Allbirds Simply Debuted Its First Assortment of Trendy and Sustainable Activewear

The eco-friendly brand is finally expanding into activewear.

Weaving Sustainability into the Material of the Provide Chain

How Luminate Control Tower is helping our customers, and getting recognized by Microsoft’s Satya Nadella in global conference keynote

Do you hear that?

It’s the collective sigh from many of us who have been fervently working toward building the future of sustainable supply chains. Why the sigh, you ask? It’s because we’ve been panicked over the past 18 months that our progress may have taken a back seat during the COVID-19 outbreak when manufacturers, distributers and retailers were so focused on simply getting the basics — like toilet paper — to consumers. But according to the hot-off-the-presses State of Supply Chain Sustainability Report conducted by MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, not even a global pandemic could slow down interest in supply chain sustainability (SCS). “More than 80% of survey respondents in this year’s report claimed the crisis had no impact or increased their firm’s commitments to SCS.”

So now that we’ve boarded the train to SCS, where do we go from here? We think it’s important to first understand our past so that we know where we’re headed next. Yesterday’s linear supply chain was driven by cost, service and profits. This led to many negative implications, such as shortened life cycles, processes and materials that flow in one direction, suboptimal utilization of materials and energy, and limited visibility to identify and resolve environmental impacts.

But success today looks very different, as it’s focused on ethical, environmental and social responsibility. Doing what’s right for people and the planet is no longer optional — it’s a requirement. Here at Blue Yonder, we believe the building blocks to SCS are what we call The 4 Cs of the Sustainable Supply Chain:

Circular: Utilizes intelligent decision making to operate responsiblyChallenge ready: Anticipates, understands, and adapts to external factorsCollaborative: Consciously collaborates to achieve sustainability goalsConnected: Has multi-echelon supply chain visibility

As a leader in supply chain solutions, we know we play a critical role in SCS, and we are on a mission to help each of our customers weave The 4 Cs into their everyday operations, from raw materials to manufacturing to the consumer’s hands. Sustainability cannot be a separate box to check — it must be ingrained in every system and every decision.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done thus far in our journey to sustainability, but we know we have more work to do too. We’d love to share what we’re building for our customers to help them reduce waste, reduce their carbon footprint, and make supply chain sustainability top of mind every day.

These are three upcoming enhancements to Luminate™ Control Tower, our award-winning software-as-a-solution (SaaS) that provides real-time visibility, orchestration, collaboration, and prescriptive resolutions across the entire supply chain:

Carbon Footprint

The Carbon Footprint dashboard looks at all the shipments from customers across different modes and provides a carbon emissions report that can benchmark how well you’re performing year-over-year, identify outliers, and produce key insights for you to act on.

Waste Reduction

The Waste Reduction dashboard does exactly what its name implies — it helps our customers reduce waste by recycling and repurposing expiring inventory, identifying and optimizing container fill rates, and determining warehouse capacity and allocating inventory.

Sourcing Lanes

The Sourcing Lanes dashboard helps planners identify and choose the most optimal routes for shipments based on carbon emissions, with decisioning that’s as easy to read as a traffic light.

We’re excited for our customers to use these upcoming Luminate Control Tower dashboards to help with their own sustainability journeys, and we’re eager to continue developing more ways to help them embrace the sustainable supply chain.

In fact, Luminate Control Tower was recently highlighted by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella in his keynote at Microsoft Inspire, a global conference, for the work the team did during the Suez Canal situation in March. The solution helped our customers track vessels along the route to gain visibility into potential disruptions by predicting the time of arrival at the port of discharge through final delivery. In real time, the solution predicted the impact on our customer’s inventory, production capacity and sales. We succeeded in the goal of helping our customers take corrective actions to mitigate the impact of this disruption. Watch the keynote:

We might be breathing a sigh of relief that companies are still moving forward with their SCS plans — even amid a global pandemic! — but we’re not stopping the momentum of this sustainability train anytime soon.

To read the full State of Supply Chain Sustainability Report, click here.

To learn more about Luminate Control Tower, click here.

Enterprise and Know-how Insights from the 2021 State of Provide Chain Execution Report, Half 1

Customer centricity, e-commerce, Direct-to-Consumer (D2C), and the risk of financial peril are propelling shippers (manufacturers and retailers) and logistics service providers (LSPs) to digitally transform. 2020 and the first half of 2021 saw an acceleration in many emerging digital trends pre-dating the pandemic.

Today we are releasing the results from the 2021 State of Supply Chain Execution Report, which provides the latest market insights around:

Will e-commerce growth brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic continue?What are the biggest supply chain execution/logistics challenges facing shippers and LSPs?Which technologies are getting attention and investments?

Our survey questions were focused on four areas: E-commerce, Risk and Resiliency, Technology and Innovation, and Collaboration and Change Management. We partnered with Reuters Events Supply Chain to interview close to 600 supply chain professionals from around the world and they were surveyed between May and June 2021 for this report.


Digital trends dominate industry and company discussions as all are seeing an overwhelming period of e-commerce growth that necessitates wholesale changes to survive and drive competitive advantages in the post-pandemic era. This growth has sparked disruptions due to the lack of availability of raw materials, transportation capacity, and visibility needed to produce and move essential products.

Supply chain execution / logistics operations have risen to the occasion this year and last year in serving the changing needs of the economy during the pandemic, absorbing rapid changes in priorities and shocks in demand and supply patterns. With the expectation of continued growth, how can companies enhance capabilities rather than just throw scarce resources at difficult situations?

In this report, you will get insights into the thinking of logistics executives into the e-commerce growth picture. You will also observe that shippers and LSPs are renewing themselves to address the prevailing trends of customer-first and omni-channel. In this new environment, as brands and manufacturers gain digital maturity, they are converging upon D2C models to drive loyalty while retailers are branching out to push home-grown labels to consumers. The rise of D2C is taking shape. To respond to this new opportunity, how are brands and their LSPs rising to the challenge? In addition to sharing the findings, we asked several industry executives to share their observations and points of views.

Risk and Resiliency

The siloed nature of operations has increasingly prevented businesses from accessing the data they need to make timely and wise decision in crucial moments. Just-in-time (JIT) enabled the development of the cost-optimized supply chain, yet, the over-emphasis on such efficiency caused companies to insufficiently address risk management, especially for logistics network risks beyond the four walls. This presents much risk on the supply side. It is therefore very interesting to observe the top concerns for shippers and LSPs in their respective roles in our report. For example, what supply chain risk management processes are they currently investing in?

Supply chain risk and resiliency have gained greater attention in the past 18 months. Due to the lack of preparation that many companies had for both the pandemic and the resulting health crisis, there were many disruptions to different supply chain execution processes and operations. The survey results demonstrate a clear desire for businesses to build capabilities enabling much better focus on visibility, capacity, and transparency to respond to issues and risks. There is a clear message about the importance of diversification strategies and the necessity to tackle capacity shortages and prolonged lack of sustainability investment.

Raj Patel, Senior Director, 3PL Global Industry Strategy, Blue Yonder, share his industry perspectives: “When we think of risk management, cybersecurity is often front and center of people’s concern, often for good reason. However, risk management involves a much more expansive appraisal of your business. For example, sustainability issues can expose you to financial and legal risk, just as single-sourcing can heighten exposure on the supply side.”

Technology and Innovation

To maximize omni-channel opportunities presented by the growing volume of e-commerce sales, LSPs must offer up unique services that meet the needs of e-commerce and traditional retailers. Investment in modern technologies and new approaches to working are essential for businesses looking to adjust to changing trends and customer expectations.

At minimum, companies must seek to have a more holistic technical infrastructure in place. Integrating the Warehouse Management System (WMS), Transportation Management System (TMS), and Order Management System (OMS) is essential. While the digital logistics landscape is still be relatively young, companies can use this fractured space as an inroad.

To find out more about the actions that will enable shippers and LSPs to better serve this new era, we asked the respondents two questions about their investment in modern technologies and new approaches. First, both shippers and LSPs shared that changing customer demands and pressures to reduce supply chain costs are the top factors driving supply chain technology investment decisions. Next, the survey respondents shared which technologies are yielding the best ROI currently and in the next 18 months.  At present, investing in end-to-end visibility was a must for most shippers and LSPs. The report discusses more insights into the pressures and technologies.

Collaboration and Change Management

The rise of e-commerce has led to a dramatic improvement in inter-departmental collaboration and communication. To advance into a truly digital age, respondents informed us that the biggest

challenges in the speed of new technology adoption. The survey also touched on whether labor capacity shortages continue to impact operations and what labor strategies companies are employing to manage it.

Jim Bralsford, Senior Industry Strategies Director, EMEA, Blue Yonder, shared his perspectives: “The one thing that’s certain in this world, and particularly in supply chain right now is you’ve got to keep changing to stay current. That’s a scary proposition for many organizations. Legacy systems are obviously inherently inflexible. They’ve been customized over time, and people get comfortable with doing it this way. The advice I’d give is never fear to ask, ‘Why do you do it that way?’ Because its’s always been that way? Could it be improved upon? No matter the size and complexity of the task at hand, develop a roadmap and recognize this isn’t going to be a ’big bang’ change. Be willing to pivot and augment that roadmap along the way.”

Start Your Digital Transformation

In the post-COVID-19 world, companies are finding it very challenging to handle the higher volume of orders that come with increased e-commerce activities and more frequent changes and disruptions. A new level of control, agility and resilience is needed in logistics operations. The breakdown of silos among partners in the ecosystem and a new level of intelligence brought on by digital systems and devices will help companies shift their logistics operations to be more competitive and customer-centric. Autonomous supply chain execution especially in transportation and warehouse management needs to be something companies are striving for now. This is described further in the Future of Logistics eBook.

Customer expectations around the speed of click-to-deliver motions will drive significant changes in supply chain network footprints, where the inventory is held, and how the fulfillment and delivery happen, while keeping the focus on cash flows, fulfillment costs and sustainability. The new way of thinking is described in the Unified Logistics eBook.

Additional Insights

In an upcoming LinkedIn Live session on Aug. 17, 2021, I will speak with Jim Bralsford and Raj Patel about the acceleration in many emerging digital trends and how companies are enhancing supply chain execution capabilities to address disruptions, resilience, and prevailing trends in e-commerce. In an upcoming Part 2 blog, we will discuss the survey results and insights in more detail.

For more information about the 2021 State of Supply Chain Execution Report:

Learn more about how Luminate Logistics provides an end-to-end execution platform to help drive flexible, fully autonomous distribution networks.