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com October 2010

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Why cash is queen
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STAND AND DELIVER ANALYSIS PETER BARTRAM

Mark Lewis
09

Cash is queen
Fast conversion of an order into cash requires a rapid chain of events across a supply chain. 10

Blowing bubbles
Are we about to see a commodity price bubble? And what will this mean for the supply chain? 07

THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN LOGISTICS ASSOCIATION

With the widest range of flexible delivery options for both B2B & B2C and easy access to international markets. every day to be precise.yodel. Yodel is the company set to truly lead the market. www.WE’RE HERE ( ) THERE AND EVERYWHERE Every postcode.uk .co.

electronic. But it is also tremendously rewarding to hear the stories and see the passion that these people bring to the profession. I was astonished by the hardships involved in one entry. UK.co. or transmitted in any form or by any means. www.com 50 Poland Street. But.paxton@centaur.co.co.co.co.www.judd@centaur.co. Of course.co. and that is certainly true this year. photocopying. environment – and put in place structures and practices to meet them.uk G Production Tony Kempster (4425) tony.parsons@centaur.co. But we believe that it is only by talking to the people involved that the judges can come to a fair and accurate assessment of the entry. Copyright 2009 by Centaur Media plc. Strategy: Cashing in on the chain 10 Fast conversion of an order into cash requires a rapid chain of events across a supply chain.kempster@centaur. Although every effort will be made to ensure the accuracy of all information published. London W1F 7AX Tel 020 7970 then 4-digit extension Fax 020 7970 4119 G General enquiries (4139) G Editor Malory Davies FCILT (4100) malory.uk SUPPLY CHAIN STANDARD is available for International licensing and syndication.supplychainstandard.supplychainstandard. stored in a retrieval system.co.marenghi@centaur. recession.uk G Contributing Editor. St Giles House.co. recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishers. the winners won’t be announced until the Awards dinner on 18th November. Malory Davies FCILT. Every year the standard of the entries seems to get a little higher.supplychainstandard. Next to cash information is king. so why has takeup not been more dramatic? Cover Story Fast conversion of an order into cash requires a rapid chain of events across a supply chain.uk Supply Chain Standard is published by Centaur Media plc. More than 60 organisations have made presentations – and they cover many different industries as well public sector organisations and come from many different countries.co. Next to cash information is king.uk G Senior Advertisement Sales Executive Mauro Marenghi (4122) mauro. London W1F 7AX.co. . It’s also a big commitment for the judges.com Contents : SCS 03 October 2010 Stay up to date with supply chain developments at www. Editor. and astounded by the sheer scale of a third – and that was in just one morning.uk G Advertisement Sales Executive Ben Tweedy (4204) ben. How are they approaching this complex issue? Auto-ID: Has it all gone wrong for RFID? 15 RFID must be one of the most talked about technologies in logistics history.co.davies@centaur. but Collect+ aims to offer a better option.tweedy@centaur.uk G Group Publisher Dan King (4854) dan.uk G Contributing Editor.sadler@centaur.co. It is fascinating to hear how supply chain professionals have faced up to changing demands – globalisation. This doesn’t make it easy to come to a conclusion. All rights reserved. It’s been a real privilege to hear their stories. 50 Poland Street.co. © 2010 Centaur Media plc. We ask each of the involved that shortlisted companies to make a presentation to the the judges can come to a fair panel of judges. 05 06 07 09 ‘‘ L Profile: Mark Lewis The last mile is well recognised as the Achilles heel of online shopping. Supply Chain Nick Allen (01444 467 307) nick. For more information please call Dan King on +44 (0)20 7970 4854 or email dan.com Privileged information ast month saw one of the most critical stages on the It is only by talking to the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards judging people process – the presentations.kalp@centaur. Reverse chain: Return to profit 12 Many companies are now looking to their returns logistics processes to improve their bottom line. It’s a big commitment – asking senior staff to and accurate give up a significant amount of time to prepare and then assessment of come to London to make the presentation. News: European Supply Chain Excellence Awards 2010 Viewpoint: Penelope Ody: Time to invest? Peter Bartram: Blowing bubbles.king@centaur. I think this would be a good moment to thank all the companies and individuals who have come along to make presentations to us.uk G Circulation Marketing Manager Ian Paxton (4243) ian. the publishers cannot accept responsibility for claims made by contributors and advertisers.uk G Commercial Manager Mark Judd (4441) mark.lillywhite@centaur.uk G Printer Williams Press G Publisher Centaur Media plc ISSN 1353-5595 G Circulation enquiries 020 7292 3758 lmcirc@centaur. mechanical. the entry.uk G Senior Recruitment Sales Executive Jenny Sadler (4439) jenny.king@centaur.uk G Editorial Assistant Johanna Parsons (4139) johanna.uk G Reporter Lucy Tesseras (4813) lucy. As one of the judges.uk G Art Editor Steve Lillywhite (4492) steve. Property Liza Helps (01449 673 952) mesquita@tinyworld. ISSN 0968 – 9001 Opinions expressed are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily imply that such opinions are held by the publishers.tesseras@centaur.uk G Design Consultant Estelle Kalp (4136) estelle. The views expressed by contributors and correspondents are their own and responsibility for the contents of the magazine rests solely with the editor.allen@supplychainintelligence. No part of this publication may be produced. amazed at the ingenuity of another.co.

To find out what lies ahead. contact us: +44 (0) 1452 397200 oliverwight-eame.com Inspiring Business Performance . whatever it holds. Oliver Wight’s Integrated Business Planning will make sure you’re prepared for the future. is their ability to anticipate and respond positively to changing conditions.Whatever lies ahead we can help you plan for it The difference between successful organisations and the rest.

At Cranfield he has helped develop the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management into a leading centre of excellence. He is a board member of camLine Holding. Peter Surtees of Kimberly-Clark. chains. China. Ruediger Hagedorn of The Consumer Goods Forum. We have four outstanding nominees for the award this year: Hans Ehm of Infineon Technologies. Alastair Mitchell was appointed supply chain director responsible for establishing an independent global distribution network of hubs worldwide servicing some 100 markets. Professor Richard Wilding of Cranfield School of Management. Ruediger is a multi-lingual specialist in operation research and has 15 years of supply chain and international process standards development experience with MABEG. L’Oréal. and the Consumer Goods Forum Global Scorecard Project. the overall winner in the 2007 Awards. He also teaches supply chain at universities. retail.www. Ireland and Singapore. He has led governmental-supported projects on national and international levels in the context of IT. podcasts and videos on YourTechTV. Facebook. while focused on successfully delivering improved customer service levels. He is an executive committee member of Leaders in Supply Chain UK and the CILT UK’s Logistics Research Network. . Hans Ehm Hans Ehm is the principal of logistics systems at semiconducor giant Infineon Technologies. The Awards are organised by Supply Chain Standard in partnership with consultants PRTM. The Global Commerce Initiative and The Consumer Goods Forum. The 2016 Future Supply Chain Platform. assembly and test and for global supply chains. This year the dinner will take place on Thursday 18th November hosted by comedian Rufus Hound. automotive.supplychainexcellenc eawards.supplychainstandard.com Alastair Mitchell Systagenix Wound Management is a spin-off of Johnson & Johnson. He also works with European and international companies on logistics and supply chain projects in all sectors including pharmaceutical. Germany. Voting is now open for the Individual Achievement Award. G To vote for the Individual Achievement Award go to the Awards web site: www. high tech FMCG and professional services. semiconductor manufacturing and supply Ruediger Hagedorn Ruediger Hagedorn is senior business consultant at The Consumer Goods Forum and is currently managing and moderating: The Global Upstream Supply Initiative (GUSI). Ehm is also a member of the European leadership team of the Supply Chain Council and speaks frequently at conferences on supply chain topics. Each finalist will now be asked to make a presentation to the panel of judges. and Klaus-Michael Kuehne of Kuehne + Nagel. ECR/GS1 Germany. Whoever takes the Award will be in illustrious company. and Alastair Mitchell of Systagenix Wound Management. The Awards are presented at a glittering dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel before an audience of more than 500 industry leaders. management field. that gives the Awards their extra cachet. and initiated with the University of Limerick a long distance diploma programme on supply chain. It is this stringent judging process which focuses on performance against five core disciplines of supply chain. He has pioneered the use of social media in disseminating supply chain concepts – including use of LinkedIn. Prof Richard Wilding Professor Wilding is one of the most active academic promoters of the supply chain Full house: Leading supply chain professionals filled the Grosvenor House Hotel in 2009. Roche Diagnostics. an IT company for supply and quality chains.com News : SCS 05 Your chance to vote I t’s time to have your say in the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards. Past winners include: Lawrence Christensen of Sainsbury’s. In over 20 years in the semiconductor industry Hans Ehm has had many managing and consulting positions at wafer fabrication. John Allan of DHL. YouTube. This is currently running with students from Austria. Some 60 companies have made the shortlist for the Awards this year reflecting the fact that yet again we have had some outstanding entries.

UK programmers and contractors are to discount. nothing really to do with “investment” per se. . since a raft of optimisation applications have appeared in the past decade. Details from: http://www. These challenges have become yet more complex in recent years with the trend towards manufacturing. additional consultancy or upgrade costs that continue to eat into the IT budget for years after the application or hardware was initially purchased. but are still on hold as the rate of economic recovery remains uncertain. ooking at the current list of “IT investment priorities” for major retailers. particularly Russia.” says Martec managing director Brian Hume.com. As such there should be plenty of opportunity for efficiency savings. group IT director at Aurora Fashions.com ANDREW AUSTIN Andrew Austin is chief executive of Priority Freight. supply chain is at number three with 17 per cent of the retailers surveyed planning to replace logistics applications in the next year. but something rather more along the lines of the traditional retail approach to negotiation aka “screw your suppliers”. “and with others on mobile point-of-sale projects. extended and distended in some way.martec-international. imagine the cost of every idle hour. Others are looking to collaborate. is already working with what he terms “likeminded individuals” in non-competing retail organisations on both supply chain and IT development projects.” says Melissa Cupis. IT departments are also having to think the unthinkable.” about pricing and While retailers may be putting pressure on their many are willing suppliers. Talk to many of the IT vendors active in this space and the message tends to be the same: retailers are looking for quick wins and add-on efficiency tools. Given the costs of maintaining in-house software and the current tendency to shift development work off-shore. often to India. John Bovill. “Retailers are pushing for tougher deals with IT suppliers over maintenance costs. All too often the list price of the new system bears little relation to the final implemented price needed to be up and running. So perhaps more of a “non-investment” priority? Not really that either. Mainly it is in areas where we have a common IT supplier so that we can spread the costs of specific new applications: both Thomas Pink and Aurora use BT Expedite platforms. Recent estimates indicate that these aims are still far from fruition with an L T . to save money. and there is a reduction in post-manufacture “parking” of finished vehicles in favour of a demand-led production programme. . Time to invest? Research in IT retail priorities suggest that many supply chain systems are due for an upgrade – and vendors are eager for sales. perhaps. it appears. Store systems suppliers have offered rental models with a monthly fee rather than up-front capital investment in tills and software. then it seems likely that some of these retailers might just have put replacement logistic systems on their current shopping lists.06 SCS : Viewpoint PENELOPE ODY Regular columnist Penelope Ody is a retail market specialist. additional maintenance cover. With a new vehicle normally emerging from the production line every minute or so. or more especially to assemble vehicles closer to the ultimate and growing markets of eastern Europe. With retailing among the most pessimistic of business sectors. The automotive supply chain is particularly exposed to the problems of a distance based supply chain: The automotive sector supply chain stock locations have switched to production activity. a few have bucked the trend. highlighted in the annual IT in Retail* report from Martec International published a few weeks ago. The days of expensive infrastructure replacement projects may not be over. The drive for reduced stocks and leaner and more sophisticated supply chains has its downside. Given the rate of technological change in the past decade it suggests that many retailers are using very limited logistics tools indeed. I was intrigued to find – nestling between PCI-DSS compliance and ERP – that costcutting was on the shopping list. “especially with systems that really can demonstrate quantifiable benefits from day one. or at least mitigate them. interruptions shouldn’t happen. hosted systems and software-as-a-service have all helped shift IT costs from capital to operational budgets. have occasionally taken a “shared risk/shared reward” approach with fees based on a percentage of the cost savings and benefits the product delivers: a charging system which must surely require a significant level of trust between buyer and seller. of inventory software to be more realistic specialists AGR. www.” While cost cutting comes in at number seven on Martec’s IT investment priority list. whose links are forged by many supplier tiers in various countries. especially when trying to break into the market with novel applications. haemorrhaging cash and reeling from lost opportunity is guaranteed to instil dread into the most robust of auto manufacturers.000 (plus VAT) each. The supply chain is rendered fragile. “We’re working with Thomas Pink on developing multi-channel applications for customer facing activities such as order online and collect from stores. Typical age of such tools currently installed is just under eight years – the second highest of all application areas examined in the study – although the report also suggests that those currently being replaced have generally been in use for almost eleven years. For years IT companies have charged significant sums for additional user licences. To combat the supply chain risks. Under such circumstances it becomes clear that an aircraft charter that can often run to hundreds of thousands of pounds is a worthwhile investment. With today’s state-of-the-art production lines and the most sophisticated supply chains. natural disaster. Suppliers are having to be more realistic about pricing and many are willing to discount . “Payment by results Suppliers are having can work. he prospect of an essential production line sitting idle. the more it is susceptible to unforeseen circumstances. the sheer scope of components in each vehicle keeps expanding. one suspects that cost-cutting. often as a result of inclement weather. Newer entrants. tough negotiation and collaborative developments may remain the order of the day for some time to come.” he says. “and they are negotiating hard to get the best deals when it comes to buying new IT. for example. while managed services. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of the 100 or so leading retailers questioned use logistics software which has been developed in-house. Taut supply chains can often snap Keeping the production line moving is a constant pressure for automotive supply chains. Some clever new IT tool. just the usual meaning of cost cutting. If that line had to close for several days it would be a challenge for the manufacturer to compensate for that loss through the rest of the year. a number of manufacturers have voiced an aim to supply all components from within a hundred kilometre radius of the assembly plant. A maximum holding of parts at assembly sites may be as low as one day’s worth and stock is frequently in transit. so now is probably a good time to buy. carries a risk in that the longer and more diverse it becomes. explained the researchers. labour dispute.” “More realistic” is a telling phrase. among the many unemployment casualties of the current recession as companies move development work off-shore. that helped identify areas of waste or magically improved efficiency? No. This distance-based supply chain. or fire. Over the years. * “IT in Retail Reports UK 2010/2011” are sponsored by BT Expedite and are available in two formats: “Leading 100 Retailers” and “Leading 100 Non-food Retailers” at £5.supplychainstandard. judging by recent surveys. but they can and do.

Of The reshaping of course. The new shape of world supply chains is much more complex – with raw materials often being exported from developed countries to the developing ones. Supply chain disruption as described above. today. The food prices index produced by the International Monetary Fund rose from 139 to 143 between March and July (the latest figures available). Amsterdam and Paris. contingency planning and the services of a freight specialist were key to maintaining Jaguar Land Rover’s supply chain integrity during the ash cloud period. during the flight. all this will happen at a time when the world is becoming concerned about the toll that producing more commodities than ever. what will this mean for the supply chain? he headline to this has been the surge in wheat prices following Russia’s decision to halt exports and supply only its home market from this year’s poor harvest. organisations with But. The metals index was volatile – it rose from 156 to 176 between March and April before falling back to 155 in July. All this ought to prompt some careful strategic thinking in the boardrooms of any company that moves large quantities of any of these (or other commodities. Wheat prices (at the time of writing) are up 75 per cent on the start of the year. let’s be frank. other commodities have started to rise inexorably. However. Such natural phenomena as the Icelandic volcanic eruptions that resulted in ash clouds blighting the airspace over many parts of Europe last April/May could certainly not be predicted. So. the economics of local supply can be made to work effectively. necessitated new customs entries and alternative ground transport to the plants. consignments assembled and. When it comes to transport and distribution of pretty much anything these days. So what? Moving goods from anywhere to anywhere was always the supply chain’s business. the nature of global automotive supply chains will necessitate such expediencies well into the future. Equally significant. or certainly the threat of it therefore. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Logistics professionals who can harness new technologies and devise new working methods that trim expense while maintaining service levels will gain competitive advantage in this climate. But with markets it only needs one piece of bad news to set off a stampede. for that matter) around the globe. can be confidently predicted to remain a part of the automotive industry in the future and auto manufacturers will continue to go to great lengths to resolve such situations. to top off the bad news. increasingly. That’s the big issue which logistics professionals now need to face. .com industry-wide average of between 20 and 30 per cent of supplies currently emanating from these zones. will be exported to China in the future. it’s not just oil that conceivably could be the global reach to in short supply – but a whole host of commodities from coffee to potash. be inappropriate. But to which destination airport? Initially. of course. Finally. Blowing bubbles Is the world about to experience a commodity price bubble? And. part of Tata Motors. So cheap and dirty solutions – which. Flexibility. is that the rise of the so-called BRIC economies – Brazil. During the on-going ash-induced crisis. Russia. Certainly. given that the economics of local supply can be made to work effectively. potentially quite a bit.supplychainstandard. But don’t bet on prices falling in the longer term. for example. increasingly. the aircraft was bound for Valencia. within which its Avtoframos plant in Moscow will be majority supplied from within the country. Essential JLR parts were caught in transit and a potential shutdown of three UK manufacturing plants was the worst case scenario. Of course. clean and green is the new mantra. Perhaps the commodity price bubble will burst. JLR relied totally on alternative multi modal solutions for its urgent intra-European component supply and aftermarket items. is the shape of supply chains. unaffected by ash. And. T It seems doubtful. which covers the price of tea and coffee. They’re changing as demand for commodities moves from Europe and North America to the BRIC economies. what issues should those boardroom discussions focus on? The first. there will be more price volatility across more commodities. The historic model was of supply chains moving raw materials from the developing world of Asia and Africa to Europe and North America with manufactured goods being exchanged between the advanced economies and exported to the developing world. in the light of all this. and moving them around the globe. it seems doubtful that given the global manufacturing platform employed by most major manufacturers. India and China – is going to create more competition for everything. from a base of 100 in 2005. For the fact is that the shape of world supply chains has been changing – and will change even more in the future. It’s basic economies – when demand increases for scarce products. is taking on the environment. The second issue is that the ever-rising demand for commodities of all kinds will tend to keep prices rising. new shipping documentation prepared. was up from 163 to 178 over the same period. Significant rescheduling of part availability from various suppliers was required. from where the cargo would take a 24 hour road/ferry journey to JLR’s factories in the Midlands. For a start. This included the chartering of an Ilyushin 76 aircraft to bring in more urgent supplies. be prone to more serious political interventions in the future. prices rise. One solution to those problems is to look for appropriate joint venture partners. UK or at the airfreight hubs of Frankfurt. This means that consumers of commodities are going to be looking to cut costs more vigorously in other areas – including transport and distribution. if it does. in particular within the growing Russian manufacturing sector. Even more challenging is the encouragement of tier one component suppliers to set up plants in Russia and other East Europe countries. was one of the auto companies that experienced significant disruption to its supply chain. And. surely. some airspace restrictions were lifted and a new flight plan was submitted to divert the aircraft to Birmingham. With no guarantee of flights into the Viewpoint : SCS 07 PETER BARTRAM Regular columnist Peter Bartram is a business writer. there will be peaks and troughs as the metals index has demonstrated – but the trend is going to be northwards for most things. we’ve seen geopolitical interventions in supply chains is an supply chains in the past – most notably back in the bad old days of the 1970s when OPEC sought opportunity for those (successfully) to hike the price of oil. Much more of Canada’s potash. But many will find it difficult to tackle the cultural and regulatory issues which moving into unfamiliar markets brings with it. Here is an example of how JLR reacted to solve the problem. The diversion. in some cases. The beverage index. the political intervention to stop wheat exports in Russia suggests that global supply chains could. have sometimes served their purpose in developing markets – will. take advantage of it. What’s different about the new model? Well. the aircraft was ready to take-off. However. journalist and author of 20 books. those everythings will be in continuing short supply – or subject to volatility. Jaguar Land Rover activated its contingency planning process to secure its supply chain from outside Europe. within 20 hours. The reshaping of supply chains is a strategic opportunity for those organisations with the global reach to take advantage of it. Local sourcing policy has been much talked of. The new economic reality.www. with no scheduled flights available. which is only beginning to dawn on the West. Renault/Nissan claim to have a three to five year goal. the price of oil has been edging upwards following BP’s troubles in the Gulf of Mexico and the resumption of stronger growth in the world economy.

co.uk ORGANISED BY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SPONSORED BY .com To be added to the waiting list or for general enquiries please contact STACEY DYZART T: +44 (0)20 7970 4112 E: stacey.co.uk For sponsorship opportunities please contact MARK JUDD T: +44 (0)20 7970 4441 E: mark.DON’T MISS OUT THE BIGGEST NIGHT IN SUPPLY CHAIN Thursday 18th November 2010 t! u lO el S a ’s It d dde be a o ey t Stac act ont se c ea s pl ard aw the ding n atte d in ste tere e in u ar If yo ist ng l aiti he w to t www.dyzart@centaur.judd@centaur.supplychainexcellenceawards.

he sees Collect+ as perfectly placed to respond to As well as expanding the Collect+ client base and its network of this customer demand.” know that there’s a there’s a problem there and they know that people in And this is what has led him to the logistics of problem there and large numbers drop out of their web sites in the retail. they want After uncovering such huge customer dissatisfaction with delivery to try it on. but as more companies use idea of Collect+ is that.www. it’s complicated. They know that might be a bit painful. offering this for free. He joined as head of seller activation. via the convenience “In some ways I see a lot of parallels there… it’s a small business stores.” The system is based on strategic partnerships with the Yodel Perhaps painless delivery is the future. moving from a maths degree to managing restaurants in Paris and “At the heart of what we’re trying to do is just make parcels easier Sydney.” differences to that addition to Very. shun the outlets in question – permanently. “The business is set up on a belief that as stores. Typical locations are Budgens. as rewards at eBay. In 1996 he joined St Luke’s where as senior account director he led the government campaign for working families tax credit.” He says that one of the key lessons of his time at in large numbers drop worth large amounts of money to notice. difference between a large letter and a packet and I have to go to “I’ve been working in e-commerce for quite a long time. they know that people check out. Kitbag. What they’re telling you is working and what they’re telling you is not working. harder for Mark Lewis – how to take the pain out of parcel Collect+ reckons that 75 per cent of the UK population live within delivery.” and returns services. things get delivered. rather than waiting at home all day for a Collect+ it does seem that Lewis’ faith in the concept is well founded. I think that’s a really compelling mainstream. Chief executive Mark Lewis explains the strategy to Johanna Parsons. whose in-store IT terminals provide receipts and tracking riving 20 per cent annual growth at internet phenomenon details for returns. this may not be for everyone. which offers a pick-up and delivery service from 90 per cent within the year.” we want online. This time he’s focusing on new worth large amounts the returns facility is something that makes Collect+ feedback gathered by YouGov which found that poor especially relevant. customers pick up deliveries whenever convenient from a He sees similarities between Collect+ now. Small differences to that drop out rate are retailers. They translates to an incentive for retailers. says Lewis. Lewis has a wider vision for the company. it’s been taken to your customers. that I believe has got the potential to change how people shop. and shoes don’t fit through letterboxes. we all know that we can probably It’s something that But minimising the hassle for consumers also find it at a more competitive price online. We all know that we can find whatever Mark Lewis: proposition for the consumer. He joined Collect+ in June 2010 as chief executive officer. When e-commerce launched it was fairly to simplify all of that and offer a service that is on cute and quite quirky. PayPoint. whereas now it’s reasonably people’s doorsteps. Mark Lewis The last mile is well recognised as the Achilles heel of online shopping. a figure that Lewis sees rising to delivery firm Collect+. and Spa stores. Littlewoods and others. But the challenge just got a bit interest in providing their best service. Small on as a delivery option for brands such as New Look. and eBay as it was when local store. I don’t know the informed view of how the online retail marketplace has developed.com Profile : SCS 09 Lewis went back to school in 2000 for his MBA at the INSEAD business school near Paris. Costcutter a network of local convenience stores. with many retailers returns experiences lead 58 per cent of customers to of money to retailers.” With a business model that clearly works best in highly populated Back to that key idea of eliminating the pain of delivery. The central areas. in the check out. delivery. the idea of capitalising on “removing those pain points”. with petrol stations as the next obvious step. Jacque Vert and Agent Provocateur in and to drive that change through the business. The two companies co-own Collect+ and so have an eBay is no mean achievement. seeing international fantastic as online shopping is. being scanned and tracked along the he joined. fitting the He’s taken a rather circuitous route to the logistics industry – model of convenient stores with long opening hours. delivery network that moves the parcels. Items are secure. But being at eBay from 2004 has given him an how much it’s going to cost. People want to see it. there is still a big pain point in how and person-to-person services as the next challenge. In the first And retailers have been taking eBay was “just how important it is to keep listening out of their web sites month since Lewis joined Collect+. using the same barcode as for the original delivery. “It’s something that really resonates. and I’ve locations which are never open when I want them to be. and retail payment network D . curriculum vitae Mark Lewis began his career as account manager at CDP Advertising in 1994. he was hired as the chief executive of parcel one mile of a connected store already.’ We are trying seen the different stages of it.supplychainstandard. Lewis made the move to eBay in 2004. Returns operate in the same way. but we also know that actually getting it and receiving it really resonates. Adjusting the functions of the eBay web site drop out rate are It’s no coincidence that the fashion industry according to feedback from big sellers reaped big makes up a lot of the company’s retail customers. “Fashion is a perfect category for us. but Collect+ aims to offer a better option. delivery path. In June. to an MBA at INSEAD via senior account director at advertising for people… All the customers that we talk to say ‘I never really know house St Luke’s. From 2001 – 2004 he was a project leader at Boston Consulting Group where his projects included a strategic review of global loyalty schemes and payments for a petrol retailer. but became UK managing director in 2008 and European director of marketplaces from 2009.

” Anthony Bourne. says Nick Allen. director of enterprise solutions consulting. Although these strategies have enabled growth and increased profits. Next to cash. invoicing and cash collection.10 SCS : Strategy www. It’s easy to get sucked into installing ERP as an IT system without ensuring it becomes a useful business tool. there is no point dropping an ERP system into a business and expecting it to solve all problems. As every financial director knows. Wincor Nixdorf. T align the system closely to the business and its needs.” Bourne believes that although EDI has been available for a long time. processes need to be seamlessly integrated across a business – orders should be picked accurately and dispatched quickly. “a great number of companies are still not . inconsistencies between orders and invoices need to be eradicated. “It removes the need to pass paper work around – the reduction in paper work can be unbelievable. “A lot of companies have problems with visibility of data and being able to pass data between systems. ERP is one way to ensure that all areas of the business are working together with very little cash – whether that’s stock or a surplus of staff – being lost in the system.supplychainstandard. they have also left companies with inconsistent business processes and separate. complex IT systems. According to a report produced by research organisation Aberdeen Group in 2007. as well as finance into a fully integrated business process. credit checking. We offer an integrated system that allows a set of process flows between sites and helps inter-site trading.com Cashing in on the chain Fast conversion of an order into cash requires a rapid chain of events across a supply chain. and payment should be pursued swiftly. information is king. It’s as simple as ensuring you know exactly what it is you’ll be getting from the system – whether that’s fast access to supply and demand figures. releasing orders to production or fulfilment. or improved co-ordination between different areas of the business. highlights one of the greatest barriers to having a fast order-to-cash cycle. It is hardly surprising that information technology lies at the heart of linking these various processes. Most businesses are built up through a mixture of organic growth and mergers and acquisitions. procurement. planning. Richard Pascoe he tight financial constraints of the last two years have pressed most companies to examine the whole process of turning an order into cash. 97 per cent offered complete and on-time shipments and 37 per cent are able to invoice within one day of completed orders. “If opting for ERP organisations must ensure that they .” “ERP is one way to ensure that all areas of the business are working together with very little cash – whether that’s stock or a surplus of staff – being lost in the system. global industry director for supply chain at IFS. the lifeblood of a company is its cash flow. as Aberdeen Group’s report points out – “Best in breed companies are 43 per cent more likely to take full advantage of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to integrate order management. To quickly and efficiently effect this. But perhaps one of the most impressive findings was that best in class companies are five times more likely to collect cash within 30 days – a dramatic difference in the ability to control cash flow. best in class companies are 77 per cent more likely to use automated workflows to initiate steps such as converting quotes to orders.” he says.” says Richard Pascoe. In addition. scheduling shipments. and production (or fulfilment). “However.

“If invoices were to be pre-checked against purchase orders and delivery notes prior to sending to the . you can scan the document in. Accuracy and consistency are essential to getting paid quickly.” Matching an invoice to a purchase order and checking against goods actually received creates a tricky three-way matching and approval process that can result in a delay in payment due to inconsistencies.” he says. “But. the invoice might fail if there were a discrepancy between the purchase order and shipping notice. they revert to antiquated techniques.” she says. managing director of Wesupply.” Bourne says paperless authorisation is an example of where efficiencies can be gained. As next generation systems are capable of looking at the content of the messages. but you can only do that if you’ve got the stock … getting the correct level of inventory to respond quickly is vital.” he says. “However.” she says.” says Grosvenor. say.” he says. “If one line item in an invoice containing. Jewson.www.” he says. costs and supply chain performance – all important aspects of the order-to-cash cycle. “Although most retailers have pretty slick internal systems for the whole order-to-cash cycle. which also links into the carrier to give real-time updates on scheduling. they have compressed the time-cycle of fulfilling an order. Clear visibility and the fast exchange of accurate information across a supply network offers the capability to control inventory. “It may be that. so ensuring fast payment of the majority of the order. area of supplier performance. the retail building supplies company. A further area where intelligent B2B integration can be successfully deployed to create cash efficiencies is in the This allows the customer to have a very tight delivery slot given to them and offers the retailer far greater control over the whole order-to-cash cycle. Pre-invoice matching can now be achieved using intelligent EDI technology that is able to look at the data inside each message carried between buyer and supplier. “For instance. So spotting errors in invoicing can become an automated process that brings direct cash benefits.” he says. By knowing that you can rely on a supplier that has a 98 per cent performance rating enables you to reduce safety stock or may allow you to move to a vendor managed inventory arrangement or Direct Ship. An alert would enable a supplier to pull out that one item and generate an invoice for 79 items instead. It means the retailer is poised to take advantage of a sudden surge of interest in a certain line or item. “You want to take orders and fulfil them as fast as possible. EDI has proved hugely beneficial – there’s still a lot of mileage in increasing the use of EDI. Bourne offers the example of BSkyB. It becomes obvious that. such as faxes.” Inventory optimisation in conjunction with demand forecasting plays an important part in minimising cost and the time taken from order to payment. potential problems and mismatches could be identified and addressed in advance. next to cash. an online platform enables the live exchange of information between retailer and supplier. so reducing holdups in payment and speeding cash-flow. “When you look at both the order intake side and sending orders out to suppliers. this allows the customer to have a very tight delivery slot given to them and offers the retailer far greater control over the whole order-to-cash cycle for direct ship operations. which would improve process flow. Direct ship allows retailers to expand their product ranges without the need to tie up cash in inventory or expose themselves to the risk of carrying unsold stock. retail director at JDA. analysis of supplier KPIs can be used to reveal the most reliable suppliers. “they placed our modules into their landscape to improve visibility on Strategy : SCS 11 customer. as opposed to ringing someone up or sending an email. By having access to that inventory at the press of a button. has used Wesupply to co-ordinate direct ship activities across multiple suppliers for consolidated deliveries to customers. information is king. but it must be flexible. “The days of a rigid structure where we stick to the plan to be a success have long gone. Jane Fazzalari. when it comes to working outside the four walls of the enterprise.supplychainstandard. inventory. According to Grosvenor. and can apply intelligence to the data carried. highlights the need for modern retail supply chains to plan and anticipate demand. Having this visibility has meant that they can use stock in a number of locations.” Grosvenor goes on to highlight another example of where pre-emptive action can speed payment. if a supplier invoice needs to be approved before you generate the final customer invoice. 100 items were ordered by a buyer but under their terms and conditions it was acceptable for the supplier to ship up to a maximum of 110. but emphasises too. say. rather than sending that piece of paper out. 80 line items fails the whole invoice may well be halted. view it online and approve it online or make comments – as it’s online you can gain access from any location.” “Technology that lets you adapt to quick changes in demand is a huge asset for the future. “Now it’s all about reaction – the plan is important.com using this technology as much as they could do. the vital necessity for them to be agile.” says David Grosvenor.” “The great thing is. errors and poor communications. Action in advance could allow for the invoice to be adapted accordingly or for a buyer to be notified. the problem for retailers is that they lose visibility and control putting the order out to suppliers for direct delivery.

Fuller explains that it is imperative to deal with direct-from-consumer returns efficiently as the way a company performs in this respect greatly influences brand loyalty. research conducted by Stockshifters. Tony Burley. How are they approaching this complex issue? And just what benefits can accrue? By Nick Allen igh street retailers expect an average returns rate of ten per cent. basket value and repeat purchasing. For example. believes that reverse logistics activity in the UK . The report goes on to warn that online traders could face losses upwards of £9. they can not only realise up to 90 per cent of the returned asset’s value going straight to the bottom line but they can learn more about their customers and also gain vitally important customer service benefits. materials handling and carrier management. “more effective returns and recovery management also significantly reduces waste to landfill – with landfill tax at £48 per tonne and on an escalator which will see this H The incidence of returns and the associated costs can be dramatically reduced by working with vendors and carriers to minimise product damage and improve delivery accuracy. This he says is being driven by the increasingly strict legislation around the disposal of end of life electrical equipment under the WEEE directive.com Return to profit Many companies are now looking to their returns logistics processes to improve their bottom line.” he says. points out that organisations are now seeing returns as a large inventory stream in itself. Through the introduction of improvements in packaging. “able to reduce return rates by 42 per cent”. this is a priority for retailers. In addition to helping both consumers and retailers meet their obligations under this legislation. Peter Fuller increase to £80 by 2014. operations director at Unipart Consumer Logistics. as this affects what can be done with them subsequently. According to recent research from Collect+. senior vice president EMEA at Manhattan Associates. it is nigh on impossible to eradicate returns entirely. he says. particularly from the stores.” Steve Smith. However. “if there is a long delay getting returned apparel back through a fashion retailer’s supply chain. a major DIY retail customer of Norbert Dentressangle was. “The incidence of returns and the associated costs can be dramatically reduced by working with vendors and carriers to minimise product damage and improve delivery accuracy. the season may be over by the time the stock can be redeployed. So.12 SCS : Reverse chain www. encouraging customers to buy a new product without worrying about how to dispose of the old one. However. retail business unit director at Norbert Dentressangle. “By deploying technology to drive a successful reverse logistics operation. by far the simplest way to reduce the cost of returns is to reduce the rate and volume of returned product. poor returns experiences lead to 58 per cent of online shoppers permanently shunning outlets.4 billion this year due to the growing number of returns.” says Smith.supplychainstandard. Fuller says. forming possibly 30 per cent of a retailer’s business.” he says.com in May 2010 finds that online shoppers return an average of 22 per cent of items purchased – a figure which increases significantly following the peak Christmas trading period. what can retail organisations do to minimise exposure to this significant risk to the bottom line? According to Peter Fuller. Technology can automate the process to speed up returns. Fuller goes on to explain that take-back schemes are on the increase. A major issue around returns has been the speed at which products are received back.

” he says. In the warehouse we scan the tote to identify the store that it’s from. He adds. sold to jobbers or fed back into the retail stream. Technology plays a major part in controlling the returns process. Items might be returned to stock. or may be sent off for pulping. Then when the store gets its next delivery. “Returnable packaging may help companies fully use the space on the vehicle and packaging can be returned relatively easily using empty return legs.supplychainstandard. the driver will know to return the tote to the warehouse for processing. many retailers are now turning to logistics service providers for more sophisticated solutions to the complexities of processing returns. documented and given a code according to the reason for its return.0.” he says. the till system feeds the data directly into ReSCU.” Hewitt points out that human intervention is required to validate this but from then on it’s an automatic process. which for the last six years has received a completely visible and auditable returns processing service from iForce that swiftly removes returned products from its Tim Ansell of Bisham Consulting believes that vehicle fill rates have an important impact on the cost of the returns process. all on a single SaaS platform running globally. “The product is then scanned. “A typical returns authorisation notice [RAN] involves 20 suppliers.” he says. an activity that forms a significant part of the overall logistics contract for the book retailer. However. According to Ansell. refurbished or scrapped. auctioned using iForce’s own BuyForce site. integrated with other supply chain execution tools and that can manage returned products from customers on a global scale in an efficient and responsive manner. “UK retailers tend to see their returns as a matter of embarrassment. a food retailer. An in-depth study surprised the company. “With release 2. designed for high technology manufacturers. so when a RAN is generated. “Until recently. explains.” says Burley. a title could also be returned to stock. our in-house developed returns management software.0 as a SaaS solution.” says Evan Puzey. we extend the offering to include capabilities from call centre capabilities through warehouse and shop floor. VP of global marketing communications at Kewill. This results in a large volume of returns being handled – somewhere in the region of 150.com is not as mature as it is in the United States.” he says.” However. The company has just launched Kewill Reverse Logistics 2. Ansell outlines how one client.000 items a week. around collecting all the titles for return and scan them into a tote box. Unipart is responsible for the reverse logistics operations for Waterstone’s. “Many businesses in the UK struggle to apply the same level of solutions for their reverse logistics as they do for their forward logistics – forward logistics tends to be far more advanced for most retailers.” Managing an efficient returns operation minimises the cost implications for the business and can present further opportunities for achieving sales. as well as the actual returns operation to the warehouse and onwards to the suppliers. as Rob Smith.” he says. “What’s more. “We’ve developed the back of store processing. “Because of the way they were accounting for the overall process they couldn’t see the benefits of returnable packaging – it turned out the cost of returning packaging was considerably less than they expected as they were able to use empty runs. Mark Hewitt. we then open the tote and scan each book – the majority automatically via the sorter – and the system will tell us which supplier to return it to. but wasn’t sure if it made sense for them. product damage too was greatly reduced by a factor of ten times. staff at a store will go Reverse chain : SCS 13 stores and processes them for onward disposition. The solution is said to be used by some of the world’s top supply chains to manage their reverse logistics operations.www. the reverse logistics supply chain has been managed as a patchwork of legacy solutions. “Using returnable crates enabled a much faster loading of vehicles. “To manage complex reverse supply chains effectively. A large proportion of books sold through Waterstone’s retail network of over 300 stores are taken from publishers on a sale or return basis. recently reviewed its position regarding the use of plastic crates. CEO of iForce. a reverse lifecycle management system is needed. “A complete reverse lifecycle management system is one that is flexible. suggests that with multi-channel retailers experiencing growing volumes of returns coming through their stores. “they are just as robust for protecting goods on the return journey too. whereas in the US a return is seen as an opportunity for a further sale. and there was a lot less work required in store handling and disposing of disposable packaging. there were very significant savings made. repackaged.” he says. “When a return is brought to the customer service desk in a Tesco store. Hewitt says this has been the case at Tesco. The route back to market could see an item being restored to the original supplier. a retailer can gain an advantage by linking the store’s tills to a decisionmaking system that offers comprehensive management of the return.” . The company was using returnable packaging and some one-trip packaging. chief marketing officer for Kewill.” Many businesses in the UK struggle to apply the same level of solutions for their reverse logistics as they do for their forward logistics – forward logistics tends to be far more advanced for most retailers. sent on to another store.” An important point Ansell makes is that returnable crates offer greater protection for goods on the outbound journey and so minimise returns due to damage. space savings were achieved at back of store and the cost of a trip for a rented crate was less than half the cost of a cardboard equivalent – including the cost of washing the crate.

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general manager of Jungheinrich UK’s systems and projects division. according to Baracoda. firstly for cycling pallet control and now for vehicle tracking along the assembly chain. even if some ROI can be obtained with non proven technology. the company claims.” . chairman of Codegate points out that RFID remains the most talked about. How could it have been successful. It is more or less the failure of marketing. The RFID-based navigation system uses transponders measuring 9 x 16 mm that are inserted in the floor of each aisle to guide the truck to its destination in the shortest route and in the fastest time. supply chain did not. The automotive industry has been using RFID for more than 15 years. because of very dogmatic statements. high-speed identification.com Auto-ID : SCS 15 Has it all gone wrong for RFID? It must be one of the most talked about technologies in logistics history. More and more businesses are interested in solutions that provide richer information. "Just remember the Wal-Mart mandate. Was it all just hype? “It is quite evident to me that way too much hype was made around RFID. Armed with this information. Since the RFID-based system was introduced it has been installed at some 100 sites throughout Europe. Proposing a non-mature technology was a big cultural jump. but least adopted. says: “The trucks of the future will not only have to be powerful performers. it hasn’t happened like that. of all auto-ID technologies.” R innovation Tags for truck navigation Jungheinrich has been developing RFID technology to guide forklifts quickly and efficiently around a narrow aisle store. argues: “We should ask what went wrong with RFID in the supply chain sector? In fact. The logistics domain is used to working with 100 per cent proven systems. “A lot of people spent a lot of money on the hype and it cost a lot of manufacturing companies millions of pounds in research and development. depending on the warehouse situation typical practical efficiency increases of around 25 per cent are being achieved. the RFID approach in the supply chain was wrong. he argues. Steve Richmond. There will be applications where RFID is the best choice – high value items. and so on Mark Dale-Lace FID was the technology that would turn the supply chain on its head. marketing director at The Barcode Warehouse. of course. “The automotive industry took the right approach to RFID. the technology allows pallet locations to be determined precisely within the aisles at all times. so why has take-up not been more dramatic? Malory Davies investigates. The truck itself is equipped with an RFID reader/writer that communicates with the transponders to determine aisle and warehouse zone identification as well as path measurement referencing within the aisle. director of global RFID solutions at Psion Teklogix. The trouble is. prompting the question: what went wrong for RFID? Terran Churcher. items not in line of site. Forget paper systems. and forgotten the culture of people working in warehouses and the diversity of the logistics processes. they will need to have intelligent technology on board to connect them to the warehouse or distribution centre’s IT and to integrate them in the logistical processes. scrap messy error-prone barcodes – you would just need to wave an RFID reader at the warehouse to get a full and accurate reading of everything in there. At some sites efficiency gains of up to 40 per cent have been recorded. proposing a unique way of capturing the data?” The approach was far too dogmatic and monolithic. having over communicated the benefits.www. Jungheinrich has measured the impact that the technology has had on these facilities and.supplychainstandard.” But Pierre Bonnefoy.” says Clive Fearn.

applications running on PDAs or smartphones.” But are companies ready to make large-scale investments in the technology? Bonnefoy points out that it is quite difficult taking the investment decision of installing 20 dock doors in a warehouse when you Masternaut is using RFID in its asset tracking systems. first time. to your existing process. items not in line of site. The system. live online tracking of vehicles and RFID tagging of portable equipment with PDA-based service management software. NGF expects to make further savings. every time. says: “NGF’s main business driver throughout this project was to ensure 100 per cent accuracy in everything we ship to our customers. further reducing downtime and critical errors. The technology has been incorporated into various processes throughout the manufacture of NGF Europe core glass cord product. software. but RFID tags on the pallets which can be used several times for transport. believes that organisations should look at RFID with an open mind.” One of the main challenges that faced NGF was incorrect labelling. there will always be applications where barcode is the number one choice.supplychainstandard. and so on. This combines real-time. are also more and more using mobile AIDC Crystal clear for motor industry St Helens-based NGF Europe has introduced an RFID system into its supply chain to ensure that deliveries are right first time. resulting in incorrectly labelled products. Peter Lai. technicians. The company produces specialist glass cord products for the building. These types of applications are quite recent. As more of NGF’s customers move over to RFID. poor read rates have been estimated to cost NGF more than £25. director of Mobexx.When the bobbins containing the manufactured glass cord were wrapped. is a more reasonable and easy decision. It worked with Inotec to produce a label capable of storing more data than ever before. Plans to write detailed specifications onto the RFID tag would enable the bobbins to travel with their own test certification. For scanning NGF chose the Atlanta 8000 Series by Belgravium. and are not really mature yet.” But while RFID still collects all the headlines. is using RFID as part of its wireless vehicle and asset management solution. To support the new system NGF had to source new labels. using the benefits of the technology step by step. sales guys etc.” Matthieu Delporte managing director of Baracoda highlights the fact that there is now an understanding of what RFID can not achieve.000. Ringway Jacobs. a cost that has been eliminated since the implementation of RFID. Customers are no longer on their own to try to integrate a new technology and now have the components for a full system available to them. focused applications because value-added resellers have built value-based solutions around the technology. managing director of Masternaut Three X.When incorrect products were put into cam belts and cars for example. and integration tools. leaving only the RFID tag.com Many organisations are beginning to see the value of RFID.” And Martin Port. “The mobile workforces. when the RFID tags and mobile readers are in place. But companies understand the potential of these new applications and especially the new RFID ones as such kind of workers are more likely to use richer information. It also has plans to integrate the scanning system into the ERP system enabling a real-time stock system. built around specific process improvements. RFID principal product manager at Intermec. “More and more businesses are interested in solutions with richer information. The removal of the second serial number barcode. where picking is controlled by an RFID system and operators are preparing orders by scanning barcoded products placed in tagged basket. fixed readers can be used in combination. including hardware. Stephen Barriball and Bob Tinsley of NGF Europe completed its integration in December 2006.” NGF had also been struggling with poor read rates. “Starting to integrate a few mobile readers. designed by Peter Lai. every time. high-speed identification. barcodes should not be written off. is using RFID as part of its wireless vehicle and asset management solution. a realistic path toward RFID adoption. costs as a result were enormous.” So is now the moment to go back and look again at the technology? Well. Martin Port are not sure of the benefits. Then. opinions are split. Kurt Mensch. printers and scanning systems. automotive and information electronics industries. manufacturing development technician.16 SCS : Auto-ID case study www. In the past. NGF plans to use the system to give customers more detailed data. only where it can work and bring real value. “RFID technology has allowed us to retain an accurate vision of our product after its protective wrapping has been applied ensuring that we deliver the right item. says: “RFID is gaining acceptance and growth within specific. to optimise the data capture. what we have seen is typical of the path taken by emerging technologies. says: “Many organisations are beginning to see the value of RFID. Ringway Jacobs.500 a year. Arguably. unlike traditional applications for warehouses. “RFID and barcodes are in simple terms a means of positive identification. including general warehousing and packing areas. Fearn says: “Still today it is evident that the barcode can and is being used to drive a significantly higher return on investment for the vast majority of businesses. And. and within your existing team. The Atlanta provided both barcode and RFID scanning within the same device. with barcodes on the products and the boxes. or solutions using the reading/writing capabilities of RFID systems. This helps to manage the logistics for its emergency response teams. Lai continues. NGF implemented the RFID system in its warehouse operation. Many businesses are also combining barcodes and RFID. normal barcodes were rendered unreadable. There will be applications where RFID is the best choice – high value items. will cut costs by a further £18. After two years’ development. for example. for example. Mark DaleLace. If you . Another example in a warehouse. Just take the example of the automotive industry and what they did with RFID: a pragmatic approach.

each equipped with three high resolution cameras. we are working with companies replacing pen and paper systems with data capture solutions based around the barcode in the warehouse and now for the first time also getting rid of paperwork in the drivers’ hands and giving them mobile computers for electronic proof of delivery. Terran Churcher points out that a barcode can be printed on a label or on a product for almost zero cost. especially in the context of high volumes of relatively low-cost products. which is used by Barclaycard. Mark Dale-Lace also points to the development of web-based applications and the ability to transmit a wireless signal to and from the RFID tag. Wallace says: “Per pallet scan times have effectively gone down from seven minutes using hand-held units to under a minute with Visidot. along with an operator stand and Visidot SCT (supply chain traceability) servers were then deployed at the Grimsby facility’s dispatch area. but a passive RFID tag will cost at least five pence in volume. Tagged pallets are then forklifted past a dock door Visidot gate on their way to the delivery trucks. Developed by Monohakobi Technology Institute. This high frequency. touch screens or accelerometers. It uses an extension of the proximity card.” A number of options were considered.” “Developments made by a smartphone manufacturer soon appear in rugged hand-held computers.www. Thus we have reduced our paper consumption significantly and increased efficiency. it is return on investment that will be the ultimate decider when it comes to choosing whether to use barcodes or RFID.” says Steve Wallace. barcodes require line of sight reading. Instead it went for a Visidot system from Zetes. The operator needs only to move close to the pallet for the system to advise what type of cargo it is and where it needs to be taken. “Tesco’s short lead times were proving to be a great challenge. again based around the barcode.supplychainstandard.” case study Faster fish for Tesco Customer demands for reduced lead time and faster shipping turnaround prompted fish processor Seachill to seek an auto-ID solution that would enable it to automate its dispatch area and speed up its shipping and dispatching processes. you need to be able to see the bars to scan them. NFC is in use as contactless payment and public transport ticketing systems. However. Upon completion of shipping verification. A Visidot gate with two readers. This consumer-led wave of adoption will undoubtedly spread to the commercial market giving huge cost benefits associated with this volume of use. “A barcode reader can be purchased for as little as £45 but an RFID reader will be at least £400. if and when required. ISO/IEC 14443. which would preclude the use of barcodes. the visibility of cargo movements and the progress of every single operation are available online. as required by Tesco. and ImageID’s Visidot Director produces the ASN document. and concern over RFID’s potential sensitivity to the cold and damp.” Terran Churcher highlights the fact that mobile phone and smartphone manufacturers are starting to include Near Field Communications hardware into their models.com Auto-ID : SCS 17 just take the logistics sector. However. NYK’s forklift operators receive wireless instructions from the warehouse management system and execute the operation while the whereabouts and identification of the cargo is determined automatically by the RFID technology. for example: GPS chip sets. “Dispatch was having a hard time handling the influx of data during shipping peaks. which helps to improve the operation further. whereas RFID can be read by scanning within the range of the reader.” he says. Visidot creates an SSCC (serial shipping container code) pallet label complying with GS1 standard. Seachill proceeded to tag a large portion of its fresh fish products with industry-standard data matrix (2D) labels. enabling future reference and easy production of proof of shipping or proof of product condition. you need to be able to see the bars to scan them. the keyboard or by voice command. case study NYK boosts warehouse efficiency NYK Logistics has cut mis-shipments from its warehouse in Prague following the introduction of RFID technology for warehouse processing. By enabling potentially millions of mobile and smartphones to interact. The application may require information to be written to the tag at various stages of its progress through the process. Warehouse manager Jan Jiřičný says: “We have had to change our processes slightly. “And RF tags with embedded location technologies can open interesting opportunities. as paper forms are no longer needed to process shipments through the warehouse. In addition. “This will open up new possibilities for the technology. whereas RFID can be read by scanning within the range of the reader. The system can also determine the floor and rack locations of certain pallets. However. Terran Churcher “What will make this technology far more widely used than normal RFID is the volume of product already installed. short range (four inches) wireless communications technology which allows two devices to talk to each other. The new technology has immediately improved the quality of our service by decreasing mis-shipments to our customers. will open the NFC floodgates.” A barcode reader can be purchased for as little as £45 but an RFID reader will be at least £400.” Port agrees: “The development of augmented reality and mobile apps for smartphones such as the Apple iPhone will no doubt drive further uptake of auto-ID. It will mean that more businesses will be able to take advantage of combined vehicle tracking and RFID solutions. the company was put off by the cost of RFID tags. Seachill’s IT manager. a whollyowned subsidiary of NYK. of course.” . Truck numbers are associated with all relevant pallets.” Ultimately. the Ubiquitous RFID Warehouse System uses RFID tags to identify the goods on pallets when they arrive at the warehouse. The instructions from the forklift operator can then be entered into the system via the touch-screen display. making it very clear that we needed to research potential scanning and shipping automation solutions. NFC will be the biggest development to affect the auto-ID sector over the next five years. barcodes require line of sight reading. including RFID. assuming the mobile applications are written. Tag information captured from all outbound fish pallets is archived in image banks on the Visidot SCT servers. which provides us with absolute accuracy and essentially eliminates all shipping errors.

.000 per annum Location: Berkshire Our client. training and addressing any performance issues will also be part of your remit.. stock availability. you must ensure your Section of 30-50 colleagues are appropriately skilled and dedicated to providing high operational standards in terms of productivity. Closing date: 29th October 2010 Thinking of a career change in 2010? Register your CV on our database and allow recruiters to find you www.Ambient Distribution Centre Leicester Rotating Shifts 6am-2pm / 2pm -10pm As part of the Depot Management team.Thinking of a career change in 2010? Why not register your CV on our database and allow recruiters to come to you directly? To advertise your vacancy with www.. I Supply Chain Manager Salary: £55. Reporting to the Managing Director you will be responsible for overseeing all operational activities within the Bulk Division whilst looking to secure additional revenue streams from new and existing customers.supplychain-jobs. You will also have strengths in planning. Establishing SMART performance measures and targets for the team that will directly support delivery of the UK business objectives. hygiene and quality.£60.midlandsco-op.sadler@centaur. This exciting new role is part of their ongoing expansion program. identifying areas and opportunities for continuous improvement. you must have excellent communication and relationship building skills. Integration of the Customer Care and Commercial Planning functions to deliver a cohesive. you will support the Ambient Distribution Manager in the day to day running of the operation.com or in Logistics Manager contact Jenny Sadler t: +44 (0)20 7970 4439 e: jenny.. efficient. you will have an excellent knowledge of the bulk distribution . organising and problem solving and work well as part of a team. Assessing staffing levels to meet business needs. Visit www.midlandsco-op.uk I Divisional Manager . Leading and identifying business projects. demand management process.8 weeks holiday. you can expect excellent learning and development opportunities. Principal accountabilities will include: Proactively driving and supporting change within your own and the wider commercial team. including taking accountability for financial budgets.com/jobs for further details and to apply. a leading non food FMCG supplier is looking for an experienced supply chain professional to lead and develop the Manufacturing and Commercial Planning team. Our client is a market leader operating from a number of sites across the UK. We’ll look for a pro-active approach to improving the efficiency and performance of your Section.co. In return.com We encourage applications from all sections of the community . generous colleague discounts and up to 5. ensuring your team is represented in .000 . For details on these and many other vacancies visit www. With management experience gained within a Warehouse/Distribution Centre environment. In order to provide our 200 stores across the Midlands with a first class customer service. customer service. As you will be required to act as Duty Manager for the whole depot.supplychain-jobs. final salary pension scheme. which offers enormous scope for the future.com Midlands Co-operative in the business of making a difference Section Manager .Bulk Distribution Salary: £70. along with recruitment.000 per annum + fully expensed car & benefits Location: Nottinghamshire A new opportunity has arisen with a specialist logistics provider for a Divisional Manager to develop its Bulk Distribution Division. Maintaining a network of clients. security and legal obligations. you must be fully aware of health & safety.

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