Articles

Commentary

Using KPIs to Optimize Transportation Data

Data drives sound business decisions. The same principle applies to decisions surrounding transportation issues. Specifically for parcel, the best data source is carrier invoices, supplemented by the manifest (TMS) data where possible. Your carriers should make invoice data easily available, especially if you use a third-party vendor to review and pay your invoices. They should […]

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GOOD QUESTION | What is the best business book you ever read and why?

One of the best quick-study books I have read is Winning Every Day by Lou Holtz. Catering to the sports enthusiast, the book reminds readers the fundamental element of business is that people are led, not managed, to success. Defining the differences and connection between talent, motivation, and attitude, Holtz lays out a game plan […]

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Masters of the Future

I have a secret: I can see the future. Anyone who reads business media can tell you that many professionals in my generation fear for the future of the workforce. Doomsayers claim that all millennials are lazy, and Generation Z is needy and co-dependent on Google and their devices. I’m lucky, however. I get an […]

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Collaborative Supplier Management: The Key to Beating Holiday Fever

The holiday season—and accompanying spike in product demand—is no longer confined to the end of the year. With holiday celebrations in at least eight months each year—from Valentine’s Day to Easter and the Fourth of July—and nearly every product category from candy to clothing and home furnishings affected, retailers need to fine-tune their e-commerce strategy […]

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Purchasing a Cloud-Based WMS? Get Grounded

Warehouse management systems (WMS) run the gamut from sophisticated and flexible standalone options to supply chain execution suites to enterprise resource planning tool extensions. As with many data-driven functions, cloud-based solutions have grown in prominence and mindshare. One of the biggest misconceptions, however, is that adopting a cloud solution naturally drives cost savings. But hidden […]

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Reliable Rail Service Hinges on Reform

Freight rail is a vital link in the logistics professional’s arsenal, connecting businesses with downstream users and consumers. America’s railway system has a long and storied history, playing a pivotal role in the growth of our nation. Until recently, 26 railroads were in operation. Today, there are only seven rail providers, with just four controlling […]

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Supply Chain Be Nimble,
Supply Chain Be Quick

To deliver a seamless and positive customer experience, retailers must adopt an omnichannel mindset and ensure supply networks are nimble enough to quickly respond to consumer demand, regardless of where or how shoppers interact with their brands. Omnichannel retail is synonymous with speed—shorter product lifecycle, quicker turnaround on promotion, and faster delivery expected by customers. […]

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The Economy Will Grow. Is That Bad News?

For this annual trucking issue, we surveyed both shippers and carriers on important issues impacting the trucking industry. Most importantly, we solicited their views on the state of the economy as we head into 2018. The good news: not one shipper or carrier responding to our survey thinks that the economy will head south in […]

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Global Supply Chain Risk: Don’t Wait, Mitigate

Having a global supply chain risk management strategy in place can not only increase value to your customers but also reduce your costs and increase performance. Companies globalize supply chain management to increase competitive advantage, add value to the customer, and reduce costs through global sourcing. But global supply chains also increase risks from considerations […]

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What’s the most interesting or unusual supply chain problem you’ve solved?

What’s the most interesting or unusual supply chain problem you’ve solved?

How to ship toy motorcycles made out of magnets and tubes to retail stores around the country without them falling apart. They were used as a display for a toy kit. Our solution was to put them in a small cooler, fill the cooler with water, freeze the entire contents of the cooler, and ship out. Upon arrival at the retail store, they were thawed, dried, and displayed. It worked beautifully.

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It Happens Automagically

I heard the phrase “it happens automagically” not long ago, and it reminded me of an editorial I wrote in 2000, when I mused that one day we’d have “a global internet without wires, melded with interaction free detection—finding something without looking.” Today, it is real and it happened sooner than I expected. The Internet […]

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Global Trade Content: Unlocking the Supply Chain Value

New Content-as-a-Service solutions deliver content that exists outside an organization. This outside-in perspective is spurring companies to find new value to make supply chain planning and execution inherently more intelligent—especially when it comes to global trade. Content solutions can, for example, help companies properly classify goods to ensure compliance while minimizing duties and tariffs; research, […]

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Developing Innovative Delivery Services That Delight Customers

To compete in today’s retail landscape, companies must differentiate themselves to meet consumer demands and drive brand loyalty. Many retailers are reassessing every aspect of their supply chains—including their delivery services—and implementing digital processes to ensure superior consumer experiences. Many consumers are willing to pay more for a better shopping experience. In recent years, retailers […]

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How to Make Your Region a Logistics Hotspot

How does a region become a logistics hotspot? Take Southern Arizona, for example: The region’s national economic impact has grown by $18.7 billion over the past decade, helping to revitalize the area, grow the population, and create thousands of jobs. Southern Arizona, with a population of 1.6 million, is one of the fastest growing mega-regions […]

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Bad News, Good News

Why does logistics giant XPO Logistics invest $500 million annually on IT to drive its business? The explosion in e-commerce, according to Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO. But it’s not only consumers who have been acculturated to supply chain impatience. Purchasing, buyers, and supply managers in industrial sectors also feel the need for speed—and for […]

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Updating Einstein?

Einstein said the faster an object moves, the slower time seems to pass. Well, not for me. The increased speed at which products now move through the supply chain seems to have the same impact on my calendar. I can’t believe half the year is gone, and in the blink of an eye it will […]

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