Competitive, Profitable, and In-Budget: Pricing Supply Chain Software

There is a science to pricing rooted in microeconomics and behavioral economics. Under a set of assumptions, people respond to pricing in logical, predictable ways. There is also a personal approach to pricing. If a seller knows the prospective buyer well enough, they may choose to contradict the logical methods in favor of a tailored approach. Even when pricing rigorously …

Utility-Scale SaaS: a Shift in the Enterprise Software Market

  Enterprise software has been experiencing a transition towards “cloud” models of various flavors over the last fifteen years. As technology vendors, buyers, and advisers this transition has involved an evolving sense of how and why to embrace cloud. In effect, the industry has been going through a protracted and decentralized conversation about the definition, benefits, and drawbacks of “cloudness” …

Bleeding Edge to Trailing Edge: Assessing Supply Chain Technology Readiness

Supply chain managers have a wealth of technology tools available to them, far more than they can deploy effectively. Therefore a good supply chain leader is also a selector of technologies. A major part of current supply chain managers’ attentions are in winnowing tech options and building together a bouquet of effective solutions that are multiplicative in impact when used …

Supply Chain Visibility Software Review: Panjiva

  This article from early 2010 provides a review of a (then newly emergent) supply chain visibility solution, called Panjiva. This is a software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution which focuses on global trade visibility for channels into the United States of America. I summarized what the solution is about, gave a user impression, and then used an early version of the visibility …

Watson and the Case for AI Staffing

 Graphic from Raymond Kurzweil This article builds on some of my earlier posts which dived into the likely prominence of artificial intelligence in supply chain management (and visibility) in the future. Specifically, we’ll look at the 2010 performance of the IBM question-answering AI system called “Watson” and discuss what it portents for supply chain careers. Introducing “Watson” Last year, while …

Supply Chain Visibility & Artificial Intelligence

As some of the other articles on the site have discussed, I feel that there is a coming dominance of information over the purely material-management aspects of supply chains. And, at other times, I’ve mentioned my belief that artificial intelligence will play a major role in the shift. In this article I’m highlighting specifics behind that belief. The distinguishing line …

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The “Internet of Everything” Thing… Treat with Skepticism

Since around 2011 Cisco Systems and Gartner have been laying claim to a term “Internet of Everything” (IoE), fashioned as spin-off or upgrade to the “Internet of Things” (IoT). I would argue that we should be taking the IoT very seriously, and that the IoE is just marketing collateral with no real substance beyond driving billable consulting engagements to Gartner and …

2014 is a special year for supply chain technology… or maybe not

This is a short article to address the over-hyping of tech changes in the field of supply chain management. Anyone who follows my other articles, my blog, or has spoken with me personally, knows that I’m an avid technologist. But, that said, its worth stepping back and thinking critically about how special the current phase of tech development & rollout …

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Ditch the Demo: Buying a Visibility Solution in the Blind

I have participated in at least twenty serious supply chain software system selection events, both as a buyer and seller. In every case the system demo was a critical part of the evaluation, and often weighed heavily on the final selection or the price paid for it. As a buyer, the deep-dive demo with my own data loaded in the …

A Busy and Productive Year

Those who followed my blog in 2013 would have noticed a sharp decline in article output. Like many other writers in the blogosphere my writing flow slipped under the pressure of all the other things happening in my life. For one thing, I was launching a new software business focused on tactical transport optimization and planning. But more distracting was …

System Stand-In Can Make or Break Supply Chain Visibility

System stand-in is a term I use frequently when describing why a particular supply chain visibility software does something that might be done by a separate system. For example, why would a visibility software offer the ability for new purchase or sales orders to be created over the web when those are obviously not visibility activities at all? The answer …