The Friday Report May 25, 2018Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry
Gold and Diamonds: Is the Future in Blockchain?
Heralded as the cure to traceability challenges for everything from food to pharmaceuticals and beyond, blockchain is now in trials to help track and trace key commodities, including conflict minerals and diamonds. Using blockchain means that a secure peer-to-peer validated audit trail would be used to record the movement of these commodities to provide transparency in the supply chain and record the lifespan of a commodity.
IBM and a group of four diamond and gold industry companies in combination with an independent laboratory are collaborating on the development of a blockchain network. The goal is to develop a blockchain network that can trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry from the mines where the gold and diamonds are mined to the retailer. Labeled “The TrustChain Initiative”, the blockchain network will rely on IBM technology. Products in this program are anticipated to be available to consumers by the end of the year. TrustChain recently completed its first proof-of-concept test. The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) which oversees the largest spot gold market in the world is interested in using blockchain to help prevent money laundering and to detect conflict minerals.
Can Public-Private Collaboration Help Prevent Cyberattacks?
Former directors of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and CIA recently spoke out about security and intelligence challenges at a major supply chain management event, the Institute for Supply Chain Management (ISM) conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Keith Alexander, former NSA Director and John Brennan, former CIA Director addressed the need for change in approaching cyber threats. Cyber attacks are not always apparent because hackers can disguise their identities, encrypt IP addresses and leave no way to follow the agent that caused the damage.
One problem identified by the speakers is the fact that many CEOs fail to understand and recognize cyber vulnerabilities. The speakers advocated public-private partnerships to expedite the awareness of and response to cyberattacks. Sharing of information can lead to better response times and the ability to act pro-actively, rather than reactively. Government agencies and businesses can both monitor cyber behavior and report changes in patterns. Serious privacy concerns arise when sharing information with the government, making companies in the private sector less likely to share sensitive information regarding its clients with government agencies.
Will Brexit Result in Supply Chain Disruption?
The UK is scheduled to depart the European Union at 11PM UK time on Friday, March 29, 2019. Three of the main issues have already been decided provisionally, but what about the supply chain?
Already there is apprehension and disruption. Nearly two thirds of EU businesses which deal with UK suppliers anticipate moving at least part of their supply chains out of the UK due to Brexit according to a study conducted by the UK-based Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).
The government of the United Kingdom has reached out to business groups to help plan ahead to minimize disruption. Companies have been asked to highlight areas of the economy that are in the greatest risk if Brexit imposes additional trading costs on exporters. The response will help government ministers and trade negotiators develop a better understanding of the companies and business sectors that are most likely to suffer the most damage if the UK’s departure from the customs union results in costly rules of origin. This would mean that exporters would be forced to prove the proportion of the value of their products which originates from domestic production. The issue is a complicated one and remains in flux, despite the fact that the change will occur in 10 months.
With the complexity of European supply chains, there is a myriad of problems to solve long before Brexit occurs. The pharmaceutical industry is especially concerned about the impact Brexit will make on free trade. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are especially concerned in licensing their products as 12,000 medications will require a separate license from the UK to be prescribed.
The Greening of IoT How can the transportation and logistics industry reduce its carbon footprint? According to research by Vanson Bourne for The Future of IoT in Enterprise, 44% of the 100 respondents indicated that they have prioritized environmental...read more
By their very nature, third party logistics businesses have complicated business models. Often working for numerous clients simultaneously, a 3PL must be able to meet the unique needs and requirements of every client, no matter the type of commodity or business...read more
Whether it is warehouse lighting, ventilation, layout or ergonomic concerns, making sure that warehouse workers can safely, comfortably and easily navigate warehouse receiving docks, shipping and freight areas and pick zones makes for a more productive...read more