Executives at two leading companies weigh in on supply chain’s value to their organizations.
This story examines how e-commerce retailers use last-mile fulfillment strategies to gain competitive advantage.
Getting a distribution center in shape for a high-volume holiday or seasonal period requires advance planning to make sure all systems work, the facility is properly staffed, and temporary workers are properly trained. Inbound Logistics asked the experts for their holiday preparation advice; they provided these seven commandments that will light the way.
Distributors continue to play a valuable role within many supply chains. At the same time, changing business models, and especially the rise of e-commerce, are prompting many to enhance the services they offer.
Dow Building Solutions gained faster, more reliable distribution to customers at a reduced cost with help from KANE.
As businesses look for ways to improve and optimize the supply chain with customers in mind, they need to factor in elements that will allow them to leverage the supply chain in order to fuel customer loyalty.
Evaluating the continuing alignment of customer requirements, acceptable associated risk and service provider capability.
Cath Kidston partnered with SEKO to expand the company’s inbound business from Asia to the UK and its distribution centers in Hong Kong and Shanghai supplying its international franchises.
Profile of Jonathan Parks, VP, global logistics and distribution, with Rent-A-Center
Aaron Leach is senior director of supply chain with Wayne Farms, LLC, in Oakwood, Ga. He has held this position since 2013. Wayne Farms is the sixth largest vertically integrated producer and processor of poultry in the United States.
Kelli’s Gift Shop Suppliers deployed Janam’s mobile computers and transformed its distribution center operations. From improving efficiency and productivity, find out how the handheld devices boosted inventory control and customer satisfaction for the wholesale distributor.
The overall complexity of running the supply chain will drop as the product portfolio becomes more streamlined. Here's how to do just that.
Working with a specialized transportation provider will save you time and headaches while keeping your customers happy and costs down.
A look at the metrics that shippers and their service providers use to evaluate the quality of customer service.
Distribution centers (DCs) play a key role in the overall success of each peak season, as supply chain professionals must meet the surge in consumer demand and fulfill orders efficiently. Here are 10 ways to help you identify and fill seasonal needs of distribution centers.
Readers choose between cost and customer service as the most important selection criterion for a carrier or supplier.
Implementing material handling automation within a distribution center requires an experienced systems integration, which acts as a matchmaker to ensure the software communicates fully and freely with the facility’s equipment.
Profile of Bert De Winter, director of EMEA logistics with HP Inc.
The demand chain model drastically reduces a distribution center’s footprint and associated costs by replacing safety stock with information.
Profile of Alan Sargent, supply chain and logistics director, Just Born Candy
Rise of e-commerce changing logistics real estate landscape; Companies who don’t sell globally may be sacrificing profits; Many smaller fleets non-compliant with upcoming ELD mandate
The winter of 2013-14 disrupted the intermodal shipping industry in North America, causing service problems and impeding growth. However, intermodal now offers a number of attractive advantages for shippers, particularly as rail operations pour resources into their intermodal efforts to strengthen service and compete with trucking. Sites that specialize in intermodal utilize innovations to streamline the process and apply new resources to make for an increasingly efficient and effective distribution process.
Oregon-based manufacturer Blount International was bleeding money from leaks all across its supply chain. It found that the correct application of the right data management technology provided and maintained by the right partner was the solution to the problem.
Profile of Peter Schuele, head of global supply chain and distribution at the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Customer retention in today’s competitive marketplace is important. Thomas Griffin of DLS Worldwide offers the keys to customer retention.
Brands who never anticipated going global are finding that they all of a sudden are, thanks to the progression of e-commerce and increasing customer expectations.
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.
Using the best logistics IT available, and partnering with world-class carriers and 3PLs, can help you find a better way towards supply chain success.
With the growth of e-commerce, retailers have identified a potential opportunity to reduce working capital by thinning inventory at brick-and-mortar stores—opting instead to maintain major portions of inventory at distribution centers upstream.
A more comprehensive approach to supply chain management can help provide a great omni-channel experience that encourages customer loyalty and optimizes profitability.
As entities responsible for brokering appropriate carrier rates, ensuring accurate quantities of orders and guaranteeing high quality of products, third-party logistics providers are extensions of companies’ brands.
Industry expertise is the most impactful way to positively affect customer service requirements.
Year after year, the IL 3PL survey reveals the importance of great customer service to shippers.
A new app helped a coffee merchant digitally transformed its retail sales and distribution processes.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) created and implemented a new way of taking and filling orders for its annual cookie drive. Here’s how it made sure cookie sales didn’t crumble.
Wholesale distributor Ideal Supply re-routed its delivery network through the cloud with the help of logistics technology provider Descartes.
An instant selling and ordering procedure could be a differentiator for industrial companies looking to boost their customers' industrial buying experience.
Dave Christensen, vice president, supply chain with Glazer’s, Inc., oversees demand planning, replenishment, logistics, and master data management.
The warehouse design of tomorrow is flexing to meet the physical needs of basic warehouse operators as well as more highly automated e-commerce fulfillment centers.
Launching a cost cutting, productivity-enhancing, or sustainability initiative creates efficiencies with environmental benefits and cost reductions.
Through automated, rules-based wave management and replenishment, American Hotel Register Company was able to eliminate manual sortation and create multiple, tailored options to proactively release orders by type.
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.
There's no derailing hub-and-spoke networks. Find out why their adoption is arguably as significant an event in shipping efficiency as containerization itself.
If there’s one lesson that we’ve learned from fine bourbon or whiskey, it’s that good things come to those who wait. Distilleries know this better than anyone. But when it’s time to get that product out the door and in the hands of distributors, the last thing a distiller wants to do is wait.
When an outdated warehouse management system was putting a dent in a distributor’s workflow, it turned to a technology partner to grow its e-commerce business.
Sound strategies for maintaining, optimizing, and modernizing materials handling systems can mitigate risk in today’s DC and go a long way toward ensuring a smooth ride in the supply chain.
Multiculturalism can be the competitive advantage that makes the critical difference in the success of your supply chain operations.
A real time tracking platform helps you revolutionize your logistics operations by improving service while reducing costs.
With so many choices available, varying freight, and small package shipping needs, the 3PL service offering needs to be about more than the transaction.
Investments in pick/put-to-light technology, wearables, robotic AGVs, high-speed conveyors, voice-directed picking, and a warehouse control system equate to an automated, smart, and efficient distribution center.
The true measure of customer service is what team members, carriers, and supply chain partners do when something goes wrong.
Transportation and logistics deal value continues to rise; distribution centers prepare to reduce picking errors; mobile-based freight brokerage; predictive analytics and Internet of Things revolutionize procurement
The real value of a software partner can be found in the days and weeks that come after the learning phase. Most customers are looking for a positive experience to happen after the purchase.
Radio Frequency Identification Technology has a multitude of benefits that can have a significant impact on reducing and eliminating waste in the extended supply chain.
Three retailers explain how they use logistics and other functions to deliver outstanding customer service.
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.
While doing business with China, many companies face a wide range of challenges trying to navigate the country’s complex trade programs.
The pursuit of perfection may seem an impossible goal. But, with the right combination of key elements, four regions in the United States have achieved logistics greatness.
Jeff Larson, director of distribution engineering analysis at Tiffany & Co., works with the jewelry company’s international locations to help improve their operations.
Warehouse operations no longer allow for “business as usual” practices. New initiatives and strategic investments in capital improvements will lead to greater returns in productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Investing in the latest materials handling equipment, WMS technology, and physical building improvements will result in a fully integrated distribution center.
E-commerce and omni-channel retailing have a major impact on supply chain and logistics needs, and customers have to make sure their supply chain is equipped to offer maximum flexibility.
Work with a team of service providers to get a new retail distribution center up and running in only six months? We should all be so lucky.
Retailers are implementing technology to more accurately forecast demand.
To help save money, shippers should build a strong relationship with their LTL carrier.
Judi Griffin, director of logistics at Burkhart Dental, is responsible for three distribution centers, purchasing and customer service teams, and inbound and outbound freight costs.
To break the cycle of needless, duplicative logistics costs, many competitors are choosing to work in tandem.
E-commerce excellence and proximity to large population areas are the new drivers behind site selection for fulfillment centers.
When it came time to face the ACE, HW St. John bet on an automated solution that streamlines processes and deals customers a winning hand.
A route planning systems can drastically reduce the time it takes to plan your transportation schedule. Other benefits include lower mileage and fuel usage, decreased carbon emissions, and increased customer service.
Whirlpool is taking a page out of its Lean production manual and following Penske’s lead to create a more flexible and responsive North American supply chain.
It was the worst of times for U.S./Mexico healthcare. Can demand-driven logistics make it the best of times?
As e-commerce and ominchannel raise expectations, and consumers become more impatient, supply chain practitioners turn to technology to help them perform.
Technology is enabling an unprecedented level of transparency and communication to help shippers and their logistics providers understand each other's operations, and collaborate in ways that were much more difficult in the past.
Geodis Wilson helps Alfa Laval deliver complex cargo to global destinations.
Profile of Leslie Dean, senior director, supply chain, at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.
UPS makes major improvements to save Christmas; PANYNJ invests $5.5 billion to streamline port operations
Pilot program uses drones to deliver time-sensitive goods; Canadian government lines up two new bilateral trade agreements; Labor rights causing supply chain disruption; Using social media to understand carrier usage.
Kevin Hickey, Vice President, North American Customer Service for Maersk Line outlines the benefits of performance metrics, and the impact they have on carrier relationships and ongoing improvements.
Determining the best location for a new or expanding business in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace is challenging. These locations offer a number of advantages when it comes to meeting today’s logistics and supply chain needs.
When a merger required Nature’s Way to consolidate distribution facilities, it called on the services of system supplier The Numina Group for a new design and technologies. Today, the facility successfully distributes products to customers in 50 states, and overseas through five supply chain channels.
Intertape Polymer Group outsourced transportation to gain control of its diverse product line and protect profit margins.
When it comes to keeping up with demand, Game Stop's Bruce Kulp doesn’t play around.
Kevin X. Jones, vice president of inbound transportation at Walmart, focuses on building transportation synergies.
Partnerships between four shippers and their 3PLs demonstrate logistics outsourcing strategies.
When a natural disaster hits, consumers rely on home improvement stores for the products they need to repair or rebuild.
TAJ Flooring used a transportation management system to improve shipment and freight spend visibility.
Voice-directed technology can help improve worker safety and reduce employee-training time, yet some companies avoid them because of these five common misconceptions.
This article provides a step-by-step guide to logistics network optimization.
Companies planning new distribution centers or warehouses weigh process data to choose materials handling equipment.
Hub-and-spoke transportation models maximize cargo shipping efficiency, delivering better visibility and cost savings.
Many companies use social media to improve supply chain operations by connecting shippers and service providers.
E-commerce retailers choose specialized distribution centers near parcel carrier hubs and transportation infrastructure.
Cosmetics companies face challenges such as time- and temperature-sensitive shipments and retailer packaging requirements.
Third-party logistics providers are assuming a less transactional, more consultative role with shippers.
Big data gathered by materials handling equipment helps warehouse managers improve productivity and safety.
Chris Halkyard, chief supply chain officer for e-commerce site Gilt, discusses managing flash sale logistics.
Retailer DSW's new replenishment materials handling solution improves inventory control and reduces in-store markdowns.
As evolving retail models push shopper expectations, companies explore new models for delivering great customer service.
Geodis Wilson helps integrated design technology company Dana Innovations expand its international supply chain.
Companies such as Amazon show delivery speed and logistics agility provide the customer service levels retailers need to win.
Establishing an efficient distribution center network require careful planning and frequent updates.
An order management system from DF Young and Superior Technology helps Cintron Beverage Company boost inventory accuracy, fulfill orders easily and quickly, and track products throughout the supply chain.
A new inventory management system by Manhattan Associates nurses Nature's Best's fulfillment operations back to health.
Changing consumer expectations and demand for greater efficiency, economy, and productivity present new twists and turns in warehouse automation.
This story examines what customers want in an e-commerce operation and shares fulfillment strategies that merchants use to keep those customers happy.
Online retailers seeking new sites for DCs and warehouses need the transportation infrastructure to support a constant, rapid-fire flow of shipments – plus a capable workforce, affordable utilities, and business incentives to help them get the most from their investment.
Close-out retailer Tuesday Morning implemented Interlink’s WHSe-LINK warehouse management system to receive, store, and allocate its daily inbound shipments of unique SKUs.
Schwan’s Home Services optimized its distribution network by using a hybrid insourced/outsourced model; and Sun-Maid Growers of California used collaborative distribution to create better economies of scale in its transportation operations.
Customer service is improving as some shippers and their service providers work to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure customer service metrics.
Third-party logistics provider (3PL) Geodis Wilson helps apparel company Desigual establish its U.S. warehousing, distribution, and retail operation, and ensure shipment visibility and tracking.
Window and door maker Simonton partners with Cardinal Logistics for dedicated delivery to dealers and big box retailers across the United States.
Food company Bob Evans entrusted Millard Refrigerated Services with its warehousing and distribution operations. The two businesses worked together to expand both their supply chain capabilities.
Brian Hancock, president, North America for Martin-Brower, discusses the unique supply chain and distribution operations supporting the McDonald’s restaurant chain.
Small companies face challenges in meeting the rules set out in vendor requirements manuals. Best practices help them comply with retailers’ supplier requirements successfully.
When baseball cap maker New Era’s business growth hit critical mass, it realigned its distribution operations, fusing Menlo Worldwide Logistics’ outsourced solutions with its global supply chain.
The use of new technology and tools—such as email, cellphones, and social media—allows shippers to stay involved, from order to final-mile delivery, no matter what the shipment, to create a superior customer service experience.
Retailers such as Brookstone, BuySeasons, Pet Supplies Plus, and Wayfair streamline their supply chains to deliver better customer service.
Distributor United Natural Foods Inc. worked with third-party logistics (3PL) provider Cardinal Logistics to consolidate from a multiple carrier network for its inbound logistics transportation to a dedicated contract carriage arrangement.
When Wells-Gardner Electronics Corporation outsourced its import and export shipping to Geodis Wilson, it reaped numerous supply chain benefits, such as reduced shipping times and improved shipment visibility, as well as avoiding duty and taxes.
Manufacturer Milo’s Tea Company outsourced its fleet to Ryder Supply Chain Solutions under a dedicated contract carriage arrangement. Benefits included reduced transportation costs, increased efficiency in managing seasonal surges, and improved fleet and driver reliability, which helped Milo’s better serve its customers.
Automotive component supplier IAC needed better control, visibility, and reporting to help weld its supply chain into a cohesive unit. ProTrans delivered innovation and customized solutions designed to control costs along IAC’s network.
John Rodeheffer of Zipline Logistics outlines how to find a 3PL that delivers "Golden Rule" customer service: who treat others as they want to be treated, with honest and transparent communication.
Colgate took more than four million miles out of its network while handling five percent more cases of product – and even managed to cut logistics costs, sharing the savings with customers and suppliers.
Amazon closes Texas distribution facility over sales tax dispute; Robert Guenther of United Fresh Produce Association comments on FDA Food Safety Modernization Act; U.S. General Services Administration rolls out green guidelines for government suppliers; Crossdocking use is on the rise
From traditional heavy goods shipments to the new influx of e-commerce-fueled home deliveries, the last mile plays a crucial role in the supply chain.
Logistics providers who work to understand shippers' needs help create customer service success, as illustrated by case studies involving Pep Boys, McCain Foods, and USG Corporation.
To survive and grow in today's demanding, competitive economy, companies must excel at both supply chain management and customer service.
Women’s apparel retailer Charming Shoppes praises the red-carpet treatment it gets from logistics partner Hyundai Merchant Marine.
Collaborative distribution lets manufacturers, especially consumer product goods (CPG) companies, merge loads destined for the same end point to maximize trucking efficiency.
A Direct-to-Store Delivery (DSD) delivery model helps consumer goods manufacturers gain speed and increase inventory turns.
The key to successful shipping in Alaska is to partner with a transportation provider that knows how to manage Alaska’s many obstacles.
Dannon's network design provides flexibility and speed to serve customers quickly, reduces transport time and costs, and delivers on the company's sustainability initiatives, while ensuring product freshness.
By integrating contract packaging into distribution operations, companies can cut costs by 30 percent.
Geography, transportation infrastructure, and a strong distribution sector make Memphis a natural logistics hub.
Small and mid-sized manufacturers lack the scale to ship in full truckloads, creating thousands of separate, inefficient lines of supply—all moving to the same mass retailers. Collaborative distribution reduces the number of trucks on the road and cuts distribution costs.
Inbound Logistics Publisher Keith Biondo outlines how Walmart is taking inbound logistics to the next level.
When selecting a site for a new warehouse or distribution center, there's a second infrastructure that demands attention: the power generation and delivery system.
A failure to communicate is the primary reason that 3PL relationships fall apart, according to Inbound Logistics' annual third-party logistics survey.
Nonprofit organization MedShare distributes recovered medical supplies to the places of greatest need.
Global shoe retailer ALDO implements a high-stepping, end-to-end inventory and distribution system.
Inbound Logistics Senior Writer Joseph O'Reilly visits Bellavance Beverage Company, a Nashua, N.H. beer distributor.
Manufacturers and wholesale distributors are optimistic about the perceived impact of the Trump administration’s plans for trade deregulation on their businesses, according to new research commissioned by business software provider Exact.
E-commerce has forever changed the way people shop. Now businesses of all sizes must reassess their supply chains to go direct to the consumer with faster-than-fast delivery and free shipping.
Selecting the best metrics at your company’s distribution centers requires the right tools, careful study, and constant collaboration.
When a paper-based order management system slowed a baseball bat manufacturer’s growth, the company digitized for out-of-the-park growth.
Rust-Oleum selected Celtic International, Transplace’s intermodal business unit, to provide intermodal and over-the-road transportation services for domestic shipments between its own facilities as well to its retailer customers.
Is outsourcing your fulfillment the best option for your business? Here are 15 important questions to ask a potential partner.
New and noteworthy in the supply chain
Here’s how to navigate disruptions in the supply chain and turn them into new opportunities.
Florida's state-of-the-art seaports and airports, and strong highway and rail networks, have helped establish a strong and growing logistics sector.
Profile on Paul Nugent, director of logistics for Kitchen and Bath Americas with Kohler Co.
Unyson helped a customer simultaneously increase service for time-sensitive shipments while decreasing costs.
This story looks at some of the trends and challenges associated with e-commerce today, and strategies for dealing with those challenges, through the eyes of one small retailer, one medium-sized and one large.