Winsupply had a record $4.2 billion in revenue in the past fiscal year, with President John McKenzie crediting local owners and companies' efforts to meet customer needs during the pandemic. Winsupply businesses introduced contactless delivery and curbside pickup while controlling expenses.
Amazon will start using two autonomous guided carts this year and is developing other robotics systems for warehouse use. Meanwhile, Alibaba is sending 1,000 Xiamonanlv package-delivery robots to Chinese universities.
Supply chains have an additional challenge with cybersecurity because they aren't just keeping themselves secure but also everyone they interact with, says Sharon Reynolds, chief information security officer at Omnitracs. "But with supply chain, even your suppliers have suppliers, so you need to identify your third-party and fourth-party risks," Reynolds says.
Pennsylvania is installing a Truck Parking Information Management System that will monitor the availability of parking spaces for big trucks on the turnpike. Sensors will track vehicles as they come and go from plazas, alerting truck drivers to parking availability before they pull off the road via electronic signage.
Amazon has released a report based on insights from 500 procurement leaders on the buying and selling sides, with 85% saying the pandemic has increased online procurement, a trend 96% said will continue. Efficiency is this year's top buyer priority, while customer experience is tops for sellers.
Spectrum Health and Detroit's Henry Ford Health System have committed to increasing spending on small businesses through a shift in procurement strategies that prioritizes people of color, women, local or employee-owned businesses. The health systems are among 12 joining Healthcare Anchor Network's Impact Purchasing Commitment to help small businesses recover after the pandemic.
Companies can use closed loop spend management to eliminate excessive spending and derive value from third-party spending, according to an Accenture report. "Since CLSM utilizes a human plus machine model to enable more intelligent automation, businesses can make new data-driven decisions and implement seamless operations and the necessary organizational change," write Justin Keeble, Robert Fuhrmann and Ramon Colomina of Accenture.
Teachers in an Ohio district recently participated in the Sandusky County Teacher Manufacturing Boot Camp, where they learned about potential career pathways available to students. During the boot camp, teachers toured five facilities in the county.
More companies are turning to Avnet, Arrow Electronics and other distributors for help securing semiconductors during the ongoing global shortage. Arrow has reported higher global component sales as a result.
Last-mile delivery options for B2C food companies often don't work for their B2B counterparts, so food distributors and wholesalers should instead use strategies such as hybrid route optimization, writes Brian Hoey of DispatchTrack. Such a system would "create optimized static routes -- routes that accounted for stores' and restaurants' hours of operation, etc. -- that could be dynamically adjusted on a daily or weekly basis as needed," Hoey writes.
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