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The ABC of Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain

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Ariella
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Ariella   11/1/2010 1:05:00 PM
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I see.  From what I understand, BBs do require specialized knowledge, so it can be frustrating for IT people to have to administer them.  Well at least you have good support available to you.   

pocharle
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
pocharle   10/30/2010 8:08:43 PM
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Having had worked with them for years now, there are so many little things that pop up when it comes to using and/or administering them. I have mostly done admin tasks with them. I know many IT guys love them but that's because alot of them do not have to do any real setup work (they just get it & use it). Of all of the smartphones I've been fored to work with, the BB's are the most annoying.

The only thing I cannot ignore credit is that their support is awesome and their Knowledge base is better than most.

Ariella
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Ariella   10/30/2010 7:16:19 PM
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Maybe you can also get a carrier pigeon, pocharles, then you can keep the slip of paper for a written record. What do you have against blackberries?  I don't use one myself, but I know it is required for many IT people.

pocharle
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
pocharle   10/30/2010 5:59:14 PM
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Ariella,

I agree with that. The only caveat with texts is that there isn't as much accounting as there is with email. I can easily delete a text from my phone with no simple way to recover it in the case of an emergency or compliance.

This all goes out the window is youhave a Blackberry of coourse (but I can't stand those things...).

Ariella
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Ariella   10/29/2010 4:15:51 PM
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Can I get the carrier pigeon? Perhaps snail mail would fall into that category.  Personally, I don't care about the coolness factor and check my email much more frequently than Twitter, so I actually would prefer an email notice to a Tweet.  But the world at large probably would prefer a text, as that is considered universally cool --even for the teens who don't tend to follow Twitter.

Mike
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Stock Keeper
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Mike   10/29/2010 11:43:53 AM
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Also, one other thing:  the web 2.0 intersection with logistics is a fascinating question (Web 2.0 == dynamic and shareable content and social networking, as defined by Wikipedia).

Likely, integration with Twitter and/or Facebook is going to be on the horizon for a lot of companies as these social media streams become more and more ubiquitous.  Wouldn't it be cool to get a Twitter direct message on your blackberry telling you your supplier just shipped your pallet, vs. merely an email!  :-)  Obviously, the desired channel for visibility info will vary across people/firms:  some want email, some want a Twitter DM, some want carrier pigeon.

My guess is that we'll see more of a demand for Web 2.0 supply chain visibility after High Tech firms get past some of the basic struggles (visibility from supplier to end-customer).  Sometimes (esp. for the SMB) it seems companies are focused on growing sales, cutting costs, and innovating, vs. taking the time to leverage more sophisticated supply chain technologies. 

What they often don't realize is that there are options for technologies and it actually helps improve the bottom line and it's worth the time (even for the SMB)....   

Mike

Mike
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Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Mike   10/29/2010 11:37:53 AM
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Dave, you hit it right on the head: "The technology exists, but are companies willing to take the plunge for full automation?"

Fortunately, it's getting easier!  Transportation and logistics providers are increasingly offering slicker technology tools to tap into the logistics data stream. 

Certainly today, it's standard fare to enable proactive email notifications to multiple recipients, if desired.  Also, there are often robust data streams (eg XML) available for the ultimate in notification customization.  Finally, more software providers are offering out-of-the-box integration.

Mike

Dave Sasson
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Dave Sasson   10/22/2010 2:19:46 PM
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Ahhh!  This is easier said than done.  Jennifer, I agree that this is what most companies need, but there are issues, and we touched upon this somewhat on your "Co-Creation and Collaboration" post.  This may not pertain as much to an SMB company, but if you look at a typical large (or even medium sized) corporation with global operations (and in many cases, just domestic operations), the number of potential systems that are being maintained may be numerous.  Some of these systems may be modern, while some of them may be a bit dated.  Also, certain functionality may be specific to each system.  Manufacturing, Distribution, Order Entry, Finance, etc. may all be on different systems.  The problem is that they are on different systems, in which in many cases a "best of breed" solution is the best approach, but some of the systems are in fact dated and cannot be easily modified or updated without a major upgrade taking place.  This is why many companies can only hope for a visibility layer sitting on top of all or some of these systems with limited automation.  The technology exists, but are companies willing to take the plunge for full automation? 

Jennifer Baljko
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Blogger
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Jennifer Baljko   10/22/2010 1:53:33 PM
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Right, Dave. That's exactly what I was wondering - how do we shift from a system that stills need human interventation to a more truly automated event-notification mechanism. That's really what most companies could use.

Jenn

Dave Sasson
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Streamlining the SMB Supply Chain
Dave Sasson   10/22/2010 1:01:58 PM
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Hi Jennifer, I am not speaking for Mike, but incorporating a distribution list or adding multiple recipients to an email notification should be relatively simple.  The real question I think you are posing is that email notification, although perhaps automated by the sending party, still requires human intervention at the receiving side or somewhere in the chain.  The more automated systematic approach would be to implement some sort of event management system, where these sort of notifications would then trigger of series of events which would then be reacted to automatically by the system via a rules engine and making the proper adjustments and decisions without any human intervention.  Incorporating Web 2.0 or social media into this would be quite compelling.

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