Technological imperatives abound, but supply chains aren’t going to significantly improve unless there’s also communication up and down them. And maybe that communication is going to be produced by sharing vital data on a distributed ledger.

Through numerous presentations at both the first day’s keynote at the annual Modex meeting for the supply chain industry in Atlanta, that was the message that could be extracted. A speaker would within minutes of each other note that technology is disrupting every player in the supply chain, but that to stay with the changes, you needed to communicate with your counterparties.

Juan Perez, the CIO and chief engineering officer of local company UPS, kicked that theme off at the start of the day, when he declared that the brown-and-yellow is “more than ever before, a technology company.” And that didn’t apply just to UPS, he said; “whatever you do” in the supply chain, “you work for a technology company.”

Perez described the “flexible shopper” as somebody who wanted to go “from one channel to the next channel and to the next channel. At the end of the day, we need to make sure that technology is easy, pleasant and efficient to use.

Customers are defining these experiences. They want control of their delivery experience.” Perez talked about the latest developments in UPS’ ORION system, which he said is the company’s “best example” of its “robust technology.” ORION stands for On-Road Integration, Optimization and Navigation. Read more from…

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