It all started out when we got a note from Richard O. Aichele from Information Works Inc. in Saratoga Springs, NY. He commented on one of our WebSites about “Who Owns Grand Central” and then: “Back in 1980 I lived under GCT for several days between runs of the Irving Trust Winter Olympics Spacial. I was the guy who had the fun of getting the five private cars together, dealing with the railroads and making the trips run as smoothly as possible. I have some the details of it on my website www.inforworks.com/trains.htm
Still remember how different – quiet like a cathedral – GCT was about 3 or 4 AM.
Took a look at his Website. Before I even got to the 1980 Olympics, I ran into a section on the Troy Union Railroad. (One of our favorites).
Then I got to his section on the 1980 Olympics and the Irving Trust Company special train. Great details, great pictures.
He also has a section on the Railroad Steam Era.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) yesterday reopened the Government Center Station in Boston, marking the completion of a two-year reconstruction project.
The station now features a glass head house structure and elevator access from street level to the Green and Blue line trolley routes.
Additionally, the station is now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Previously, riders could access the station only by stairways and escalators, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials said in a blog post.
Other upgrades include new escalators, LED signage, a new and expanded fare collection area, upgraded backup electrical power supply, improved interior finishes, and a new emergency exit structure on Cambridge Street.
“Crews have worked hard to keep our pledge to reopen the station in two years – a feat they were only able to accomplish by closing the entire station, rather than parts of it,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola.
The project was completed on time and under budget, added Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. The reconstruction cost $82 million, radio station WBUR Boston reported.
The Utica Comets third season came to a halt with a 6-3 loss to the Albany Devils Thursday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Devils took the best-of-five series three games to one.
Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) had a multi-point night for Utica, while Alex Friesen (1-0-1) and T.J Hensick (1-0-1) had the other two Comet goals. Travis Ehrhardt (0-1-1), David Shields (0-1-1), Jordan Subban (0-1-1), and Jon Landry (0-1-1) each had an assist on the night.
Albany fed off of a Comets mistake to jump out to a 1-0 lead early in the first. A Utica pass was picked off in the Comets zone by Matt Lorito. He took the puck down the center of the ice and ripped a shot past Joe Cannata.
The Devils were able to strike again seconds later on a Joseph Blandisi goal. Blandisi brought the puck down the left side of the ice and in on net. He made a move to get Cannata off balance and backhanded a shot into the net to give Albany a 2-0 lead.
Mike Sislo extended the Albany lead just over halfway through the first period. The Devils got out on a two on one and Blandisi skated down the right side with the puck. He then zipped a pass to Sislo, who streaked down the middle for a one-timer, Which gave the Devils a 3-0 lead.
Reid Boucher added on to the Devils lead in the second, turning defense into offense. Boucher stole the puck in the Comets zone, had an open scoring chance and took advantage, as he sent a shot past Cannata to make it 4-0.
Utica showed some urgency towards the end of the second, as they connected for a goal to make it 4-1. Shields fired a shot on net that deflected off the net minder. Ehrhardt grabbed the rebound and rifled a pass across the slot to Grenier who one-timed it into the open net to give the Utica crowd some life.
Albany was able to strike shortly after with a short-handed goal. Pavel Zacha got the puck on the goal line and passed it out to Blake Pietila, who put a wrist shot to the right of Cannata for a 5-1 Devils lead.
The Comets didn’t go away easy, as they cut the lead to 5-2 early in the third. Subban set up Friesen, who stood above the right circle. Friesen ripped a shot that went through the legs of the goalkeeper and kept Utica in it.
Hensick and the Comets chipped away at the Albany lead again midway through the third. Albany goaltender Scott Wedgewood went behind the net to get the puck and Grenier snuck up on him and stole it. Grenier found Hensick in the crease for a one-timer, as Wedgewood was trying to scramble to get back. The Hensick goal cut the Devils lead to 5-3.
Richard Bachman was pulled from net with just over two minutes left in the game and Pietila put one in from mid ice to close out the scoring and give the Devils a 6-3 win.
Utica totaled 35 shots on the night, while Albany finished with 34 shots. Cannata (23 saves) and Richard Bachman (5 saves) combined for 28 saves in net for the Comets. Wedgewood made 32 saves in goal for the Devils.
There’s an interesting report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Three Paths to Advantage with Digital Supply Chain, that illustrates the urgent need for companies today to transition to a digital supply chain. The report brings good news… and a dire warning.
BCG recognizes that the digital supply chain is not new, and it has been productive, but notes that it has failed to deliver on its full potential. BCG pins the blame on its “inability to connect disparate systems, provide end-to-end visibility into the supply chain, and crunch massive amounts of data.” (Three Paths to Advantage with Digital Supply Chain, p1)
Thanks to recent developments in technology, that is changing. And most importantly, the companies that are adopting the technology are seeing some impressive results (see below). But first, lets get some clarity on the term “digital supply chain.”
What is the Digital Supply Chain?
Definitions vary, but Capgemini has useful definition that I think captures the essence of the concept.
Traditional supply chains rely on a mix of electronic and paper-based processes and documentation. The organizational structure is often characterized by functional and geographic silos which do not share information openly, thereby leading to sub-optimal performance.
Digital supply chains, on the other hand, have the capability for extensive information availability, and enable superior collaboration and communication across digital platforms resulting in improved reliability, agility and effectiveness.
The distinguishing feature of digital supply chains is their “connectedness.” Rather than siloed and fragmented, data, visibility, workflows, etc., are seamlessly integrated.
“Supply chains” is a poor designation for this, and far more appropriate for the traditional supply chains than the new “digital supply chains.” The new, connected “digital supply chains” are networks rather than chains; all parties are equals, privy to a “single version of the truth,” and capable of collaborating with all other parties in the network.
Why Digital Supply Chain?
Results! Consider the results BCG says the leaders in digital supply chain management are seeing compared to their slower competitors:
- 10% better product availability
- 25% improvement in response to demand
- 30% improvement in realization of working capital reductions
- 40-110% higher operating margins
- 17-64% fewer cash conversion days
What Do You Need to Do?
BGC identifies three key strategies that separate the leaders from the rest and that will help you focus your efforts and not get overwhelmed.
Fix Performance Gaps – use digital supply chain to handle the most laborious and important tasks, such as providing critical analytics, calculating optimal inventory allocations, and forecasting demand more accurately.
Innovate Business Processes – automate traditionally manual processes, from dock door scheduling, to replenishment, and even fine tune the supply chain in real time with a supply chain “control tower.”
Advanced technology today is capable of automating many supply chain processes, and “process robots” can continuously and incrementally optimize the supply chain as demand and supply conditions change.
Disrupt the Supply Chain – find new opportunities to reach customers and speed up delivery. For example, companies can easily reach consumers directly, via ecommerce, their own estores or by using established and proven marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba.
Many-to-many networks are particularly relevant here. With every participant in the network potentially connected to every other participant, the network is rich with opportunities. Many-to-many networks are a vast “inter-enterprise social network,” perfect for finding new trading partners, sharing infrastructure and costs, achieving end-to-end visibility, and collaborating across trading partners to deliver superior service to the consumer at lower total cost.
“He Who Hesitates….”
BCG provides a warning:
“Digital supply chain management has matured and is generating substantial value. Organizations need to move quickly to apply the highest priority opportunities to their business and industry context. They must find the right mix of fixing performance gaps, innovating business processes, and disrupting the supply chain…. Companies cannot afford to wait.”
There is much more in the report, I highly recommend it. You can read it here: BCG Perspectives on Digital Supply Chains