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Stop Driving Blind: Why Supply Chain Visibility is so Critical for Growth

By Mike Warvel | Fri, Oct 06, 2017

Have you ever driven your car with your eyes closed—for just a second?  Pretty scary, right? The same goes for driving your business.

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Why B2B Integration is Key to Gaining Greater Supply Chain Insight

By Lightwell | Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Modern life clips along at an unprecedented pace, and here at Lightwell we have been discussing the comparison of keeping up with the fast pace of life—and all the information that produces—to the experience of keeping up with the supply chain.

On a personal level, when you think back ten years ago, YouTube and Facebook were just getting going, and Twitter was a gleam in someone’s eye. Phones weren’t all that “smart” with people assuming they would just get smaller, and they definitely weren’t thinking “mobile revolution.”

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How B2B Integration Enables Demand Driven Supply Chains

By Lightwell | Mon, Oct 12, 2015

We’ve all been subject to the vagaries of the weather at one time or another--camping holidays, picnics and Wimbledon are all events that can be made or broken by inclement or unexpected weather. Who can forget the huge floods of late 2013/early 2014 causing large areas of the South West of the UK to become inaccessible?

This got us thinking, if you’re managing a supply chain, especially if you’re thinking about becoming demand driven, what would the business impact of these weather disasters be, and how would a demand driven supply chain cope compared to traditional one?

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Curing ills in the healthcare supply chain

By Lightwell | Mon, Apr 13, 2015

Healthcare supply chains are large, and many healthcare organizations are behind other sectors in terms of tech adoption. This can make it difficult for healthcare firms to make meaningful strides in the effort to have more cost-effective, efficient supply chains. Issues can be at the micro level, in terms of employee buy-in and implementation of new products and strategies in facilities. There can also be problems at the macro level, in the effort to develop partner relationships and integrate them effectively into procurement, distribution and support processes. 

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Doing more with less: IT challenges in the manufacturing sector

By Lightwell | Thu, Mar 05, 2015

Using technology to save on labor costs and resource expenses is a top investment priority for nearly every company, particularly those in the manufacturing industry. More cost-efficient facilities, automated order management and data-driven customer fulfillment can reduce the amount of money and time that must be poured into these areas. However, in some cases, the increasing use of technology is bringing about a rise in overall IT costs. Many companies have experienced firsthand the issue of a technological innovation that hasn't significantly decreased labor costs or sped up operations, because the staff and resources needed to maintain expansive IT environments ends up outweighing many of the promised benefits.

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Supply chain management in 2015: Top tech, demand and cost challenges

By Lightwell | Thu, Jan 08, 2015

In order to keep pace with today’s competitive global supply chains, companies must ensure they are utilizing current supply chain technologies to increase efficiency and keep up with customer demand.

In addition, today there is an array of issues and considerations that supply chain supervisors must keep in mind, including the following:

1) The Internet of Things

The IoT seems to be disrupting processes in nearly every industry these days, including enterprise supply chain management. Material Handling & Logistics contributor Luis Humberto Eraña reported that Gartner research predicts that the IoT will have a considerable impact on supply chains, especially when it comes to dealing with current challenges. The growing number of connected systems and sensors that make up the IoT - poised to reach 26 billion units by 2020 - will likely provide new opportunities for supply chain management. Continue reading

Post-holiday supply chain management: Challenges and opportunities

By Lightwell | Tue, Jan 06, 2015

As the holiday season comes to a close, many retailers are looking forward to breathing a sigh of relief. With holiday orders completed and items shipped off, supply chain managers may think their stressors are all out of the way for the year. However, the end of the year - specifically the week between Christmas and New Years - can bring a number of new challenges, as well as some key opportunities.

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What the 2014 holiday shopping season has in store for retailers: Top 3 predictions

By Lightwell | Fri, Nov 21, 2014

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching - in some cases, retailers have already begun offering special merchandise and discounts just for this time of year. It is during the next two months or so that many merchants make the bulk of their profits for the year, and thus focus a great deal of effort on making the next few weeks count.

When preparing for the holiday shopping season, it is helpful to look to expert predictions, not only to know what to expect, but to be ready for anything that might come up during this time of year. In this spirit, let's take a look at some of the top expert forecasts for this year's shopping season, and how retailers can plan ahead.

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'Backoff' malware illustrates growing data security headaches in supply chains

By Lightwell | Mon, Oct 27, 2014

Cybersecurity continues to be a major issue all along the supply chain - and the reality is, the problems it can cause are only going to get murkier in terms of responsibility. As newer, more powerful strains of malware quickly worm through a point of access and hit components all along a network, it's difficult to determine where culpability lies. It's hard to figure out how to fix issues, and harder still to develop an end-to-end solution that reduces vulnerabilities and prevents problems. Of course, it's not helpful when companies point fingers. But as businesses grow more exasperated and the number of compromised enterprises - and customers - continues to mount, it's important to prioritize solutions.

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What a cool summer and bees can teach us about order management

By Lightwell | Thu, Oct 23, 2014

We often think about the supply chain as a system, with its many parts (hopefully) comprising a fully functional whole. These system parts are usually workers, tools and processes that enable supply chains to get rolling. Any interruption or problem in one of these system components can end up affecting the performance of the others. What we may think about less often is the fact there is another system - the earth's ecosystem - that impacts supply chains as well. Most industries deal with changes in the weather or in the environment to a certain extent, but because supply chains are so large, any strange behavior or prolonged change from the normal can be magnified in its impact. 

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