Aug 4, 2020

Blue Yonder: top five digital disruptions in logistics

Blue Yonder
Innovation
Logistics
Digital Transformation
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Digital Transfrmation
Business Chief takes a closer look at Blue Yonder’s top five disruptions shaping digital transformation in distribution and logistics...

1. 'Digital transformations in manufacturing and retail’

“Digitalisation is transforming every aspect of business across all industries, particularly impacting distribution and logistics,” commented Blue Yonder. “Healthcare providers expect products, combined with services, to be delivered all the way to the point of care within the hospital, not just to the receiving department. Automotive manufacturers don’t want the burden of carrying raw material components, so distributors and logistics providers need to manage and deliver the right components just-in-time for production.”

As those within the industry continue to transform their strategies, Blue Yonder details that the challenge for distributors and logistics providers is the need to accelerate their ability to deliver their services. It was agreed at the BG Strategic Advisors Supply Chain Conference, that as manufacturers and retailers grow their online channels, logistics providers need to become an extension of these organisations, providing personalisation, kitting and other value-added services.

2. ‘Consumerization of B2B services’

“The consumer buying experience is transforming the way the B2B buyer experience is evolving,” added Blue Yonder. “Logistics providers must consider how B2B buyers think about their wants and needs.” With Buyers today wanting everything to be visible via mobile app and website on-demand, with next-day delivery and a personalised and customised experience. “The future of logistics, therefore, isn’t just about next day/same day delivery, it’s about personalisation, options and on-demand as well. Top logistics companies must be able to support these on-demand expectations.”

3. ‘Data is money’

“Everything today is run by data that’s hyper connected to customers, trucks, warehouses and quality monitoring, just to name a few,” explained Blue Yonder.

“Data is an opportunity for distributors and 3PLs to differentiate their value propositions. The ability to gain insight from the data provides real-time visibility, security and efficiency, as well as the opportunity to predict and proactively act on supply chain risks.”

4. ‘Global workforce crisis’

“Due to the aging global population, coupled with historically low unemployment rates, workforce shortage is a big concern and one that does not look to improve for some time.” As a result, distributors and logistics companies will need to be innovative when it comes to retaining and attracting top talent, while continuing to improve productivity.

5. 'Infused technology’

“Drones, AI, autonomous vehicles, machine-learning and robotics are a few of the disruptive technologies that dominate the news today. These technologies have the potential to dramatically reshape best practices within distribution and logistics companies, and can strategically redefine value propositions to their customers. Manufacturers and retailers continue to scrutinise their distribution and logistics partners and expect them to bring technology expertise and leadership to the table,” commented Blue Yonder, who believes that those in the industry who can narrow the IT gap will have a competitive advantage.

”Logistics providers need to position technology front and center as part of their go-to-market strategy to differentiate their value proposition.”

To read the full Blue Yonder report, click here!

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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