Robotic systems will fulfill orders and perform other warehousing and delivery tasks in roughly 45% of e-commerce and omnichannel commerce companies by the end of 2018, writes Adam Robinson of Cerasis. Robinson highlights five other logistics trends, including more attention to cybersecurity and wider use of mobile apps.
Dennis Polk plans to strengthen partner relationships when he succeeds Kevin Murai as CEO of Synnex on March 1. "I did spend quite a bit of time with the partners in my early years here at Synnex, but the last seven to eight years, I've been focused more internally on the non-distribution businesses, on our M&A (merger and acquisition) strategy, and a host of other projects," Polk says.
Supply chain finance has become common across industries as suppliers accept small payment decreases to get paid faster and buyers adjust to the idea of using third parties, writes Randy Myers. Buyers should be aware of the risks, including the potential for reduced credit lines, says Veronica Wills of the Hackett Group.
Average order value has increased by 25% since biotech company Illumina introduced a revamped website in February 2017, says Riccardo Caruso, associate director of e-commerce. Illumina's design priorities included site responsiveness, search simplicity and easy credit card transactions, he says.
Business-to-business suppliers are most competitive when they incorporate subjective value elements such as anxiety reduction and cultural fit, write Eric Almquist, Jamie Cleghorn and Lori Sherer of Bain & Co. "As B2B offerings become ever more commoditized, the subjective, sometimes quite personal concerns that business customers bring to the purchase process are increasingly important," they write.
Inventory departments can manage their stocks of spare parts by using Key Performance Indicators that identify stock outs, inventory accuracy and back orders, writes Robert Brieck of DPSI. Combining KPIs with computerized maintenance management software can further simplify the process, he adds.
The best servitization models incorporate collaboration, consistency, control and connectivity, writes Dick Hyatt of Decisiv. "A company committed to servitization is one that is dedicated to giving its customers maximum utility, flexibility and lifetime returns on their investment," he writes.
Manufacturers should think strategically about their monitoring goals when investing in industrial internet of things solutions, writes Alex Bakker of ISG Insights. Investing conservatively may be short-sighted because it won't yield sufficient data to determine root causes of problems, he writes.
Midmarket manufacturers should create enterprise resource planning strategies to fully benefit from the internet of things, writes David Gustovich of Oracle NetSuite. Gustovich recommends a four-step strategy-development timeline beginning with learning from floor-level, experienced employees.
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