What do bananas and patio tables tell you about supply chain efficiency? Collaboration can deliver more value than most people generally expect from a Procure to Pay (P2P) supplier collaboration solution. By integrating customer labeling, scanning and pack and stack functions the suppliers become the outpost of your inventory management process. Understand how double manual work is avoided, information expedited and both product and data quality improved.

At a time when shippers are facing ever thinner operating margins, they can but only renegotiate their transportation rates, while carriers are forced to quote hardly sustainable low rates. Still, we see smart shippers resisting to the temptation of negotiating rates to the smallest levels, that carriers are willing to take, to stay in business and instead built long term relationsships with carriers in a win-win operating partnership. But what are the main ingredients to make smart collaboration with carriers work?

Fall 2013 and we appear to be in the middle of a perfect storm that will drive Supply Chain Management (SCM) to the next level. Research earlier this year confirmed Visibility to top the Supply Chain Manager's agenda and looking at trends, we see specific interest in those technologies that enable improved transparancy and collaboration. But are we making the progress everybody expects?

First of all I'm a big fan of Adelante SCM's Adrian Gonzalez, whom I consider an authority on supply chain visibility and integration. In his recent webcast on this topic he explains very well how this is not about software, but Process, People and Connectivity. This is exactly our experience in Quyntess and why we have bolted supply chain visibility software with embedded Business Process Management (BPM) capability to a B2B integration hub. 

We all do know that the fast changing world of social media capabilities and applying these new techniques in SCM applications will have effect on the way of working in the supply chain. No doubt adding these new techniques will add value to the total functionality of SCM resulting in a wider acceptance of SCM as solution for companies that would like to (..or have to..) work as partners together.

It is around five years that I have been involved in projects related to Carbon Footprint and measuring environmental impacts of companies. Compared to maybe 10 years ago, public awareness about being "Green" has increased dramatically, but sometimes I wonder whether the actions and measures that we are taking now are the right ones. In search for some counterintuitive ideas I came across a book that I am busy reading, called "Green illusions", with some insights that makes you at least think more before you accept the facts about some sustainability related initiatives.