May 17, 2020

IBM: accelerating digital in the supply chain

Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
With artificial intelligence (AI) playing a major part in supply chains, IBM Watson launched its IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite last year
More companies than ever before are digitising processes to optimise workflows and streamline operations.

With artificial intelligence (AI) now playing...

More companies than ever before are digitising processes to optimise workflows and streamline operations. 

With artificial intelligence (AI) now playing a major part in the majority of supply chains globally, IBM Watson launched its IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite last year. It is an open, integrated platform that easily connects to your supplier ecosystem, while implementing technologies such as AI and blockchain. The suite allows you to address continuous supply challenges and enable end-to-end visibility, real-time insights and recommended actions to transform disruptions into opportunities for customer engagement, growth and profit. 

In order to be successful in this new age of digital transformation, supply chains must be dynamic, responsive and interconnected across ecosystems and processes. Driving efficiency is a core component of long-term success in the supply chain space. The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite helps develop an intelligent, self-correcting supply chain in several different ways

  • Real-time intelligence and actionable recommendations

Applications and control towers, which are embedded with AI and trained in supply chain, provides end-to-end visibility, real-time alerts and recommendations that can be automated for self-correcting actions that can help drive better business outcomes.

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  • Trusted connectivity - built to scale, backed by IBM Blockchain

The company’s blockchain-enabled, multi-enterprise business network provides frictionless, secured connectivity and collaboration with customers, partners and suppliers. There is the opportunity to engage with over 800,000 preconnected trading partners executing 3bn transactions annually.

  • Open to developers to create tailored solutions

The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite allows system integrators and developers to create, extend and integrate tailored supply chain solutions that interoperate with other business networks and applications. 

  • Hybrid-cloud integration to extend existing supply chain investments

As opposed to time-consuming and expensive migrations, the suite’s enterprise-ready containerised software, in addition with IBM Cloud Paks, enables users to extend the value and reach of legacy applications and data. The hybrid approach enables greater freedom to choose where to run workloads and the ability to link them to value-added services in the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite.

Ultimately, supply chains the world over are seeking to introduce greater efficiency into operations in order to create a smarter supply chain. Technology remains the key enabler to making that future a reality to companies and it is set to continue to play an influential role in 2020 and beyond.

For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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Jun 16, 2021

Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution

Macmillan Education
Grupo Espinosa
3 min
A proudly Mexican company servicing the publishing industry with best-in-class printing, storage and distribution facilities in the heart of Latin America

Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand. 

So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes,  basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”

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