doors

A Software Vendor Checklist

Please choose the door through which your next software vendor will take you.  Image: Doors of Dublin, by Tim Sackton, edited to fit 569 X 368px, CC license. Selecting a software vendor is difficult at best in the 21st century; here are some must-have criteria, in addition to, but perhaps more important than, cost and […]

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App to App Integration 101

Image: Diagram of the control panel in the cockpit of Apollo 13’s Lunar Module Aquarius, which circled the moon in April 1970, by Steve Jurvetson. CC license. Nearly all new applications you add to your enterprise will need some level of connectivity to your existing systems, as well as to systems outside your enterprise, and […]

Big Data

Big Data: Correlations, Not Cause-and-Effect

Image by Marcos Gasparutti, CC license In their recently published book, “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think,” Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier say that big data will provide a lot of information that can be used to establish correlations, not necessarily precise cause and effect. But that might […]

SC 101

Supply Chain Software 101

Image: Balzac Fresh Food Distribution Center, by Walmart Few areas of the software market in the past ten years have been as hot as supply chain. Supply chains in many industries have been trying to cut costs out of distribution networks while reducing order lead time and inventories. They want solutions for modernizing what has […]

LinkedIn DV

What Is Data Visualization?

A data visualization of LinkedIn connections. Image by Luc Legay, CC license Frank Luntz is a professional pollster who uses the visualization of data to show the sentiments of viewers as they watch political ads. The technique uses a moving second-by-second graph to show when exactly during an ad viewers felt positive or negative toward […]

why do software projects cost so much

Why Do Software Projects Cost So Much?

The short answer to why corporate software costs so much is that implementing it takes so long, even if everything goes perfectly, which happens exactly as often as Haley’s Comet passing through our skies. It’s expensive for one reason: specialized, and therefore expensive, skills. It takes expensive skills to: write the software in the first […]

shelf

Five Smart Ways to Use Retail Store Data

Photo by Krystian Olszanski, CC license Great!  Your second biggest customer has agreed to collaborate with you to build the business through collaboration and data sharing, and you’ll be getting access to all of their point-of-sale data through a third party company.  Now what? Fortunately there are some very good POS analytical capabilities out there, but […]

Bomb

Blow Up Your Supply Chain

Image by genius.com Yes, wouldn’t it be satisfying to scrap your entire big mess of a supply chain — all the inefficiencies, dysfunction, lousy systems, and constraints that constantly annoy you and your customers — and start over fresh?  You can do that, in a figurative sense, through some creative collaboration with internal teams and […]

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What Causes EDI Failures? Data.

Image: r2hox; data.path Ryoji.Ikeda – 4 EDI has been for many years the work-horse for any sizable company that wants to efficiently conduct business with its trading partners (suppliers and customers).  But EDI has one annoying tendency: message failures; that is, a message (purchase order, invoice) that failed to reach its intended receiver.  No message, no […]

purchase order

Automate Your Paper Workflow

Image by Digital Strategy, CC license Although EDI has been around for 20 years, lots of companies still process orders and invoices manually; that is, they receive a written, faxed, or e-mailed purchase order or invoice, then  type it into whatever software they have for tracking and fulfilling orders and paying suppliers. If you  can’t […]