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Supply Chain Management

September, 2020

C.H. ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ALLIANCE WITH MICROSOFT


TO DIGITALLY TRANSFORM THE SUPPLY CHAIN OF THE FUTURE

Collaboration will integrate C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere® and Microsoft Azure cloud technologies to make real-time visibility possible in supply chains and accelerate innovation in transportation

C.H. Robinson and Microsoft Corp. announced they are joining forces to digitally transform supply chains of the future by combining the power of C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere,® Microsoft Azure and Azure IoT to meet the changing demands of evolving global supply chains. Through this alliance, the companies aim to enable real-time visibility for C.H. Robinson customers.

“The pace of change we’re seeing in the supply-chain industry today is unparalleled. Being able to quickly scale and adapt our technology is what helps give our customers a competitive advantage,” said Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer, C.H. Robinson. “As we continue to invest and enhance our technology built by and for supply-chain experts, we look to partner with other best-in-class companies that bring the most value to our customers. Through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we gain more scalability, premier data security and increased application speed, which benefit our customers and carriers around the world.”

Through this collaboration, Navisphere — C.H. Robinson’splatform — will now leverage Azure IoT Central to integrate IoT device monitoring that measures factors such as temperature, shock, tilt, humidity, light and pressure in shipments to give customers an even more detailed level of intelligence about goods as they move through the supply chain. Together, C.H. Robinson and Microsoft work with many of the Fortune 250 companies, which means this alliance makes it even easier to scale and develop new solutions to provide the world’s largest shippers with greater supply-chain efficiency, real-time insights and visibility.

“We are committed to providing customers with a trusted, easy-to-use platform so they can build seamless, smart and secure solutions regardless of where they are on their IoT journey,” said Sam George, corporate vice president, Azure IoT, Microsoft. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with C.H. Robinson as it transforms the supply-chain industry by leveraging our Microsoft Azure and Azure IoT solutions.”

The new collaboration builds on C.H. Robinson and Microsoft’s already rich history of working together. Navisphere Microsoft’s global supply chain, giving the company real-time visibility into inventory, at rest or in motion anywhere in the world. In addition, in collaboration with Microsoft, C.H. Robinson built Navisphere Vision, a global real-time visibility product that leverages Azure IoT solutions, machine learning and predictive analytics to assess potential disruptions across supply chains.

Through C.H. Robinson’s TMC division and Navisphere Vision, Microsoft is driving innovations in its own supply chain to provide more predictability and proactive decision-making to its various business groups.

“The supply chain of the future is smarter, less volatile and can be navigated with a new level of visibility thanks to the power of this relationship. Through this collaboration, our customers receive a greater competitive edge, as well as industry-leading insights and expertise,” said Jordan Kass, president of Managed Services at C.H. Robinson.

In addition to C.H. Robinson’s innovation on Azure, the company is also leveraging Dynamics 365 and Power BI to streamline its customer relationship management (CRM) platform, supporting C.H. Robinson’s commitment to customer centricity from small business to the world’s largest shippers. As part of its relationship with Microsoft, C.H. Robinson will integrate its real-time pricing, execution and transportation management tools into Dynamics 365, making these digitally-driven logistics capabilities available to Microsoft customers.

About C.H. Robinson
C.H. Robinson solves logistics problems for companies across the globe and across industries, from the simple to the most complex. With nearly $20 billion in freight under management and 18 million shipments annually, we are one of the world’s largest logistics platforms. Our global suite of services accelerates trade to seamlessly deliver the products and goods that drive the world’s economy. With the combination of our multimodal transportation management system and expertise, we use our information advantage to deliver smarter solutions for our more than 119,000 customers and 78,000 contract carriers. Our technology is built by and for supply chain experts to bring faster, more meaningful improvements to our customers’ businesses. As a responsible global citizen, we are also proud to contribute millions of dollars to support causes that matter to our company, our Foundation and our employees. For more information, visit us at www.chrobinson.com (Nasdaq: CHRW).

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.


September, 2020

DIVERSIFIED SUPPLY CHAIN-QATAR’S ANSWER DURING THE PANDEMIC


The global supply chain system had already been a victim of the rising tide of economic nationalism and protectionism. The COVID-19 pandemic only added to the stress on the already suffering economy.

Speaking at the opening of the digital roundtable “Qatar at the Crossroads of the World” organized by The Business Year (TBY), H E Ahmad Al Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA stated, “Qatar and the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) had a head start in dealing with the coronavirus crisis due to the country’s experience, and has greatly benefited from its diversified supply chain.”

He further added, “Cost-efficiency can no longer be the only guiding principle of the supply chain. And the world must now ensure that supply chains deliver value for money and have resilience built-in that they are resistant to their future disruption, so the global economy can keep moving.”

The need to accept the added complications by building resilience in the supply chain and maintaining the customers’ operational efficiency is the need for the hour.

The roundtable also featured many experts like the international trade leaders from the United Nations on Trade and Development and World Economic Forum and representatives from the Pharmaceutical, Food, and Beverages, and Logistics sector.

Al Sayed also emphasized that Qatar and QFZA had already diversified the supply chain to ensure the world and Qatar remain connected. For this, they have a tried and tested system that proved its worth during the pandemic. He pointed out the various opportunities available at QFZA included new infrastructures with tailor-made solutions, support for the Qatar 2020 Legacy Project, and the opportunity to partner with top Qatari companies like Qatar Airways and Qatar Petroleum.

As the pandemic leads to disruption and shift in the existing business models, it is ideal for increasing reliance on technology and innovation. This would only help accelerate Qatar’s diversification efforts, said Lim Meng Hui, CEO of QFZA.

Hence the Free Zones are now focusing on creating partnerships with non-oil sector companies. He further added, “We continue to study this development, and we hope to develop new policies and strategies. Post COVID-19, emerging technologies, and advanced industries sectors are expected to grow even more. We have already identified these as strategic areas for QFZA, and we will continue to identify innovative companies in these areas, such as IoT, electric vehicles, and more”.

Hui added that the QFZA plans to expand to new areas such as logistics, e-commerce, regional distribution, and small-scale production in certain value chains.

Ayse Valentin, CEO of TBY, who was present during the webinar, stressed the role of Free zones in attracting direct foreign investment to develop a balanced, diversified economy.

She also stated that global trade is currently facing a harsh period due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising protectionism by the governments.


March, 2020

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESSES MUST ADOPT NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN RESPONSE TO SUPPLY CHAIN RISKS


At the Procurement and Supply Chain MENA Forum, the industry leaders highlighted that businesses in the Middle East could become among the most competitive in the world by taking a bold approach to their procurement and supply chain strategies.

Sam Achampong, head of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) MENA, stressed that forward-thinking companies should look to their procurement and supply chain strategies as a key differentiator. In his keynote address on the topic, What Future Procurement Leaders Look Like, he said: “The application of comprehensive procurement and supply chain strategies can add real value to all aspects of a business including profitability, accountability, reputation, sustainability, and corporate governance.”

He explained that organizations in the MENA region had undertaken procurement transformation exercises which in time allow these entities to become more competitive, not just regionally, but globally.

Maha Bouzeid, VP Head of Sourcing in the MEA region for Ericsson, reiterated Achampong’s belief in the potential of the procurement strategy to support business transformation and competitiveness. She said: “Organizations are on a constant search to find even more efficiencies and increase their top-line growth. Procurement has an important role to play in both cases by securing the right cost base and by building the partner ecosystem to deliver on new solutions in the Industry 4.0 era. We need the know-how of all the different players in the industry to enable innovation, create new use cases to fulfill rising customer demands, and monetize these for the benefit of all.”

Achampong and Bouzeid emphasized that the procurement sector needs to invest in skills development to achieve its potential and be a driver for business change. “Traditional skills, such as negotiation, and administrative skills, such as planning and coordination, are being replaced by the need for critical thinking skills and complex problem solving, aligned with emotional intelligence centered around stakeholder management and influencing skills,” said Achampong.

“For procurement leaders to be effective, they need to be able to convince their key C-Level stakeholders to adopt recommended strategies aimed at aiding business growth and increasing value for the organization. Those unable to align with their stakeholders will not be able to lead the transformation of their functions from a transactional cost center to a strategic net contributor to an organization’s overall value.”

Bouzeid added: “Competence is key – procurement needs to attract the best talents in the industry with a solid understanding of the procured solution and the cost drivers for these. Businesses need people who are strong influencers, who can guide stakeholders through the decision-making process and who can be efficient negotiators. “We need to lead the way in terms of digital transformation – we can work heavily on automation to reduce manual, tactical tasks. If we can effectively do this transformation, the added value we provide will be significant.”

Procurement & Supply Chain MENA, in partnership with CIPS MENA, gathered heads of procurement & supply chain to share big picture, business-led strategies on how not only to guarantee supply during industry flux but become a key value driver, innovator and business partner for any organisation.


July, 2019

Supply Chain Management at CSS Group


PROVIDING IMMACULATE SERVICES IN THE SCM INDUSTRY

It is no secret that the UAE is pacing ahead of the world to become one of the largest supply chain management industry with an exponential growth rate of 5.7%, as per Frost and Sullivan’s studies revealed. This phenomenal growth attributes to the visionary governance of the ruling family, and the already announced significant events like the Expo 2020 falling ahead soon.

With one of the largest Supply Chain Management Facility in the UAE, Consolidated Shipping Services Group (CSS Group) caters to a multitude of clientele for the last Two decades in this market. At this juncture, Lighthouse had a brief chat with Mr. Hareesh Haridas, the Manager of CSS Supply Chain Management in the UAE.

“The Supply Chain Management facility was vigorously enhanced to meet up with the market requirements in the UAE, two decades back and today we have more than 400,000 Square feet of closed storage facility including temperate controlled ones in the UAE. The open yard facility in Dubai and Sharjah itself is more than 200,000 Square feet.” Mentioned Hareesh.

With its growing infrastructure, free zones and the locational advantages, UAE continues to be the most favored logistical hub for many multi-national companies. The much ambitious leadership of the country is gearing up to take the region from “Logistical Hub” to the “Supply Chain Nerve Centre” status and thereby change the entire outlook.

“As on now, CSS Group caters to many multi-national companies that include Electronics, Apparels, Printers and copiers, Power tools, white goods etc. to name a few. We are expecting to cater to more segments and our greatest advantage is the large pool of professionals working with us” said Hareesh.

The associations and partnerships amongst industry fraternity like the SCLG, promote large events and networking opportunities in the region which is easily accessible to Five billion people within an eight-hour flying time to reach.

“Being a dedicated and professional entity providing first class services in an affordable manner, CSS Group strives to become the front runner in the Supply chain management industry. Our reputation of flawlessness for more than Two decades in the industry and with a global reach shall bring us greater rewards in the future” Concluded Hareesh.


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