Productivity vs. Efficiency – What to Measure and When

The terms ‘Productivity’ and ‘Efficiency’ are often used interchangeably to represent the same idea; however, the two terms represent two distinct concepts and it is important to know when each metric matters. PRODUCTIVITY V EFFICIENCY Productivity is the raw measure of how much product is made in a certain time, disregarding other metrics, like demand or wastage. For example, an employee of a company that makes 45 units an hour while the company only needs 30 is seen as very productive. [...]

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The Key to Ensuring Food Safety – Blockchain

In the fall of 2018, there were a multitude of E.Coli outbreaks in the US, affecting mostly lettuce and ground beef. Due to the disastrous effects of the bacteria, keeping it away from customers is of the utmost priority. The difficulty in doing this arises from the near impossibility of fully tracing back a food product to its source. Between the restaurant that serves it and the farm that grows it, there may be a multitude of middlemen, each [...]

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The Importance of a Connected Supply Chain

The Importance of a Connected Supply Chain Most companies rely on traditional processes to ensure the gap between demand and supply is as small as possible. These include forecasts and purchasing plans, which are used to order the necessary materials on time. To factor in some variation, companies may have a distribution plan in place, all of which come together to give the customer a precise delivery window. This entire process, however, is prone to delays and miscalculations, all of [...]

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Advancements in the Digital Supply Chain

In the past few years, technological advancements have rapidly changed the way a supply chain works, with autonomous trucks drastically improving the efficiency of transportation, and drones increasing the ability to reach customers. Due to all of these changes, it’s critical to know which ones are important to your business. With that being said, the most wide-ranging and impactful developments are that in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology.   Artificial Intelligence in the Supply Chain   AI is manifesting itself in [...]

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The Benefits of a Supplier Vendor Portal

In today’s ever-changing world, immediate and efficient access to information is a must. Along with your customers, your suppliers and purchasing agents need the same level of information just as fast. The fastest and most cost-effective way to implement this is with a supplier vendor portal. Here are some of the benefits: SUPPLIER SELF-SERVICE Portals allow the supplier to have a high degree of autonomy. Inquiries that would have taken days or even weeks through a lengthy process of calls and [...]

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Manufacturing Bottlenecks vs. Constraints

When talking about problems in the supply chain, manufacturing bottlenecks and constraints are often used interchangeably to indicate problems with in the manufacturing process. However, these two terms indicate very different issues and need to be addressed in different ways. Manufacturing Bottlenecks A bottleneck in manufacturing occurs when a sudden increase in production causes a necessary resource, such as a machine or personnel, to be overloaded. This leads to a wide variety of problems across the manufacturing process, including a [...]

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Extending ERP to the Supply Chain

    ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is an in-house system that sits behind the company firewall which houses all the core data needed for the day to day operation of the company. In most supply chains, the data, external trading partners, and the data is outside of this firewall. This disconnect means all the vital data isn’t readily available when it’s needed.. Integrated Supply Chain and Visibility Connecting the in-house ERP system to the external supply chain creates the perfect integrated supply chain. [...]

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A Guide to Electronic Kanban (E-Kanban)

  Problems With Traditional Inventory System (MRP) In a traditional inventory system, materials are restocked when inventory runs low. While this may work in an optimal situation, any minor errors can lead to massive delays and bottlenecks down the line. In addition, heavy reliance is placed on manual checking and reordering of inventory levels, which means that by switching to an electronic system, valuable employee time could be saved   What is Kanban? Kanban is a Just in Time (JIT) concept where orders for [...]

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Handling High Order Volume Using EDI

As order volume increases, business need to work with more suppliers and vendors to meet their increasing demand. This is especially true today, when each supplier has their own unique data management system. Having to manually enter data that matches with each supplier is not only incredibly inefficient, but is also prone to errors due to typos, etc.   How EDI Can Benefit Your Business Once businesses begin to grow, they have to deal with increasing numbers of proprietary data systems. [...]

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EDI Transaction Sets

An EDI transaction set is a standardized document that business use to communicate. Any EDI set needs to adhere to a set of rules, put in place by the ANSI X12. For example, EDI 810 is a set that covers invoices being sent and received. Using a Transaction Set To fully utilize an EDI transaction set, it has to be translated from computer code into human readable information. From here, the report is either sent to the company’s ERP system for [...]

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