Kuehne + Nagel launches new digital supply chain platform
Kuehne + Nagel’s has launched a new digital collaborative platform that its says will drive efficiency gains for international supply chain customers.
In a release, the company said its supply chain management platform, KN ESP, offers a modular architecture to connect international supply chain customers with their vendors, their buyers and sellers, Kuehne + Nagel’s physical assets and experts, and their cargo flows.
Improvements in supplier reliability and product availability will be enabled through control of the full product life cycle, from sourcing, quality control, purchase order negotiation and management, to commercial invoice release, buyer’s consolidation, transportation and delivery.
With predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, KN ESP optimises orders and prioritises transportation decisions based on a set of customer’s defined business rules, cost and service options.
It is an addition to the KN technology suite for medium to large customers providing them with the most comprehensive response to complex supply chain needs. This includes an ongoing strategic partnership with GT Nexus.
“KN ESP unique features provide a synchronised, transparent and collaborative supply chain platform that eliminates communication frictions no matter how many systems or players are involved,” says Otto Schacht, Member of the Managing Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Seafreight.
“It is part of our digital strategy to become a data-driven value chain provider. The implementation of KN ESP strengthens our position in the international supply chain business and supports our customers to achieve long-term competitive edge.”
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.