Congratulations to the accomplished companies included in Gartner’s most recent Supply Chain Top 25, which included nine Amber Road customers! (Four of the top five, in fact, use Amber Road.) Gartner’s annual report identifies demand-driven leadership on the journey to integrated, innovative supply chains.
Amber Road’s customers have always fared well on Gartner’s list; nine customers also made it to the Top 25 in 2012. This year, companies like McDonald’s, Unilever, Intel, Cisco Systems, Dell, Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Qualcomm topped the list with help from Amber Road’s global trade management solutions in optimizing their supply chains.
Gartner picked out several trends that emerged among the leaders: “finding new synergies across best practices, partnering more productively for growth and inspiring the hearts and minds of their supply chain talent in new ways.”
Congrats again to all those included in Gartner’s report! You can find the full list, along with Gartner’s many insights, here.
It may be hard to believe that one of the world’s largest producers of wines and spirits once lacked visibility of its ocean shipments and carrier performance levels. But back in 2004, Brown-Forman had to rely on the tracking systems of individual carriers to keep tabs on product in transit, with no single platform to monitor the movement of popular brands like Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, and Korbel.
Brown-Forman began looking for a software suite that could provide a central repository while navigating the highly regulated alcoholic beverage industry, where strict records are essential. The company picked Amber Road (then Management Dynamics).
Brown-Forman quickly gained some unsettling insights into its supply chain. For example, the company had thought its distributors were taking between three and five days to clear their goods and get them unloaded. However, it sometimes took up to 10 days. With Amber Road’s solution, the company was able to determine when its containers were being released to customers.
“It has helped us to secure our supply chain, giving us visibility from beginning to end,” says Sherree Hockensmith, International Transportation Manager at Brown-Forman. “We now have tools to slice and dice our data anyway we need to.”
The company now knows great deal about the actual services levels it receives from its carriers, and can track its containers from production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia all the way to destination.
To find out more about Brown-Forman’s success with Amber Road, please read this SupplyChainBrain feature.
Please join Amber Road and Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, Inc. for a free seminar specifically addressing retailers and Financial Returns in Global Trade.
Learn how your peers have improved the efficiency of their import operations to respond to rapid shifts in consumer behavior and grow their business outside the U.S. Speakers will address strategies for delivering financial returns on your global retail supply chain.
Don’t miss out on this FREE seminar for retailers in NYC!
What: Retail Seminar: Financial Returns in Global Trade - Lunch is included, Networking Reception to Follow.
When: April 17, 2013, 10am – 7pm
Where: Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC
420 Park Avenue South, Between 28th and 29th Streets (Conveniently located between Penn Station and Grand Central)
New York, NY 10016
After a full day of sessions, attendees will enjoy a networking reception at this luxury urban resort in midtown Manhattan. Register to reserve your spot today!
While West Coast port workers are back on the job after an 8 day strike, retailers now face the potential of an even more severe East Coast strike. This strike could be much larger, spanning from Maine to Texas and stopping container traffic at 14 ports. If an agreement is not reached, the strike could begin in early 2013, impacting inventory for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
The looming strike is the result of a collective bargaining agreement between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the US Maritime Alliance (USMX). The agreement was originally set to expire on September 30, but was extended to December 29 to avoid impacting the holiday retail season. The ILA, which represents 20,000 longshoremen who handle container cargo, has authorized workers to strike if an agreement is not reached by early 2013.
The implications of an East Coast strike are huge for retail supply chains. While the West Coast strike cost the region’s economy an estimated $8 billion, ports in Oakland, CA, and Mexico were able to accommodate the impacted shippers. Because the potential East Coast strike would encompass the entire East and Gulf coasts, diverting traffic would cost shippers much more time and money. The effects of this strike would impact the entire US economy.
For more information on the potential strike, please read:
Reuters, West Coast crisis over, U.S. retail trade groups look East
American Shipper, ILA authorizes possible strike when contract expires
Join Amber Road and Logistics Management tomorrow, December 11 at 2pm EST for a webinar to hear how organizations are embracing a supply chain segmentation approach to better manage resources and understand customers’ buying behaviors. During Building a Segmented Supply Chain Model, Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director at Peerless Research, and Stephanie Miles, SVP Commercial Services at Amber Road, will discuss key findings and best practices from recent market research, including:
- Rising transportation rates, fluctuating customer demand, increasing customer expectations, and global economic uncertainties are among the leading supply chain challenges and threats.
- Organizations are making technology investments in supply chain visibility (28%), supply chain performance management (39%), and transportation management (46%) solutions.
Don’t miss out on this webinar – register today!
The economic effects of Hurricane Sandy are still being felt across the United States as businesses are struggling to keep up with holiday shipments due to port closures, warehouse damages and congestion. The supply chain is backing up at the most pivotal time for retailers – the holiday season.
Even retailers with famously resilient supply chains such as Amazon and Diane von Furstenberg have reported delays to their customers. Only time will tell how detrimental this will be to holiday sales but “economists expect the storm to shave up to half a percentage point from growth in the fourth quarter.”
Although the majority of retailers throughout the US are being adversely impacted, small retailers are being hit the hardest. The cutoff for holiday orders has passed and companies that have missed their shipment deadlines must now make the tough decision on whether to pay high expedited shipping fees, pay a penalty to retailers for late shipments or even forego their holiday orders altogether. Larger companies are able to pay these extra fees but small retailers are oftentimes being forced to cancel their holiday orders.
Robert Van Sickle, owner of Polka Dog Bakery, was relying on a shipment from China that contained holiday themed packaging for his infamous baked dog treats. Unfortunately, this shipment was one of many that arrived shortly before the storm and was destroyed during its course. It is too late to reorder the tubes and the insurance payments will not cover the huge loss of holiday revenue.
Catastrophic events such as these remind us how important it is to invest in a resilient supply chain. This is why many companies are turning to automated solutions for maximum supply chain visibility which helps ensure a quick reaction time to events such as these.
For more information please read:
The New York Times, A Storm Battered Supply Chain Threatens Holiday Shopping
The fear of a catastrophic event affecting their business can keep any executive awake at night. The quality and timeliness of the response can make or break a company’s reputation in the market. It is imperative to have a “resilient supply chain” in place to mitigate these risks and dampen the effects of such catastrophic events.
The AberdeenGroup has released a brand new report, CSCO View of Resilient Supply Chains, which examines the concept of a resilient supply chain and evaluates the capabilities that companies now have in place and where there are gaps left to overcome. The report offers actionable best practices for readers and includes information on these key areas:
- A four pillar framework for defining a resilient supply chain
- Analysis of organizations’ current approach to building a resilient supply chain
- Key takeaways for improving your company’s level of resiliency
Receive your free copy of the report today, compliments of Amber Road!
In mid-September, the Drug Enforcement Agency stopped shipments of oxycodone at a Walgreens facility located in Florida due to suspiciously high sales of the pain killer. The DEA has been cracking down on pharmacy chains such as Walgreens due to the indication that these drugs are being diverted to drug addicts.
It is not clear as to how these diversions occurred but according to a recent blog post from the CIO Journal, one expert suggested that “a vulnerability in the supply chain management system and technology may have created an opportunity to divert oxycodone from one of the pharmacy chain’s distribution centers to the black market, triggering the federal investigation.”
Walgreens has taken several measures to counteract the several strings of drug diversions that have been taking place. For example, between 2011 and 2012 Walgreens reduced inventory of oxycodone tablets by 35%. Additionally, the company put a new ordering system in place and increased reporting requirements. Unfortunately, even with these preventative measures in place, Walgreens failed to maintain proper controls of these drugs.
Supply chain complexities such as these are a perfect example as to why companies are turning to automated visibility solutions. An automated solution allows companies to ensure visibility, communicate efficiently and make accurate decisions relating to diverting inventory and avoiding bottlenecks. A visibility solution can help avoid fines and penalties brought on by situations such as this one experienced by Walgreens and also increase profitability.
For more information on the oxycodone scandal at Walgreens please read:
USA Today, DEA inspects Walgreens in oxycodone probe
CIO Journal, How Drug Dealers Might Have Targeted Walgreens Supply Chain
Time is running out to take advantage of Amber Road’s special rate at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel for eVOLVE 2012. Book by Wednesday, September 19 to receive our group rate of $299 a night. Don’t add a commute to your eVOLVE 2012 calendar—book today!
Click here for more information and to register for eVOLVE.
Under Secretary of the Bureau of Industry & Security Announced as Keynote Speaker at Amber Road’s User Conference
Amber Road is pleased to announce that Eric Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), will be a keynote speaker at our annual user conference, eVOLVE 2012! He will be providing an update on export reform.
Other confirmed speakers include William McNeill (with the Gartner Group), and several Amber Road customers: Abercrombie & Fitch, GE Healthcare, General Mills, Leggett & Platt, Levi Strauss & Co., NetApp, New York University, Quantum Corporation, and Sherwin Williams.
eVOLVE 2012 will be a great opportunity for customers to learn about new product and service initiatives, exchange best practices with other users, and gain tips on how to maximize your GTM investment. Attendees will be able to choose from five different specialty tracks.
Click here for more information or to register. We look forward to seeing you in October!