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B2B integration: Addressing the human side of supply chain management

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Even as machines take on a more prominent role in the labors of the supply chain, it is important not to downplay the importance of the people involved. While smart technologies and embedded, data-capturing tools increase equipment's capacity to perform activities and automate time-consuming, resource-intensive operations, machines do and will always present limitations. Concentrating resources on building up the human side of supply chain management is just as consequential. It can also be just as beneficial. 

Managing global challenges to data integrity with secure file transfer

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Globalization creates a slew of problems for data protection and management. Supply chains with far-flung stakeholders have increasingly massive, complex networks and storage systems. Complicating data transmission and storage efforts are a variety of internal and external threats. Recent high-profile data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and several prominent universities underscore the difficulties involved with data management on a large scale.

Optimizing big data using supply chain management software

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Big data empowers numerous organizations to make smarter decisions, breathing new life into management software and internal applications. Supply chain management is one area that stands to benefit most extensively from the influx of information into business tools. However, benefiting from big data isn't as simple as collecting and routing data into supply chain management software and other programs and expecting results to appear. The big secret of big data is that, amid all the buzz, it can be incredibly difficult to apply with real, long-lasting success. 

Keeping up with the 'Omnis': Overcoming challenges in omnichannel retailing

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The omnichannel retail experience may be the future of the consumer marketplace, but many vendors are having trouble getting out of a legacy approach. Unlike more surface-level changes in selling strategies, establishing a viable omnichannel retail platform is more than simply developing a marketing campaign or tweaking technology. In order to keep up with and outdistance competitors by delivering a consistently meaningful customer experience, organizations need a comprehensive approach.

Can retailers keep up with the demands of omni-channel commerce?

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As a sweeping transformation in the way retailers do business, omni-channel commerce was bound to produce some growing pains. However, it is fast moving past the "hype" stage. The early adoption stage is always fraught with roadblocks, and the organizations that lead the charge end up bearing the brunt of the hiccups. There's less of a likelihood that a company can ride the first wave of implementation to a significant competitive advantage.

B2B integration and the changing role of the CIO

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Traditionally, the chief information officer has operated mostly behind the scenes. He or she didn't need to have the public presence of the chief executive officer or the bottom-line gatekeeping prowess of a financial czar. This is a reflection on the CIO's department. By and large, IT existed in a silo - a necessary support system for enterprise and supply chain development, but without the primary mission-criticality of financial planning or M&A. Servers had to work, computers had to be updated and company networks had to be shielded from malware. 

Answering today's challenges to supply chain integration

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Supply chain integration is more critical than ever in a highly transparent, globalized business world. Traditionally, supply chains, especially in large enterprises, operate in silos. Coordinating far-flung activities in different locales into a dedicated, centralized management framework was either outside the purview of most companies or difficult to implement. However, the hands-off mentality that once prevailed in the supply chain has come under fire in recent years.

Overcoming omnichannel commerce challenges for mid-sized retailers

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Omni-channel commerce puts small and medium-sized businesses at a critical juncture. The rise of Internet-based retail greatly benefited smaller retailers, as a lack of physical storefronts and advertising dollars no longer represented a higher barrier to successful entry in their target market. With well-placed marketing efforts and innovative product strategies, a mid-sized retailer could achieve the seller profile of a much larger company.

Meet us in Sunny Tampa for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014

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The (too) long winter is finally coming to a close and that means that the annual gathering of the greatest thought leaders in commerce is just around the corner. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to mark your calendars for the 2014 IBM Smarter Commerce Summit in Tampa, Florida on May 13-15.

Seamless B2B integration: A journey to the center of the cloud

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It is perfectly understandable that B2B integration can seem daunting. It involves a technology-driven transformation that theoretically affects every person and practice in a supply chain to some extent. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day, and most supply chains weren't either. Dismantling current supply chain architecture and starting from scratch likely isn't an option as the world keeps turning. Companies are worried about taking several steps back for every step forward. So how can companies facilitate a seamless B2B integration without compromising the efficiency of the current model? 

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