Monitoring Supply Chain Activity With Dashboards

In many ways, EDI standardized formats have simplified supply chain logistics for retailers, and put them in the driver’s seat in their relationships with suppliers. In short, if suppliers don’t comply, they don’t get the benefit of incentives, and may suffer the consequences of penalties. Suppliers who are often out of compliance will also suffer from a lack of repeat business.

But as a retailer, you know that compliance isn’t a black-and-white issue. Even after a trading partnership begins and EDI documents are tested and validated, you may modify them as your business needs change. Keeping up with changes is a challenge for sellers, and without enough advance notice on your part, the supplier may be technically “out of compliance” but still performing well. That’s just one example (a common one) of how EDI standards can easily move into “gray” zones.

There are many other potential sources of errors. Retailers who only have to deal with a handful of suppliers often find themselves allocating considerable resources to the EDI compliance effort, and those who have to monitor hundreds of suppliers are sometimes overwhelmed by the task. Frequently, staff members are shifted from clear revenue-building sales and operations jobs into compliance monitoring, which can seem like an endless game of whack-a-mole.

Supply chain monitoring is, of course, a critical task. But the obvious tools for enforcing compliance, such as deductions, can seriously hurt relationships with suppliers.


The Radical Design of Eiffel’s Tower

Far and Awaye

People are known for their resistance to change, and most find a preference for things that have been around longer, especially in the cities they call home. The Guggenheim Museum in New York was compared to a lavatory basin by Woody Allen, the Louvre Pyramid was referred to as “a scar on the face of Paris,” and a Londoner declared that the Tower Bridge, built in 1886, was “excellently situated for our ugliest public work.” Ouch! But perhaps the loudest protests over an urban construction project unfolded after the proposed centerpiece to the 1889 World’s Fair threatened the familiar horizon of Paris.

Many Parisians didn’t want to share their skyline dominated by the dome of Les Invalides and the towers of Notre Dame with the unusual skeleton-like design of the Eiffel Tower, and hoped that the “giant eyesore” would be torn down in 20 years as originally planned. They were most…

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Ken Conrad Dances With a Wild Bobcat

Power Plant Men

This post was originally posted on March 24, 2012:

I have just finished watching the movie “Born Free” with my son. I had recorded it on DVR because I knew he liked watching Big Cats. It reminded me of when Ken Conrad (A True Power Plant Man Extraordinaire) had become entangled with a Bobcat one day while performing his heroic Power Plant duties.

When a person usually puts the words power plant and Bobcat together in a sentence, one may easily come to the wrong conclusion that this is a story about a run-away little Bobcat scoop shovel, or what is professionally known as a Bobcat Skid-Steer Loader since these are an essential piece of equipment for any power plant or any work site for that matter (and are fun to drive and do wheelies):

This is not the type of Bobcat Ken had to Wrestle

In an earlier post…

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Amazing Bali with unlimited memories- Day 03

My Life

Last day in Bali, but not last in Indonesia. As this is the last post on Bali, I’m taking this opportunity to express my feelings on this place in few words before I start this post. Bali travel was mostly like a dream for me – Before going to Bali I was imagining myself in pretty landscapes and turning the chapters of the beautiful canvas of nature, one at a time. As I arrived the destination , it felt exactly like I dreamt where rolling greens spread like a carpet(Pacung and many rice terraces), floating clouds jealously hugged the mountains(Mt.Batur,Mt.Agnur and Mt.Agung) alongside and a seamless path ahead dotted with colourful  and amazing Hindu culture (the temples). Trip to Kintamani and PuraBesakih temple  has really numbed my noisy existence of city life, The drive was simply amazing, the destination was the journey itself. Let’s see how we spent the last day…

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Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Dear one
full of fear one
why worry
future would come
we would be same
passion may tame
But love…yes, love
would keep us warm
hand and hand
weather any storm
that daily kiss
you emboss on my lips
would last me for years
my face reflects
joyful tears
your embrace holds
million fables,
stories you told
more than enough
for my old age
my beautiful
vivacious sage
come, lie beside me
under open skies
I feel free
even stars agree
on a moonless night
your hand on my heart
what a wonderful sight
I will never lose
my drive, my thirst
of you and that smile
just one last wish
I don’t do goodbyes
please let me die first20140603-064244 am-24164870.jpg

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The Value Add Makes the VAN

Value-Added Networks (VANs) have been around for more than 30 years. But today’s VAN is definitely not your father’s VAN. VANs have evolved from simply being a managed network on which to exchange EDI information and documents between a company and its trading partners to a more robust service that includes not only the network but also a variety of services aimed at facilitating more effective commerce amongst numerous organizations.

Today’s more advanced offerings – which are more often being referred to as business to business (B2B) integration or even simply business integration services – that include hosted document exchange and managed services offerings. Among the services are combined EDI/XML B2B integration (B2Bi), enterprise application integration (EAI), business process management (BPM), and managed file transfer (MFT) capabilities.


According to Gartner, in its “Market Trends: Multienterprise/B2B Infrastructure Market, Worldwide, 2009-2014” report, B2B integration requires the integration of more than just two applications. Today there is demand for much deeper and broader levels of integration that span companies and involves numeours organizations. Coming soon… cloud applications will be included in this fray. Gartner writes in its report: “The “dumb” network that used to only transfer bulk files between applications and trading partners is turning into a “smart” network that incorporates diverse integration functionality, including communications, translation and workflow, increasingly implemented by application vendors and users using an SOA. The B2B discipline also now must include cloud services integration — for example, how to link services from solutions such as to on-premises applications.”