With no standard terminology in an already-complex industry, it’s not surprising that so many TMS buyers have trouble figuring out the differences between solutions and which one best fits their needs. Here's how to cut through the confusion.
Data integration across systems can help optimize the supply chain and enable organizations to provide their customers with the best possible service from order to delivery.
Use this advice to get the most out of your big data.
More accurate forecasts enable better planning, lower inventory and manufacturing costs, and improved service levels.
From item-level inventory data and GPS to condition monitoring and signals from social media, new data sources are augmenting available supply chain data. Find out how to extract value from this influx of information.
The Internet of Things is about to shake up the supply chain. Shippers need to develop mid- and long-term IoT strategies.
Supply chain applications stumble when the product data they’re using is inaccurate. Here's how to make sure data is consistent and comes from well-crafted and executed processes.
Having all supply chain players connected to an intelligent cargo system maximizes the use of port infrastructure and keeps everyone informed on the “where is my cargo?” question. Accessing and sharing information on cargo through new technologies will not only smooth flows but it will also secure them.
Deploying a cloud-based shipment execution system can promote a healthier ecosystem within the company, reduce costs, and pay big dividends via customer satisfaction.
When considering, procuring, and implementing new logistics/supply chain technology, here are three steps to take to ensure a smooth rollout.
Cyrus Hadavi PhD
Supply chain planning systems can greatly benefit from combining artificial intelligence techniques so they become more intelligent, dynamic, and user-friendly.
When shippers pair an import transport move with an export transport move inland, without returning empty to the port, they get a matchback or street-turn. Optimizing these street-turns can improve supply chains.
Rising consumer expectations are driving change throughout the supply chain. And there’s no tougher test for meeting increased expectations than Black Friday. The time is now for warehouse managers to examine the three critical success factors in warehouse labor management.
With demand for speed and convenience at an all-time high, companies must streamline and speed up order fulfillment. Technology that allows sales reps and customers to rapidly write orders and submit them almost instantaneously for fulfillment is a major competitive advantage.
If they haven’t already, supply chain executives need to immediately deploy more flexible and agile supply chain management solutions that encompass an enterprise resource planning system.
Enhancing supply chains with real-time visibility gives shippers the insight and details needed to operate quickly, accurately, and more effectively than ever before.
Connected, intelligent, scalable, and rapid, the digital supply network is ready to be deployed today. Companies may hold on to the dying linear supply chain, but they are closing themselves off from a strategy that operates at a lower price point and enables growth.
Increased funding, bigger ideas, and changing mindsets are setting the stage for the explosive growth of enterprise technology in the logistics sector.
The warehouse management system (WMS) has emerged as a valuable tool for tracking and streamlining tasks, the workforce, and material/equipment flows. Here are two factors driving its adoption today.
Companies are beginning to understand that they need to develop a labeling strategy to meet all of the challenges of today’s global supply chain. Here's how to implement an enterprise labeling approach.
Evolving technologies such as data warehousing, in-memory architecture, and data visualization are helping unlock fleet insights.
When performance management processes are functioning properly, the link between strategic business objectives and day-to-day actions comes together.
For logistics professionals, data is meaningless without context. Dashboards help provide context and enhance decision-making capabilities.
Jon M. Van Winkle
Asking the right questions as you begin the evaluation and purchase process is a step in the right direction to help get your fleet mobile ready.
The introduction of driverless trucks could be the biggest change the road haulage industry will ever see, and the concept is closer to reality than people think.
Forward-thinking shipping and logistics facility management (FM) professionals turn to next-generation FM software to efficiently manage their facilities.
A connected warehouse maximizes warehouse efficiency, as well as positions a company to decisively navigate constant changes across the supply chain. Real-time data intelligence delivers the visibility and control needed to effect measurable improvements.
For quickly measuring freight at the point of pick-up, for reclassifying pallets, and for low-volume operations, mobile dimensioning is a low-cost game-changer.
Timeliness is top of mind during the holiday season. Here's how analytics can help shippers meet delivery spikes and prepare their supply chains.
As e-commerce continues to surge, the case for automation is now too compelling to ignore. One good way to start can be to automate parcel sorting at local and regional distribution centers.
In order to create a consistent end-to-end logistics system, shippers need to connect the technological dots. Find out how.
Supply chain continuity planning is critical for global businesses. Armed with an end-to-end digital model of their supply chains, shippers can react rapidly and intelligently when unplanned events occur.
Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics are necessary to contribute to an organization’s goal of improved and more informed decision-making.
Automatic Identification System (AIS) can provide analytics that enable companies to more accurately predict ship arrival times.
When downtime impacts a company’s line, outsourcing technology infrastructure to a third party might help.
Companies are increasingly using M2M to maximize operational efficiency, minimize loss and theft, and better serve their customers.
Using the data the TMS is already providing can help shippers improve their transport operations.
Retailers are implementing technology to more accurately forecast demand.
To grow and evolve, shippers of all sizes need the high-quality data provided by modern technologies.
A little healthy competition between employees can help to improve performance and metrics.
Inventory management is often difficult and time-consuming for smaller businesses, but the right solution can remove some of the pressure.
David Smith, Russ Rasmus
To fill the skills gap, manufacturers must build skills from within, as well as partner with outside agencies.
Offering apps with products helps manufacturers improve customer satisfaction and lower complaints and returns.
Fleet management platforms represent the evolution of location information.
New software helps warehouse operators keep up with the real-time demands of omni-channel fulfillment.
Product Lifecycle Management software produces metrics that can help business make sure they are using ethical vendors.
Telematics technology can bring improved operational visibility to fleet management.
Retailers need new technologies and capabilities to operate in a new omni-channel world.
Managing supply chain risk means recognizing that things won’t always go according to plan, and having the right infrastructure in place to succeed even through the unexpected.
How manufacturers can use technology to stretch the capabilities of their existing workforce.
With the holiday season in full swing, logistics managers must be able to rely on their vendors to perform.
Crossdocking reduces inventory costs and improves delivery times by eliminating intermediate warehousing activity.
Five key questions to ask a software vendor to make sure they are the right fit for your operation.
Investments in technology might just be the way to save Christmas.
Logistics and transportation companies are finding the flaw in the BYOD movement.
A modular warehouse control system can help smaller operations keep up with larger competitors.
An optimized supply chain allows companies to reduce costs, lower risk, increase transparency, and support new products.
Manufacturers should view legislation as an opportunity to achieve better control and supply chain integration.
Shippers must maintain flexibility in their data-driven transportation policies.
Fleet managers increasingly rely on electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) to manage fleet data.
Importers and exporters should update operations to ensure they are ready for the Automated Commercial Environment.
The Internet of Things can affect supply chain operations by increasing in-transit visibility.
Robert F. Byrne
Transportation forecasting lets shippers collaborate with carriers to identify capacity gaps and reallocate assets.
Fashion businesses must react instantly to fashion shifts and focus on getting goods to consumers quickly.
Warehouse technology that supports communication and data analysis improves efficiency and reduces waste.
Technology trends are transforming the logistics sector, improving safety, efficiency, and competitiveness.
Avoid common inventory issues: inaccurate inventory counts, costly end-of-year write-offs, and lost inventory.
Voice-directed technology can help improve worker safety and reduce employee-training time, yet some companies avoid them because of these five common misconceptions.
With an integrated transportation management software (TMS) platform, service providers can gain complete visibility over their diverse and complex operations.
Companies can gain several benefits by partnering with the right freight payment company.
Dr. Abdullatif “Bud” Zaouk
Track sensors monitor rails for signs of buckling or breakage, improving rail freight safety.
Developing a business system based on operational analytics requires a focus on decision-making and a clear plan.
Leveraging data analysis and technology integration can generate powerful insights to transform today’s supply chains.
Mobile technology offers flexible, affordable solutions for supply chain operations.
Implementing tools and processes that enable better shipment visibility and control of in-transit inventory helps improve vendor partner management.
Companies must identify and eliminate overspending on supply chain IT solutions to free up capital for new projects.
Incorporating business intelligence tools into logistics strategy gives companies access to efficiency-boosting data.
Business to business (B2B) e-commerce sites must be well planned to increase revenue and support a growing client base.
Cloud computing offers democracy to logistics and transportation providers, putting small and mid-sized providers on the same playing field as large global companies.
Foreign Trade Zones allow companies to defer paying customs duties, fees, and taxes on items imported into the U.S.
GPS tracking devices give shippers shipment visibility, even when cargo is in the air.
Technology management can affect warehouse operations’ connectivity during and after a power outage. Whether the facility’s warehouse management system (WMS) is installed on-site, delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) program, or hosted in the cloud can have a huge impact on maintaining productivity, writes John Sterling of Foxfire Software.
Using an advanced logistics simulation tool to analyze system performance and lifecycle cost can help logisticians negotiate better performance-based logistics contracts, writes Justin Woulfe of WPI Services.
With the right investments in technology, 3PLs can make their business more attractive to current and potential clients by offering additional value-added services, superior inventory control, and overall cost reduction, writes Chuck Fuerst of HighJump Software.
Automated traceability technology allows companies to locate products anywhere in the supply chain, minimizing the impact of product recalls, writes Tom Kozenski of JDA Software.
Yard and dock management systems use real-time and physical data to assist facilities in efficiently managing operations such as loading dock visibility, live and staged trailer coordination, and turn time management, writes Eric Breen of 4SIGHT.
In a true collaborative relationship between purchasing and logistics, order and routing pattern planning comprises a single, optimized decision process that yields measurable results, writes Bill Michalski of ArrowStream.
Advances in consumer technologies such as smartphones and tablets are driving a new generation of rugged mobility innovation for logistics and supply chain applications, writes Tim Eusterman of Intermec Technologies.
Business Intelligence within the supply chain improves internal efficiencies and accountability while saving time and eliminating costs with metrics-driven decision-making and change management, writes Steve Dowse, International Asset Systems.
Modernizing information technology infrastructure helps companies save money and provide better value for their customers, writes Steve Biondi of Micro Focus.
Shippers and business logistics professionals can easily use bar codes rather than ink stamps to ensure fresh food items are delivered to customers, writes Mark Croxton of Aldata.
By identifying the value-adds that brand and retail shippers want, logistics providers can position their offerings to bring millions in benefits to their customers and make the relationship stick, writes Greg White of Blue Ridge.
Cloud-based supply chain networks allow for real-time data sharing among companies, but rely on high-quality data for effectiveness, writes Greg Kefer of GT Nexus.
An open business planning platform allows business planners, partners, and others to build simple apps that enhance their master Sales & Operations Planning system to adapt their S&OP process for unique – and changing – needs, writes Nari Viswanathan, Steelwedge Software.
Risk management strategies must address the everyday sources of supply chain disruption, and managers must incorporate the identification of potential supply chain risk into their daily practices, writes Mark Humphlett, Infor.
Choosing the right mobile powered workstations for your warehouse or distribution center will energize your workforce, and deliver improved accuracy and efficiency, writes Christine Wheeler, Newcastle Systems.
Mobile applications give carriers and shipper instant access to transportation management system (TMS) data, resulting in improved supply chain visibility, write Mike Skinner of VistaLogix Global.
By automating distribution and logistics processes of subsidiaries via an integrated business system using a two-tier enterprise resource planning (ERP) model, a large company can increase the distribution and logistics operational performance at these subsidiaries, improve customer order delivery metrics, and gain an ability to compete in the local markets more effectively and efficiently, writes Mike Morel, SAP.
Michael Watson, Ph.D.
To better define analytics and develop better analytics strategies, consider the three different types of analytics: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive. IBM’s Michael Watson explains each type.
By incorporating containerization into downstream transportation and upstream supply chain workflows, companies can improve asset utilization, use fewer trucks, drive fewer miles, reduce fuel costs, and enhance distribution center operations, writes Fabrizio Brasca, JDA Software.
Supply chain visibility is a valuable result of trading partner collaboration, writes Bobby Kaemmer, Cadre Technologies. On-demand and cloud-based solutions can help supply chain partners share data.
By highlighting the differences between an organization’s performance and a comparative reference standard, benchmarks can identify improvement opportunities and identify activities required to achieve superior performance.
Software solutions can help shippers maximize value recovery from inbound shipments of returned material, writes Tamara Dwyer of TAKE Solutions.
Supply chain disruptions become more manageable when shippers have supply chain technology that provides shipment visibility, writes Henry Hicks, Progress Software.
Robert F. Byrne
Logistics can now be aligned with supply chain and manufacturing through solutions that create daily transportation need forecasts by lane/mode/carrier. Robert F. Byrne of Terra Technology outlines the benefits.
Retailers can implement technology and processes to increase traceability and gain greater visibility into their supply chain, which helps track and retrieve products in the event of a product recall, writes Brendan Lowe, Aldata Solution.
Shippers can protect their supply chains against rising fuel costs by optimizing distribution networks, creating a flexible infrastructure, and managing shipping practices.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology helps transportation and logistics organizations gain visibility into their global supply chains and boost return on investment (ROI), writes Ralph Lieberthal, Motorola Solutions.
Companies that limit their use of EDI to fundamental transactions, such as purchase orders and invoices, are missing an opportunity to strengthen their customer service and overall competitiveness, writes Chad Collins, HighJump Software.
Karen Bomber and Jim Caudill
Retailers who succeed at integrating their inventory intelligence can cut costs, accelerate turns, and build revenue by driving high-fidelity information back into the supply chain, aligning it with shopper demand, write Tyco Retail Solutions’ Karen Bomber and Jim Caudill.
Cloud-based logistics technology systems offer the speed, accessibility, efficiency, and shared data necessary for success in an increasingly global business environment, writes Echo Global’s Doug Waggoner.
When it comes to transportation management systems, a combination of SaaS plus managed services represents the next step in supply chain optimization, writes Jordan Kass, TMC.
Steve Ford, CFO of TradeCard, outlines strategies for enlisting your chief financial officer’s support for supply chain initiatives.
Rick Pontin, CEO of Airclic, explains how to improve inventory management through better visibility.
To successfully manage multi-brand and multi-channel selling, retailers need to optimize customer order fulfillment across all brands and channels, writes Jim Bengier of Sterling Commerce.
If you don't file accurate import data with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you put your company at risk for penalties and fines, warns Kevin Shoemaker, director, global solutions for Integration Point Inc.
Here are five areas where supply chain executives can find additional return on investment opportunities from their Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
Danny Halim of JDA Software offers strategies for minimizing risk in the global supply chain.
Labor management tools can help you determine if your workforce is performing at the level necessary to deliver cost-effective service to customers.
Flexible transportation management systems empower shippers by integrating inbound and outbound transportation throughout the supply chain management process.
Zebra Technologies' David Phillips explains how eliminating excess work-in-process waste improves your supply chain.
Jason Howton, TAKE Supply Chain, outlines strategies for achieving best-in-class crossdocking performance.
Benchmarking before negotiating carrier rates can be a money-saving opportunity, writes Niko Michas of BridgeNet Solutions.
For the aftermarket auto parts business, where materials handling is as important to the bottom line as execution, planning begins with implementing a Web-based warehouse and inventory management system, writes Jim Burleigh of SmartTurn.
Managers should identify and focus on the most useful warehouse metrics to gather, report, and apply, writes Eric Allais of PathGuide Technologies.
David I. Beatson
Michelle Meng-Hsiung Kiang
Dr. Moshe BenBassat
Jane B. Lee
David Simchi-Levi, Edith Simchi-Levi
Rear Adm. Gerald Woolever (USCG, Ret'd.)
Paul C. Strzelec
Asia Pacific companies can implement sophisticated supply chain management solutions quickly and effectively via cloud computing, creating visibility to generate logistics business intelligence data.
Co-loading truckload and less-than-truckload shipments can reduce transportation costs, lead times, and shipment damage.