We hope everyone has had a great holiday and we would like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year! To kick off the year, we have finished compiling our infographic on the top logistics and supply chain facts from the news that we’ve collected throughout last year. As there is a large number of news items spanning the many large topics in the logistics industry, we decided to create our Top 10 by focusing on categories:

  1. Drones
  2. Same-Day Deliver
  3. Supplier Diversity and Women
  4. Sustainability
  5. RFID
  6. World Bank Institute’s Private Sector Platform
  7. Automation
  8. Online Retail
  9. Truck Driver Shortage
  10. Logistics Slow Growth

Each of these topics have some pretty interesting facts and statistics that may have been missed in the hustle and bustle of fellow logistics professionals and enthusiasts. And while we haven’t covered all of the interesting facts from 2014; we felt that these topics helped changes the face of the logistics and supply chain industry in 2014 and serves a good snippet to review the year.

Top 10 Logistics and Supply Chain Facts of 2014

Morai-Logistcs-Top-10-Logistics-and-Supply-Chain-Facts-of-2014

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

2015_new_yearIf you were reading Forbes’ website last week, then you would’ve come across an interesting article concerning predicted trends for the logistics industry in 2015. Sarwant Singh, a Senior Partner in Frost & Sullivan lists a total of 15 likely trends to occur in 2015 with common threads between all of them being Information & Communication technology providing new avenues for production, solutions, and business models; and societal trends transforming the corporate, market, and personal landscapes.

The entire article is excellent and is a must read for anyone curious about the opportunities afforded by the evolving logistics industry. For this blog post, I would like to focus on three key trends listed in the article as, in my opinion; are the biggest deviations from the status quo in the logistics industry.

Moving toward Zero Latency

The world will prepare itself for faster processing speeds and faster response times. The next few years will see a move toward zero latency and human unnoticeable delays providing real-time experiences. This will increasingly be embedded into workflows and other processes.

The collapse in latency times in just the last few years has been astounding. The old expectation of same month delivery from traditional post service evolved to same week. This year saw same-day delivery become the standard for e-commerce companies such as Ebay, Amazon and even Google. However, even this hasn’t been quick enough with Amazon’s same-hour delivery service for its Prime members which it revealed last week.

The move toward zero latency is not only a massive drive for innovation in the logistics industry (such as Amazon’s delivery drones and DHL’s massive pledge of investment into creating more efficient supply chain networks in China), but also a key way in how many supply-side companies are marketing themselves to customers.

Transparency is the New Green

Increasingly pervasive analytics and collaborative platforms would make data and processes more transparent than ever before. Governments, corporations, organizations, communities, supply chains and even individuals will be more accountable and liable for policies, decisions and strategies.

Customer interactions with businesses of years past were very binary for the most part. A customer wanted or required a product, and a business provided it wholly formed. Questions such as where it came from, how it came to be weren’t asked and businesses weren’t forthcoming with the answers. The logistics industry was no different as the levels of supplier tiers, volume of oversee transactions, and technological limitations complicated the matter further for many companies in the industry.

The change in philosophy has been swift and pervasive in the last few years as large international companies such as Starbucks, Levi’s, and even McDonald’s and Amazon have embraced more open business models.

Our post last week focused on this trend, but suffice to say, greater transparency in the industry is good all-around as it offers customers more information, accountability, and ultimately better choices.

Women Focused Strategies

As the policymakers debate and implement policies increasing quota for women in boardrooms in 2015, we will see a lot more women focused strategies across companies in different sectors.

The industry of logistics has long been a “Gentleman’s Club”. As outlined in the Morai Logistics Infographic focusing on women in the logistics industry, compared to other industries women still have some room to catch up at all levels in the logistics and supply chain industry.

However, not only have more women been getting into the industry, but women focused strategies overall has been on the rise.

In a past article we wrote about how companies are realizing the benefits of supplier diversity go beyond the “social good.” We are now at an age where companies are starting to find that supplier diversity programs can be fiscally beneficial through ROI, and lead to bridge-building into the untapped force that is women-owned businesses.

All-in-all, 2015 will be an exciting year for the logistics industry.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

Morai-Social-PRNext week marks the anniversary of one of the most damaging data breaches in recent history. During the Black Friday of last year, retail giant Target Corp.’s had the credit and debit card numbers and personal details of over 40 million of its customers compromised. The public relations nightmare that followed resulted in profits plummeting upwards of 46%, Target shares slumping approximately 8%, and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel resigning after over 20 years with the company.

Stories such as these are unfortunately not that unique which is why it is critical for companies and organizations, big and small, to invest strongly in strategic PR. For those in the 3PL market, this means being aware of the ongoings of all suppliers and business associations; once a crisis happens, it can be difficult and costly to identify a problem’s source in the supply chain.

Other than a crack PR team, there are two ways that 3PLs can protect themselves from the toxic fallout of bad publicity.

Keeping your friends close

One of the most frightening things about a damaging PR crisis is that not only can it ruin a company business overnight, but that it can be unrelated to the original brand due to the nature of upstream supply chains. The best way to counter this is to ensure that oversight of all aspects of a supply chain can be conducted with as little lag in communication as possible. It is for this reason that nearshoring has become so essential.

There are a lot of financial and logistical benefits to nearshoring. However, a key benefit that is often overlooked is that by conducting business so relatively close to home, a 3PL company can better establish a strong and resilient social network which at the end of the day “is not really about socializing, but about facilitating people to people communication and collaboration” according to an interesting article on SupplyChain247. The added degree of security because of Mexico’s increasing growing infrastructure and business-friendly economy is also a welcomed factor.

Staying social means staying connected

In a similar vein to nearshoring, the power of social media doesn’t end with crisis management. The immediacy of information and two-way discourse between company and customers is essential when handling a crisis. It is for this reason that the benefits that social media provides when it comes to damage control cannot be overstated. From JC Penny to Fontaine Santé, case study after case study shows a demonstrable advantage for companies that are actively engaged and have a focused strategy when it comes to social media.

There are of course many other reasons outside of crisis control for a business to be connected. By effectively utilizing social media, a business can:

  • Increase traffic to its website
  • Enhance brand awareness
  • Contribute to search engine optimization
  • Position the company as an authoritative voice in its industry
  • Provide an avenue for improved customer relations by allowing a company to directly engage with individuals interested in their brand or product.

It is through this engagement that companies can tell their commercial journey and invite stakeholders into sharing their own stories.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

It is no surprise that many people in the logistics industry have labeled it a “Gentleman’s Club.” As outlined in the Morai Logistics Infographic focusing on women in the logistics industry, compared to other industries women still have some room to catch up at all levels in the logistics and supply chain industry.

For example, 35% of logistics graduates are women. Compared to other business graduates in general (of which there are about 45% female graduates), the logistics industry has the highest percentage of male graduates in the industry. Within the professional sphere, women take up less than 20% of company management position despite two-thirds of professionals believing that women offer a different style of management that is viewed as an advantage for companies.

Eye for Transport’ Lean-In Moment: Women in Logistics

Eye for Transport, or EFT, is a business intelligence and C-level networking initiative for the transport, logistics and supply chain industry. It is an organization that specializes in connecting senior industry executives with their industry peers, and with the crucial information they need to excel in their work. They have an annual Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Summit that the President of Morai Logistics was invited to. Kelli Saunders sat on a panel along with 5 other C-level women in the logistics and supply chain industry to discuss their path that got them to where they are today.

Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics, speaking on her journey to becoming President
Kelli Saunders, President of Morai Logistics, speaking on her journey to becoming President
 
 
The efforts that Eye for Transport has taken in showing initiative to create an awareness about the gender gap for executives in the logistics and supply chain industry is commendable. The women in the Lean In series were both inspiring and an example of how women can be a readily able pool of candidates for all levels of position across the entire logistics and supply chain industry. They are great examples of why we should continue our efforts to introduce the notion that logistics is not just a “Gentleman’s Club.”

To see Eye for Transport’s full breakdown of the Lean In Moment on women in logistics, click here: Part 1, Part 2.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

Today we have created an infographic to shed light into what supplier diversity is and to highlight some quick facts about how the women-owned and other minority-owned businesses have been progressing in the recent years. We also cover the spending trends with regards to the investment of companies into supplier diversity programs.

The benefits of supplier diversity go beyond the “social good.” We are now at an age where companies are starting to find that supplier diversity programs can be fiscally beneficial. A study from the Hackett Group showed that companies that “focus heavily on supplier diversity” generated a 133% greater ROI when it comes to procurement than the typical business. And this is just the beginning, scroll down to see more facts about supplier diversity.

Supplier Diversity and the Logistics Industry

Morai-Logistics-Infographic-Supplier-Diversity

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

International Women’s Day happened on the 8th of this month and we thought we would contribute a belated infographic for this week’s blog post. The logistics industry is notoriously known for being a Gentleman’s Club consisting of a primarily male workforce. Though that still exists today, companies have taken steps to balance the gender discrepancy in the workforce and women are slowly starting join logistics and supply chain companies at all levels.

The Status of Women in the Logistics Industry

Morai-Logistics-Infographic-The-Status-of-Women-in-the-Logistics-Industry

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news!

Source: WEConnect Canada
Source: WEConnect Canada
On our last blog post, we wrote about the WeConnect Canada’s Opening Doors conference. WeConnect Canada distributes the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification for majority owned, and controlled women’s businesses. The conference is about how certifications such as the WBE is a great strategy for creating opportunities to provide a competitive edge for bidding on corporate contracts as part of supplier diversity programs.

But what is supplier diverstiy? According to WeConnect Canada:

Supplier diversity is all about building relationships and trust to enable business opportunities between corporations and historically under-utilized groups, like women business owners.

In essence, Supplier Diversity programs were creative to give minorities an opportunity to secure contracts with government agencies, major companies and corporations as qualified small business owners. This has come about a reaction to minority and women owned businesses being classified as under-utilized small business owners in order to promote balance and diversity for participating organizations.

In the United States, the Supplier Diversity program was conceptualized in 1953 along with the establishment of the Small Business Administration. The federal government’s efforts to create opportunities for often underrepresented small businesses was a natural segway into providing those same opportunities for minority groups, such as women-owned businesses.

These days a majority of large companies are indeed looking into how to incorporate minority-owned businesses into their partnership agreement and this is especially the case in the logistics and supply chain industry. The biggest challenge is discovery; large corporations have trouble identifying women-owned businesses. Hence the creation of certifying networking organizations such as WEConnect.

These types of certifications allow large corporation to find these companies and take advantage of the following benefits:

A Ready and Capable Force to be Reckoned With

Women-owned businesses are an untapped force to be reckoned with. There are 6.5 million majority women-owned businesses in the United States, employing 7.1 million people according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Large corporations agree that there is a strong business case for investing in women; a recent McKinsey & Company survey results showed that 35% of senior executives reported efforts to empower women in emerging markets led to increased profits with an additional 38% reporting an increase in profits in the future. This is even more emphasized in the world of logistics, a well known gentleman’s club but is slowly changing due to the benefits that partnering with diversity suppliers can provide, which brings us to our next point:

Unique Opportunities from Unique Expertise

Businesses that are primarily female-owned are often noted for their ability to have a unique view of the industry and can offer a fresh take on not just the ideas involved in the process but the along every step along the business process. Traditionally only seen in the service sector, women-owned enterprises are now in many specialized industries such as manufacturing, construction, and other industrial fields. This is evident in the efforts that large corporations like Cisco are taking steps into providing the most sustainable means to empower women through supplier diversity and inclusion.

And that’s all for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news! To find out more about WEConnect and getting certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), visit their site at www.weconnectcanada.org

BONUS: Check out Inc.com’s Top 10 Women-run Companies!

Source: WEConnect Canada
Source: WEConnect Canada

This past week, a few members from the Morai Logistics team proudly attended the 5th annual Opening Doors National Conference in Toronto. Hosted by WEConnect Canada, I attended as an observant in support of Morai Logistics where I got to hear the president of the company, Kelli Saunders, during the WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) Success Stories session. For this week’s post I will be guest blogging on my experience and to give our readers an inside look into WEConnect Canada’s annual conference as well as some takeaways from the WBE Success Stories session.

WEConnect Canada is an organization that certifies majority owned women’s business and facilitates opportunities for those businesses to meet buyers and get access to bids for corporate contacts as part of supplier diversity programs. Their mission is to:

…[advance] the success of certified women business enterprises and corporate members to drive economic growth and prosperity through supplier diversity.

First Impressions

As I walked into the Hyatt Regency in Toronto to check into the conference, I already saw members in the lobby openly conversing. I went up the escalator to where the actual conference was taking place and noticed an overwhelming feeling of openness and support. Everyone I ran into at the conference was both welcoming and friendly, regardless of whether or not they were attendees, speakers, or organizers of the event.

But I also noticed a sense of empowerment; there was a sense of camaraderie not usually present in networking conferences I’ve been to in the past. As I entered the conference hall I saw Kelli Saunders, the president of Morai Logistics sit down at the front of the room along with Marty Britton of Britton Management Profiles and Marla Kott of Imprint Plus. I picked a seat near the front and listened to them talk. My takeaway is as follows…

Diversity Supplier: More Than Being the Sprinkles to the Cupcake

Kelli Saunders WEConnect Opening Doors Conference
Kelli Saunders on the Importance of Supplier Diversity

All three of the women offered some sage advice both for people who have already established and successful businesses as well as for those who are just starting out their entrepreneurial pursuit. The experiences that these women have shared were not only valuable, but also eye-opening to those who have been wondering about how businesses can take off and the importance of a good network.

Mary Britton spoke of the importance of knowing how to work in your business as opposed to working on your busines. As someone who’d seen her company take off and really grow, Mary had to learn how to trust her team and to allow herself to focus on the expansion of her business. She also made a really important point keeping a company lean and not to fear outsourcing. Marla Kott on the other hand, spoke of learning a company’s ecosystem if you ever intend to work together with them. This can make streamlining and cooperation between two companies run more smoothly.

Kelli Saunders spoke of the importance of networking; making connections is the way to get your foot in the door for future clientele. She also emphasized the importance of mentorship and joining organizations like WEConnect so that you can get that foot in the door.

But the most important point that all three speakers bestowed upon the audience that day was the fact that as a business owner, you have to be aware of the tools that are present to you. One of the most important tools for women-owned businesses is certification of supplier diversity. Morai Logistics is part of WEConnect as a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). This is important as this certification is the only Canadian certification of women-owned businesses and critical to maintaining supplier diversity for companies – something that can be appealing for companies in the logistics and supply chain industry who want to actively promote supplier diversity in their network of partners and clients.

All three women that spoke noted the importance of WEConnect’s WBE certification as something that greatly facilitated their business growth. But the important thing to note is that a certification should not be solely relied upon. As Kelli Saunders, put it:

In the cupcake that is your business, where the cupcake and the frosting are your performance and your team, having a diversity supplier certification is just the sprinkles. You still need to have an excellent cupcake that should stand out more than anything else, the sprinkles are just the bonus that entices the buyer from making that final decision between your cupcake and someone else’s.

Thanks for reading my guest blog post! If you are interested in how Morai Logistics can take the chaos out of your supply chain, check out their services section! If you want to stay updated on their content, why check out the rest of their blog or follow them on Twitter at @MoraiLogistics!