Jul 17, 2020

C.H. Robinson/Microsoft: digitally transform supply chains

Technology
Logistics
Innovation
IoT
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Logistics
C.H. Robinson forms an alliance with Microsoft to digitally transform supply chains of the future...

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.

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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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