Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (June 28, 2024)

Did you know that 50% of the people getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes today are adults, not juveniles? And those that get T1D as children, like my daughter Hannah who was diagnosed at age 11, ultimately become adults (Hannah will be 24 later this summer).

That is one of the reasons why JDRF rebranded itself as Breakthrough T1D earlier this month. 

Over the past 13 years since Hannah was diagnosed, she has benefitted from many breakthroughs in treatments and technologies, such as the continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump she uses that talk to each other automatically to control her blood glucose level. These advancements would not have been possible without supporters donating to Breakthrough T1D.

It’s been 8 years since I launched our Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure (LLL4T1DCure) cycling team, and in just 15 days I will be participating in my 11th Breakthrough T1D Ride in Burlington, VT. As always, my goal is to cycle 100 miles, even though I am way behind on my training because of my cancer treatments. I am also more than $8,000 away from reaching my fundraising goal.

How can you help?

Well, you can’t help me with my training, but if you enjoy and get value from our content on Talking Logistics, please consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of our LL4T1DCure team and Breakthrough T1D via my donation page. Any amount is greatly appreciated because every dollar gets us closer to a cure.

Donate here to help me reach my goal.

If you’re a supply chain technology company or a logistics service provider, please consider sponsoring our team. A big thank you to TranzAct Technologies for sponsoring us again this year, and to Transporeon for joining us as a supporting sponsor. We have a variety of sponsorship packages still available, which include many benefits, so if you’re interested in learning more, please contact me for details.

Thank you in advance for helping me “breakthrough” my fundraising goal and across the finish line. Together we will help create a world without type 1 diabetes!

Moving on, here’s the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:

Standardizing Dock Appointment Scheduling

In December 2022, The Scheduling Standards Consortium (SSC) was formed “to simplify the integration of systems across the fragmented ecosystem between shippers, carriers and intermediaries and create a more efficient appointment scheduling process…The primary objectives of the SSC are to (1) define an API standard for sharing scheduling information, (2) eliminate manual processes by automating interactions where possible, (3) implement the standardized interfaces and integrations across core systems, and (4) advocate for the standard across the industry. The SSC aims to partner with shippers, carriers, brokers, and solutions providers to drive towards a standard.”

At the time, I shared my thoughts in “Appointment Scheduling API Standard: Will It Work with Paper Calendars?” In short, I made the point that an API standard is worthless if you’re still using spreadsheets and paper calendars to manage your appointment scheduling process.

Less than a year later in October 2023, the SSC announced “the achievement of a landmark milestone — the publication of its Technical Standard for developing scheduling application programming interface (API) for transportation management systems (TMS).”

This brings us to the announcement this week by e2open (a Talking Logistics sponsor) that it has released “a new Scheduling Standards Consortium (SSC) Appointment Scheduling API enabling e2open clients to expedite dock scheduling, reduce manual work, decrease lead times, and centralize scheduling data for their shipments.”

Coincidentally, earlier this month, we asked members of our Indago supply chain research community — who are all supply chain and logistics executives from manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies — “Will the creation and adoption of an industry standard for dock appointment scheduling will improve your logistics operations?”

Almost three quarters of our member respondents (74%) either “Agree” (41%) or “Strongly Agree” (33%) that the creation and adoption of an industry standard for dock appointment scheduling will improve their logistics operations. Only 4% disagreed.

Source: Indago June 2024 survey of 27 qualified and verified supply chain and logistics executives from manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies.

“Dock schedules are the heart and soul of the end-to-end supply chain flow,” said one Indago supply chain executive member. “It is essential to have a clear, standardized scheduling system to ensure our DCs have sufficient throughput to execute, and our carriers and customers can get the appointments they need. When there was discord between the DC and Transport groups in the past, it ultimately resulted in sub-optimal flow and unhappy customers. Effective dock management with clear visibility to all impacted end-to-end functions is imperative to an effective supply chain.”

We also asked our members, “How would you characterize your dock appointment scheduling process in terms of being able to plan and execute inbound and outbound shipments through your distribution centers as efficiently as possible?” and “What are the most common issues you face with dock appointment scheduling?” For all the research results, members can download the report from the Indago website.

I’ll end by repeating what I said back in December 2022: When it comes to developing industry standards and driving mass adoption, especially for a highly collaborative business process like dock appointment scheduling, I believe that utilizing a network-based technology platform — that connects thousands of shippers, carriers, logistics service providers, and other stakeholders with each other, enabling them to communicate, collaborate, and execute business processes in more efficient, scalable, and innovative ways via shared apps on the network — is the best approach.  

And with that, have a meaningful weekend!

Song of the Week: “Starburster” by Fontaines D.C.