C.H. Robinson/Microsoft: digitally transform supply chains
The collaboration between C.H. Robinson and Microsoft will look to integrate C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere technology and Microsoft’s Azure and Azure IoT technologies to make real time visibility possible within supply chains as well as accelerate innovation in transportation. In order to meet the changing demands of evolving global supply chains.
“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,” commented 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.”
Via the collaboration between the two companies, Navisphere - C.H. Robinson’s platform - will leverage the capabilities of Azure IoT Central to allow the integration of IoT device monitoring that measure temperature, shock, tilt, humidity, light and pressure in shipments. The technology will provide customers an increased level of intelligence about goods that move through the supply chain.
The collaboration which builds on C.H. Robinson and Microsoft’s history of working together. Via the partnership between the two organisations, will drive innovation within the supply chain to provide more predictability and proactive decision making to their business groups. In addition the two organisations will be able to scale and develop new solutions that drive 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.”
In addition to C.H. Robinson driving innovation on Azure. The logistics company will also leverage Dynamics 365 and Power BI to streamline its customer relationship management (CRM) platform. The capabilities will help C.H. Robinson maintains its commitment to customer centricity.
As part of the partnership with Microsoft, C.H. Robinson will integrate its real-time pricing, execution and transportation management tools into Dynamics 365, making its capabilities available to Microsoft customers.
“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.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.