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5 trends disrupting the traditional wholesale distribution model

Multichannel Distribution Specialists

Integrating Wholesale Distribution alongside In-Store, Online and Machine-to-Machine to let today's multichannel businesses increase efficiency and reduce costs while achieving flexible and agile control of the supply chain.

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Archive for January 2013

Climate changing the economics of the supply chain

18th January 2013

Climate change driving extreme weather

Wild fires sweeping New South Wales in temperatures of 50 degrees centigrade; the worst storm in 20 years bringing snow to the Middle East; one of the wettest years on record in the UK, climate change is throwing global weather patterns into turmoil. One of the biggest changes observed is melting of sea ice in the Arctic. Last September it was 18% lower than the previously observed record minimum set in 2007. While this may hold some serious implications for further extreme weather, it also brings the real prospect of changing the economics of manufacturing goods in Asia-Pacific for distribution in Europe.

Significant potential for change in world shipping

The shrinking Arctic sea ice opens up the Northern Sea Route, sometimes called the North East Passage. This allows shipping to pass from the Pacific via the Bering Strait and navigate along the north coast of Russia and down past Scandinavia into the North Sea. Through the Suez Canal, today’s usual route, the distance from Shanghai to Rotterdam is 19,300km. Via the Northern Sea Route it is just 14,875km*, a 23% reduction in distance and perhaps 10 days in journey time. At the moment opening up regular commercial routes using the North East Passage seem some way off; however there is another change coming much sooner.

Although likely to be of less impact to Europe, the widening of the Panama Canal is set to complete in 2015 and may influence the pricing structure of world shipping. The current limitations of the canal restrict ships sizes to those carrying 5,000 20-foot standard TEU container units. Widening the canal enables ships with a capacity of up to 13,000 containers to take the 50 mile short-cut from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Be ready for change with NetSuite

The potential impact of such changes to global shipping on wholesale and distribution are significant; greater capacity and shorter routes suggest lower transport costs and faster restocking, both of which offer the possibility of reduced TLC (Total Landed Cost) for goods. When change arrives, you quickly need to be able to exploit it. NetSuite cloud-based ERP enables you to factor in the impact of such variables on your supply chain.

We are one of only two UK Three Star Award winners, recognised by NetSuite for our expertise and commitment to delivering customer value. With a NetSuite ERP solution custom implemented by BlueBridge One, you can be ready for whatever change brings. Discover pricing for NetSuite by clicking here.

Follow this link to see The Geography of Transport systems webpage at New York’s Hofstra University.

* - Academic attribution: Rodrigue, J-P et al. (2012) The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University, Department of Global Studies & Geography, http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans

‘Made in America’ campaign shows how ‘Made in Britain’ can drive economic growth and reshape supply chains

10th January 2013

One third prospering…but what about the rest?

We’re familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the recession in the UK. The inciting incident is the credit crunch, which sent the entire global economy into a tail spin. This in turn revealed the UK economy’s over-exposure to a financial services sector, which at best may be characterised as self-serving.

Over the last 20 years or so, the focus on a service and knowledge based economy has moved us into a post-industrial era. This has seen UK owned businesses largely exit from many industries such as motor manufacturing and ship building. Many operate globalised supply chains, outsourcing the manufacture of a vast amount of goods from overseas markets.

In the US, this experience is broadly similar. About one third of the US workforce is prospering in the knowledge economy. But what about the rest? Some commentators believe the majority of these are unemployed or low paid service workers that are falling further behind, increasing the polarisation of society in the US.

The case for bringing manufacturing back to the UK

The relationship between the disappearance of skilled jobs and the growth in the numbers of unemployed and low paid workers is strongly recognised in the US. Bad handling of the issue proved terminal to Mitt Romney in his attempt to woo voters in the key swing state of Ohio during the 2012 US Presidential election.

US broadcast network ABC has probably done no harm to its popular image with its ‘Made in America’ campaign. Since 2011 a strand of ABC ‘World News’ has used ‘Made in America,’ to examine American manufacturing and the economy. Throughout 2012 it highlighted various American businesses that are contributing to their local economies and creating more jobs in the U.S. In the run up to the festive season ‘Made in America Christmas’ simply asked each American to pledge to spend $64 on one gift, as US economists have stated that if everyone did this then it would generate 200,000 jobs.

As issues such as increasing transport costs and rising wage demands continue to drive up the TLC (Total Landed Cost) of BRIC manufactured goods for wholesale and distribution in the UK, ‘Made in Britain’ could become a mantra for those operating supply chains; if UK consumers shift to this mindset as well then it could be the way to see rapid economic growth and the return of prosperity to the UK.

Know when the time is right for ‘Made in Britain’ with NetSuite

NetSuite cloud-based ERP lets wholesale distribution businesses take control of the supply chain by enabling better management. With accurate cost analysis and the ability to understand how individual variables such as transport costs or labour costs impact TLC, NetSuite lets you see when ‘Made in Britain’ becomes a solid financial business policy for your business.

As one of only two UK Three Star Award winners, BlueBridge One is recognised by NetSuite for its expertise and commitment to delivering customer value. We custom implement NetSuite ERP to meet the specific needs of each customer. Click this link to register with BlueBridge One for a FREE 14 day trail of NetSuite.

Follow this link to see the ‘Made in America’ homepage at ABC News.