Building a Better Mousetrap (Felecia Stratton)

Striving to build a better logistics mousetrap—changing and tuning your process to balance competing demands within your supply chain system—is a tough game. It requires skill and split-second timing to orchestrate ever-morphing variables to exceed your logistics goals. And it is growing increasingly difficult.

But stasis is not an option. Not with growing and changing demands from customers—internal and external—nor with the triumvirate of infrastructure, regulatory, and compliance gods dispatching gremlins your way every day.

With that in mind, this issue offers a look at how, despite the obstacles, readers are building better logistics mousetraps:

Optimize. You’ll find a thorough and compelling exploration of five leading companies and their quest to extract optimal performance from their logistics networks in Game On. Leslie Hansen Harps illustrates how some leaders optimize end-to-end operations, while others concentrate on refining component parts of their logistics network.

Flip. On Demand is in Demand, by logistics veteran Lisa Harrington, reveals how forward-thinking companies such as IBM and Lucent flip their philosophy from push to pull, and realign their business models accordingly. See how the growing momentum toward demand-driven business practices can raise your function, your profession, and your discipline to the highest levels in your enterprise.

Plan. Preparing for business interruptions exponentially enhances your flexibility to keep your supply chain moving when faced with almost any logistics impediment—from hurricanes to blackouts to terrorist attacks. In Ready, Set, Prepare, Merrill Douglas lets you in on how leading companies work hard to stay flexible.

Adapt. Companies struggling to meet or understand RFID mandates will appreciate The Real Story on RFID, by insider Dann Anthony Maurno. This virtual roundtable with those in the know will bring you up to date on the latest RFID developments.

Pivot. When global shippers ping pong between the twin brick walls of West Coast port congestion and capacity constraints, they spin, pivot, and find alternate routes through the Panama Canal, as you’ll see in Joseph O’Reilly’s article, Panama Gold.

This issue also features our 2005 annual Logistics Planner, including more companies than we’ve ever profiled before. The Planner was born from reader requests for more in-depth information about solutions and service providers. We worked hard to bring you this broad selection of companies, and we hope you use the Planner all year as you continue to tune your operations for optimal performance.

Building a better Planner is a big job, and we would not be able to do it without the Herculean efforts of the IL staff, who worked around the clock, and through the holidays. Many thanks to Art Director Michael Murphy, Assistant Managing Editor Amy Roach Partridge, and Publication Manager Sonia Casiano for their extra effort, hard work, and enthusiasm.

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