E-commerce has proven to be a major boon for businesses with the foresight to supplement their traditional storefronts with digital services. In today's market, however, it's no longer enough to simply have a website for prospective customers to browse. To remain competitive, businesses need to actively engage their clients, taking them by the hand and guiding them through every stage of the order fulfillment process. The demand for more oversight and greater integration between internal channels has driven adoption rates for omni-channel solutions.
Managed file transfer solutions are critical for any business concerned about the integrity of information flowing through corporate networks. The realities of today's advanced threat landscape mean that generic tools or piecemeal approaches are simply insufficient to effectively stave off security compromises and eliminate information leaks. A recent report by Risk Based Security found that more than 176 million data records were compromised worldwide in the first quarter of 2014 alone, with hacking, fraud and human error just some of the root causes allowing data to fall into predators' hands. Overall, 85.5 percent of incidents involved some outsider activity, while insiders contributed to 59.4 percent of all records exposed. Businesses and supply chains are being threatened from both sides of the network.
As supply chains grow larger and customer fulfillment expectations grow more stringent, enterprises need comprehensive solutions for supply chain clarity, consistency and cost-effectiveness. Transportation management systems help companies better control supply chain sprawl by eliminating excess costs while ramping up service quality. The IBM Sterling Transportation Management System is a software platform dedicated to enhancing key supply chain processes through the optimization of transportation logistics, planning and spending. Organizations can leverage this solution to build a better shipping network and make smarter operational decisions.
Business communications are more complex than ever before. There are more endpoints, file formats and user preferences - just figuring out how to send an important document can be a challenge. There are simply too many variables, and organizations need better ways of controlling them.
The healthcare industry is at a critical juncture. Perhaps no sector has had to contend with as much impact to supply chain and information management processes as healthcare. Medical firms have been put through a boot camp of data, communication and compliance concerns as they become more digitally focused. It's a chicken-and-egg scenario - medical organizations' systems and infrastructure needs to be upgraded to contend with IT and data governance concerns, while new upgrades or strategies put more considerations on the plate. And with budgets concentrated on research and patient care, these entities often have little flexibility for supply chain transformation.
Users are the foundation of every company and supply chain's networks. They're the people who create, share and contribute to critical documents and data, and the ones who set and follow - or eschew - corporate policies concerning access, communication and technology usage. People can also be a problem. Human error continues to be the leading source of data privacy issues, Dynamic Business reported. And as the consumerization of IT continues, it becomes more imperative to mitigate the potential threats to compliance and management that are posed by rogue application use and deviations from file transfer protocols.
Order management software is critical to improving supply chain processes. It's especially vital to making smarter inventory and shipping decisions that are grounded in data. By installing this software, organizations can tackle some of their most complex and intricate challenges. Less-than-truckload shipping is one of these constant issues, which affect virtually every supply chain in some form. Order management software can help enterprises make better LTL shipping decisions, build communication with supply chain partners and leverage this key aspect of supply chains for higher ROI.
Successful B2B integration initiatives cannot be measured merely by the technological tools that enable business partners to communicate. Effective collaboration and meaningful interactions also play critical roles. Communications systems and software do not have to be viewed solely through the lens of building a basic network, with management focused mostly on just "keeping the lights on." With innovative tools deployed in smart ways, companies can build better business relationships based on more effective collaboration.
As supply chains grow and depend more on data for virtually every facet of operation, more information has to be transmitted within companies and out to business partners every day. With more data in transit, opportunities for lax security or mismanagement to leak, exploit or otherwise compromise information are on the rise. This is not only a security and productivity risk, but a major compliance issue - one that could have significant consequences for the bottom line.
Supply chain management can get particularly thorny when shipping is involved. The sea is immortalized in novels and songs for a reason, and although airplanes and high-speed ground transport have somewhat reduced the presence of actual ships in the shipping process, they're still vital to far-flung supply chains. Oil tankers and container vessels are still responsible for shipping 90 percent of all products around the world, as CNBC pointed out. There are a few wrenches that they throw into logistics concerns, primarily due to their relative slowness and encounters with risks that have little affect on other links in the chain.