Though it is common to believe all supply chain decisions are fact-based, intuition still plays a role. The authors of "Reconceptualizing Institution in Supply Chain Management" in CSCMP's Journal of Business Logistics say it's possible to measure intuition to get a better understanding of what a "hunch" can mean to the industry.
Warehouse Workers Stand Up continues to push for better working conditions in New Jersey warehouses, citing last week's incident that sickened workers at an Amazon facility in the state as an example why "the sector is desperately in need of reform," said Megan Chambers, who is part of the labor coalition. Meanwhile, Amazon workers at a Staten Island, N.Y., fulfillment center are seeking to unionize.
The prescription-service agreement between Walmart and pharmacy-benefit manager Express Scripts has been extended for three years, allowing insured and uninsured customers to continue saving on drug costs. Walmart will also take part in the company's InsideRX program that offers discounts averaging 40% on brand-name prescriptions to uninsured Americans.
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.
Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart plans to expand its presence in categories including groceries and furniture in the next few years, and will develop original content as part of its new loyalty program, CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said. The company will consider investing in, or creating joint ventures with, traditional furniture and grocery retailers.
More consumers are using click-and-collect options to complete their shopping trips, and retailers are getting better at helping them do so, Lauren Thomas writes. Retailers such as Target and Home Depot have excelled at embracing the option as a bulwark against online-only merchants, Thomas writes.
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.
Retailers that keep records on each purchase, track why returns occur and use that data to improve processes will be more prepared to manage reverse logistics, writes EcommerceBytes co-founder Ina Steiner. Save time by having a system to quickly identify where incoming merchandise should be directed, she adds.