The Supply Chain Matters blog features our October 23, 2019 Edition of This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech, a synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news which we believe would be of specific interest to our global-based blog readership.

Included in this edition are highlights related to noteworthy announcements and/or developments related to:

LeanDNA and Spirit AeroSystemsSupply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Technology

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite

Blackstone Group

Shopify and 6 River Systems


LeanDNA Partners with  Spirit AeroSystems

Austin Texas based LeanDNA which provides a purpose-built B2B analytics platform for factory inventory optimization and synchronized inventory movement has announced a partnership with first tier aerostructures and fuselage manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems to deploy the LeanDNA platform across five of Spirit’s largest manufacturing sites. Spirit has been piloting LeanDNA technology for several months.

LeanDNA was founded in 2014 by Richard Lebovitz, the former founder of FactoryLogic, which was later acquired by SAP. The company’s Cloud based  technology is a factory analytics platform designed to assist manufacturers to improve on-time delivery by arming direct procurement teams with actionable data that reduces shortages, optimizes inventory and improves buyer efficiency. The platform leverages predictive and prescriptive analytics to support inventory deployment, management of materials shortages  or material staging decisions. According to LeanDNA, on-average, customers can realize a 14 percent inventory reduction and 18 percent on-time improvement after utilizing the company’s Cloud based platform.

Supply Chain Matters has featured quite a number of blog commentaries highlighting commercial aerospace industry supply network efforts to ramp-up required monthly production schedules to meet extraordinary demand for new modern aircraft. Such pressures require a keen emphasis on prioritization of material shortages and tasks required to synchronize factory deliveries to aerospace OEM Airbus or Boeing customer needs.

In addition to Spirit AeroSystems, LeanDNA’s technology has been adopted by other aerospace manufacturers to include L2 Aviation, Safran Seats GB, Thales, Triumph Group and Zodiac Aerospace. Other deployments involve discrete process manufacturers across other industry verticals.


IBM Enhances B2B Suite with Artificial Intelligence Capabilities

International Business Machines (IBM) announced that the company will bundle a number of its supply chain management applications into a single Cloud based platform to be enhanced with artificial intelligence and blockchain technology capabilities.

The offering, to be termed Sterling Supply Chain Suite, was designed to build on the existing foundation of Sterling B2B Network and Sterling Order Management that supports companies in managing communications and electronic transactions with suppliers, customers or trading partners.

According to the announcement, the new capabilities are designed to assist manufacturers, retailers and other types of businesses to integrate critical data, business networks and supply chain processes while capitalizing on the benefits of technologies of Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite will also be opened to developers and partners to build, extend and integrate tailored supply chain applications that can interoperate with other business networks and applications. Further noted is the ability to bring in third party data, so that all connected applications and networks can benefit.

According to a published report by The Wall Street Journal, companies that have tested components of the new suite include drug distributor AmerisourceBergen, outdoor gear retailer REI, pet goods retailer Petco, and Spain based department store retailer El Corte Ingles. According to the same report, based on an IBM spokesman, pricing for the new platform is variable depending on amount of data and suppliers supported and can range from the low four figures to the low seven figures annually.


Blackstone Group Solidifies Lead as Largest Owner of U.S. Logistics Warehouses

Blackstone Group solidified its standing as one of the largest owners of U.S. Logistics E-commerce warehouse real estate with the announced acquisition of the U.S. industrial warehouse portfolio from Colony Capital for a reported $5.9 billion, including debt. The sale reportedly was a result of a strategic review of Colony assets as part of a settlement with an activist investor earlier this year.

According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, the properties consist of 465 warehouses serving 26 U.S. markets with particular concentration in Atlanta, Dallas, Florida and northern New Jersey. It further includes Colony’s 51 percent stake in a 4-million square feet portfolio of bulk distribution centers located further outside U.S. urban centers.

The deal represents the second major purchase by Blackstone this year after signing a deal in June to acquire the U.S. warehouses of Singapore based GLP for $18.7 billion, including debt.


Shopify Completes Acquisition of 6 River Systems

Ottawa Canada based Shopify, a multi-channel commerce platform provider, announced that the company has completed its acquisition of 6 River Systems, a technology provider with extensive experience in fulfillment software and robotics.

Merchants utilize Shopify to design, set up, and manage their retail stores across multiple sales channels, including mobile, web, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. The platform further provides merchants with a back-office and a single view of their business, from payments to shipping.

Completion of the transaction supplements 6 River Systems’ Cloud-based software and fleet of collaborative mobile robots termed “Chuck” to the Shopify Fulfillment Network, in an effort to accelerate growth.

Shopify will maintain the 6 River Systems brand and corporate headquarters located in Waltham, Massachusetts.


This concludes our latest edition of This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech.

An Added Note to ReadersSupply Chain Matters will feature our This Week in Supply Chain Tech highlight series periodically as announcements warrant.


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