Articles

Checking In

Felecia Stratton

The Future of Predictive Analytics Looks Certain

One recurring talking point at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s (CSCMP) September 2012 conference in Atlanta was the importance of predictive analytics. This subset of statistics captures patterns within large volumes of information to predict supply chain behavior and events—in effect, forecasting future demand based on past demand. The emergence of cloud networking […]

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Felecia Stratton

Cutting Through the Noise

Any noise in the trucking industry is better than the alternative. The rumble of engines coming to life, and air horns sounding off with more certain frequency, are welcome signs as the economy waffles between recession and recovery. Still, a growing din in Washington threatens to drown out these echoes of progress. The U.S. Federal […]

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Felecia Stratton

Supply Chain Therapy Strikes a Balance

There’s nothing like a spur-of-the-moment urge, then splurge, to improve temperament. Retailers today are all too willing to facilitate “retail therapy” and oblige customers by making it easier than ever to satisfy their random impulses. Advertising—subliminal or overt—is quick to connect happiness with material possession, regardless of what kind. Then the supply chain takes over. […]

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Keith Biondo

3PL Partnerships: From Tactical to Strategic

It was déjà vu all over again as I sorted through the responses to this year’s Top 10 3PL Excellence Awards survey and 3PL Perspectives research. Like last year, and the year before, and the year before that, a sizable percentage of survey respondents said they select logistics partners based on their ability to secure […]

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Felecia Stratton

3PL Partnerships: From Transactions to Trust

In business context, transactional relationships are often laden with legal conditions—unlimited liability, implied agency, utmost good faith. Even with assurances that a partner will do the right thing, it all comes down to costs and consequences. For many years, the supply chain operated in a similar fashion. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) demonstrated their value by […]

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Keith Biondo

Green Leadership for Lean Times

Current economic conditions are cooling enthusiasm for green initiatives in some quarters. But not in Bentonville, Ark., where Walmart recently released its 2012 Global Responsibility report. Someone once said, "as Walmart goes, so goes the nation." I don’t know if that’s true, but despite lean times, the retailer is providing leadership in supply chain sustainability. […]

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Felecia Stratton

Warehousing ‘Outside the Box’

Historically, warehousing was viewed as a function that exists inside “four walls.” Visibly, that’s true. But when you consider all the different parts and impulses that influence a distribution operation, it can no longer be cornered so conveniently. That’s why our May 2012 issue spotlights warehousing and distribution wall-to-wall—and beyond. For example, it’s easy to […]

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Keith Biondo

IT: Advantage @Light Speed

A professor at a well-known university recently remarked at a logistics conference, "Information technology is not a source of competitive advantage. It makes good systems better, and bad systems worse. It allows companies to do stupid things at the speed of light." Maybe. But IT can be a change agent that will almost always open […]

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Keith Biondo

The Fifth P of Marketing

Why are the four Ps of marketing—Product, Price, Promotion, Place—important to logistics practitioners? Collaborating with suppliers and being tightly wired to customers and their demand signals helps craft the right Product. Reducing inventory, touches, and supporting infrastructure helps keep any Product’s Price lower. And when your Promotion materials arrive where they need to be, and […]

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Keith Biondo

A Lost Art?

Strength of will. Toughness. The refusal to be deterred from the goal no matter what impediments stand in the way. Do we have much of that in our culture today? In our leaders? In our own businesses? Retracing the Trails of the Iron Horse takes us back to a simpler time in America’s past, where […]

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