May 17, 2020

IBM Supply Chain: leveraging AI in supply chain

Supply Chain
Technology
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
In a bid to empower companies unlock more value through data, IBM Supply Chain has released three ways to kick-start companies’ digital supply chains.
In a bid to empower companies unlock more value through data, IBM Supply Chain has released three ways to kick-start companies’ digital supply chains...

In a bid to empower companies unlock more value through data, IBM Supply Chain has released three ways to kick-start companies’ digital supply chains. Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look.

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data have become prominent players in the supply chain space with a growing number of firms worldwide implementing new technology into operations. Such solutions have allowed for greater efficiency to be achieved, in addition to encouraging companies to uncover new processes and ways of thinking. IBM believes that these three steps are the key to beginning a successful digital transformation journey.

1. Align your goals and use cases.

Every successful venture must have a clear outcome and objective in mind. It’s key to define a specific problem that matters to the business and measure whether it’s a good fit for AI.

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2. Explore your data landscape and assess the gaps

All AI models drive outcomes that requires data. In order to utilise that data, it’s important to determine the data sources, data types and currency of data to ensure it’s sufficient before implementation.

3. Consider a proof of concept

The proof of concept allows companies to ensure they possess the right data and toolset for the decisions a business user would want to make through the assistance of augmented intelligence. The most critical aspect of introducing AI into the supply chain is to determine what matters most to the company. It is thought that 90 days is enough to begin to drive meaningful results and uncover a clear path forward.

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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