Distributors can engage customers and make the most of their trade show spending by knowing their audience and using data to create interesting experiences, writes Nick Simonette, vice president of sales at Czarnowski. Technology, he adds, can enhance the experience but shouldn't replace human interaction.
Tech Data's cloud business grew 38% in the last quarter and will likely continue to grow alongside demand for hybrid cloud services, says CEO Richard Hume. Hume adds Tech Data and partners such as Microsoft Azure will continue to use the business-partner channel and distribution to drive growth.
Machine learning is a must-have tool for supply chain planning because it can be used to optimize the process from end-to-end, writes Shaun Phillips of QAD. Machine learning, he writes, can reduce human input, improve data accuracy and steer informed decision-making.
Amazon, which continues to work to reduce seller scams, has reportedly fired several employees believed to have improperly accessed data from an internal database. The company also deleted thousands of suspicious reviews.
UPS has increased ground, air and international service rates by 4.9%, effective Dec. 26. Additionally, a new $2 fee will be applied whenever a shipper doesn't provide an electronic manifest containing package information, also referred to by UPS as Package Level Detail.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration distributors with physical locations may be able to combat a loss of sales to online sources by unbundling services, writes Bruce Merrifield. To do this, pay salespeople a salary, charge customers an hourly rate for various services and then offer a rebate for those services if a product is purchased.
Rakuten and Walmart have teamed to debut an online store in Japan called Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store, which will sell about 1,200 products from US brands, including toys, apparel and outdoor goods. Walmart will fulfill orders in the US and Rakuten will handle the delivery.
Despite a dip from September to October, manufacturing technology orders are up 24% from the same 10 months in 2017. "In September, our members were concerned about getting precision components. Today, the major challenges are scheduling trucks for delivery and riggers for installation before the end of the year," says Pat McGibbon of AMT Strategic Analytics.
Health systems that partner with flexible suppliers are in a strategic position to meet the needs of customers as the marketplace shifts toward a consumer-oriented model, says Cardinal Health executive Robert Rajalingam. "After establishing a relationship, we combine our logistics and supply chain expertise with a health system's clinical expertise to coordinate, streamline and right-size care to help our customers realize cost savings in the supply chain," he says.
Condition monitoring with intelligent control software, when combined with an obsolescence strategy, can help manufacturers prevent long and potentially costly idle times, writes EU Automation's Jonathan Wilkins. "Unplanned downtime is the single largest cause of lost production time for manufacturers in processing -- that is food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical and oil and gas production," Wilkins writes.
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