The Supply Chain Matters blog features our August 27, 2021 edition of our supply chain management technology centric news capsule: This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech.

This series presents a brief synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management technology as well as business investment news which we believe would be of specific interest to our global-based blog readership.

Our most recent publishing of this column series occurred on July 20.

The second half of 2021 continues with a highly active period of announcements related to supply chain management focused technology.  Hot investment areas remain Cloud based digital transformation, logistics, warehouse automation, robotics and ESR.

Companies mentioned is this update include:

Contemporary Amperex Technology

United Parcel Service

FedEx Ground and Berkshire Grey

SAP SE and Google Cloud

Expression Networks and GHX


Contemporary Amperex Technology Plans $9 Billion Equity Offering

China based electrically powered vehicle battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is planning to offer a reported $9 billion stock offering to boost investment in manufacturing capacity

This supplier is considered to be one of the largest global producers of lithium-ion batteries and was recently awarded the supply contract for Tesla’s Shanghai production facility. In addition to Tesla, other supply contracts involve China automakers LiAuto, NIO and XPeng, along with Daimler’s Mercedez Benz electric vehicles.

According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, buyers of this equity offering include 35 investors from asset management, insurance, and financial companies.


United Parcel Service Expanding Use of Predictive Analytics

Global parcel logistics and transportation services provider United Parcel Service (UPS) is expanding its use of internally developed predictive analytics technology to help optimize the flow of packages across the carrier’s network.

According to an update in The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Blog, the predictive analytics technology has been in development for about eight months and will now be deployed to analyze more than one billion data points per day on data related to package weight, shape and size. Data will then reportedly be cross-referenced with historical delivery trends to determine how the network is performing, as well as highlighting specific capacity or customer restraints. UPS CIO Juan Perez indicated to the WSJ that the new tool allows the carrier to: “know exactly what’s going where, and when it’s going to arrive, much more accurately than ever before.” UPS further indicated that artificial intelligence capabilities will eventually be added to this effort.



FedEx Ground and Berkshire Grey Team Up to Streamline Small Package Processing

FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation announced that the carrier has recently implemented Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Product Sortation and Identification system (RPSi) at its facility located in Queens, New York. According to the announcement additional installations are being planned at FedEx Ground sortation facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada and Columbus Ohio.

The RPSi system has been engineered to autonomously process-pick, identify, sort, collect and containerize individual polybags, padded mailers and other small packages that are traditionally sorted manually.



SAP Expands Partnership with Google Cloud to Accelerate Business Transformation

Enterprise Cloud and ERP technology provider SAP SE has announced an expanded strategic relationship with Google Cloud to help customers accelerate their digital transformations, migrate business systems to the Cloud or augment existing business processes with Google Cloud capabilities.

Under the expanded relationship, Google Cloud will be a strategic partner for the RISE with SAP offering which has been launched by SAP to accelerate customer adoption of the SAP S4/HANA Cloud ERP offering from customers who have older versions of licensed behind-the-firewall ERP instances.


Expression Networks and GHX Receive Government Award to Develop Predictive Analytics Tool to Identify Disease Hotspots

Expression Networks, a provider of technology services to the U.S. Department of Defense, and Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX), operator of a healthcare industry Cloud-based trading network that connects those who buy, sell and use products needed to deliver patient care, announced that they are collaborating to develop a unique prototype that will help predict supply constraints and disease hotspots throughout the United States.

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) awarded Expression Networks a phase 2 award in support of the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium’s (MTEC) National Emergency Telecritical Care Network (NETCCN) Project. NETCCN is focused on supporting the extension of high-quality, remote intensive care to traditional and non-traditional and temporary healthcare facilities that lack adequate critical care expertise and resources necessary to combat future crises.

Leveraging GHX’s pool of existing supply chain data and analytics in combination with other data sources and reporting capabilities, Expression Networks will build a predictive analytics engine that could help the Federal government gain earlier visibility into supply shortages and make more data-driven decisions during national health emergencies such as COVID-19. The predictive analytics prototype, called the supply constraint predictor, is intended to help the government better identify where and when surges are happening with near real-time visibility and inform decisions such as how and where to deploy the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) repository. The funding stems from a contract sponsored by the HHS and was awarded through MTEC.


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

A note to readers: Supply Chain Matters will feature this column periodically as announcements warrant.


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