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Key to supply chain: Intelligence

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Every company in the supply chain is being forced to cut costs and improve performance. But, says THABO NDLELA, non-executive director at IFS, these companies can cut their costs and achieve the same delivery performance using Enterprise Operational Intelligence.

Every company in the supply chain is continually being challenged to deliver operations in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. The prospect of cuts to budgets puts greater emphasis on using the supply chain to reduce costs and enhance value.

The good news is that many successful organisations have shown that it is possible to make cost savings of up to 20% while operating a world-class supply chain. With the latest enterprise technology, these organisations have reduced the total purchasing cost of materials, controlled their stock levels, accelerated fulfilment while lowering overhead costs, and optimised their delivery performance.

The route to achieving these goals is Enterprise Operational Intelligence technology, which can make something useful of the wealth of big data from the Internet of Things, enterprise resource planning and other data sources across the supply chain. We can create a real-time map of the entire supply chain and link it to enterprise software to monitor processes via key performance indicators to deliver on strategic goals.

Actionable operational intelligence

You need to have an integrated real-time overview of the business to inform actions that reduce costs and enhance value. Typically, in the past, that sort of actionable intelligence wasn’t available until some predefined point – a two-week, monthly or even yearly report. With real-time access to data, however, you can make decisions that affect current operations rather than the end of the week or even later.

An Enterprise Operational Intelligence platform provides functionality for numerous aspects of the end-to-end operations, including real-time analytics, dynamic forecasting, workflow management, process management, risk and compliance. Raw transactional data from IT systems is consolidated into a single dynamic management layer, providing powerful situation awareness.

On top of that you can build a performance-based logistics (PBL) solution incorporating a number of the following elements:

·         Contract for supportability and availability

·         Connect processes, performance and risk

·         Connect all parties in the supply chain through cockpits

·         Connect KPIs, workflows and reports to your strategy

·         Align global sourcing strategies

·         Eliminate waste within your supply chain

·         Implement supply chain performance management techniques

·         Achieve transparency of inventory levels

·         Measure and manage all costs together

A single version of the truth

Connected management cockpits are designed to deliver one version of the organisational truth. With an integrated environment you can have all the information you need presented in a clear, role-based way. Users can see clear visualisations allowing them to anticipate, control and react to changing demands. It also enables collaboration across the supply chain and other business functions, such as finance, which drives efficiencies.

By connecting your existing IT source systems, you can make changes to processes without making manual, time-consuming costly changes to underlying ERP and other source systems. This ability provides leading organisations with the much-needed agility to deliver at lower cost without affecting capability to enhance the value they provide.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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