The Charter of Trust global alliance is intended to "develop and continuously improve coordinated strategies and shared standards to protect critical infrastructures, public facilities and private companies," writes Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser. A unified front to assure data protection is critical because cybersecurity attacks can endanger people, he writes.
Internet of things technologies are enabling supply chain managers to apply manufacturing-based strategies such as statistical process control, lean and Six Sigma to the supply chain. "Instead of relying on large amounts of safety stock, companies can use the data from an IoT tracking system to run lean, distributing inventory efficiently without sacrificing risk tolerances," writes Rob Stevens, Tive's chief revenue officer.
Data should be encrypted whether it's idle or being transmitted, and encryption keys themselves need protecting, writes Oz Mishli of Unbound Tech. Cloud services are leading to new ways of protecting encryption keys.
Businesses that extend integrated business planning principles throughout the supply chain will benefit from the ability to plan prescriptively, according to Stuart Harman of Oliver Wight Asia Pacific. Prescriptive analytics differ from descriptive and predictive analytics by providing insight into the viability of potential choices.
Introducing the industrial internet of things will improve manufacturer efficiency most if there is a plan for how collected data will be used, experts say. Start small with something that can deliver quick results, moving next to testing intuition and hunches with data, says John Rattray of Memex.
President Donald Trump's call to increase fuel taxes to finance infrastructure improvements has the support of the American Trucking Associations. ATA recommends phasing in the increase in order to allow the economy and the trucking industry to adjust to it.
The use of enhanced electronic logging devices could help improve communication with remote software to pinpoint backhaul loads and prevent breakdowns, not just track drivers' hours of service. Future versions, or smart devices, can help track trends and improve labor costs.
Innovation in the supply chain is necessary and only occurs when the right thinking and plan are in place, says Kristi Montgomery of Kenco. She says several steps have to happen within the organization prior to innovation occurring, including breaking down silos and looking beyond costs.
Retail secondary market sales have been growing at about 7.5% per year, according to Zac Rogers of Colorado State University, with goods being resold at a discount by retailers, offloaded to liquidation platforms or discarded. "The good retailers have been through this for many years and they've improved their processing," leading to up to 50% of holiday returns being restocked, says Tony Sciarrotta, executive director of the Reverse Logistics Association.
Ace Hardware posted a fourth-quarter and full-year profit, although both were reduced from year-earlier totals in part because of changes to US tax law. Revenue was up 6.8% and 5.1% for the quarter and year, respectively.