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Discussion with James Canham-Ash, Head of EMEA Comms, Manhattan Associates



I recently caught up with James Canham-Ash, Manhattan Associates (Head of EMEA Communications), for a fireside chat concerning the current #MC21 Momentum Connect 2021 event.

James shared his thoughts from their annual event, highlights around the opening keynote, a few breakout sessions, some excellent talks from NASA on Mars Rovers and Robots, which are both “not to be missed,” and plenty more.

There were two main purposes mentioned by him as well as two specific updates to the product. One was the introduction of Manhattan active transportation management, and the other was the introduction of the Manhattan active supply chain.

These were two significant developments for Manhattan’s business. It means now that Manhattan can now manage your end-to-end inbound and outbound supply chain in a digitally native cloud-first micro-service architecture.

Later on, he shared insights from his career path, journey and roles and responsibilities being Head of EMEA Communications at Manhattan Associates.

This conversation covers key insights from the second Manhattan Associates annual virtual momentum connect 2021 event – click on the link and listen to the event’s opening keynote replay.

You can also reach out to James Canham-Ash, Manhattan Associates to begin a conversation of your own; they are always ready to be able to help you and your organisation address a broad range of business and technology challenges.

The video was created in association with Manhattan Associates.

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Digital Manufacturing: 2021 State of Manufacturing Report, 3 Key Takeaways



by Dave Evans, CEO & Co-Founder – Fictiv

We create Fictiv’s annual State of Manufacturing (*1) report to gain insight into the current trends, goals, and concerns in the industry. In 2021, our survey of hundreds of manufacturing executives showed that driving supply chain resilience (*2) and new product introduction (NPI) are keys to success in a post-COVID world.

Because these topics are at the top of my mind, too, I brought together Amazon Web Services (AWS) Worldwide Business Development leader, Michael Putnik, Honeywell Aerospace VP of Manufacturing Engineering John Hobgood, and Jake Hall — who chronicles the industry as the Manufacturing Millennial — to discuss them.

The group has the acumen and experience to talk about supply chains and NPI in-depth and provides insight on multiple topics, including using data analytics and automation to strengthen supply chains and resolve workforce challenges, and fast-tracking manufacturing innovation.

1. Build Supply Chain Resilience With Analytics & Automation

Planning for future disruptions and creating resilience in the supply chain are areas of focus and investment as Honeywell Aerospace ramps back up to meet resurgent demand. Hobgood’s team is taking a data-driven approach to identifying the aircraft platforms that will be most in-demand initially. From there, they determine the highest impact areas in their supply chain where they can compress cycle times. Knowing those areas of critical impact also tells them where they may need multiple suppliers in place to keep up with demand and maintain quality.

“Manufacturing companies need to understand at a much deeper level of detail where they can improve their supply chain — there are clearly higher impact areas that you need to ensure are more robust first,” said Hobgood. “There is so much data out there helping identify which of our products and platforms will ramp up first. You really need good data analytics to do that.”

While analytics are important for Amazon, automation has also played a crucial role in creating the company’s flexible and robust supply chains. “While resilience is a new term for some,” said Putnik, “it’s something we’ve lived and breathed at Amazon for many years.”

For Amazon, automated routing and an ability to identify bottlenecks have proven critical to providing the right customer experience — it’s how they make sure that products promised to arrive at 2 pm on Thursday, do. Because it has such a vast network of suppliers, Putnik said that Amazon developed a templatized, automated approach to working with them. During the pandemic, analytics helped identify in-demand products and efficiently balance supply and demand.

I found it incredible that the pandemic made data-driven resilience a top concern for such disparate companies — one, a traditional OEM with 100 years of experience, and the other an original dotcom with automation hardwired into its DNA since day one. Despite their differences, they both face changed expectations within their supply chains.

As consumers have learned to expect delivery on specific dates and times, Hobgood explained that sort of transparency is now the default expectation for supply chain managers. The new conventional thought is: “if my phone can tell me a package is two blocks away, why can’t I expect the same for my aerospace component?”

Putnik believes the key to meeting these expectations is through accurate forecasting using data. Amazon has grown adept at forecasting vertically within silos, but still has difficulty working horizontally to match supply with forecasted demand.

2. Train Your Talent to Work With Automation

In addition to providing a supply chain solution, many see automation as a way to deal with an industry-wide shortage of skilled labor. A range of factors are leaving manufacturers struggling to maintain a skilled workforce, but it’s not just a recruiting issue. And it’s important to note that the industry shift to automation isn’t focused on replacing people with machines — it’s looking for areas where robots can work cooperatively with humans to create more efficient workflows.

Hall said that automation is a critical part of compensating for the lack of workers, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. He believes that the real key is in keeping and training existing workers. “Manufacturers are more focused on employee retention than ever before. They realize if someone leaves, there’s no one to replace them. If you can’t hire controls engineers or robot programmers, you can train the people you have.”

Hobgood agreed and doubled down on the idea of developing people internally. Not only does Honeywell invest in management to help guide employees, but it also works to identify critical skills gaps and create training to develop those skills in team members. “If you’re not investing in your people adding new skills to manage these new digital threads and automation, you’re not going to win in today’s environment.”

3. Build an Express Lane for Innovation

Winning in 2021 isn’t just about leveraging data and automation technology to strengthen your supply chain and your labor pool. Learning how to innovate and accelerate new product introduction in a time of upheaval and disruption can provide a crucial competitive advantage, too.

Honeywell’s already doing the work. Hobgood described how he helped create a sort of HOV lane for new ideas at the company because Honeywell’s traditional systems and supply chains became barriers to innovation. The HOV lane is a parallel workflow that prioritizes flexibility and speed, but has controls to ensure the same compliance and quality the company normally achieves with traditional methods. That process is now Honeywell developed a new UV cabin system in response to pandemic needs and put it into the market within one month.

On-demand manufacturing can supercharge innovation at any company, and it’s not just Honeywell who’s realized its advantages. 84% of leaders surveyed for the 2021 State of Manufacturing Report are already using an on-demand manufacturing platform. They know that those platforms’ highly vetted and skilled networks aid in the design and manufacturing process and provide the speed and quality they need to compete and win.

Two years ago, many, if not most industry observers were betting that it would take a decade for on-demand manufacturing to go mainstream. With the pandemic serving as a forcing function, that digital transformation happened in a year.

Fictiv sits at the center of this evolution by combining world-class software tools and manufacturing operations people to digitize and future-proof manufacturing. The “next normal” is here (*3), and the operative question isn’t “what did you digitize,” but rather “what didn’t you?”

To learn more, watch the full conversation (*4) live-stream panel discussion via the link to the below.

Author Bio:

DAVE EVANS Fictiv CEO and Co-founder. Prior to Fictiv, Dave was the first hire at Ford’s Silicon Valley Lab and focused on shortening development cycles for infotainment systems. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and was named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.

Resource links:

  1. Fictiv’s 2022 annual State of Manufacturing report
  2. Ten Trends Shaping the Future of Supply Chain Management
  3. 2021 State Of Manufacturing: Digital Transformation Is The Key To Winning In The “Next Normal”
  4. 2021 State of Manufacturing Live-stream Expert Panel Discussion
  5. Further information on Dave Evans via Fictiv website

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Supply Chain

bp and Uber sign Global Strategic Delivery Partnership



  • bp and Uber sign a new global strategic convenience partnership aiming to make more than 3,000 retail locations available on Uber Eats by 2025.
  • The partnership extends current local arrangements in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US, adding the UK and eastern US in 2022 and with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

Today, bp (NYSE: BP) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) are announcing a new global strategic convenience delivery partnership, extending their existing local arrangements to reach more consumers across the world. Together, the partners will offer a huge range of quality convenience products, including fresh and prepared ranges, from select retail locations.

bp is the first convenience retailer to team up with Uber Eats on a global level and aims to have more than 3,000 retail locations available on the delivery platform over the next three years. The partnership supports bp’s goal of growing its access to customers and expanding its delivery footprint, in response to soaring demand for food, groceries and everyday essentials brought to the door.

The new partnership covers retail sites in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US. Sites in the UK and eastern US will be added to the app for the first time this year, with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

“We’re thrilled to team up with Uber Eats globally giving us the opportunity to reach many more consumers online in addition to those who currently visit our retail sites. We’ve seen how the pandemic has accelerated customer demand for delivered convenience and this partnership will allow us to scale up quickly on the Uber platform. And for the first time, we will be able to offer delivery options to existing customers on our own BPme app by the end of 2023,” said Emma Delaney, executive vice president customers & products, bp.

With 20,500 bp retail sites across the world and 550 million customers living within 20 minutes of a bp retail site, the partners see enormous opportunities for growth. bp sites offer a range of products tailored to local markets which may include hot and cold drinks, food-for-now options as well as staple groceries, fresh produce and ready meals, plus wine, beer and flowers.

  • In the UK, customers will be able to access a range of Wild Bean Café, and other branded food and products via Uber Eats – with the first 120 sites due live on the platform by the end of June.
  • In the US, the offer will be made available to bp’s network of independently owned retail locations to support the growth of their businesses. The goal is to make it easy for these partners to sign up to the Uber Eats platform and access benefits based on bp’s scale.

bp will benefit from Uber’s global brand and operations footprint, best-in-class technology for dispatching orders, and more than 4.4 million drivers and couriers on the platform worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Uber Eats and bp will work to introduce delivery options onto bp’s own app, BPme – initially planned to be available in the UK, US and Australia by the end of 2023 – powered by Uber Direct. This new offer will allow bp to directly connect its customers to delivery riders, making Uber Eats the trusted partner in fulfilling these orders. Since 2019, bp has seen a three-fold increase in users of the BPme app, with 16 million active loyalty users worldwide.

“With more than 20,500 locations around the world, bp’s reach is enormous—making them critical partners as we pursue our ambitions of helping consumers across the world get what they need delivered to their doorsteps,” said Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s SVP of Global Delivery. “We are proud to support this next phase of the company’s convenience growth through this delivery partnership and look forward to deeper collaboration in the future.”

bp and Uber already work together in mobility with bp providing electric vehicle charging for Uber’s ride-hail drivers. The companies will explore other areas for future cooperation in convenience, including opportunities to utilize low carbon delivery methods to fulfill orders from bp sites.

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Supply Chain Insights announced as official media partner of the 7th Annual Retail Fulfilment Summit.



Supply Chain Insights Digital Magazine is proud to announce that it will be an official media partner of the upcoming 7th Annual Retail Fulfilment Summit taking place in Sydney on 31st May – 2nd June.

The 7th Annual Retail Fulfilment Summit will provide attendees with practical tools and strategies on how they can optimise their fulfilment strategy, including how to improve order processing efficiency and optimise their eCommerce strategy, enhance inventory and warehouse capacity and increase the speed and capacity of the last mile. Attendees will also learn how to best increase their capacities and capabilities by using the latest technologies.

The two day agenda followed by post-conference workshop features speakers from major retailers Super Retail Group, Target, Baby Bunting and Strandbags as well as pure play retailers Adore Beauty, Booktopia and Marketplaces and My Sales Group an exceptional mix of retail organisations talking all things fulfilment.

7th Annual Retail Fulfilment Summit will be taking place at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park. Supply Chain Insights Readers will receive a 20% discount with code INSIGHTS20

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