January 2014 | Commentary | Checking In

Well, There’s One Thing That’s Certain…

Tags: Supply Chain Management

If there's one certainty, it's that some things never change—sometimes for the worse, but often for the better. Consider this issue you are now thumbing or clicking through. The 2014 Logistics Planner marks Inbound Logistics' 20th anniversary of publishing what has become an industry standard.

Such longevity is validation that our mission-based focus remains as relevant today—if not more so—as it did 33 years ago when we launched this magazine; as well as when we debuted our first Logistics Planner in January 1995.

That first Planner was all of 96 pages, featuring 29 profiles. Our 2014 edition tops out at 504 pages, with 159 profiles. The organizations featured in this directory are the epitome of consistency and excellence. Many have been strong supporters of Inbound Logistics and our mission from the very beginning.

The Planner's purpose, then and now, is straightforward—match shipper need to an array of service providers across geographies, modes, functions, and technologies. Editorially, this demand-driven vibe resonates throughout.

Our cover story, 163 Ways to Supercharge Your Supply Chain, offers a composite of actionable tips to help you optimize operations through a number of different functional areas. From kicking the tires on a new truckload partner to carefully treading customs compliance, use this practical how-to guide to identify possible cost leaks, plug inefficiencies, then pump up your supply chain.

Looking for a shipper perspective? Catherine Overman's interview with Gilt Chief Supply Chain Officer Chris Halkyard goes inside the flash sales phenomenon; meanwhile George Calvert, chief supply chain and R&D officer at Amway, offers a soup-to-nuts survey of the world's largest direct-selling company

Moving along modally, our Rail Trends conference wrap, Shared Strategies, Mixed Signals, puts you in the front row of one of the industry's premier events. If speed and cold temperatures are more your style, Lisa Terry's Perishable Logistics article is required reading.

Merrill Douglas' article Made In Mexico offers a primer for shippers considering nearshoring south of the border—which, as you'll read in Risk Mitigation: Supply Chain Saftey Net, is one aspect of physical mitigation that shippers use to prevent supply chain disruptions.

Whatever your uncertainty quotient for 2014, the Logistics Planner will help you master the variables to drive efficiency and supply chain excellence.