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    What Services do Third-Party Logistics Providers Offer?

    If you’ve ever wondered exactly what third-party logistics (3PL) providers do, we’ve got the answers you need. From transportation to warehousing and supply chain management to logistics operations, 3PL providers offer a wide range of services to commercial and industrial customers.   What is a third-party logistics provider? A 3PL provider is a specialist company…

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    How to Optimize Your LSP Operations—Your Questions, Answered

    Logistics service providers (LSPs) face a very competitive marketplace, with multiple businesses bidding to store, transport and manage goods through an increasingly global supply chain. LSPs need to streamline their operations to bring down costs, improve accuracy, reduce waste and deliver the services that their customers are looking for.   We know you have questions about how to enhance…

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    Seven Ways a Digital Supply Chain Will Improve Your Business

    Digitizing your supply chain and logistics operations will transform the way your business operates. Digitization will enhance communications, let you resolve issues, reduce delays, connect partners, provide visibility and give you a competitive advantage. Whether you’re a supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, logistics provider or another supply chain organization, there are numerous ways you can benefit…

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    The Differences Between the Supply Chain and Logistics

    Global supply chains are essential to worldwide commerce, and the underlying logistics involved in sending, receiving, moving, and storing goods is central to that success. It’s no surprise that the terms “supply chain” and “logistics” have become conflated and are often confused with each other. Despite some individuals and organizations using the words interchangeably, there…

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    4 Steps to Digitizing Your Logistics Execution

    Technology is revolutionizing global supply chains, and as sourcing and manufacturing becomes more global, logistics service providers are embracing digital transformation. The ever-expanding scope of logistics management brings its own challenges though—if you want to digitize your business, where do you start? Asking the right questions and implementing best practices will help you to develop…

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    How Logistics Service Providers Can Use Technology to Compete

    Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) are in constant competition to provide a complete, end-to-end service for transporting goods around the globe. If LSPs want to continue winning business, they need to become fully digitized and offer a seamless, online experience to customers who want a fast and easy way to move goods by land, sea or…

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    Understanding the Challenges of Logistics Service Providers

    Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) are facing a rapidly changing industry. Increasing customer demands, expanding global supply chains, fleet and capacity restrictions and high fixed and variable costs all impact on your organization’s success. Technology can solve many of these issues—if it’s used in the right way.  As you face competition and disruption from freight forwarders,…

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    How IMO 2020 Could Impact Your Supply Chain

    We’re less than six months from the start of IMO 2020 — the International Maritime Organization’s new regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting public health and supporting the environment. Let’s take a look at IMO 2020 and what it means for your supply chain. What is IMO 2020? It’s the IMO’s new regulations…

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    How Railroads Are Vital to the Supply Chain

    Last Month, we celebrated National Train Day, a day to recognize the importance of our railway system – a centuries-old mode of transportation that’s still chugging and continues to reside at the heart of the supply chain. It is a staple of the 19th century that drives 21st century logistics through the use of modern…

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    The Power of the Network Effect on the Next-Generation Supply Chain

    By Victoria Brown, Research Manager, Global Supply Chain Execution, IDC   It’s getting closer to the holidays and your products have hit all the must-have lists for buyers. Demand immediately spikes, your website crashes, and all your inventory is sold out online. What can you do? You frantically reach out to your suppliers, but lead…

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    How to Get Better Control Over Your Logistics Costs

    Cost control is vital to any profitable, international supply chain. Every part of the supply chain generates expenses, from extracting raw materials to manufacturing parts or assembling into finished products. Another major cost center for supply chain managers is logistics, including storage, international freight and distribution. We’ll explore how you can get greater insight into…

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    Three Takeaways on Intermodal Freight from IANA 2019

    Blume Global headed to the Midwest last week, to Lombard, Illinois for IANA’s Intermodal Operations, Intermodal Operations, Safety & Maintenance Business Meeting. At the event, our Group VP of product strategy, Glenn Jones, joined representatives from across the intermodal freight industry for a panel that discussed forces driving the intermodal industry. While the rampant growth…

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    Why a Customer-Centric Supply Chain Matters

    Customers have never had more choice, and providing exceptional products to consumers is becoming increasingly important. If your business wants to thrive, it needs to differentiate itself. Businesses are looking for every advantage to become more customer-centric and competitive, and looking upstream to the global supply chain can be a big win if you have…

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    A Quick Guide to Smart Contracts, Blockchain and the Supply Chain

    Most people think of blockchain as the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but the blockchain has many other applications. One of the most interesting is in creating and managing smart contracts—unique assets on the blockchain that can be used to establish, manage and deliver on agreements between different parties. Smart contracts can be a complex…

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    The Role of Location Intelligence in Supply Chain Visibility

    The modern, global supply chain is incredibly complex, which means there’s plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong. One of the main issues with sprawling, international networks is delays in the sourcing, manufacture, handover and transport of raw materials, parts and finished goods. For supply chain managers, it’s a delicate balancing act. They need…

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    3 Ways to Optimize the Consumer Products Supply Chain

    Consumer products, which are sold to end customers, rely on a large, widespread and complex supply chain. Consumer products are sold directly to customers through traditional, brick-and-mortar retail stores, through e-commerce websites or via an omni-channel approach. The wide range of consumer products inventories, different purchase channels and the need for quality, speed and reliability…

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    The History and Evolution of the Global Supply Chain

    The global supply chain has seen enormous changes over the last 100 years. Every part of how we source, manufacture and transport goods has been transformed. From the introduction of new handling procedures to relying on ocean-going vessels, and from containerization to computerization, global supply chains are both more complex and more efficient than they’ve…

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    Supply Chains for High-Tech Companies: Unique Challenges and Solutions

    The world’s most cutting-edge companies like Apple, Google, HP, Samsung, Intel, Cisco or Microsoft are technological leaders. Consumer devices like computers, smartphones and tablets or business hardware like routers, switches and servers are central to their competitiveness and economic power. The high-tech industry thrives on transformation and efficiency—creating world-leading products, then manufacturing and distributing them…

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    Top 4 Automotive Supply Chain Challenges and Solutions

    The automotive supply chain for manufacturing cars, trucks and other vehicles is one of the most complex in the world. It’s becoming more global too, second only to the electronics sector for the spread of suppliers, manufacturers and other third parties around the world. Globalization adds some unique complexity to the automotive supply chain, and…

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    Modes of Transportation in the Global Supply Chain

    The supply chain relies on the efficient management of assets and logistics to get raw materials, parts and finished products from one place to another. When you’re sending goods around the world, it’s vital to use your transportation resources in the right way. Pairing the optimized usage of containers, vehicles and other assets with effective…

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    How to Attract and Retain Supply Chain Talent

    Running a successful supply chain operation means you need to have top-tier talent in your team. There’s just one issue—employers are finding it harder to attract and retain high-quality supply chain managers. In this article, we explore why it can be hard to find the right supply chain candidates, offer suggestions for attracting good applicants…

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    How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the Retail Supply Chain

    Artificial intelligence is making a huge difference for retail supply chain optimization, as there’s a greater need for fast delivery to shops and end customers, and an increasing focus on tight inventory control. AI helps retailers understand exactly how their supply chain is operating, make improvements throughout and eliminate waste and overhead. In this article,…

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    Railroads’ Role in the U.S. Supply Chain

    Railroads are a popular way to move raw materials, parts and products around the United States. This railway infrastructure is critical to a healthy, functioning supply chain. In this article, we dig into the facts and figures that explain the role of railways in ensuring the efficient transportation and distribution of goods. The Amount of…

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    How to Solve Your Supply Chain Challenges

    The increasing complexity of international supply chains means that supply chain managers must use a combination of tools, techniques and approaches to meet everyday and long-term challenges. We’ve explored some of the main pressures and demands on the supply chain and in this post, we present some ways to help you manage your supply chain…

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    What Are the Main Supply Chain Challenges?

    The modern supply chain must evolve to meet new demands and supply chain challenges, and supply chain managers need to plan ahead to keep everything flowing smoothly. A combination of consumer expectations, more routes to market, international complexities and other factors creates significant challenges throughout the supply chain network. In this post, we’ll explore what’s…

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    How to Remove Silos Across the Supply Chain for Better Efficiency

    It’s no secret that managing international supply chains is becoming more and more complex. As the demands on the supply chain increase, how can you work across your supply chain functions to keep costs down and maximize efficiencies? In this post, we discuss how you can remove silos across your supply chain. Typical Functions of…

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    Tracking a Product’s Journey Across the Supply Chain From China to the U.S.

    It’s clear that the United States is one of the biggest marketplaces in the world, and China is a manufacturing powerhouse. So, you might wonder exactly how a product that is sourced and built in China finds its way across the supply chain to the U.S. for sale to an American consumer. In this post,…

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    How to Create a Supply Chain Competitive Advantage

    Data insights. Agility and precision in decision-making. Amazing customer experiences. Software is the key enabler for companies to enjoy a supply chain competitive advantage and gain visibility and orchestration from the first mile to the last mile of their shipments. While supply chains share some common similarities, each is also unique in its specific combination…

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    9 Key Players in the Global Supply Chain Ecosystem

    International supply chains are complicated. A typical supply chain could involve hundreds of steps and handoffs—from sourcing materials through transport and manufacturing to international shipping and final distribution to retailers. Although every supply chain is different, there are several types of organizations and areas that are common to the vast majority. We’ll explore what they…

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    7 Ways to Transfer Data Across a Logistics Network

    Data connectivity is at the heart of any good logistics network. Because logistics needs to work with multiple organizations to store, manage, transfer and transport goods, excellent data communication is essential. This information is reviewed and shared to ensure the efficient flow of goods through the supply chain. There are many ways to connect and…

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    A Guide to Intermodal Shipping Containers and Containerization

    Shipping containers and containerization aren’t something that most people, even supply chain managers, think about that much. That’s not surprising, as these containers are so ubiquitous it’s easy to overlook just how much they have revolutionized global trade. Since containerization was introduced, it’s become a vital part of supply chain infrastructure, and it’s worth digging…

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    How Robotic Process Automation Can Streamline Supply Chain Operations

    Robotic process automation (RPA) allows an organization to deploy smart software bots that will automate common operational processes throughout the business. These bots are intelligent agents that can learn how specific tasks are performed and then repeat those tasks, eliminating human error and reducing overhead. Robotic process automation and software bots rely on machine learning…

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    6 Ways Technology Reduces Environmental Impact of Supply Chains

    Global supply chains are growing and becoming more complex as consumer demand increases. This greater need for products, ingredients and raw materials directly translates into increased environmental impact. As consumers and organizations become aware of the potential damage caused by global trade and logistics, how can we develop more sustainable supply chains? One way that…

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    An Introduction to Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics for Supply Chain Optimization

    Analytics is the collection, analysis, processing and presentation of data that drives business intelligence and smart decision-making. Broadly speaking, there are three main types of analytics used by businesses: Descriptive analytics that explores what has happened by analyzing historic data and understanding past business outcomes. Predictive analytics that attempts to understand what might happen in…

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    Benefits of Natural Language Processing for the Supply Chain

    Natural language processing (NLP) is technology that allows software and computer systems to analyze, understand and act on requests and information input through normal human language. Traditionally, we interact with machines using specialized programming languages or preset responses. NLP goes beyond these limitations and lets individuals use their normal speech and writing patterns to communicate…

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    A Beginner’s Guide to Blockchain for the Supply Chain

    Blockchain is a digitized, verifiable, decentralized technology that’s used to capture and verify transactions between two parties in a provable and permanent way. Due to its decentralized nature, multiple stakeholders use the blockchain to efficiently record, report on and track verified interactions. Blockchain technology works with supply chain management (SCM) to provide an immutable ledger…

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    How the Internet of Things Is Transforming Supply Chain Management

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of interconnected physical devices that can monitor, report on and send and exchange data. IoT devices are typically connected to computer systems via data or Wi-Fi networks. IoT devices use sensors to measure specific aspects of the world around them, including location, temperature, humidity, light levels, movement,…

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    How Artificial Intelligence Improves the Supply Chain

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is technology that allows machines, software and systems to emulate some types of human intelligence and behavior. AI is driven by systems that use “intelligent agents” and complex algorithms to understand information, perform tasks and adapt to changing inputs and environments. Typically, AI uses human reasoning as a model for decision making,…

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    How Machine Learning Optimizes the Supply Chain

    Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows an algorithm, system or piece of software to learn and adjust without being explicitly programmed to do so. This allows technology to teach itself over time, so that it can improve operations. Machine learning typically uses observations or data to train a computer model. Patterns…

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    The Supply Chain, Explained

    A supply chain is a connected system of organizations, activities, information and resources designed to source, produce and move goods from origination to a final destination—typically from a supplier to an end customer. Modern supply chains are often very complex, spanning multiple countries and involving many steps. The Key Steps in a Supply Chain At…

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