Posts tagged ‘Supplier Portals’

Supply Chain Digest: March Expert Insight Article Featuring Amber Road CEO

Amber Road CEO Jim Preuninger is highlighted as a new expert contributor in Supply Chain Digest magazine with a bylined article on Supporting the Segmented Supply Chain with GTM Solutions.

Those organizations that are proving to be successful at supply chain segmentation are able to meet the demands of their different customer segments without excessively increasing costs. One method to achieve this is to use a common platform, such as a portal, to ensure that parties along the entire supply chain can share information and eliminate errors that could slow shipments. – Jim Preuninger, CEO, Amber Road

Please follow this link to read the article.


Supply Chain Management for Retailers

The retail industry is challenged with fluctuating customer demand, ever-changing styles and seasonality, and the need to boost top-line growth through store expansion. A streamlined and efficiently run supply chain is a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to keeping overall costs down. As pointed out in World Trade Magazine’s article, Timely Ocean Transit for Retailers, inconsistent transit times can drive up total supply chain costs.

[Supply chain inconsistencies can force retailers to] either retain higher safety stock levels, which increases their inventory carrying costs; resort to airfreight to recover from delays, which balloons transportation costs; or use a combination of the two.

While the article references careful carrier selection as a way to ensure timely deliveries, there are GTM solutions out there that can help retailers with all aspects of supply chain and transportation management. By automating the following elements of the global supply supply chain operations, retailers will be able to reduce cash-cash cycles and lower total delivered costs.

Trade Planning
Develop optimal sourcing and distribution strategies by assessing the total landed cost of alternative decisions including product invoice, transportation, duties, VAT, excise as well as evaluating applicable import and export regulatory controls. With a complete picture of cost and risk, shared decisions can be made across sourcing, compliance and logistics functions.

Import Automation
Establish a global import compliance function that integrates all procurement activities. Manage product classification and admissibility reviews to ensure compliant purchase orders are issued. Streamline the entry process to reduce brokerage costs and reconcile entries to resolve issues before they become a costly Customs audit.

Supplier PO Management
Deliver compliant purchase orders to suppliers in a portal that confirms orders, creates invoices, and manages a buyer workflow to build shipments and generate key documents like the commercial invoice and packing list. Efficiently manage supplier compliance and integrate with origin logistics partners.

Origin Management
Manage origin logistics with a portal that coordinates full container load shipments from a supplier and less than container or air shipments. Use a collaborative workflow process to confirm and book shipments as well as collect bill of lading details to facilitate inbound visibility. Enhance compliance with new advanced notification regulations like Customs 10+2 by collecting relevant information at origin.

Global Freight Management
Negotiate seafreight and airfreight rates and implement a process for logistics providers and suppliers to book against your favorable rates. Use sophisticated rating tools to optimize carrier selection, pre-rate the booking and automate freight audit.

Supply Chain Visibility
Monitor global orders, shipments and in-transit inventory with a complete event management solution. Use milestone alerting to proactively resolve delivery issues and to trigger supply execution activities such as pickups or warehouse receipts. Use in-transit inventory information to enable postponement strategies and new, direct-to-store delivery strategies. Aggregate all operational data to establish scorecards and manage trade parties with a comprehensive set of key performance indicators.

For more information on the benefits automation can bring retailers, I recommend this new eBook: Direct Import Strategies for Retailers.

The Benefits of Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have been something that organizations have been turning to for a while, to manage various IT and operational functions in their organization. In a recent Logistics Management article, Software as a Service (SaaS): The versatile supply chain option, Adrian Gonzalez of ARC Advisory Group discusses some of the benefits of using SaaS.

Boasting shorter implementation times than “purchase and install” options, and less upfront investment, SaaS solutions are particularly useful for shippers that are in the process of “upgrading existing solutions, or in need of new solutions.”

…According to Gonzalez, SaaS appeals to companies of all sizes, and across most industries. He also discussed pricing options, noting that they range from upfront license fees to payments-per-transaction. Most common, he says, is a one-year to three-year subscription model with monthly payments.

In the article, Gonzalez names Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Global Trade Management (GTM) systemsas the two software packages that are most applicable for SaaS. Using a Transportation Management solution can help shippers manage global airfreight and sea freight contracts, optimize booking decisions by finding the best combination of cost and service, and automate the freight audit process to identify and eliminate invoice overcharges. Logistics providers can see benefits as well – TMS can help them manage buy-side costs, automate quote and proposal generation, comply with tariff filing requirements, and improve sales effectiveness.

Some other GTM solutions, such as Supply Chain Visibility and Trade Portals, address the challenge managing multiple trading partners, all with different information systems and data definitions, and information that can flow at unpredictable times.

Wanted: Supplier Collaboration

The Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council recently did a survey on approximately 400 executives, many from companies worth more than $1B. They determined that while most organizations understand that supply chain collaboration should be a top priority, most have yet to achieve it.

Logistics Management has summed up the study findings:

“According to the survey results, the problem is pretty widespread. About 50 percent of the respondents said they were focusing on collaboration “at some level,” but that only 5 percent were actually doing it end-to-end. In addition, 75 percent said they have “no ability” or “an unsatisfactory ability” to extend and leverage their internal systems to suppliers and outsourced service providers. And 26 percent of respondents say they share customer data and insights with partners to enable innovation.”

The key to a synchronized supply chain is to extend processes to all trading partners to work off of one set of documents and eliminating errors due to losing a document or re-keying information into a secondary system. If an organization is not well-connected to their suppliers, forwarders, and Customs brokers, then this synchronized supply chain is not easy to achieve. Using automated solutions such as Supplier PO Management and Supplier Solicitation Portals from Management Dynamics new Trade Portals product line, can help you collaborate with your trading partners to ensure you don’t fall into that 75%.

To learn more about our Supplier Portals solutions, please send us an email ( or visit our website.

To read the full article from Logistics Management, mentioned above, please follow this link.

Management Dynamics Releases New Trade Portals Product Line to Better Integrate Suppliers and Logistics Providers in Global Trade Management Processes

New Modules for Supplier PO and Origin Management Improve Control Over Execution Processes and Allow Companies to More Easily Support Advanced Notification Requirements

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, December 8, 2009 — Management Dynamics, Inc., a leading provider of Global Trade Management (GTM) solutions, today announced the release of Trade Portals, a new product line to help companies extend purchasing, origin logistics, and compliance processes to their trading partners. By collaborating across a shared process with suppliers, forwarders, logistics providers and brokers, companies can reduce cycle time, lower supply chain execution costs, and better support compliance initiatives such as Customs 10+2.

As companies re-engineer their supply chains and shift production overseas, they often lose control over the procurement process, especially with regards to how it should integrate with their import compliance programs. Many importers face challenges when trying to manage a remote supply base. Examples include: coordination and management of confirmed orders, the monitoring of ship windows, coordination with origin logistics providers, and integration of the export transaction details with import entries.

Management Dynamics’ Trade Portals solution is comprised of three, on-demand, enterprise-class modules including Supplier PO Management, Supplier Solicitation Management, and Origin Management. It is designed to allow importers to configure these points of collaboration with key trading partners including suppliers, forwarders and customs brokers.

“With hundreds of suppliers and over 7,500 shipments to manage annually, we needed to empower our suppliers to review purchase orders and create shipments for approval,” John Wainwright, Vice President Customs Compliance, Leggett & Platt. “Management Dynamics’ Trade Portal solution helps us automate the workflow between suppliers and the shipment creation process – from point of purchase order, all the way through pre-customs entry – enabling us to centralize and streamline our global procurement process.” 

Management Dynamics’ Trade Portal modules are highly configurable, on-demand solutions that can support multiple process variations with the following key capabilities:

  • Purchase Order life cycle management through shipment to invoice
  • State-of-the-art dashboard views and workflow tools
  • A multi-organization and role-based security model to organize suppliers and logistics providers by country or region and to establish standard operating procedures for each group
  • Multi-lingual support with language preference that can be assigned by user to improve supplier adoption
  • Flexible integration options including direct XML or EDI connectivity, spreadsheet uploads and web forms for manual data entry
  • Document generation engine creates all necessary supporting documentation prior to shipment that can be distributed via email with pre-defined rules
  • Integration with Management Dynamics’ Supply Chain Visibility, Trade Import and Trade Agreements solutions

“Top global supply chain operational initiatives today are focused on extending and synchronizing key execution processes with all trading parties,”said Nathan Pieri, SVP Marketing and Product Management for Management Dynamics. “Our new Trade Portals product line targets process gains in supplier collaboration and origin management to deliver key benefits of reducing supply chain execution costs and better supporting new security requirements like Customs 10+2.”


Free White Paper: For tips on how Global Trade Management (GTM) technologies can help you automate global operations across procurement, logistics and trade compliance business processes, please read our white paper on Automating the Import Supply Chain.