QVC thriving in the United Kingdom
The leading multi-channel retailer, QVC, has implemented a range of green initiatives alongside multi-million pound investments in its UK business to achieve an efficient and sustainable supply chain.
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QVC launched its UK operation in 1993, and at that time was purely visible on satellite to a relatively small audience. Now it has grown to be available in all UK homes through mass TV distribution on Freeview, Sky and cable as well as a significant online presence. Customers can order products on-air, online or on mobile devices at their convenience with 24/7 UK call centre support.
Owned by Liberty Interactive Corporation, QVC UK has been going from strength to strength and has launched additional TV channels: QVC Style, QVC Beauty and QVC Extra. The progress has been illustrated in financial results too; in Q2 this year revenue grew by seven percent on the same period last year.
Kieran Murphy, Director of Customer Logistics UK at QVC, said: “We are a multi-channel retailer meaning our methods used to order have become more and more diverse. To place an order we have the straightforward call to speak to a customer service rep, a voice response unit where you can place an order using the item number, and we now also have extensive digital ordering options.
“You can see on our live broadcasts whether items are available, in limited stock, or almost sold out, and that’s because our sales platform systems are intrinsically linked with our warehouse management systems (WMS). It is a real-time update of our inventory levels, and of course to deliver good service you cannot sell something you haven’t got. With speedy delivery becoming more ingrained with shoppers, customers don’t want to be kept waiting very long to receive the products they have bought.”
The head office for QVC’s UK operations is in Chiswick, West London, where its broadcasting facilities and buying and planning functions predominantly reside. The 31-acre operations and distribution centre is located in Knowsley, Merseyside, and most recently has seen investment to automate parts of the site, such as the technology involved with WMS . . . Click here to read the rest of the article at Supply Chain Digital!
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Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.