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Chain Links: What we’re reading this week

By Mark Solomon | 11/04/2015 | 2:52 AM


An Uber-trucker comes to market with deep pockets. An expert touts RFID’s value beyond inventory visibility. And a new home for a whole lot of bats.


Convoy Debuts, Aiming to Be the Uber of Trucks

A Seattle-based startup aims to bring trucking into the 21st century: Nothing new there, except that Convoy is backed by some heavy artillery: Amazon.com Founder Jeff Bezos, Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff, and Uber co-founder Garrett Camp. 

Source: Bloomberg.com


Beyond Inventory Visibility

Retailers should use RFID data to improve business processes and enable a true omnichannel shopping experience, writes RFID expert Bill Hardgrave. Here’s what they need to do.

Source: RFIDjournal.com


Consumers Demand More Visibility Into the Supply Chain

Consumers are beginning to ask tough questions of big brands. Shoppers are asking why store shelves are empty. Online browsers are wondering why they can’t track goods bought over the Internet. And, perhaps most crucially for modern business, people are beginning to ask where their goods come from and who made them. 

Source: Forbes.com


DOT builds condos for bats under bridge

About 3,000 bats that have been living under a bridge will come home to new digs next spring thanks to efforts of Minnesota state highway and wildlife officials. The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently installed a “bat condo” and three additional bunkers alongside the new Interstate 90 bridges over the Mississippi River to house a “significant” colony of little brown bats that have been roosting in the old bridge, which is scheduled to come down next year. The project is part of an effort to preserve bats because they are threatened by white-nose syndrome. 

Source: Winonadailynews.com


7 Tips on How to Attend a Trade Show

We attend numerous trade shows and know how valuable they can be. Yet they also can also be overwhelming, and it’s not easy to get the full benefits of attendance. Lantech, the makers of stretch wrappers, case erectors, and other material handling equipment, has posted an item on it company blog that includes tips for getting the most out of a trade show, both on the floor and after you return to home base. 

Source: Lantech


Google plans commercial drone deliveries by 2017 

The search giant plans to launch “Project Wing” with the flying robot machines.

Source: BBC


Target tests international expansion through online portals

After its missteps opening brick and mortar stores in Canada, Target is exploring a new strategy for expanding internationally: entering a new market digitally. To handle the shipping end of this challenge, the company is turning to a perhaps surprising choice: eBay’s global shipping program. 

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune


The robots chasing Amazon

Amazon made waves when it purchased Kiva Systems for $775 million and then stopped selling its warehouse robotic system to anyone else in the marketplace. But now new competitors are arising, such as Fetch Robotics. Fetch’s wheeled robot follows pickers with a bin until the bin is full and then darts off to the packing area.

Source: Bloomberg Business




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