Industries

136 articles

IoT-Driven Manufacturing Trends to Look for in 2018

We are in as transformative a phase right now as when electricity was invented – people will wonder how we ever lived without IoT solutions.

With Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology spending expected to reach $772.5 billion this year – 15 percent higher than 2017 – the world’s top manufacturers are shifting into exhilarating overdrive down the path to AI-driven and IoT-enabled automation. So where will 2018 take us on this journey? First and foremost, the year ahead will see manufacturers rapidly connecting the […]

Returns: The Latest Battleground in Retail

Retail giants invest in solving the problem of returns.

The latest holiday shopping season posted strong results for retailers. According to MasterCard, sales between Nov. 1 and Christmas increased nearly 5 percent – the largest year-over-year gain since 2011. What’s more, e-commerce growth jumped 18 percent compared to the year before, with Cyber Weekend alone racking up a record-breaking $6.6 billion in sales, according […]

How Businesses Can Win At Leapfrog

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating new leapfrogging opportunities. But not all are created equal.

Rapidly emerging technologies — such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, wearables, robotics and additive manufacturing — are spurring the development of new production techniques and business models that will profoundly disrupt most manufacturing and global supply chains. For example, some low-cost manufacturing export economies may be at risk, as technology may soon make […]

5 Ways to Make Global E-Commerce Easier for Everyone

Small businesses face many hurdles to going global, but e-commerce brings us closer to an inclusive global economy.

‘Tis the season to shop online. Rather than braving the high street, why not open your browser? E-commerce sales worldwide hit an estimated $25.3 trillion in 2015 and have grown since. The internet makes buyers and sellers more visible and accessible to each other locally and globally. The international bit is really interesting. The opportunity […]

Our Top 5 Manufacturing Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best manufacturing content from Longitudes.

In Part 2 of our five-part white paper series, Routes to the Future, we argued that the way we make the world around us – how we design, produce, deliver and reclaim the objects of everyday life – will follow new routes. We are trekking down many of these routes today but have just scratched the surface […]

Our Top 5 Retail Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best retail content from Longitudes.

The companies that best adapt to the consumer-led revolution will win the future – period. That principle applies to retailers, logistics providers and any business looking to provide solutions to customers at the click of a button. As the retail landscape undergoes rapid transformation – and the line between physical and digital stores continues to blur – it’s […]

Our Top 5 Podcasts of 2017

A year-end look at the best podcasts from Longitudes.

We fully embraced the podcasting craze in 2017, launching Longitudes Radio in October. The mission? To bring more conversations about where the world is heading straight to you. In our inaugural season, we explored how UPS is building the Network of the Future, talked about the qualities of an effective public speaker and predicted what blockchain […]

Reimagining Business: How to Cater to the Customer of the Future

Customers want to be empowered. To do that, companies must move from producers to enablers.

Meet Dawn. She’s never been to the doctor’s office, but she visits her doctor every week. She’s constantly shopping, but she’s never waited in line. Her apartment recognizes her face. She doesn’t go into the office, she logs onto a platform. She doesn’t have a resume, she has ratings. She doesn’t have a boss, she […]

4 Factors Driving the ‘Age of the Consumer’

The origins of e-commerce lie in the distant past. Its future, however, is ripe for disruption.

Malcom McLean, a trucker from North Carolina, isn’t a household name – but you have certainly benefited from his innovation. Today’s global economy would not be possible without the intermodal shipping container, or the box, pioneered by McLean. This box helped standardize ocean shipping, shrunk the world of commerce and enabled global trade by reducing […]

Retail Revival: Can Stores Make a Comeback?

Physical retailers have distinct advantages that can spur business growth – as long as they evolve with their customers.

Though several major retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection this year and others have closed thousands of stores, all seemingly at the hands of online commerce, reports of the death of retail are greatly exaggerated. In fact, research shows that the industry is booming and that stores still matter. Recent data from the U.S. Census […]

Why Business in Asia is Changing

As the region continues to evolve, it's time to make way for a new generation of Asian entrepreneurs.

With the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam this week, it’s worth reflecting on just how much has changed since the first APEC meeting in 1989. The days of Asia’s “Tiger Economies” are fading into the rear-view mirror. While the rapid rise of Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea have largely […]

Cognitive Computing Redefines Vehicle Safety

The auto industry is transforming the driver and passenger experience.

My first car was a ’65 Chevy Impala, which I bought from my uncle. The engine was in bad shape so within the first week, I swapped it out with one I bought from the local junkyard. It was a pretty simple car – manual transmission, manual windows and locks, no air and an AM/FM […]

IoT in Manufacturing: Voices From the Field

How the Internet of Things is changing the way manufacturers work.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a transformative movement in technology, particularly in manufacturing. IoT in manufacturing applies the concept of connected devices to power smart manufacturing. To find out how IoT is affecting manufacturing organizations, we interviewed several industry leaders who see how IoT is changing their operations – and how they are preparing […]

How Cognitive Computing Is Reshaping Retail

The old retail playbook is no longer an option. Luckily, digital consumers are leaving clues for us to follow.

Cognitive computing is forever changing how we shop. How? Consider your social media activity. What did you post on Facebook this week? Twitter? Snapchat? You are sharing your one-of-a-kind digital footprint with the world through images, videos and chats that detail likes, dislikes, emotions and opinions. Retailers know they can “distinguish themselves by providing value […]

Learning to Walk

Here are five lessons forward-looking companies can learn from my infant daughter.

As my 1-year-old daughter begins her journey toward mobility, she teaches me something new every day – and not just on the need to block the stairs and pad the fireplace. In the new global e-economy, companies and professionals are scrambling to respond to the infancy of this new order of commerce. From company boardrooms […]

4 Things Distributors Can Learn From Retailers

Industrial distributors would be wise to take a page out of retail history.

Several years ago, retailers stood at a crossroads: With e-commerce and shifting demographics disrupting the once-storied retail business model, they could either adapt or risk becoming obsolete. Now distributors find themselves in the same position: They face the most profound business model shift in decades. Generations of businesses have relied on industrial distributors to ensure […]

Digging Deeper With Omnichannel Analytics

What if retailers could do even more with all the data they collect?

Where do you do your shopping? If you’re like me, you’re all over the place. I’ll see a shoe I like in a magazine or on a fashion blog (Jessica Simpson’s are my personal fav) and start researching reviews, prices and availability online. Then, because comfort is key, I’ll find a store where I can […]

5 Tech Trends Shaping The Future Of Fashion

One chief executive officer breaks down five shifts disrupting the apparel industry.

At the start of her career, Suuchi Ramesh worked in predictive sciences and analytics to improve the efficiency of retailers’ supply chains, based on data. Today, she’s CEO of a rapid-turn apparel design and manufacturing company, Suuchi Inc., which is growing at a supersonic pace – as fast as fashion trends come and go. In […]

The New Kids On the Block

A new generation of industrial buyers is rethinking how companies buy.

Millennials: Easy to skewer, impossible to ignore. Sure, they clutch their smartphones and other mobile devices like baby blankets. But be honest: Who doesn’t these days? The difference? Millennials – defined (roughly) as folks between ages 21-34 – don’t apologize for it. Millennials have quickly changed the world, leveraging their affinity for technology to reshape […]

Meet My Friends: Personalization and Customer Experience

Want to build customer loyalty? Start here.

Much is written about personalization and customer experience – the two are natural bedfellows – and if we believe much of what we read, we would be forgiven for thinking that both are highly sophisticated and mature. Both are the product of much development and investment, consequently delivering that most elusive of factors: customer stickability or […]

Industrial Buying Is Changing Fast

Like so many other corners of the region’s economy, Europe’s industrial supply sector is under pressure as tech-savvy, value-conscious customers switch to e-marketplaces.

It isn’t the side of European manufacturing that captures the headlines, but without Europe’s industrial supply sector, the continent’s factories would quickly grind to a halt. It’s the first law of manufacturing: To make things, factories need things – and not just raw materials. Industrial plants are little cities that require all kinds of stuff. […]

5 Trends for the Future of Manufacturing

The next Industrial Revolution will change the way we produce and consume goods.

Manufacturing is a hot topic again, undergoing the industry’s greatest change in more than 100 years. The way we build and deliver the goods and products that fuel our economies and our lives will never be the same. As Professor Klaus Schwab has articulated in his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are in the middle of […]

America Deserves a Modern Transportation System

Here are five ways to improve transportation and infrastructure in the e-commerce era.

At UPS, we see the impacts of lagging infrastructure investment in real time, as 85,000 UPS drivers hit the roads every day. Congestion comes with costs  —  if our fleet is delayed by an extra five minutes every day, it costs us more than $100 million annually. And the impact is seen in more than […]

How to Read a Cardboard Box

Every box tells a story if you know how to decipher it.

People whose profession involves cardboard boxes — making, packing and shipping things in them — don’t say cardboard box. That’s a layman’s term, vague and imprecise. Professionals say corrugated fiberboard container. Even that is imprecise. Do you mean singlewall corrugated fiberboard or doublewall – that is, is there one layer of corrugation between two linerboards […]

Global E-Commerce Fraud – Are Your Customers Real?

Here are four tips to reduce risk in the e-commerce space.

E-commerce brings many opportunities to quickly reach more customers nationwide and across the globe. It also brings risks of domestic and international fraud. In the U.S., online fraud increased 39 percent between January and June last year, according to the October 2016 Global Fraud Attack Index. Global e-commerce certainly carries risk, as well as opportunity. […]

Welcome to the Age of the Super-Powered Shopper

Let's take a trip down e-commerce memory lane. Here are seven ways e-commerce has changed over time.

In 1979, Michael Aldrich connected a telephone line to a television, which connected to a computer to create a concept called “teleshopping.” In other words, people could shop from home. Almost 40 years later, we live in a world where Cyber Monday is an online shopping holiday, and augmented reality lets us look in a […]

Shopping Redefined

Complex technologies and strategies produce a surprisingly simple approach.

The retail and logistics industries have developed a number of terms to define how consumers purchase products. Single channel, multichannel and omnichannel are just a few of these buzzwords. While these terms have their place, they can contribute to a disconnect between merchants and their customers. To consumers, it’s just shopping. The convergence of the […]

New Manufacturing Jobs Require New Manufacturing Skills

With a focus on reskilling, education and training, technology won’t control the manufacturing workforce.

Making spare parts doesn’t sound like ground zero for a technological revolution. But at a time when the entire manufacturing workforce is bracing itself for the changes sweeping the industry, the concept of “replacements” takes on extra resonance. I recently met with managers on the shop floor of an industrial machining company, discussing the challenge […]

What American Manufacturers Can Learn From Henry Ford

Manufacturers must keep up with innovation or risk being outpaced by global competitors.

American manufacturers are competing not only against each other but also against their global counterparts. When it comes to automation, manufacturers don’t have a choice but to invest in new technologies. As history shows, it’s the early adopter who will get the worm. American manufacturing companies need to invest in industrial automation because their global competitors […]

High Fashion Meets Maker Manufacturing

The line between fashion and technology is blurring. What does this mean for future innovations?

Fashion has always been a form of communication and self-expression, a quick visual signal of one’s tastes, allegiances and socioeconomic position. During the next decade, personal fashion and personal computing will begin to blur, offering us a new way to think about what today we call “devices.” Whereas today’s personal devices help us communicate primarily through […]