Nigel Hughes

Benchmarking Keeps Logistics IT Outsourcing On Track

Logistics departments rely on technology to drive operational excellence. Benchmarking—analyzing an organization’s performance against the comparable activities of another or its own over time—has traditionally been applied to validate and/or improve a service contract’s value. In an economy characterized by unstable growth and eroding margins, optimal logistics IT performance is necessary for companies to remain […]

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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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Lars Kloch

Preparing for an Ocean Capacity Crunch

Shipping lines are suffering from an oversupply of vessel capacity on key Transatlantic and Asia-Europe trade lanes. Normally, this situation would be good news for shippers, because it means they have plenty of access to capacity—and the upper hand in negotiations with ocean carriers. Shippers should be worried about the overcapacity situation, combined with rapidly […]

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Paul A. Myerson

The Journey to Continuous Supply Chain Improvement

For the past several years, businesses have focused on cutting supply chain and logistics costs. Their efforts have been partially successful, but they have left a lot on the table, not only in terms of cost reduction opportunities, but also productivity and quality. Applying lean manufacturing principles to supply chain and logistics operations is one […]

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Tamara Dwyer

The Three Pillars of Effective Returns Management

Returns management presents both challenges and opportunities for inbound logistics. Waste management regulations and non-compliance penalties are increasing. Rising commodity prices and a growing secondary marketplace, however, create an opportunity to recover value from used and scrapped materials. A cost-effective reverse logistics program connects the incoming supply of returns with the product information and demand […]

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Joel Sutherland

Universities Produce Supply Chain Management Talent

Where do companies find their supply chain talent? Does that talent match their needs? Are supply chain management skill requirements the same across all industries? Firms, universities, and professional associations have struggled with these questions for years, and there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Universities are similar to manufacturing companies in that, to survive and prosper, […]

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Dan Lockwood

3PLs: Going Beyond Savings to True Value

Although shipping is an integral and expensive part of daily operations, other considerations often take priority. This may result in unhappy customers, increased shipping costs, and time wasted resolving issues. Companies looking to increase efficiency and maximize shipping dollars often turn to third-party logistics (3PL) providers, one-stop resources that facilitate shipping and logistics needs. 3PLs […]

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Angela Yang

5 Ways to Excel in China

China and the wider Asia-Pacific market present an incredible opportunity for businesses seeking to manufacture products, source suppliers, or tap into end markets and sell products to consumers. But a strategic business shift into China takes careful consideration, especially when it comes to supply chain, warehousing, and distribution decisions. Here are five strategies for successfully […]

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Daniel Griswold

Getting in the Zone: FTZs Fuel Improved Logistics

For decades, America’s foreign trade zones (FTZs) have provided a valuable platform for U.S. companies competing in global export markets. The FTZ program was established in 1934 to expedite and encourage foreign commerce. The nation’s 500 zones and subzones are secured areas, often near or adjacent to U.S. ports of entry, and are considered outside […]

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Henry Hicks

Managing Supply Chain Disruptions

These are challenging times for supply chain managers. During the past few years, a range of events and natural disasters has severely disrupted global supply chains, causing far-reaching effects across diverse geographies and markets. Yet today’s logistics landscape also holds huge potential for supply chain technology developments that help organizations better manage catastrophic events, as […]

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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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Elisha Tropper

The Truth Behind “Made in the USA”

Much talk across the American political and economic landscape centers around the importance of domestic manufacturing. Yet the issue and challenges of "Made in the USA" are so poorly understood that fatalistic hand-wringing and stump speech vitriol are obfuscating its rapidly emerging potential for near-term revitalization. Revitalization implies that there has been a reduction in […]

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Tod Yazdi

Dealing With Daily-Deal Sites

New sales channels have enhanced supply chain complexity. Consumers who wish to buy a sweatshirt, for example, can make their purchase from the local mall; a big box retailer such as Walmart or Target; a catalog; a direct-response television ad or shopping network; or a Web site. Shoppers might also receive an email from Groupon, […]

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Robert Byrne

Use Transportation Planning for Competitive Advantage

Learning to thrive in a volatile market goes beyond simply controlling its effects; successful companies must navigate challenges to create competitive advantage. Three factors add complexity for today’s transportation planners. First, the U.S. gross domestic product grew by two percent in the third quarter of 2011, with personal consumption up 2.3 percent. Increased spending creates […]

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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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Felecia Stratton

The Art of Integration

When supply chain disruptions occur, as they did last year during the Thailand floods, Japan earthquake and tsunami, and more, integration grows more important and grabs more attention. But the readers of this magazine have been practicing a higher form of integration for quite some time—demand-driven logistics. You try new modal mixes, new technologies, blending […]

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Protesting Economic Ignorance

I’m a big fan of freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and peaceful protest to effect change. But when exercising these rights, protesters must be aware of unintended consequences and potential collateral damage.

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