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F3 chat: Has technology improved the supply chain?

‘Holy grail for transportation’ is co-loading, says Shaw VP

(Photo: FreightWaves)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves’ F3 Virtual Experience.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Has technology improved the supply chain?

DETAILS: FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller chats with Kevin O’Meara about supply chain disruptions, the value that technology brings and predictions for the future of supply chain technology.

SPEAKER: O’Meara is the vice president of integrated supply chain at Shaw Industries Group.

BIO: O’Meara is responsible for Shaw Industries’ end-to-end supply chain, from the sourcing of raw materials and finished goods through production and demand planning, inventory planning, customer service, supply chain systems, distribution and logistics. He has experience in the supply chain industry and in the Army.


“I don’t know how people can operate without these types of visibility systems and technology that then feed into their planning systems, and that’s what’s critical. … I don’t need a visibility system to tell me that there’s a ship docked or at anchor off the Port of Savannah just sitting there. That’s great information, it’s headline news, but it doesn’t help me. What I need is that information to then flow into my planning systems, so that’s been really beneficial for us.”

“When you have huge variability, that causes all of the planning systems to have problems. And variability is the enemy of supply chain.”

“The holy grail for transportation all the way back to the early ’90s when the paper companies started doing it is co-loading and loading of trailers so that you can get a much more efficient, dense pack into a trailer. And if software can help us do that, I think in the future you’re going to find more and more shippers collaborating on shipping rather than competing on shipping.”

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.