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What Do Supply Chain Trainers Say About The Present – NESCON

NESCON is a yearly one-day virtual summit for the supply chain industry, including instructional sessions from leading supply chain trainers, including economy, leadership, procurement strategies/tools, and operation/logistics tools. The conference for this year will be placed on October 3, 2022. It has been happening every year since before 2008 and has proved to be beneficial for business owners globally.

Here is a list of some key benefits:

  • Don’t worry about your training budget because this conference is free!\
  • The keynote speakers are expert supply chain trainers
  • Learn about the most recent cutting-edge issues, trends, and technologies in the field of supply chain management (SCM)
  • Assist your company in transforming its supply chain into a proper value chain.
  • Transform your creative ideas into readily implementable and practical solutions for you and your company.
  • Take advantage of a quick return on your time and your organization’s money.
  • Earn 5.0 CEHs towards your certification or recertification.

Provocative keynotes and expert technical presentations on present economic situations and uncertainties that affect trade and job growth, new adaptive practices in business operations, technological projections and roadmaps for 2030, and expert insights into the future workforce and customer-driven organizational transformation are among the topics on the NESCON agenda.

Kenneth Glasser, the NESCON executive chairperson/producer, while talking about NESCON, said: 

“The supply chain community’s purpose for this summit is to inform regional producers and retailers on trends that will have a substantial influence on businesses. We will present the greatest ideas and techniques to senior decision-makers, as well as create a forum for them to learn about and address the urgent requirements of the dynamic supply chain network. Our thriving community has accepted these once-a-year summits, which bring together elite thinkers and doers, even if they are held online. The free and virtual nature of the summit has rendered it very approachable to all supply chain trainers.”

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Supply chain disruptions reported at Ports nationwide.

How Supply Chain Disruptions Are Affecting Different Ports:

The nearby Port of Long Beach saw a 7.55 percent year-over-year decrease in December, handling 754,314 cargo versus 815,885 in 2020. The port moved about 15.7 percent more TEUs than the previous year, with 9,384,368 TEUs compared to 8,113,315 TEUs. Long Beach exceeded 9 million containers for the first time in 2021, and volume has more than doubled since 2003.

“In 2022, I’m looking forward to boosting productivity by accelerating our transition to 24/7 terminal operations, adopting data-sharing technology for our industry partners, and continuing infrastructure upgrades,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.

The Port of Oakland closed in 2021 with an 18.6% drop in December, handling 169,659 cargo compared to 208,339 the previous year. Last year, the port processed 2,448,243 containers, down from 2,461,262 the year before, a 0.5 percent decrease.

Although the port officials have claimed that the success of Southern California ports and soaring international shipping charges have greatly contributed to this decline. Despite the unloading delays in Los Angeles and Long Beach, it is still much more profitable for shipping companies to travel directly to their base locations in Asia and return to the US rather than making a stop at Oakland.

“We’re pleased that our import business has stayed strong,” said Bryan Brandes, Maritime Director of the Port of Oakland. “Right now, our focus is on resolving supply chain disruptions that have harmed our export customers.”

The combined ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., increased by 12.5% year over year, handling 3,736,206 containers compared to 3,320,379 last year.

Port Houston had a successful month as well, processing 303,204 cargo, up 9.7% from the 276,443 in December 2020. Last year, the port processed 15% more containers than the year before, with a total of 3,453,226 compared to 3,001,164 in 2020.

Condition Of The Supply Chain Improvements At Port Of Los Angeles:

Supply chain improvements at the Port of Los Angeles are under threat as Rail issues, increased container dwell time and backlog of ships from China continues to be a major issue. But, despite this ongoing crisis, port authorities and union leaders believe that the situation is under control and a surge of cargo can be handled efficiently.

In March, cargo volumes were somewhat higher, with 958,674 TEUs passing through the docks. That’s up a smidgeon over last year, and the port concluded the first quarter with volumes up 3.5 percent year over year.

Following a solid March 2021, the increase in cargo was unexpected, according to Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka at his virtual monthly briefing. He attributed the increase in tonnage to enhanced dock fluidity and increased labor availability due to COVID-19 requiring fewer dockworkers.

The nation’s largest port, Los Angeles, processed a record 10.7 million 20-foot-equivalent containers by the end of the year. While official December figures aren’t yet available, port personnel are anticipated to have moved 800,000 containers. The volume for 2021 surpassed the previous calendar year’s record by 13%. For this Gene Seroka, credited and appreciated the work done by the longshoremen and other workers who worked day and night to unload hundreds of vessels.

Covid-19 And Its Effects On Supply Chain Improvement:

Many dock workers have lost their lives to the global pandemic of COVID-19. COVID restrictions and lockdowns all around the world have caused a reduction in the available workforce which has resulted in delayed clearance of cargo vessels, which has resulted in a worldwide cargo backlog.  

Bargaining with the ILWU is underway ahead of the expiration of the union’s contract on July 1. In a pre-recorded, waterside interview, Willie Adams, ILWU International President, and Frank Ponce De Leon, ILWU Coast Committeeman, joined the port executive during the briefing. Indicated Gene Seroka.

More than 40 people have died from COVID-19 during the outbreak, according to both union leaders. They urged bystanders who were worried about the negotiations to stay out of it.

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How Supply Chain Trainers Suggest Communicating Delays

Communicating Supply Chain Delays Better To Customers

Contrary to popular belief, supply chain trainers emphasize on maintaining happy customers, as it is the most important factor that can influence your brand’s image online. It is not only about being the best in your field, but also ensuring that your customers know your worth. 

Many businesses are great at manufacturing better quality products than their competitors, but lack a strong customer-interaction team, which gives them a hard time to secure their place in the market.

When you are lacking behind at some point of your supply chain, the customers want you to acknowledge the circumstances they face and wait for a clear, reasonable answer. Failing to do so, obviously, results in customer dissatisfaction and poor customer experience. 

In this blog, we will talk about tactics to communicate supply chain shortages and delays to your customers in a healthy way.

  1. Role Of Supply Chain Leaders:

Many businesses fail to understand the need for honest, straight-forward communication. While customer-management teams are the frontline communicators, there must be a collaboration between supply chain leaders and customer-care specialists in any event of disruption.

The customers may not welcome the shortages and delays, but they will always appreciate your transparency which drives more credibility to your brand’s name. Supply chain trainers can provide more authentic, real-time information about the issues that can provide a better customer experience, and hence more satisfied customers.

  1. Key Practices To Employ At All Times:

The most important practice is cross-functionality. Bring the supply/demand planners, logistics, marketing, and manufacturing teams all at one page to get a better visibility of which customers are served and which are not. The impact of imbalance is best recorded when all the teams are working together, and hence helps in delivering a unified image/answer externally when a disruption hits.

Another key is to set priorities. You may use a variety of priority techniques, such as first-come, first-served or priorities based on marketplaces or profitability. The key is for the management to support best use of resources both internally and with customers, establish clear guidelines, and align on the core values.

Last, but not the least, develop tailored messaging for all accounts. The reach differs between top-tier and low-tier accounts, hence the communication should be done accordingly. Post proper updates, brief regularly about how you are working to mitigate the issues, and how soon the problem will be resolved; ensure that you keep the customers in loop!

  1. Transparency – Do, Or Don’t?

Transparency is a 100% do, but the extent must be clearly defined. Various businesses struggle to find the right balance between what to tell the customer and what not. Customers should know if the problem’s root cause is under control and manageable, or not.

However, ensure that they have faith in your capability to proactively handle interruptions throughout the entire supply chain. Inform your clients of the steps you are currently taking, and keep them informed of any long-term strategy or investment adjustments that can assist reduce risk. That is how transparent you should be!

Best Way To Go About A Delay:

There is no universal method that works for all consumer communications. Customers differ in their choices for frequency and format. Count on sales to communicate with clients frequently to comprehend their preferences. 

Supply chain trainers suggest ensuring that all your teams are working together and give off a positive brand image altogether by communicating appropriate information at the right time – both internally, and externally.

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How Did Supply Chain Disruptions Affect Supply Chain Management Jobs

We are well aware that supply chain disruptions was at its peak with the outbreak of Covid-19. While we will be discussing the challenges and risks the supply chains witnessed, we will also be talking about supply chain management jobs. Usually, this role is a significant one. Every company tries its best to have the best supply chain management team onboard. However, as the disruptions increased, there was a noticeable decrease in management jobs. 

Covid-19 did not just cause a small scale turmoil. Rather, it affected people globally – from the rich to the poor, no one was able to secure themselves from the impact of it. We noticed big differences in consumer behaviours. For example, the sales of sanitary, and health-related products and equipment witnessed a new milestone. Similarly, many people avoided buying snacks, carbonated drinks, and other such items which disrupted the supply chains of that sector. 

All the consequences of covid-19 resulted in the following supply chain challenges:

  • Supply chain operations have started to get more expensive. Sometimes, the global and e-commerce expenses for a firm are one of the greatest costs.
  • Due to the newly formed societal implications, the supply chain activities and operations do not meet the stakeholders’ expectations. Environmental conditions are also a drawback.
  • Due to a huge number of deaths, and infected employees, we noticed a shortage in talent in supply chain operations. This lack results in heavy reliance on manpower.
  • Due to global disruptions, the supply chain lacks resilience.
  • Flexibility in businesses witnessed a shortage as well. The raw materials, machinery and manpower are all the factors that affect the provision of customization and personalization facilities to consumers.
  • The outdated IT systems still rely on older technologies, due to which they are not credible, and efficient.

How Can The Federal Trade Commission Act To Fight Against The Pandemic?

The federal trade commission act has remarkably protected citizens’ rights through hard times. The Federal Trade Commission does not work on investigating businesses only but also tries to strengthen the government’s efforts for the betterment of the country’s economy. Needless to say, a stable economy is beneficial for both consumers and business owners. 

However, with time we have noticed that FTC has been rewarded with increased authority and power, which drives us to the question “how will the federal trade commission respond to supply chain disruptions?”

FTC has started a formal process through which they have requested all mega-retailers, wholesalers, and consumer products suppliers to share relevant information. FTC aims to use this information as a case study to find out the reasons behind this supply chain disruption. The orders by FTC require the companies to detail the primary factors preventing them from buying, transporting, and distributing their products. Plus, the impact of postponed and canceled orders, price hikes, and the commodities, suppliers, and components that are most affected. Furthermore, it should also include the initiatives these businesses are taking to lessen disruptions. At last, the businesses should discuss their strategy of allocating the products in their retail stores, especially those that are in scarce supply.

Through such steps, the Federal Trade Commission is trying its best to ensure that the supply chain disruptions turn into progress, as soon as possible.

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Multi-carrier shipping solutions: Shipping software revival

With an uncalled rise in the pandemic in earlier 2020, the world paused for a while, and multiple shipping options suffered way too badly especially multi carrier shipping. A lot of new and old businesses were affected as none of them was able to ensure a safe and dependable way of transporting goods globally.

The last two and half years turned the charts upside down for many of the growing businesses out there and the delivery of their goods as well. Shippers were breaking their larger shipments into multiple and smaller packages and delivering them to their customers who would rather expect prompt and spontaneous delivery. Another major issue was the compacted carrier market and lack of sufficient staff because the majority of them were going through the pandemic dilemma. In simpler words, in the course of the last two years, shipping operations of various bigger and smaller companies went through a lot of complexities and were surely difficult to manage.

To overcome the multi carrier shipping issues, retailers along with their supply chain partners tried to adjust and fit into the new shipping frame. But that came with temporary solutions, which were costing the manufacturers even more. So overall, incorporating ad hoc was apparently a transient approach to the problem.

It was about time to relax and think widely over the matter and sort out the finest strategies and planning to take things forward, particularly E-commerce. In a simpler context, manufacturers need to think beyond the conventional limits of programming and apply brand-new carrier management systems. Below are some reasons why multi-carrier management technology should be deployed for shipping software.

Stay composed and alert in the midst of challenges:

It was evident till now that the basic issue retailers were facing was high demands and lesser capacity to meet the customer’s expectations. On the other hand, the pricing was also higher, which was increasing the complexity day by day. The previous approach was based on the individual dealing of carriers and the use of a single API that was easily accessible to various other APIs as well. These APIs used to work the very same day or even the next day, especially when the company had a dependable human space for handling individual carriers. In today’s date, when the working space has become narrower, and businesses have to deal with larger and numerous amount of carriers all at once. A single API does not help the company in the further run because, at the end of the day, the company itself has to manage and aid the internal workflow and required protocols in a minimum and scaled budget with sufficient market speed.

Meet the carrier demands and requirements:

The higher capacity demands were increasing the costs because carriers were not able to make enough shipping profit while an extra amount of fees was also being charged. No one wants to encounter a customer that will exhaust their carrier the peak hour. Improper integrations, unorganized paperwork, and perplexed compliance; are all the major factors that were adding to the difficulty of multi-carrier shipping and their transportation issues. In older times, it might be a necessity because retailers didn’t have any other option, but in present times, in a cargo capacity seller market, various carriers are dropping by the customers they have worked for quite a few years now, contrary to those who offer a more organized and streamed retailer’s interaction which probably can leave you in a colder space where costs and pricing of the goods are pretty much higher.

Give your complete attention to the customer:

Deploying a multi-carrier parcel management system will expand your working space and solve the complexities of the previous carrier systems. The multi-carrier system will improve the customer’s compliance. Even if you have three or four IPLS in your system, that will not be able to divert the customer’s attention toward minor complexities of the carrier system. If you are a competitive retailer, then you should constantly make variations and efforts in your carrier system to impress the customers and meet their demands. Incorporating a smart multi-carrier parcel management system into your company’s business will definitely enhance your market position and which exactly means that you are focusing on your goals efficiently.

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How e-commerce is changing the modern supply chain

Strategies in the supply chain have become very complex in recent years. Moreover, it becomes more complicated when companies start doing e-commerce supply chain management. It is difficult to fulfil the needs efficiently, especially for those who are unaware of the expectations and struggle to meet the shipment and customer demands. In addition to having a steady seller because demand changes with trends.

E-commerce Impact on Supply Chain Management

Whatever the reason, you are swamped with consumer trends that require you to diverge from traditional commerce.

Traditional Supply Chain Management

Traditional supply chain management is very straightforward. Fulfilment processes are based on the brand’s demand. Furthermore, most brands have well-established models for the determination of their consumer demands. They are based on seasonal shifts, advertisement channels, retail reports and projections of sales.

E-commerce and Modern Supply Chain

The rapid growth of e-commerce has tremendously changed the marketplace globally. Online consumers are in more demand today. Moreover, retailers and logistics are servicing those demands, trying to adjust to the market of online consumerism and modern supply chain management trends.

Warehousing and Shipment of Goods is Transforming

Some of the world’s biggest retailers, for example, Walmart may start using drones for their label inspection and inventory. Traditional retailers fear competition from online businesses, hence they are turning towards technology to speed up the delivery of goods. Moreover, one of the key elements to improve is inventory management software at the retail level. It will help retailers understand what is healthy and what isn’t. Additionally, retailers are experimenting with all options needed to deliver goods to customers.

Larger Fulfilment Centers

Since the e-commerce supply chain is growing rapidly, it is no surprise that demand for e-commerce warehousing has resulted in an increase in the number of national fulfilment centres. Moreover, the size and height of the structures have also increased. Approximately fifty years ago, the average height of a warehouse was twenty-four feet and by 2017, it had increased to thirty-three feet. 

It is indicated that bigger and better warehouses will be formed in the future. Some companies will seek warehouses with forty feet high ceilings, which are mostly of the mezzanine level. It is no surprise that e-commerce businesses are buying warehouses at a pace faster than mortar companies. According to the statistics, in 2016, e-commerce purchases grew by twenty-five percent in contrast to the six percent decline in brick-and-mortar purchases. Moreover, e-commerce companies need spaces that are three times bigger than traditional retailers.

The E-commerce Age is Shaped by Technology 

The modern supply chain has the potential to adjust to rapid e-commerce growth. The industry is also less expensive and more efficient compared to the previous years. According to the state logistics report conducted by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the overall logistics spending declined despite the increase in energy prices. The price of energy wasn’t a primary factor in depicting the logistic costs. Consumer demand for e-commerce deliveries is now the main determining factor for cost logistics.

Consumer Demands are Catered to for Better Return Methods

Consumer demands are changing with the logistics sector for better returns. E-commerce consumers want simpler and better options for returning purchased goods. Moreover, the logistics companies are adapting to their demand.

Final Verdict

From better AI to greater use of robotics in warehousing, the future of logistics will be depending on forward-looking adaptability. It will improve the growth of e-commerce that supply chains in the past could not even imagine.