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Join the Network – from MHD magazine

As commerce, in general, has become more competitive and advances in technology continue at breakneck speed, an efficient supply chain is crucial for the survival and success of your business.
With Industry 4.0, the suite of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, sensor technology and data analytics are transforming how businesses operate with their trading partners and consumers. Australian businesses can make their supply chains more efficient by reducing costs and boosting their competitiveness. Many of these technologies are underpinned by GS1 standards, the most widely used supply chain standards in the world.
While most companies are aware that ‘supply chain improvements’ are needed to drive efficiencies across the whole of their business operation, managers and business owners often don’t have enough expertise to start implementing practical steps.
GS1 Australia’s extensive Network of Solution Providers is available to help member businesses implement GS1 standards quickly and accurately, from barcode labelling through to data warehousing.

“GS1 partners have expertise in helping companies improve visibility across their supply chain as implementing traceability and anti-counterfeit measures is a key challenge facing manufacturers and their suppliers.”

One-stop supply chain solutions provider network

Introduced more than ten years ago, GS1 created the Alliance Partner program to connect business members with solution providers that have a thorough knowledge of the GS1 system and to share its vision of delivering tangible supply chain benefits for its members.
Today, around 20,000 business members from more than 20 industry sectors can take advantage of the pool of knowledge and expertise within the Alliance Partner community. All partners in the network are trained in GS1 standards and implementation across a range of industry sectors including retail (apparel, general merchandise and food & beverage), healthcare, freight and logistics, and rail.
The GS1 community offers businesses a complete suite of products and solutions to help them build efficient and effective supply chains, from barcoding of products (printers and labels), software like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messaging for purchase orders and invoices and Enterprise Resource Planning for procurement of goods, through to data warehousing and warehouse management systems (WMS).
Some further benefits that the GS1 Alliance Partner community can bring to a business include:

  • Value-added tools and resources to complement and enhance the GS1 system.
  • Access to the latest information on supply chain products and services, some of which is global by nature.
  • Ongoing support to help businesses continue to innovate and extend their supply chain efficiencies.

Additionally, GS1 partners have expertise in helping companies improve visibility across their supply chain as implementing traceability and anti-counterfeit measures is a key challenge facing manufacturers and their suppliers.

Finding a solution provider

Businesses have many opportunities to connect with the Alliance Partner community and find the right solution provider for their needs. To help businesses readily find GS1 partners, the Solution Providers Directory is available at www.gs1au.org/what-we-do/solution-providers/find-a-solution-provider. Visitors can search for a provider and contact them directly by submitting the short request form. From the directory you can view a description of the solutions offered by each of the Alliance Partners, together with their contact details and a link to the company website.
Business members can also meet face-to-face with many of the Alliance Partners exhibiting at events and training sessions hosted by GS1 Australia across the country. One of the key networking opportunities for businesses to connect with the Alliance Partner community is at GS1’s premier conference, NEXUS, which is held every two years and brings together supply chain leaders from industry, government trade associations and the GS1 business member community. Additionally, the popular one-day Barcode Basics for Your Business is held regularly and is available for GS1 business members and non-members.
With the pace of change in business showing no signs of slowing, connecting and consulting with a GS1 Alliance Partner can help improve your business efficiency, profitability, safety and security.
For more information about GS1 Solution Providers or if you’re interested in becoming an Alliance Partner, email alliances@gs1au.org or visit https://www.gs1au.org/what-we-do/solution-providers/.
 

Interior of a warehouse illustrating I4.0 bringing down walls.

Bring down the walls – from MHD magazine

John Young

If the vision of Industry 4.0 is to be realised, enterprises must step further into the realms of digitalisation. A critical element of this evolution is the move from traditional supply chains towards a connected, smart and highly efficient supply chain ecosystem. I4.0 is bringing down walls. Read more

Hands of robot and human touching on global virtual network connection future interface. Artificial intelligence technology concept.

The future is data – from MHD magazine

The modern global supply chain is defined by scale: billions of transactions and terabytes of data across multiple systems, with businesses generating more every moment. Traditional supply chain management (SCM) practices are quickly being outmatched by the ceaseless onslaught of information and artificial intelligence. Read more

The secret to online customer satisfaction

Retailers who move quickly to invest in next-generation customer service technology are more likely to lead the battle for sales in a tightening economic environment, according to two of Australia’s most innovative online retailers.
The insights come as the search for Australia’s favourite online retailer kicks off, with the Australia Post ORIAS People’s Choice Award providing online retailers with a platform to elevate their brand, gain industry recognition, build trust, and grow customer loyalty.
One of last year’s winners Koh, credited the updating of its customer service software – ahead of many of its competitors – with helping it double revenue over the past 12 months.
Founder Adam Lindsay, who recently launched the eco-friendly cleaning products company into the UK, said the focus was on giving both existing and new customers what they want.
“If you don’t service existing customers properly, you’ll have to deal with a leaky bucket – and therefore spend more time and money on acquiring new customers,” Mr Lindsay said.
Kogan.com, which took out the 2018 Award for best large online retailer, reiterated its commitment to embracing data-driven insights to improve its customer service capability.
Director of customer care Daniel Beahan said Kogan.com considered itself a statistics business masquerading as an e-commerce company.
“Data is key to unlocking our customer expectations and it is our mission to understand the wants and needs of our customers better than any other online retailer,” Mr Beahan said.
“Company growth relies on us delighting our active customer base time and time again, and our mission remains to make the most in-demand products and services more affordable for all Australians.”
Last year’s winners highlighted a customer-first focus, an ability to change and be nimble, the importance of personalisation to create a tailored customer service experience, the continued embrace of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to drive awareness and advocacy, and the harnessing of data and analytics as all being key to online retailers.
The launch coincides with an Australia Post report that found the number of purchases online has grown by more than 20 per cent for the year, with online shopping now making up 9 per cent share of traditional retail spend in 2018.
Australia Post general manager of enterprise Andrew Chamberlain said Koh and Kogan.com exemplified e-commerce-savvy businesses that embraced innovation to enhance online experience, ultimately driving customer loyalty and sales.
“In considering potential winners of the Australia Post ORIAS People’s Choice Award, one of the key things consumers look at is a personalised experience that supports ease of purchase – an area in which both Koh and Kogan.com are excelling,” Mr Chamberlain said.
Registrations for the Australia Post ORIAS People’s Choice Award for 2019 are open now, with applications to close 31 May. Voting takes place from 1 May-31 May.

Data61 launches Robotics Innovation Centre in Queensland

CSIRO’s Data61 has announced the opening of its new Robotics Innovation Centre in Queensland, a purpose-built research facility for robotics and autonomous systems, an industry set to be worth $23 billion by 2025.

CSIRO’s Data61 is one of the global leaders in the field, with capabilities ranging from legged robots and 3D mapping through to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).
Fred Pauling, Robotics and Autonomous Systems group leader at CSIRO’s Data61 said the 600-square-metre facility would enhance the group’s world-class research capabilities.
“The new centre expands our research infrastructure to develop highly autonomous robotics systems that can interact safely and seamlessly with humans and other dynamic agents, in challenging indoor and outdoor environments,” Fred said.
“Our robots are already being used to safely inspect and create 3D maps of underground mines, monitor biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and navigate difficult terrain in emergency situations.”
One project being spearheaded by the centre is the testing of technology to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments as part of a three-year Subterranean Challenge funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The centre houses the biggest motion capture system in the Southern Hemisphere, used to validate data collected by robotics systems. It also features a 13x5m pool for testing aquatic robots, a significant number of field-deployable UAVs and UGVs, legged robots, high-accuracy robot manipulators as well as sensors and telemetry systems.
Adrian Turner, CEO at CSIRO’s Data61, said the centre is a national asset that combines internationally recognised robotics and machine learning research with deep domain expertise from CSIRO providing unique collaboration opportunities for industry, government and academia.
“Robotics and autonomous systems technologies, underpinned by machine learning and artificial intelligence, will unlock new value in all manner of sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and mining,” Mr Turner said.
“By creating a cohesive approach to robotics R&D through closer collaboration, supported by world-class facilities like the Robotics Innovation Centre, we can ensure Australia is well placed to benefit from Industry 4.0 and help to protect and accelerate our nation’s ongoing economic success.”
Data61 led the formation of the Sixth Wave Alliance last year, a network which seeks to integrate key robotics research organisations and industry partners in Australia to enable a higher level of R&D collaboration. Dr Sue Keay was recently appointed to lead Data61’s cyber-physical systems research program, drawing on her experience in developing Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap while at QUT’s Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.
Data61’s robotics infrastructure is open for industry use and collaborative projects. This includes dedicated mechanical and electronics engineering laboratories, several high-end rapid prototyping machines, large sheds for indoors systems testing, an open-air UAV flying area and outdoor testing areas including a forest and creek.

Australian Information Commissioner reports cyber-attack increase

The latest number of data breaches in Australia have superseded previous quarterly figures, with most data breaches resulting from a malicious or criminal attack.
From October to December 2018, 262 data breaches were notified to affected individuals and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), compared to 245 the previous quarter.
The latest quarterly report from the Office of the OAIC shows 262 data breaches involving personal information were notified between October and December 2018.
Under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, organisations and agencies regulated under the Privacy Act must notify individuals and the OAIC when data breaches are likely to result in serious harm.
READ: Aussie businesses see themselves as a target for cyber attacks
The leading cause of notifiable data breaches in the December quarter was malicious or criminal attack (168 notifications), followed by human error (85 notifications) and system error (9 notifications).
Most data breaches resulting from a malicious or criminal attack involved cyber incidents stemming from compromised credentials (usernames and passwords), such as phishing and brute-force attacks.
Australian information commissioner and privacy commissioner Angelene Falk reinforced the need for organisations and individuals to secure personal information by safeguarding credentials.
“Preventing data breaches and improving cyber security must be a primary concern for any organisation entrusted with people’s personal information,” said Falk.
“Employees need to be made aware of the common tricks used by cyber criminals to steal usernames and passwords.
“The OAIC works with the Australian Cyber Security Centre to provide prevention strategies for organisations, including regularly resetting and not reusing passwords.
“If a data breach occurs, early notification can help anyone who is affected take action to prevent harm.
“By changing passwords, checking your credit report, and looking out for scams using your personal information, you can help minimise the harm that can result from a data breach,” said Falk.
The OAIC continues to work with entities to promote compliance with the scheme, and can take regulatory action in cases of non-compliance with notification obligations, she said.

Maersk to introduce a virtual assistant named Captain Peter

Maersk is set to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by a virtual assistant, named “Captain Peter”. The avatar will assist customers along the journey of their cargo.
Currently being tested by a group of select customers, technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the Remote Container Management (RCM) platform.
In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the new platform with a revamped design and new product features which will be enhanced by a virtual assistant named Captain Peter.
“Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, Head of Global Reefer Management at Maersk said.
In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example, SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer.
Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, customers will receive information configured to their specific needs.
The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving the customer millions of dollars in lost cargo.
“With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen said.
Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology. Today, over 2,300 customers have signed up for the RCM solution, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.

Kuehne + Nagel to acquire the Quick Group

The Quick Group has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Kuehne + Nagel, a global logistics company operating in airfreight, seafreight, contract logistics, and overland businesses.
Quick will continue to offer tailor-made solutions to all the industries they serve and will operate as independent specialised product brands: Sterling Aviation, QuickSTAT, Quick Healthcare, and Quick Logistics. The Quick/Sterling team, including management, will continue to support their client base. Unitrans International Logistics will not be part of this transaction.
The partnership will offer Quick’s customers additional service and resource capabilities, with an expanded global footprint within Kuehne + Nagel’s operating network across more than 100 countries.
“We are very excited to become part of the Kuehne + Nagel Group and further expand the services we provide to our customers, with a clear focus on providing integrated logistics solutions with speed, control, communication, and IT efficiencies. We plan to continue leading the industry, providing the very best specialized solutions,” Dominique Bischoff-Brown, CEO, The Quick Group of Companies said.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions.
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