Articles

Checking In

Keith Biondo

First They Came For Our Trucks

The War on Trucking. Are You Prepared? That’s the headline of the ad on page 111 of this issue, sponsored by NASSTRAC, an association comprised of a cross-section of shippers. Citing the challenges posed by CSA 2010, cap and trade, and Hours-of-Service changes, NASSTRAC is undertaking advocacy to guard the interests of anyone using trucks […]

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Keith Biondo

Inbound 3.0 at Walmart

During the almost three decades that this publication has been preaching the benefits of matching demand more closely to supply, we’ve published scores of articles on Walmart’s efforts to master inbound logistics. The first major milepost along that road was acknowledging the value of controlling inbound logistics, making it a company-wide mission, and developing the […]

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Keith Biondo

What We’ve Got Here is Failure to Communicate

Remember that great line from the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate”? That’s what popped into my head as I reviewed the more than 4,700 responses from readers and 3PLs participating in our annual third-party logistics survey. We asked both 3PLs and their customers the same question: What is […]

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Felecia Stratton

Are You Talkin’ to Me?

Some results from our annual third-party logistics survey caused the publisher of this magazine to quote a line from Cool Hand Luke: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” When 3PLs and their customers were asked the same question, but provided diametrically opposed answers, the publisher suggested that more shipper/3PL communication may be called for. […]

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Keith Biondo

Shading Green

We know the positive arguments for embracing green. This magazine regularly demonstrates how shippers and service providers are developing sustainability practices across their supply chain touchpoints. Reducing fuel, cube, weight, packaging, waste, and power consumption in the supply chain blends the two shades of green—sustainability and profits. You’ll find measurable examples of both in this […]

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Keith Biondo

Deere Customer

Any devoted demand-driven logistics practitioner might take issue with the catchy headline on a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article: "Low Inventory Angers John Deere Customers." The article quotes unhappy dealers who can’t get equipment from Deere as quickly as they want. One reports losing "half a dozen deals a month." Farmers aren’t happy, either. The culprit, […]

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Felecia Stratton

Transformative Technology

Yes, technology continues to transform transportation. But your demands also transform those providing technology to you. For example, JDA Software’s acquisition of i2 Technologies in January 2010, and their shared roadmap for future integration, serve as a telling bellwether for the logistics technology industry and its customers. From a macro perspective, consolidation among IT companies […]

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Keith Biondo

Retail Week at a Glance

Ispent one week last month immersed in retail logistics. After attending Fashion Week in New York, I headed straight to the Retail Industry Logistics Association meeting. Retailers are adapting and evolving at an ever-quickening pace. Here’s the latest: Monday: Emerging Markets. Some global fashion and apparel brands expect emerging markets to drive 70 percent of […]

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Felecia Stratton

America’s Got Supply Chain Talent

Every state says it wants to attract logistics business that can keep its workforce employed. Florida is actually doing something about it. The state has gotten behind the Talent Supply Chain, an association of state, local, education, and business organizations whose goal is to boost Florida’s economy by encouraging and expanding workforce development, training, and […]

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Felecia Stratton

Brought!

In tough times, logistics managers react to demand and respond to adversity. Every day, your customers and CEOs raise new questions and challenges, which you meet through creativity, innovation, and a "bring-it" attitude. A logistician’s resilience is valuable when opportunities are ripe, but it’s invaluable when problems persist. This indomitable bring-it attitude was pushed to […]

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Keith Biondo

Bring It!

Last weekend, I went through a stack of newspaper clippings of economic and industry news from the past year, and made two piles: good news and bad news. Guess which pile was larger? In an ostrich moment, I went to the shredder and irrationally fed the bad news in, sheet by sheet. As I fed […]

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Felecia Stratton

Less Lip Service, More Customer Service

When times are good, everyone says they are focused on customer service, but admittedly some of that is lip service. When times are bad, are carriers and service providers truly focused on providing you good customer service, or are they cutting customer service corners? Are you as concerned about customer service these days, or is […]

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Just Say No to Slow-Mo

When the economy slows, so does the pace of shipments. To cut costs, some companies shift to less-expensive deferred delivery services. But there are cases where speed helps reduce overall costs, even when economic activity is flat. Here’s one example that bucks the slow-mo shipment trend line. Acoording to press reports, an Australian retailer, Coles […]

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A Lesson From Ghana

“Ghana will not become a middle-income status country without a coherent supply chain strategy.” So says leading African academic Dr. Douglas Boateng in an open letter to Ghana’s government (http://snipurl.com/ilghana). Dr. Boateng takes the government to task on its lack of supply chain vision, pointing out that despite the abundance of natural resources≠gold, cocoa, diamonds, […]

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Dialing Into Truck Tone

You pick up the phone and get a dial tone. You move to a keyboard and you have Web tone. Many of us take these amazing enablements for granted, rarely considering how they work, just expecting that they will—all the time, every time. We only consider their absence when and if they fail. But what […]

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Shades of Green

Inbound Logistics is green—as a mission and as a magazine. Matching demand to supply, our founding principle, is an evergreen strategy that eliminates waste: energy, money, and time. By embracing demand-driven practices, companies optimize transportation, reduce warehouse inventory and costs, increase transparency, and trigger countless efficiencies elsewhere in the enterprise. Executing on demand, and specifying […]

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I Love My Customer

If you think your love for a 3PL is an exclusive one-way street, think again. The feelings are mutual. Sure, you appreciate the value a logistics service provider brings to the relationship: the core intelligence, the sense and sensibility, the thoughtfulness when planning on future demand. But don’t be fooled. 3PLs have a vested business […]

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I Love My 3PL

Based on the 6,000+ responses to our annual survey of the third-party logistics market, readers really love their 3PLs. Despite the economic downturn in 2008, more companies responding to the survey—from small B-to-C startups to large multinationals, from healthy businesses weathering the maelstrom to names in the news suffering through privation detailed in today’s headlines—increased […]

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Wrong Street Journal?

A recent Wall St. Journal article, “Clarity is Missing Link in Supply Chain” (May 18, 2009) wrongly defines just-in-time (a small and strictly defined subset of demand-driven logistics), then concludes that practicing JIT in a recession makes things worse. The article opens with the CEO of chip designer Zoran Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., wondering why his […]

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From Sow’s Ear to Silk Purse

Turning adversity into opportunity is standard practice for logistics professionals, but it seems everyone is taking that approach in today’s economic climate. Like most businesses, warehouses and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are feeling the pinch. The part of their business based on creating value for customers, and sharing in that, is doing OK. But for […]

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