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Unique Challenges of Small Parcel in the 2020 Holiday Season (ATSC Blog)

This content was posted on the ATSC Blog on November 23, 2020

Like everything else in 2020, we can expect the holiday shopping season to come with unique challenges. Not only are pandemic shutdowns ongoing, but some parts of the U.S. are going back into increased lockdowns, leading to changes in demand and consumer behavior. Capacity constraints will be a real concern this holiday shopping season. So, what can businesses and individual consumers expect to see?

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How does an AI think about taxonomy?

Emerging technologies are ‘all the rage’ in procurement today – especially for rules-based tasks that have to be quickly and reliably executed at scale. Transaction categorization is no exception from the trend. There are a number of ways to leverage technology for categorizing procurement activity, but they are not all created equal. Some employ top-down business rules ‘under the hood’ while others leverage AI, and while the end result might appear the same at first glance, this could not be further from the truth.

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What drives the difference in direct spend management?

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“Direct and indirect spend management are not the same thing, nor should they be treated as such. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is focused on simple document transactions.”

- Jennifer Ruscelle Petersen


If procurement loves anything, it is categorizing spend. We categorize through multi-level taxonomies, nuanced processes, and expertise-based team assignments. Different types of spend represent different forms of value to the enterprise and are associated with different types of market leverage and efficiency.

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Discovering the Importance of Cold Chain Logistics (ATSC Blog)

This content was posted on the All Things Supply Chain blog on September 28, 2020

Back in the late winter / early fall of 2020, the whole world became intimately familiar with the detailed innerworkings of the supply chain profession. As products such as meat, toilet paper, personal protective equipment (PPE), and cleaning supplies went from available to scarce overnight, consumers learned about warehousing, distribution centers, production schedules, and lean inventory management practices. Although these discoveries were largely the result of temporary system disruptions, they still increased consumer knowledge.

As we emerge from the peak of the COVID-19 crisis and move to ‘the new normal’ of long-term adjustment and recovery, people are about to discover a whole new type of supply chain operation: cold chain logistics.

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WARNING: Handling Dangerous Cargo (ATSC Blog)

This content was posted on the ATSC blog on August 24, 2020

On August 4th, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to approximately 6 million pounds – that were being stored in a facility at Beirut’s port caught fire and exploded. The human toll of the blast was enormous; the accident killed at least 163 people and injured 6,000 more. Tremendous damage was done to structures at and around the port and surrounding areas. The fact that the storage location was facing the sea is probably the only thing that saved the city of Beirut from total destruction.

The shipment originally arrived on a vessel from the country of Georgia in 2013. Although it was just pausing en route to Mozambique, it was seized and held in the port because of outstanding debts that were claimed in the Lebanese court system. The ship was deemed un-seaworthy in 2014 and the cargo was unloaded into “Hangar 12” where it would remain for nearly 6 years.

It is clear to supply chain professionals that this was a supply chain fail but rather than being one huge failure, the Beirut port explosion was the result of a chain of failures...

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