2018-08-08 by Mark Harrington
Exceptional professionals in supply chain and logistics always consider the importance of customer service. In fact, customer service is at the very core of the supply chain agenda! Logistics professionals need to make sure that products of all shapes and sizes—from groceries to factory equipment and more —make it to their destinations. Their hard work and clever problem solving helps to keep our modern world running smoothly, and their kind and courteous customer service helps to create a positive environment that drives business to even greater heights.
2018-04-18 by Mark Harrington
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Few predicted the 2017 surge of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that grew over 400 per cent in a matter of months. Yet while Bitcoin has fluctuated since then, the technology behind it—namely the blockchain technology that makes Bitcoin secure—has begun to inspire many different industries. A blockchain compiles user transactions into a permanent ledger of data ‘blocks’, which are accessible across a network of designated servers. Users store new transactions as public blocks, but cannot alter the data of any past block in the chain. Capitalizing on the technology’s defining security feature, leading businesses are now integrating blockchain to improve traditional supply chains.
Are you curious to know how blockchain might be the future of supply chains? Read on to find out more.
Blockchain Could Mean Greater Transparency and Lower Costs
Proponents of blockchain cite the transparency of a shared platform, which could allow businesses to track a product on a single network from manufacture to delivery. Companies could assess the speed and quality of their services at each phase of the chain, as each new transaction is immediately made public. Since data blocks are accessible to all ‘permissioned’ transaction parties, blockchain would reduce communication errors and streamline central administration procedures. A permanent transaction record would also guarantee greater security for high-cost assets, discouraging misappropriation and fraud throughout the chain.
Increasing efficiency means cutting costs. Blockchain promises optimal supply chain management, allowing businesses to cut unneeded outsourcing and reduce expenses. Lowering the risk of lost assets would also help companies maintain good industry standing, reassuring stakeholders and attracting new business.
Blockchain could be a competitive advantage for businesses cutting supply chain costs
Blockchain Remains to Be Proven as an Industry Standard
While giants like BHP Petroleum and IBM now operate blockchain networks, the technology has not become standard practice for supply chains. Throughout the logistics industry, businesses are still determining the best uses for blockchain—an important consideration for students in supply chain courses. As IBM research shows, blockchain is only necessary when the chain involves multiple entities, including regulators, customers, and suppliers. For business operations on closed networks, a simpler database is likely more effective.
The integration of blockchain also poses important infrastructural challenges. Above all, participating entities need to update data storage capacities to accommodate the technology. Businesses keen to integrate blockchain must think not only of how the transition will affect their operations, but also those of collaborating entities. Since supply chains often run through different countries, the success of blockchain will also vary across the business regulations of national jurisdictions.
Students in Logistics Training Can Look Forward to New Industry Developments
As these questions continue to weigh on industry experts, students in logistics training can look forward to potentially exciting new developments. In addition to BHP and IBM, Oracle and SAP are working closely with their customers to refine blockchain networks. Progress with these pilot programs could shape industry perception of blockchain’s benefits over current supply chain practices.
While the technology is promising, an industry-wide transition might only occur through a ‘critical mass’ effect, once businesses must adopt it to avoid being left out. If a total shift occurs, compatible businesses might even pursue joint opportunities with a blockchain marketplace. However, time will tell just how these potential developments will unfold.
Blockchain could help businesses of all sizes connect with their customers
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2018-03-28 by Mark Harrington
It’s hard to understate the importance of logistics and transportation. From Rome’s famous network of roads to the earliest steam-powered trains, transportation has played a vital role in helping societies thrive. The essential role that logistics professionals occupy is just as important, if not more important, today. In today’s globalized world, shipments can often travel great distances, beginning their journey on one continent and ending up on another.
Ensuring that shipments complete their journey smoothly is no easy task. It takes a keen understanding of a number of different subjects, including everything from negotiating contracts to evaluating costs, and more. Even customer service and project management skills are needed to thrive in this busy sector. For aspiring professionals-in-the-making, a keen understanding of transportation geography is also more than a little essential. Understanding transportation geography helps provide the theoretical knowledge and context that logistics professionals often use when making important decisions.
Here’s a quick taste of what transportation geography includes.
Transportation Geography Is Made of Nodes, Networks, and Demand
When it comes to understanding transportation geography, there’s a lot to take in when you study logistics. Transportation geography is a complex field that examines many different topics. It can examine the environmental impact transport routes may have. It can examine how transport routes affect population density in certain areas. It could even look into how cost and new technology change how portable different items become.
However, at the very centre of transportation geography lies three essential elements: nodes, networks, and demand. Nodes include both the point of origin of a shipment and its destination. For example, if a shipment was being sent from Vancouver to Toronto, both cities would be considered nodes. Networks, on the other hand, are the routes and infrastructure that the shipments must travel along. Highways, roads, and train lines are all a part of the infrastructure that makes up networks. Demand simply refers to how much certain routes are used to transport goods, or how popular different types of transportation may be.
Pros With Logistics Training Know There Are Many Different Transport Modes
Transport modes are another important part of transportation geography. Transportation modes refer to the different kinds of transportation that can be used to move shipments. This can include trains, trucks, planes, and ships.
There are many different modes to take into account
Each of these different modes comes with its own unique advantages and drawbacks. For example, planes might be quick at transporting goods, but the cost of using them is high. They also aren’t always an ideal solution for deliveries to smaller towns or villages that might not have an airport nearby. Ships, on the other hand, can transport vast amounts of goods and are also cost effective. However, they’re also much slower than other forms of transportation. Trucks help shipments reach more remote areas, but they can get caught in traffic. Often, professionals with logistics training will use several different modes to get shipments from one destination to another. To bring a shipment from Japan to Toronto, for example, cargo will likely need to travel by boat, train, and then by truck to reach its final destination. For those working in logistics, the critical thinking and problem solving that comes with these types of considerations makes this career one that is stimulating as well as rewarding.
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2018-01-03 by Mark Harrington
When it comes to finding a career that’s in demand, pays well, and offers a stimulating challenge, few sectors compare to logistics. Logistics makes the world go round, ensuring that store shelves stay properly stocked, parcels make their way to customer doorsteps, and that the modern global marketplace keeps running smoothly. As such an important facet of modern life, it’s no wonder that the logistics sector is always adopting new approaches, new technology, and inspiring new ideas.
Innovation is a fact of life for professionals working in this field. Pursue this career path, and you might get to see several important changes first-hand. What are some of the biggest trends currently shaping the industry? Here’s just a small taste!
1. Self-Driving Trucks Could Be on the Horizon for Pros With Logistics Training
It’s no secret that self-driving technology is currently being developed by the likes of Tesla, Google, and other major tech and transport players. In fact, several important breakthroughs have already taken place, with semi-autonomous trucks already making deliveries between California and Texas, while many other companies are also announcing their own innovation goals, testing out prototypes, and teasing out exciting details about where the industry is headed. While this technology might not take over all operations in the time it takes new students to complete their logistics training, it’s possible that you might see more and more self-driving technology boosting efficiency once you begin your career.
2. You Could See Plenty of Developments in Robotics During Your Career in Logistics
Self-driving trucks aren’t the only technological change that promises to make supply chains even more efficient. New advancements in robotics are adding more and more automation to the warehouses that store goods as well.
More and more warehouses are using robotic technology
Already, shipping giants like Amazon employ robots by the thousands, which help the company speedily get deliveries to customers within just 48 hours. Other warehouse/robot operations have included robots designed to climb warehouse shelves, robots equipped with suction-cup arms, and other high-tech developments that seem straight out of a sci-fi story. After completing your supply chain training program, it’s possible that you’ll see even more of these helpful innovations cropping up in warehouses across the planet.
3. Sustainability Is Sweeping Through Supply Chains
While many changes sweeping through supply chains are tech-driven, not all of them are about squeezing in added efficiency through the clever use of data and machines. In fact, one of the biggest trends currently taking over the logistics sector is sustainability.
Supply chains today are now more aware than ever that moving goods across the world can be done in a way that minimizes a product’s carbon footprint and reduces waste. In fact, many professionals working in logistics are currently developing and adopting what are known as circular supply chains. These supply chains go several steps beyond getting items from point A to B. They also take into account what happens to products once they are ready to be recycled, and are finding clever new ways of reducing waste while also boosting bottom lines. One restaurant chain, for example, has started collecting and sending its used coffee grounds to farms. The farms then use the compost to grow oyster mushrooms, and sell the mushrooms back to the restaurants for an efficient waste-reducing option. Throughout your career, the logistics training you receive could help you come up with clever new ways of reengineering supply chains to make the world a greener place.
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