July 2016 Archive
The new era in Silicon Valley centers on artificial intelligence and robots, a transformation that many believe will have a payoff on the scale of the personal computing industry or the commercial internet, two previous generations that spread computing globally. Computers have begun to speak, listen and see, as well as sprout legs, wings and wheels to move unfettered in the world. The shift was evident in a Lowe’s home improvement store here this month, when a prototype inventory checker developed by Bossa Nova Robotics silently glided through the aisles using computer vision to automatically perform a task that humans have done manually for centuries.
Firms like what3words, Fetchr and OkHi try to link sellers to the many customers who have no address.
IBM’s launch of a blockchain cloud platform for supply chain applications pushes the distributed online ledger technology beyond the financial services industry, where the technology is used by banks and exchanges to track financial transactions. Startup Everledger, which helps companies track the provenance of diamonds worldwide, is testing IBM Blockchain.
July 14, 2016
GM Risk as a Result of Supplier’s Bankruptcy (WSJ)
Clark-Cutler-McDermott (CCM) produced 175 parts for GM and is the Detroit auto maker’s only supplier of certain interior and acoustic insulation parts. The 115-year-old company has been a General Motors “Supplier of the Year” four times in the last seven years, but has absorbed losses of $12 million since 2013. The company filed for bankruptcy protection on July 7, saying it was losing $30,000 a day as a result of its contract with GM. GM said supply disruptions caused by CCM’s bankruptcy and refusal to deliver parts and finished inventory threatened to cause disruptions at 19 GM assembly plants in North America and cost it tens of millions of dollars.
July 11, 2016
Top 20 software suppliers (MMH)
The story for the 2015 market for supply chain management (SCM) software, maintenance and services is a tale of two currencies. Measured in current currency—that is a comparison of results based on currency values for 2014 and 2015—the market grew by about 2.8% to $10.145 billion. That total includes applications for supply chain execution (SCE) (+3.4%), supply chain planning (SCP) (+3%) and, for the third year in a row, procurement software (+1.9%), which is increasingly integrated with supply chain management. Growth is growth in a tough economy, but 2.8% is not much more than last year’s yield on a 10-year treasury note. If you look at the market in constant currency, you get a different story. Now, that $10.145 billion translates into an 11% gain, or the equivalent of a pretty good growth stock. Individually, SCE grew by 11%, SCP grew by 11.3% and procurement grew by 10.8%.
July 11, 2016
Airplane Makers Automate to Meet Surging Demand(WSJ)
Boeing and Airbus last year built a combined 1,352 jetliners. According to their production plans, the two intend to build 33% more each year by 2020, or around 1,800 planes, rivaling the burst of large-aircraft production last seen in World War II. The world’s biggest plane makers are digging deep into the technology toolbox using robots, drones and exoskeletons to deliver what they have promised as well as cut costs.
July 7, 2016
Gap Inc takes to cloud to optimize clothing price
Clothing retailer Gap Inc is localizing the way it prices inventory in its network of retail stores using a cloud-based optimization system.
July 7, 2016
Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices (NYT)
The retailer built a reputation and hit $100 billion in annual revenue by offering deals. The first thing a potential customer saw was a bargain: how much an item was reduced from its list price. Now, in many cases, Amazon has dropped any mention of a list price. There is just one price. Take it or leave it.