Articles

Commentary

Evaluating the True Cost of Overseas Manufacturing

United States manufacturing continues to decline. Since 1970, manufacturing employment has dropped 22 percent—nearly nine percent of that drop in the last 10 years alone. Low-cost labor from Asia and Latin America has created extreme price pressure, and manufacturers are especially hard hit, experiencing brand erosion due to private label growth of major retailers. Many […]

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Passion Play

Most readers I meet are reserved, practical, low-key, disciplined, taking a considered approach to the task of managing many variables as they strive to match their supply stream to their demand. That’s why I was a little surprised to hear the following at this year’s CLM Conference in Chicago. “As logisticians, we’re steadfast in our […]

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Six Ways to Grow in a Down Economy

In the 1990s, it looked like we could do no wrong. The economy was growing. The stock market was rising. Venture capital was plentiful. Young people became instant millionaires in the dot.com world. Then came the new millennium and somehow that all changed. The economy started to shrink and layoffs became commonplace. The stock market […]

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Finding Efficiencies in the Yard Just Outside

Today’s dynamic business environment provides supply chain professionals with increasingly complex pressures from a variety of business fronts. Customers request reductions in cycle times, time-to-market, and operating costs in addition to increased order accuracy and service. Yet in the face of these challenges, many companies focus only on maximizing efficiency within the four walls of […]

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Getting a Grip on Service Parts Operations

Companies have been under tremendous price and volume pressure in the finished goods business for quite some time, but services and parts is the logical next opportunity to improve revenue, boost profits, and directly impact customer satisfaction. In fact, Piper Jaffrey U.S. Bancorp estimates that spare parts represent $700 billion in spending and eight percent […]

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Yellow/Roadway: Changing Directions

Every September, Inbound Logistics offers readers a review of the trucking segment. The big news this year is Yellow Freight buying its competitor, Roadway. This unexpected move was driven by economic, competitive, and strategic reasons. As we saw with Consolidated Freightways’ demise, size alone is not a reliable indicator of stability. Good management, aggressiveness, and […]

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SEKO Moves Forward into IT

The supply chain offers too much and delivers too little. This argument has been leveled for years against ERP software applications and the complexity of their implementation. The counter-argument is that companies who use supply chain management successfully—such as Wal-Mart and Dell—have made it an essential part of their business success. These companies don’t just […]

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What’s Next in Outsourcing’s Evolution?

Regardless of the complexities of Darwinian theory, it is easy to find similarities between the evolution of man and outsourcing supply chain functions. After all, there was a time in my career when “postponement strategies” seemed as foreign a phrase as “australopithecines” (an extinct humanlike primate). What was once fancy speak now seems no more […]

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