On Wednesday of this week, millions of people celebrated Valentine’s Day. And how better to show your love than by spending lots of money. Much like basically every holiday, Americans dug into their wallets to spend, spend, and spend some more. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey on Valentine’s Day, as 55 percent of Americans celebrate the holiday, the average consumer spent $143.56 on Valentine’s Day this year, an increase from last year’s […]
Although it’s a fresh, new year, many global companies and their supply chains in the US have been suffering alongside individuals this winter. Icy, wintry winds and driving snow jammed air traffic and roads in the east, while fires swept across the west, then rains turned major highways into muddy messes with flash floods. All throughout 2017, Mother Nature didn’t pause to worry about the delays and problems she created for shippers all over the […]
Whether you’re a carrier or a shipper, autonomous trucks (ATs) are in our industry’s future – and are coming at us quickly! But the typical benefits we hear about – safety, efficiency, the solution to driver shortages – mostly pertain to the carrier side. So what about shippers? How much will ATs change the day-to-day operations of a shipper? I think shippers have been somewhat forgotten in the whole discussion around autonomous trucks, yet they […]
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The air freight landscape has experienced some dramatic shifts in recent years. In fact, those events seem likely to produce some headwinds for air freight shippers in 2018 in locating available air capacity, especially during peak seasons. Over the last few years, digitization has become more prominent in the air industry. As in most industries, big data obtained in real time, from real events, combined with flexible management, is helping air carriers take a more […]
The CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of Vecna Robotics, Dan Patt and Daniel Theobold, came in to see us at the ARC Advisory Group. We were already very bullish on the autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) industry’s potential to improve warehousing and order fulfillment, but Vecna has some differentiators that make them a very interesting supplier. Warehouse robotics is coming of age. While Vecna has been around since 1998, Vecna’s warehouse robots have only been generally […]
Earlier this week, SpaceX launched a rocket into outer space. Attached to the Falcon Heavy rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, was a 2008 Tesla Roadster, with a dummy at the wheel named “Starman.” The goal was to launch the car into space and into an orbit around the sun that would bring it close to Mars, Well, the mission was mostly successful, as the rocket took off and initially went into the planned orbit. […]
Omni-channel order management is essential for today's changing business environment. While integration issues abound, the market for OMS is poised to grow. This is due to a combination of factors including cloud deployments, increased use of ship from store, and artificial intelligence.
The $200 billion system integration industry, which was designed around customization, needs a new business model according to Mark Hurd, the CEO of Oracle. Mr. Hurd exclaimed, “the current model is unsustainable."
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The time has finally come for Super Bowl weekend. All the pieces are in place – the teams, the media, the fans, the halftime entertainment, the security, and all the other logistics that need to be in place for the Super Bowl to actually happen. While I am clearly hoping for a Patriots victory, and for the dynasty to continue, I realize that I have become completely spoiled. This is the first year that my […]
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Retail is in the midst of a fundamental shift, thanks to the emergence of the digitally-savvy consumer. Shopping today often includes online product research, comparison price shopping between sites, online customer reviews and more – arming consumers with a wealth of knowledge before they even set foot in a store. While these behaviors have added a layer of pressure for many retailers who had grown accustomed to mainly relying on lower prices and shipping discounts […]
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Amazon opened its check-out free Amazon Go convenience store to the general public last week. This high-tech low-touch store is a busy urban introvert’s dream. The opening triggered a second wave of media coverage that included descriptions of user experiences and a number of possible explanations about how Amazon is able to manage this high-tech customer experience. Amazon states on its website that this shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies […]
Books have been written, tools like Six Sigma have been embraced, and most people seem to agree that companies retain customers by providing good service and poor customer service results in lost business. Further, the cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than maintaining positive relationships with existing customers. Data consistently supports these theories. A Business Insider Intelligence Report about customer service states that 66 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to spend more […]
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Mike Guilfoyle of ARC has been doing some interesting writing on predictive analytics. One of the terms he uses is the “citizen data scientist.” I like the concept, and will explain Mike’s thinking in this article. But let me provide a little context first. It would be easy for a supply chain executive, or any business manager, to ask what is the difference between “predictive analytics” and “forecasting.” Forecasting is based on traditional mathematical and […]
In yet another impressive comeback, the New England Patriots topped the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC title game to move on to their 10th Super Bowl, and 8th in the Belichick – Brady era. They will meet the Philadelphia Eagles, who crushed the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC title game, a week from Sunday in Minneapolis, MN. Logistically, hosting the Super Bowl is no easy feat, given everything that goes into it. The […]
It is a well-known fact that e-commerce is growing rapidly around the globe, and this is causing a significant shift in the retail landscape. It’s changing fulfillment paths and requiring retailers, distributors, logistics services providers, and manufacturers to expand and reconfigure their fulfillment operations. These changes are in turn driving growth in sales of warehouse automation systems. All of this I knew from general interest in business and prior research into the global warehouse automation […]
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Vague item descriptions. Wrong addresses. Potential customs traps that can cost companies time and money when moving international shipments. Even with advanced technology that has come a long way in digitizing customs procedures, risks still remain in today’s global trade environment if electronic declarations aren’t filled out completely, accurately, and plausibly. Any of these pitfalls can increase costs and hamper productivity—and simply, interrupt the flow of goods. But there is a way forward. Best-of-breed, multi-country […]
Amazon has narrowed the field down to the final 20 cities for its seconds headquarters. This is just the first step in the process, from the original 238 communities that sent proposals. Each of the proposals was evaluated based on the specific criteria set forth in the RFP, including availability of software developers and other technology talent, good transportation options, cultural fit, and the ability to move into a phase-one site as early as 2019. […]
There are hundreds of thousands of 3rd party and carrier-provided shipping systems in circulation like label-printing cash registers cha-chinging in warehouses all over the world. Many shippers have more than one, each one representing a silo of valuable information that could provide valuable insight into potential performance improvements and cost-saving opportunities for parcel execution. Sadly, even as shipping costs are increasing at more than twice the rate of inflation, all of this data is locked […]
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Earlier this week, I attended the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. This marked the tenth straight year that I have attended the event as an analyst. Over the years, certain key themes have emerged, and many of those themes have remained in place each and every year. Namely, these themes and trends include omni-channel (or at the least the evolution from multi-channel to cross-channel to […]
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