supply ChainJune 20, 2014By Bryan Nella

    For the next month the eyes of 32 competing nations will be either glued to their television screens or hastily seeking out other entertainment to avoid World Cup fever. It is the global power of soccer–the “beautiful game”–to excite, frustrate, divide, and enthrall.

    For fans, preparation is required: match dates must be added to the calendar, time zone differences need to be understood, plans have to be made with friends for get-togethers on match days.

    Planning to…

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  • What You Missed at the Gartner Supply Chain ConferenceJune 18, 2014By Greg Kefer

    Last month, thousands of supply chain executives representing the world’s biggest companies gathered at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. This event has become the most important supply chain event of the year. In 2014, the companies in attendance represented over $11 trillion in collective revenue so it would not be surprising if global commerce slowed down a bit in late May!

    In addition to announcing the Gartner Top 25 supply…

  • Brick-and-Mortal: the Death of Retail as We Know It?June 11, 2014By Leela Rao

    I used to be vehemently opposed to online shopping. This was about 10-15 years ago when the internet could have still been a massive hoax and you were asked to give your credit card number to a faceless entity. But that’s not the real reason I didn’t shop online. I was a brick-and-mortar gal. If I was going to spend my good money on something, I wanted to know it was going to look great…