Inside: IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite
To achieve success in the supply chain industry today, it is essential that companies’ supply chains are dynamic, responsive and interconnected to your ecosystem and processes.
What is the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite?
The IBM Sterling Supply Chain is an open, integrated platform that easily connects to your supplier ecosystem, while leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. It is built on IBM assets, such as the Sterling B2B multi-enterprise network, Sterling Order Management, Sterling Inventory Management, IBM Watson and IBM Blockchain. It provides end-to-end visibility, real-time insights and also creates the opportunity for customer engagement, growth and profit.
IBM described the introduction of its Sterling Supply Chain Suite as “an integrated supply chain suite, embedded with Watson AI and IBM Blockchain and open to developers, to help organisations make their supply chains smarter, more efficient and better able to make decisions to adjust to disruptions and opportunities in an era when globalisation has made supplier networks more complex and vulnerable than ever.”
The launch of the IBM Sterling Supply Chain in October 2019 was seen as a sign of intent from the firm to become the number one in the market. Seeking to take advantage of a $50bn market in technologies that will allow global businesses to digitally transform their supply chains, IBM hopes to unlock true value through their supply chain suite.
“Supply chains are now mission-critical systems for all businesses to drive success and profitability,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems, IBM in a press release. “Many organisations have risen to the top of their industries by building efficient and agile supply chains. By modernizing supply chains on top of open, hybrid-cloud platforms and infusing Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and IoT into their networks, the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite can help companies across all industries enter a new era of global competitiveness.”
For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
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.”