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Supply Chain

The TMS Outlook: 2020 Update

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TMS outlook

I recently wrapped up my Transportation Management Systems market study which looks at the total size of the market, the forecasted growth through 2024, and the leading suppliers across a number of categories including industry, region, and customer size. The study includes a holistic view of the TMS outlook. A TMS helps companies move freight from origin to destination efficiently, reliably, and cost-effectively. Transportation management systems include 2 types of solutions. Planning and execution is focused on freight moves involving a carrier. The complete process would include procurement, creation of a route guide, planning and optimization, electronic communication with carriers, visibility and exception management, freight audit, and performance management. Fleet Management involves freight moves with transportation assets owned by the company. The complete process would include routing and optimization; visibility and exception management; transportation asset management; and performance management.

I was recently interviewed by ARC Advisory Group’s Allen Avery to take a deeper look into the TMS outlook for the foreseeable future and identify some of the larger trends in the TMS market. The full interview is below.

COVID-19 and the TMS Outlook

It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects from the associated “Great Lockdown” will have a substantial negative impact on the economies of the world in 2020. The degree and duration of the impact on the global TMS market is still undetermined.  However, the TMS market is a bit more insulated than other markets and the impact should be to a lesser extent, especially as certain industries, such as CPG and food & beverage in particular, have seen an increased need for TMS applications.

One of the biggest growth areas for TMS over the last few years has been the continued emergence and proliferation of cloud solutions. Suppliers that have fully made the transition and no longer or only reluctantly sell in the software license model, are growing much faster than their competitors. The COVID-19 pandemic is speeding up the shift to cloud.

One of the biggest pivots during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the need to work remotely. In certain industries, this has caused a seismic shift in the overall structure of these companies. This impacts how and where a TMS operates. However, cloud-based solutions have been crucial in enabling organizations to respond quickly and effectively to the dramatic changes brought on by the crisis. It provides better security and access for remote workers, and TMS customers using a cloud solution were able to transition to remote work over the course of a weekend without noticing a disruption. A cloud solution also enables rapid updates to be pushed out to all employees without the need for time-consuming up-grades and configurations.

TMS Outlook Trends

One of the most important trends is around real-time visibility tools. Customers have an expectation of accurate ETAs and improved visibility into where shipments are. Many companies are integrating external data streams to improve ETAs. TMS suppliers need to partner with transportation visibility companies or build their own solution.

Machine learning is another hot trend in the market. Machine learning can play a role in advanced visibility but also has other applications. There are many types of constraints that go into estimating how long a job will take, including the number of miles driven, traffic congestion, and the type of product being delivered. Machine learning can be used to “learn” these constraints rather than having to do time studies and hard code these constraints into the solution.

Finally, digital freight matching is an opportunity for network style TMS providers.  Digital freight brokers open up new opportunities for one-off lanes. Small shippers can get access to better rates and new lanes, while increasing their flexibility in procurement schedules. Large shippers can extend their volume by opening up additional capacity especially on less-used lanes. Many of these digital freight matching platforms are pushing their real-time pricing capability. Essentially customers do not need to put out a full bid; instead, they can push out a load to one of their lanes to gage the market. Multiple TMS providers are seeing their customers use digital brokers for this very reason.

Final Thought

The primary reason companies buy a transportation management system is for freight savings. These freight savings can be attributed to simulation and network design, load consolidation and lower cost mode selections, and multi-stop route optimization. Based on its significant ROI, the TMS outlook is bright even amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: https://logisticsviewpoints.com/2020/07/29/tms-outlook-2020-update/

Blockchain

Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology in Accountancy

Potential-Benefits-of-Blockchain-Technology-in-Accountancy

Wondering how Blockchain can revolutionize accounting? You have landed on the right page. This article will talk about Blockchain technology, technologies that make Blockchain possible, and how it can impact the accounting domain.    So let’s get started with what this technology is all about.    Table of Contents    What is Blockchain? Technologies That … Read More

The post Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology in Accountancy first appeared on Blockchain Consultants.

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Potential-Benefits-of-Blockchain-Technology-in-Accountancy

Wondering how Blockchain can revolutionize accounting? You have landed on the right page. This article will talk about Blockchain technology, technologies that make Blockchain possible, and how it can impact the accounting domain.    So let’s get started with what this technology is all about.    Table of Contents    What is Blockchain? Technologies That … Read More

Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/potential-benefits-of-blockchain-technology-in-accountancy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=potential-benefits-of-blockchain-technology-in-accountancy

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Aerospace

Adept at adaptation

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Adept at adaptation

There may be challenges ahead for the industry, but UK-based AS9100 Rev D accredited precision engineering specialists, Bright Engineering says it is holding its nerve.

Being situated at the heart of East Lancashire’s aerospace belt might normally be seen as an overwhelming benefit for any small business involved in advanced manufacturing. However, as is the case for many subcontractors up and down the country, the grinding to a halt of the commercial aviation sector has proved to be a huge challenge, albeit not entirely insurmountable.

Bright Engineering services a number of industries with the supply of precision components and sub-assemblies and has customers across the UK, and several in the US. Bright counts aerospace as around 20-30% of its operating income, but is fortunate to be involved in many other sectors including green technologies, electronics and automation, as well as defence.

Pre-lockdown, the company had built up resilience on the back of strong multi-sector demand in 2018-2019, and in 2019 pressed ahead with a fairly extensive programme of machine tool investment upwards of £1 million. This expenditure signified Bright’s most major rejuvenation of the shopfloor and replacement of ageing machinery it had seen for several years, and followed a trade mission to Yamazaki Mazak’s headquarters and plant operations in Japan.

Bright’s latest CNC machines include the Mazak Variaxis i500 and the Integrex J200S

For Bright, the benefit of the trip not only extended to witnessing first-hand how the machine tool manufacturer handles quality, but allowed the business to forge new relationships which have endured. From this experience Bright now counts new customers and suppliers which have allowed it to strengthen the business throughout the pandemic.

One of these relationships led to a production order for ventilator components, which carried the business and its people through the dark days of the March 2020 lockdown.

“The medical order at the time of the Covid outbreak was a matter of pride for Bright and its workforce,” says managing director, Jon Hoyle. “It involved working day and night seven days a week until it was complete and our team enjoyed being part of this national effort. It kept us going mentally, as well as at an operational level.”

As the end of the lockdown emerged, Bright’s usual customers started coming back to life, although Hoyle admits in certain sectors it is still only coming back in fits and starts. Sales from the US have remained strong, whereas many buyers in the UK have remained on furlough. The result from this is all to do with adaptability. Pre-lockdown, Bright’s strategic aims were around building a long-term orderbook for the future.

Ready and willing

The company admits the vision is currently a bit shorter-term, but as sales director, Steve Amey says: “It ensures we remain flexible, listen to the needs of our customers and evolve the business plan on a monthly basis. That is the reality of 2020, and we believe that regular refinement of our working model will make us all the stronger in readiness for 2021. The capacity to spring back is ready and waiting.”

Of course, the business has utilised the much-welcomed furlough scheme as the pandemic has evolved. However, it has also taken many positive steps to guarantee operational stability in testing times. In certain cases, remote working has really proved positive for Bright and the workforce have made good use of products, such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. to really stay in touch, keep things moving for the clients, and transmit key messages to staff around the pandemic.

As well as staff communication, Bright has also engaged some really creative uses of Teams, as Amey continues: “Involvement in the Ventilator Challenge UK project was a fast-paced affair, with design and production requirements evolving several times a day. At one point, Teams was the catalyst for one of the quickest pieces of customer decision-making I have seen in my career.”

The episode Amey refers to was a dramatic win in terms of customer experience, and saw Bright on Teams chat with its own supplier partner, the customer, as well as the end user. The usual protecting of sources had to be put to one side for the good of the project, and in fact led to one of the proudest moments of collaboration Bright has been involved with. With Bright’s strategic input, using the customer’s CAD/CAM package over Teams, a component was redesigned, re-posted to CAM and sample component produced by Bright within 90 minutes of the initial technical query being raised.

Indeed, there have been some other real wins for the business during the course of the year too. As certain staff may have been off work for shielding purposes, the company’s apprentice cohort were relied upon more heavily.

“The conditions thrust on us by this pandemic have actually allowed our apprentices to shine,” states Hoyle. “20% of our workforce are undergoing training from Level 3 to HNC, and during the ventilator production our youngsters seized the challenge, often taking the responsibility that we would expect of a quality inspector or section leader. We got to see their very best attributes over a four-week period and it was impressive.”

Bright has rejuvenated its shopfloor and replaced ageing machinery

Further to keeping production moving, the apprentice team have at times, had slightly more interaction with their leaders, and less day-to-day pressures than any other normal year in the company’s history. Ensuring this time wasn’t wasted, it has allowed for accelerated periods of learning on Bright’s latest complex CNC machines, such as the Variaxis i500 and the Integrex J200S multi-tasking machines. In fact, it hasn’t gone unnoticed across any of Bright’s senior leaders that its apprentices have really seized the opportunity to develop their skills over the last six months.

On the horizon

As Bright looks to the near future, there is an equal mixture of concern and trepidation but also a feeling of opportunity. Hoyle believes there is a strong case for the government to continue some targeted support for the sector. Areas like East Lancashire, Motorsport Valley in the South East, West Midlands, Northern Ireland and the North East all provide a rich and varied contribution to the UK advanced manufacturing output as a whole. Plenty of people in the industry felt a continuation of the job retention scheme was necessary, particularly in a way that specifically encouraged part-time working. The Chancellor has since made his announcement, but Bright would also like to see business rate support as well as increased assistance for apprentices over the age of 18, particularly those on HNC programmes.

“Aerospace provides a large portion of business to UK subcontractors and government and companies themselves need to get to the other side of the pandemic in one piece,” concludes Hoyle. “For the foreseeable future, we control costs, look at alternative revenue streams and get even closer to our existing customers.

“Customers in the main aren’t looking to exploit the current situation. Instead they want reliable trustworthy supply chain partners and our continued support. We also talk to our competitors and listen to their problems and successes; sharing best practice is usually free of charge, but highly valuable, and that one successful collaboration could make all the difference to our joint future success.”

www.brightengineering.co.uk

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/bright-adept-at-adaptation-13102020/

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Aerospace

ElevAero acquisition strengthens Midlands based supply chain

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ElevAero acquisition strengthens Midlands based supply chain

Adam Bartram director of ElevAero (left) with FPL’s former owner Geoff Neale

ElevAero, a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialist fabrications, assemblies and machined components for the aerospace and defence sectors, has acquired 100% shares of Formrite Precision Limited (FPL). The acquisition took effect from the 1st of October 2020 for an undisclosed sum as ElevAero continues to expand from its base in Nuneaton (UK).

FPL has established facilities in Aldridge, West Midlands, supplying a range of tooling and precision components to the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries. Core services provided by FPL include large fabrications, machined components, test rigs and ground support equipment and assemblies. The company has leading OEMs and large tiered engine suppliers in its customer base.

FPL manufactures large fabrications, machined components, test rigs and ground support equipment

ElevAero says the acquisition is a strategic purchase which will complement and enhance its cost-effective offering for aerospace component manufacture, assembly and low-cost sourcing and supply.

Adam Bartram, director and owner of ElevAero said: “We have been looking to acquire Formrite Precision for some time to strengthen our position in the marketplace and to offer our clients a total end to end supply option. In a challenging time for the aerospace industry we are very proud to be in a position to continue investing in the right opportunities that will provide our customers with reliable, competitive supply solutions whilst protecting and creating jobs in the Midlands.”

www.elevaero.com

https://formrite.co.uk

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/elevaero-acquisition-strengthens-midlands-based-supply-chain/

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