Top Talking Logistics Posts & Episodes – Plus Indago Highlights (1H 2020)

The first half of 2020 is over. But keep your seatbelts tightly fastened because the second half of the year could be just as unpredictable.

Not surprising, six of the top ten posts we published in the first half of 2020 were related to the COVID-19 pandemic (see below). Nothing has impacted global supply chains, so quickly, so widespread, as this pandemic. We’ve turned a corner, but where the days ahead will lead us (further recovery or back to where we started) nobody really knows.

The pandemic has not only disrupted supply chains; it has served as a catalyst for change and innovation. E-commerce, for example, was already growing quickly prior to the pandemic, but its impact on the retail industry has been accelerated, along with related trends: home delivery, buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), ship from store, drop shipping, contactless delivery, drone/robot delivery.

The pandemic has also caused companies to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, including moving their systems to the cloud so that employees can do their jobs from home. It has also led companies to revisit and rethink their sourcing strategies, supplier relationships, and risk management processes and capabilities.

And so much more, which will continue to transform supply chains in the second half of 2020 and beyond — plus toss in a presidential election in the United States, the ongoing trade war with China and other countries, and the usual craziness of the holiday season, and there will be no rest for the weary in the months ahead.

“Cancelled” was the early leader for Word of the Year, but a new word has emerged that may better define the second half of 2020: Reimagined. 

Indago Turns 1

Speaking of reimagining, that’s what we did last year when we reimagined market research and launched Indago, a market research community of supply chain and logistics practitioners from manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies. Our members share practical knowledge and advice with each other in a trusted and confidential manner — while giving back to charitable causes like JDRF, American Logistics Aid Network, American Cancer Society, Feeding America, and Make-A-Wish. 

It’s an uncommon approach to market research. It’s research with purpose.

Since launching in March 2019, we have conducted 50 surveys on a wide variety of supply chain and logistics topics (see list below of the topics and questions we have explored so far this year, plus download the Table of Contents of our of our 88-page Indago Micro-Surveys Reports Volume I, a compilation of the 39 micro-survey reports we completed from March 2019 through March 2020),

Here’s a testimonial from one of our members, the VP of Supply Chain at a $100-500M Consumer Goods Company:

“A few minutes of my Monday are spent answering questions that benefits the charity partner I have chosen. It is a very small time investment to make a difference in someone’s life who will benefit from the charity. We also benefit by benchmarking our practices with those of the group.”

The most gratifying part, however, is that we have already made over $6,500 in charity donations since we launched last March!

If you’re a supply chain or logistics practitioner from a manufacturing, retail, or distribution company, I encourage you to learn more about Indago and join our research community. It is confidential, there is no cost to join and the time commitment is minimal (2-5 minutes per week) — plus your participation will help support charitable causes that need our help today more than ever.

You can also follow Indago on LinkedIn to stay informed of our latest research results and news.

Thank You!

As always, a big thank you to our sponsors for making Talking Logistics possible, and to all of you — our readers, newsletter subscribers, and social media followers — for making it all worthwhile.

In case you missed them the first time around or want to read/view them again, check out the top posts and new episodes from the first half of 2020. After reading/watching them, share this post with your colleagues and social media followers, then post a comment and share your perspective on these topics!

Top Posts

  1. Will This COVID-19 Pandemic Change Supply Chains Forever?
  2. Coronavirus: Supply Chain Risk Management Back in Spotlight
  3. Will COVID-19 Lead to More U.S. Manufacturing?
  4. Why You Need to Centralize Transportation Management Operations
  5. Apple Still ‘Old School’ in Procurement and Supplier Relationship Management
  6. Freight Transportation in 2020: Key Factors Impacting Supply and Demand
  7. Truckload Tactics for 2020: Balance Strategy to Control Cost
  8. Contactless Delivery: Because Paperless Is No Longer Enough
  9. Coronavirus Creates Opportunity for Healthy Supply Chain Correction
  10. Force Majeure in the Time of Coronavirus

New Episodes

Indago Research Reports

  • Supply Chain Complexity (January 2020): What are the biggest sources of complexity in your supply chain?
  • Supply Chain Software Options (January 2020): How would you characterize your company’s strategy / approach toward selecting a supply chain software solution?
  • Collaborative Shipping (January 2020): Are you currently participating in a collaborative shipping program? How are you enabling it?
  • Freight Rates in 2020 (January 2020): Do you expect contracted rates for trucking to increase, decrease, or stay the same compared to 2019?
  • Supply Chain Digital Twin (February 2020): Has your company developed a digital twin of one or more of its supply chain processes / operations? What is the biggest challenge to get started?
  • Supply Chain Mapping (February 2020): Do you know where the manufacturing / production facilities of your suppliers are physically located?
  • Supply Chain in High School (March 2020): Do you agree or disagree that high schools should offer a course in supply chain management?
  • Chief Supply Chain Officer (March 2020): Does your company have a Chief Supply Chain Officer? When it comes to C-level planning and decision making, how often is the supply chain function involved at your company?
  • Supply Chains After Coronavirus (March 2020): In response to the coronavirus pandemic, what type of changes do you believe your company will make in how it designs and operates its supply chain?
  • Managing Supply Chains From Home (March 2020): If you are currently working from home in response to the coronavirus outbreak, are you being more productive, less productive, or equally productive as working from your company office? What have been the biggest challenges so far?
  • Transportation Benefits Via Smarter Packaging (April 2020): How would you characterize the opportunity that exists at your company to realize transportation benefits if changes were made to product and/or packaging designs?
  • Helping Suppliers Through COVID-19 Crisis (April 2020): Are you actively helping your suppliers and/or seeking help from your customers to weather through this COVID-19 crisis?  What actions are you taking to help your suppliers during this crisis?
  • Dock Appointment Scheduling (April 2020): How do you currently manage your dock appointment scheduling process? How would you rate the importance of the following dock appointment scheduling capabilities?
  • Virtual Industry Conferences (May 2020): Moving forward, how important will it be for supply chain conference organizers to offer a virtual attendance option? How important are the following features or capabilities in a virtual conference?
  • Contact Tracing in Supply Chain Operations (May 2020): Has your company implemented contact tracing at its logistics, manufacturing, or retail operations? Over the next six months, how important will having contact tracing capabilities be for your company to resume or continue its logistics, manufacturing, or retail operations?
  • Supply Chain Certifications (June 2020): How important is getting a supply chain or logistics certification for career advancement, especially for new professionals? Which certification(s) would you recommend?
  • Unlearning Supply Chain Management (June 2020): What traditional supply chain practices or concepts (“the way we’ve always done things”) do you believe companies must unlearn to succeed moving forward? 
  • The Business Benefits of Yard Management (June 2020): How would you rate your company’s overall yard management capabilities relative to peers in your industry? How important is having digital yard management capabilities in helping you achieve the following transportation objectives?
  • Freight Rates in 2nd Half 2020 (June 2020): Based on what you’re currently experiencing, conversations with carriers, and/or recent procurement engagements, do you expect contracted rates for trucking to increase, decrease, or stay the same during the second half of 2020 compared to the first half?

Reminder: There are many ways to stay connected with Talking Logistics throughout the year — choose all the options that you prefer:

Email Newsletter
LinkedIn (Talking Logistics)
LinkedIn (Indago)
YouTube (where you can also watch all of our episodes)
iTunes (where you can listen to podcast versions of our episodes)