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Toby Gooley
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Technology is enabling supply chain organizations to gather enormous amounts of information from an expanding variety of sources. But few companies are actually deriving sustainable value from the supply chain data they are accumulating. Instead, they are struggling with issues such as how to ensure data quality, how to analyze data, and how to make practical use of what they learn from it. CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly (DC Velocity's sister publication), Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Competitive Insights LLC, and lharrington group LLC are conducting an annual survey on the current state of supply chain Big Data Analytics. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at Dispatches
For the past 10 years I have been a volunteer for the admissions office at my alma mater. Alumni volunteers hold informal meetings with applicants in their area, adding a personal touch to a process that can be intimidating to even the most qualified high schooler. Recently I met with six applicants who, as they always do, bowled me over—not just with their prodigious accomplishments, but also with their enthusiasm and commitment to learning, exploring, and achieving something big. That kind of excitement and sky’s-the-limit enthusiasm isn’t restricted to high school students on the brink of entering college. Attend any... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Dispatches
In May I attended Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The conference sessions covered everything from software to sales and operations planning to supply chain strategy and much, much more. (I suspect I wasn’t the only one who wanted to clone myself in order to attend more sessions.) There were numerous opportunities to learn from Gartner analysts, technology providers, and supply chain leaders from a wide range of industries. And, of course, the event featured announcements of Gartner’s Top 25 Supply Chains list as well as their annual “Magic Quadrant” assessments of software and logistics service providers. There... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2016 at Dispatches
Each month DC Velocity publishes a brief news item variously titled “Good deeds,” “Logistics gives back,” or (when we’re feeling a bit silly) “Monthly mitzvahs.” These articles list some recent public service activities and charitable donations by companies in the logistics, material handling, and supply chain space. Some sponsor fundraising events like golf tournaments or road races; others donate money, supplies, and/or their employees’ time and labor to local or national charities. Whether small or large, in cash or in kind, these donations can make an appreciable difference to nonprofit organizations. Over the years that we’ve been collecting that information,... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2016 at Dispatches
What do you look for in a supplier? Quality products and services, favorable pricing, reliability, flexibility ... the list of possibilities is a lengthy one. Joset Wright-Lacy would like supply chain professionals to add something to that list that they often don’t consider: a supplier’s ownership. I recently spoke with Wright-Lacy, a Georgetown-educated lawyer who formerly was vice president of procurement and property services for a major telecom company and currently is president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The nonprofit organization’s mission is to advance business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises, or MBEs. NMSDC certifies MBEs... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2016 at Dispatches
I’m definitely not a techie. Just ask the long-suffering co-workers who rescue me when my laptop, smartphone, or various Google products (I’m talking about you, GVoice and Calendar) periodically become “uncooperative.” I grumble about technology all the time. But there is one aspect of technology that never fails to hold my attention and earn my admiration: robotics. I know little about their inner workings or the nitty-gritty details of the technologies that make them do what they do. Still, they mesmerize me at trade shows, and I can barely tear myself away from watching them while on factory tours. In... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2016 at Dispatches
Earlier this month I traveled to the village of Greene, N.Y. It’s the kind of place where, as you drive up hill and down dale, carefully passing John Deere tractors, you can’t help thinking that there might be more cows than people among the local population. Greene is home to the lift truck maker The Raymond Corp. I’d been invited to observe a program designed to introduce students to manufacturing and engineering careers, and to attend the ribbon cutting for a major expansion to the company’s facilities. I reported on the events of the day, but there was something else... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2015 at Dispatches
In my first job after college, I worked in the ocean shipping industry. One of my responsibilities was to arrange transportation of hazardous materials, including verifying that they were properly classified, marked, and documented. As part of my training, I attended a safety seminar designed for shipping line employees, freight forwarders, and stevedores. The Coast Guard officer who presented the seminar began by dimming the lights and projecting a photo of a large cargo ship on a screen at the front of the room. Suddenly the slide changed; in the next image the ship had been blown to pieces, with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2015 at Dispatches
By now, everybody on the planet is aware that criminals have at various times hacked into the customer databases of giant retailers like Target and Home Depot, and that even government agencies—including the military—are not immune to such crimes. But what many of us don’t realize is that our supply chains are also vulnerable to electronic infiltration. As Drew Smith, founder and CEO of the computer security company InfoArmor, writes in “Is your supply chain safe from cyberattacks?” in the Q2/2015 issue of our sister publication, CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly, global supply chains are highly reliant on the rapid sharing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at Dispatches
Back in March, I attended the biennial ProMat trade show in Chicago. ProMat, produced by the trade association MHI, boasts more than 800 exhibitors and largely focuses on material handling equipment, technology, and services for warehouses and distribution centers (DCs). I was there in my role as a senior editor for DC Velocity, but could not help thinking about what the show had to offer readers of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' member magazine of which I am editor. Among all the forklifts, conveyors, and other material handling equipment I found much that could—and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at Dispatches
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Jul 14, 2015