Claire Walters shares her thoughts on the critical areas of focus in the world of supply chain logistics in 2022
Protecting people and processes during the uncertainties of a global pandemic
Circular Economy Part 2: Cutting single-use plastic in packaging with green alternatives
Circular Economy Part 1: How today’s products are the resources of tomorrow
Is 2021 the year when digital twinning comes to the fore?
Supply Chain Visibility in Automotive
The average car has over 30,000 parts. These parts come together from suppliers all over the globe with any given item potentially crossing multiple international borders while being passed between various suppliers for different layers of the production process before eventually concluding its journey at the final assembly point.
Reducing the environmental impact in supply chains
Digital Twinning: Helping Supply Chains Build Resilience
How to get your supply chain ready for the future of transport
New technology and power sources could revolutionise logistics In retail, much is made of the demand for flexible and even same-day delivery. However, this sector isn’t alone, with the need to find cost-effective solutions and new efficiencies evident throughout the logistics and supply chain industry. Changes to transport as we know it – such as
Why We Need to Remove Single-Use Plastic from Supply Chains
How to head for a sustainable, cost-effective supply chain future With over 8 million tons of plastic ending up in the oceans each year, businesses around the world are waking up to the fact that they need to review their corporate responsibility and address the environmental impact of their supply chains. There are benefits to
Why smart homes are the next technology supply chain challenge
Will you be ready for the next generation of supply, service and technological needs? According to the research and analytics group YouGov, “almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more smart home devices”. The figures refer to smart speakers, thermostats, lighting and security (although they exclude smart meters). Market data analysts Statista predict
Why supply chain managers are turning to new technology
From automation in production to picking and tracking tools, businesses are seeking new ways to streamline and enhance their logistics operations. In an age of heightened demand and greater consumer awareness, there is a growing need for brands to use innovative methods to reach targets, adopt sustainable habits and create a safer, more secure environment
Driving off into the sunset: how blockchain could protect automotive profits
Supporters say the possibilities with blockchain seem endless with a secure, transparent and shared system for automotive supply chains. However, not everyone agrees. Delivery delays, stolen parts and odometer fraud: what can be done about vehicle supply chain problems like these? The answer could be blockchain. According to a 2018 study by IBM, “62% of surveyed executives say blockchain will be
How recycled, used and remanufactured electronics will help satisfy customer demand
Why giving used gadgets ‘a new lease of life’ could be great for business It’s been suggested that consumers’ apparent interest in sustainability does not necessarily lead to action. However, the growing market for refurbished and second-hand mobile phones would seem to say something different. As consumer pressure to be ‘green’ increases, electronics firms are
The security issue: why digital technology should put the automotive sector on guard
Smart technologies are now present throughout automotive supply chains. Is enough being done to protect them from possible cyber threats? On the one hand, new technologies enable more efficient running of automotive supply chains. They make it easier to manage complex processes across a fragmented sector. In addition, manufacturers are producing cars with increased connectivity
6 Business and Social Trends Reshaping the Supply Chain
The supply chain landscape is changing. Discover the six business and social trends responsible and what they could mean for your logistics operations. It’s only to be expected that an industry built on moving goods and services should also have to shift as technology and consumer tastes reshape the economic landscape. As revealed by industry
Why Returns Spell Success For The Consumer Technology Industry
Effective reverse logistics can satisfy compliance needs, improve the industry’s global impact and bolster profits. For the technology sector, a high performing supply chain is vital in the race to get the latest products into consumers’ hands. Short product life cycles and the high value of returns mean that reverse logistics is a core part
Data-Driven Decision-Making: Reinventing Healthcare Supply Chains For The Digital Age
With an increasing number of risks associated with the supply chain management for the health industry, it is more important than ever that leaders take an integrated, data-driven approach. In 2017, an estimated 4,000 nursing hours were spent on manual inventory tasks. This isn’t limited to the UK; studies overseas put the figure of US
Powering up: What ‘Disruptive’ Innovations Mean For Utilities Sector Supply Chains
The pressure is on for electricity, gas and water suppliers to improve the way they serve their customers. How can the industry’s supply chains move with the times? For an industry charged with maintaining the infrastructure behind public services, utilities supply chains could use a power up. The utilities industry has typically been slow to
Digital technology: The Antidote To The Health Industry’s Supply Chain Woes?
In a sector characterised by cost pressures and long lead times, could smart tech offer supply chain solutions? From slow lead times to poor visibility, the health industry supply chains are known to be afflicted by numerous ailments. According to recent research by McKinsey & Company, pharma supply chains have traditionally been characterised by lead
Customers, Robotics and Cybersecurity: Emerging Technology and the Utilities Supply Chain
The utilities sector is finally opening its doors to emerging technology. But why now, and which are the key systems and processes it should consider? In today’s rapidly changing operating environments, conditions are tough when it comes to adopting the latest technologies and rolling them out to create a positive impact in a timely manner.
Top 10 Technology Trends Transforming Logistics
Download the PDF here Technology continues to transform traditional logistics processes, driving supply chain leaders to adapt. What do these technologies look like and how could you be impacted? Technology is driving change in all walks of life and logistics is no different. Connectivity and the widespread uptake of social media are increasing customer expectations, placing
Lessons for Health Logistics from the Automotive Sector
With the dual challenges of increasing demand and cost pressures, addressing supply chain challenges is becoming even more difficult for well-established healthcare companies. What if health logistics looked to different sectors for evolution? Within the health sector, supply chain management has been seen as a relatively niche concept. Across the healthcare system both clinical and
Looking East to Supply Chain Perspectives and Issues in China
China’s booming economy is turning heads. Is there space for Western companies to establish business there and what supply chain issues will they face? China investing heavily in transport logistics As with the rest of the world, mass globalisation has heightened pressures for logistical speed, paving the way for China’s $900 billion Belt and Road
Moving East: Optimising Your China Supply Chain Strategy
2017 saw the fastest economic growth in China for two years, signalling a wealth of opportunities for automotive, retail, and players from other industries looking to reach and engage new consumers around the world. Optimising the supply chain strategy around China’s logistics challenges is key for businesses looking to capitalise on the country’s exciting market conditions. But
The Impact of Big Data on Logistics
How the Unipart Way is Enabling Enterprises to Rethink Returns Management
Our returns management solutions work in partnership with our customers to reshape their reverse supply chains, continuously focusing on reducing returns and repairs by providing rapid feedback and actions upstream. Harnessing years of experience in the repair and recycling of assets, we are experts in the dynamic disposition of returned assets to maximise the value
The Future is Now—You Just Haven’t Realised It Yet
Overcoming the Barriers to Adopting Key Future Supply Chain Technology
From big data to AI, the future of supply chain technology is already here. What barriers to emerging technology are preventing companies from adopting it and how can they be overcome? The use of IT systems has become all pervasive within the supply chain arena. As new technologies become available, there is pressure in organisations
How to Create a Cost-Effective Supply Chain that Delights Your Customers
Our supply chain systems provide end-to-end visibility, helping businesses to assess the cost-effectiveness of their operations and optimise supply chain performance in line with customer expectations. A competitive advantage is everything in today’s business, and a world-class supply chain can deliver this. Information leads to intelligence. In particular, the accuracy, relevance and timeliness of information
The Ghost of Network Providers’ Future
With mobile network brands almost invisible, what can the present state of utilities tell us about the future of the mobile network sector? The mobile network sector is consolidating. Most people will identify the logo of the major network, but one imagines they would not be able to spell out a unique characteristic or brand
Autonomous Vehicles in The Intelligent Supply Chain
In this article we discuss the impending role of autonomous vehicles in the intelligent supply chain—and how they could benefit enterprises. Self driving trucks and ‘platooning’ have featured a lot in the news lately, drawing a heavy amount of skepticism, criticism and concern from the public. While few doubt that the future will bring autonomous
Four-Wheel Data Drive
Big data is on the agenda of most corporations and represents an opportunity to learn more and do more—to get better, you might say. Consider this scenario from the customer of a recently purchased four-wheel drive vehicle: “As a family, we have been experiencing difficulties with an 18-month-old car we had from new—a dashboard notice
The Secret to Balancing Process and Agility in Manufacturing
We caught up with Unipart Expert Practices MD Alan Kelly earlier this month to discuss the relevance of process and agility in promoting success up the supply chains of today—and tomorrow. Whether you are reassessing the efficiency of your existing operations or planning to future-proof your supply chain, process and agility are two words that
How Could Smart City Technologies Save Supply Chains Millions?
Smart cities could significantly reduce supply chain costs for enterprises. How can they achieve this, and what are the barriers standing in the way? Navigating our most congested cities, the average commercial vehicle driver wastes 129 hours a year sitting in traffic. In supply chain speak, that’s 16 work days of inactivity—for every driver. This
Are You Overspending on Your Field Engineer Network?
By optimising stockholding across field engineer networks, enterprises can ensure their engineers always have optimum inventory levels to routinely meet service requirements—and no more. In coming years, the most successful field engineer networks are going to be those that deliver service, efficiency and management of their vehicles—without overspending. Many businesses hold excessive inventory on their
Unclogging City Arteries: It’s All in the Last Mile
Part 1 As cities are being challenged by congestion and pollution, businesses must work with municipalities for a smarter, strategic approach. Smart city logistics represent a significant opportunity for businesses to optimise supply chain performance, in particular around last mile deliveries, but it is not technology alone that is making this possible. Nor is it
Are You Maximising the Full Value of Your Returns?
Faced with today’s pressures, many enterprises are rethinking their returns management, looking not only at the efficiency of their processes but whether or not they are getting sufficient financial yield for their returns. As shopping habits change and consumer expectations rise, traditional returns processing is struggling to keep up, leading many retail enterprises to consider
Can Your Logistics Provider Meet the Ever Changing Needs of the Automotive Industry?
By building agility into the supply chain and reducing inventory, logistics providers enable automotive enterprises to adapt more quickly and efficiently to new and emerging supply chain challenges. Not since Henry Ford improved mass-production with the first conveyor belt-based assembly line in 1913 have automotive supply chains experienced such a period of rapid change. China’s
Five Ways Blockchain Can Unblock Your Supply Chain
Futurist Don Tapscott said blockchain will allow companies to revolutionise their business models, but how can the technology unblock your supply chain? The conversation around data sharing can be a particular challenge for enterprises because of issues such as cost, information security, implementation, data standards, and relationship management. And yet, for urban logistics strategies and
3 Ways Smart Contracts Will Transform Supply Chains of the Future
Smart contracts, and the blockchain technology that underpins their use, are almost tailor-made for today’s complex, multifaceted supply chains. A study conducted at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, found that, on average, there are 200 different interactions between 30 different parties involved in moving one container from one location to another. Each of those interactions
How Do You Get a Supply Chain to Really Perform?
More often than not, a supply chain may operate moderately well and deliver within tolerable limits. Customers may find the service acceptable, but nothing exceptional. Inventory levels may be higher than needed but for some traditionalists, plenty of inventory is a good thing, isn’t it? Actually, we think that most supply chains can improve performance
Could Improvements in the Quality and Speed of Your Repairs Give You a Competitive Advantage?
By improving the quality and speed of repairs in line with increasing expectations, companies stand to gain competitive advantage. The efficiency of today’s repair models can be measured in two key ways. The first of these is speed. Consumer dependency on technology has led to increasing expectations in repair lead times – in a world
How Automotive Enterprises are Harnessing Our Experience to Deliver Supply Chains of the Future
Our broad automotive network and experience in solution design can be harnessed by automotive companies to deliver more agile and capable supply chains—now and in the future. Drawing from our experience of production logistics and our manufacturing capability, we ensure automotive enterprises receive the right part, in the right place and at the right level
How Do You Meet Rising Customer Expectations Cost-Effectively?
As consumer expectations rise, so too does the cost of meeting them. How can today’s supply chain directors balance service standards and cost to consistently satisfy—and retain—their customers? The digital world has given consumers unparalleled access to businesses the world over. With this comes choice, convenience, and the ability to make more economic purchasing decisions.
5 Top Warehousing Challenges You Shouldn’t Ignore
While overcoming the challenges faced by warehouse managers stands to improve the cost-effectiveness and profitability of warehouse operations, the issue extends much further than that. Customer engagement and operational excellence need to go well beyond cost reduction to make the supply chain a source of customer value. And in today’s customer-centric landscape, providing value to
Recognise These 5 Warning Signs? Your Supply Chain Could Be At Risk
The ability to sense danger before it occurs is paying dividends for many organisations both in maintaining high performance levels and reducing costs. At a time when agility and flexibility are of increasing importance, even the most well managed supply chains can be susceptible to unexpected short term problems that can have significant impact and
6 Data Skills Your Supply Chain Shouldn’t Be Without
In part 1 we explored why data literacy is so important to supply chain success. In part 2, let’s take a closer look at the key skills required for using data more effectively. ‘The purpose of this role is to mine, collate, interpret, and recommend detailed and summarised decision-making analysis of sales forecasts for our
AI and the future of supply chain management
Encompassing multiple, often overlapping disciplines across the supply chain, artificial intelligence is set to empower supply chain management on a global scale. As Forrester puts it, we’re six years into the Age of the Customer, when digitally empowered consumers place increased service expectations on every brand interaction. The Chartered Management Institute suggests that emerging technology
Considering Supply Chain Technology? How to guarantee ROI
While the right technology (applied in the right way) can make your supply chain incredibly efficient, many companies are struggling to ensure that they get a sound return on their investment. Gone are the days when a single system or ‘killer app’ would deliver superiority in a sector. With the lightning fast pace of change
Data Literacy: What It Means and Why It’s Essential for Supply Chain Success
Big data presents a phenomenal opportunity to predict demand fluctuations, implement timely actions, and reduce risk – if you have the means of reading and analysing it. Supply chains are getting smarter. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are capable of gathering and sharing data across the length
Set Your Watch by Robotics, the Future of Warehousing
Where should you start when looking to embrace automated warehousing, and what are the challenges you might face along the way? An automated warehouse is a breathtaking sight: picture a circuit-board of activity as scores of box-shaped robots soar between pallets, scanning shelves and retrieving stock for delivery to a picking station. This is just
Automotive Supply Chains: the Coming Revolution
Automotive supply chains are facing a massive revolution that will see driverless cars, shrinking production volumes and highly customised products shaping the sector. While these developments are seemingly unconnected, they do have one thing in common—all of them will require greater agility in the supply chain. Driverless cars Autonomous vehicles are within sight, with the
How Unipart is Reducing Lead Times and Improving Quality in Enterprise Repair Models
Our background in innovation and experience in reverse logistics means we produce tailored solutions that enable our customers to repair products better and deliver them faster—reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. Our tailored repair solutions means we design, implement, and manage your repair model according to your specific requirements. With market leading turnaround times, we
The Milkman Was Ahead of His Time
Sensors Can Make Sense of the Urban Bottlenecks
Part 2 As cities are being challenged by congestion and pollution, businesses must work with municipalities for a smarter, strategic approach. City bosses find themselves in a race against time to address a wide range of challenges before they become critical, with issues like rising emissions as a result of congestion directly affecting the health,
How Intelligent Fleet Solutions are Transforming Field Engineer Networks
We accurately align engineer stock holding with service requirements, enabling enterprises to maintain optimised inventories across their fleet network—at a reduced cost. We connect field engineers in even the most complex supply chains. Efficiencies are achieved by using data from Smart Vans to find new ways to optimise assets and build competitive advantage for our
Shaping the Supply Chain Through Smart Resource Planning
In one of our previous articles we highlighted the value of tracking efficiency and utilisation as a means of measuring productivity across the supply chain. Equipped with this information, operators will be able to plan activities with higher degrees of precision and accordingly become more reliable in terms of achieving both cost and service expectations.
Productivity, Are We Giving Ourselves the Complete Picture?
Productivity has always been important but it is becoming increasingly so. Achieving and setting productivity standards underpins cost budgets, whilst also informing the resource levels needed to reach service levels. A miscalculation will nearly always have a consequence, in this scenario operations either overspend or under deliver and neither are palatable. Get it right consistently