Voice tools help supply chain operators optimize interactions between humans and digital tools, writes HighJump Voice executive Gary Oldham. "With voice as an enabler and a bridge, companies can reap the full benefits of the solutions of tomorrow -- higher throughput, satisfied customers, lower cost per order, reduced returns, improved employee satisfaction and more," he writes.
Electrical distributors can offer the information needed to help their products stand out online by considering data from two viewpoints: operational and marketing, says Justin King of DigitalBranch and B2X Partners. Operational data refer to basics such as weight and size, while marketing data offer insight into the product's use, price and estimated delivery.
Hubs by Amazon is a last-step choice for delivery companies such as UPS, USPS and FedEx, and it moves Amazon into the logistics industry. The service is marketed toward residences and apartment buildings and allows all packages, even those not coming from the e-commerce company, to be left for pickup by customers.
Staying in the same role without learning is a career death sentence, even if it feels easier than taking a risk and learning new things, writes LaRae Quy. "It's essential that you realize your comfort zone is a tremendous enemy of peak performance," she writes.
Imports at major US seaports are on track to grow 3.8% in the first half compared to the same period last year, according to NRF. Retailers are stocking up as consumer spending increases, along with uncertainty in the wake of the Trump administration's new tariffs on goods from China.
New US tariffs on goods from China could take a toll on the thriving ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handled $173 billion in Chinese imports last year, and retailers are looking at their supply chains to see if it makes sense to shift sourcing to other countries. "Not knowing where this administration is going to go or how they are going to get there is very concerning for folks," NRF's Jonathan Gold said.
Avnet aims to offer services at every stage of a product's life cycle and to leverage those transaction points into higher margins. Avnet's financial model involves increasing working capital and capital allocation while optimizing costs, says Chief Financial Officer Tom Liguori.
Cloud technology can make it affordable to sell online, manage inventory and offer value-added services, even for small distributors, writes Mark Hill of IMC Supply. Ask how a new technology will improve customer relationships, operations and market share.
This PwC analysis explores six steps manufacturers can take to effectively digitize their factories, beginning with developing a model for the factory that aligns with the company's business strategy. "In setting priorities for the digital factory, make sure that people are as important as technologies," write Reinhard Geissbauer, Stefan Schrauf and Philipp Berttram.
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