Articles

Commentary

Logistics Managers Earn Job Security

As recently as a decade ago, most U.S.-based companies’ supply chains were predominantly domestic, and providing manufacturing support to U.S. factories was a booming business. Today, however, global supply chains dominate and the number of U.S. plants to support is dwindling. As a result, many North American supply chain professionals are concerned about how their […]

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Combating Congestion: Consider Moving Out

Americans have seen tremendous technological advancement in the past 50 years. We operate and communicate at a faster pace, with one glaring exception: the physical movement of people and products. We still move goods on the same transportation infrastructure that President Eisenhower created in the 1950s. Back then, infrastructure was created to accommodate the growth […]

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Who Ruined the Inventory?

If you got a call from a customer complaining that the temperature-sensitive goods you shipped were ruined, would you be able to track down where and how it happened? If the problem was on their end, could you prove it? What if a supplier sent your company decayed goods? Nobody needs disputes like this wreaking […]

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Proper Hazmat Training Needs to Catch Fire

Hazmat shipments are a common feature of U.S. supply chains. Yet for many businesses, training does not match the frequency with which these products are moving. In 1996, 800,000 movements of hazardous material were made daily in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates. Conservative estimates today put that number closer […]

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The Case for a Global Trading Partner Network

America’s appetite for imports continues to grow—in 2006, the United States imported a record $1.6 trillion of goods, according to U.S. Customs. But today’s global trade practices are highly fragmented. A typical overseas purchase, for example, requires the various parties in the logistics process to trade more than 60 different documents across partners, countries, languages, […]

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The Best Companies Hire the Best People

In today’s complex business environment, nothing is more important than justifying dollar impact. In sports, when a team wants to win a championship, the least expensive option is never considered. Managers want to ensure a win, regardless of cost. They are looking at Return on Investment (ROI). Likewise, all business functions ranging from sales and […]

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One Small Victory

What were the legislators in Michigan thinking? What started out three years ago as a grass roots voter initiative to simplify tax procedures ended up as a six-percent state tax on warehousing and logistics activities. Clearly an anti-labor, anti-business, and anti-economic development move by Michigan lawmakers who forgot they preside over the state with the […]

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2008: Applying What We Learned

In this last column of 2007, I thought I’d look back at some practical issues addressed last year, and speculate on future trends in supply chain risk and liability. Insurers will broaden their scope. In October, we heard from a logistics operator whose business grew, through an acquisition, from handling and transporting air cargo to […]

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Managing the Mess on the High Seas

Logistics managers have given much thought to streamlining land and air transportation. But water transport still lags behind – and the fallout can have significant impact on even the best laid logistics plans. This is especially critical in a world where overseas sourcing has become the norm rather than the exception for North American companies. […]

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Technology Collaboration Enables Visibility and Security

Complete Document and Shipment Visibility (CDSV) is a concept that enables trading partners to have 100-percent visibility to the condition, status, and location of international shipments in a paperless environment. The concept allows shipment stakeholders to know the exact status of inventory and finished goods in the pipeline. CDSV also contributes to eliminating supply chain […]

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Converting Performance to Profitability

A workplace culture can be productive or disruptive, profitable or unprofitable. It is up to management to decide—or allow someone else to define a company’s culture. The United Nations defines culture as a “set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional features of society or a social group. It encompasses ways of living together, value […]

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Changing Directions Involves Tough Choices

Imagine walking into a board meeting in one of the largest companies in the world and telling your management peers you can streamline the company’s global operations from 87 vertical-silo supply chains into a horizontally integrated network of five—then doing it. That’s the story Carly Fiorina shared with Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) […]

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Co-Sourcing: Two Companies Acting As One

You might worry about outsourcing your company’s entire supply chain—not enough control, too many unknowns, not worth the risk. But you can focus 100 percent of your attention on your core business functions and still keep a close connection with your supply chain through co-sourcing, a custom-tailored system designed to provide the logistics and supply […]

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Know Your Freight Costs

Warehousing and distribution continue to be the hottest sectors in site selection. In fact, when researching a five-state region for a client to determine the most active industry sectors, warehousing and distribution topped the list. This location pattern is taking place nationwide. It is a trend that will continue as retail expansion drives more and […]

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The Shipper Empire Strikes Back

Sitting in the cab of a Class-8 truck provides a great real-time view of the country’s landscape, as we saw in the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) recent ad campaign. Sitting across the table from a present or prospective shipper, however, may present the best view of the future for both carriers and shippers. Today, transportation […]

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Railroad RXR?

The nation is at a crossroads on how to handle the rail industry in the coming decades. While much attention has been paid to the state of the nation’s highways in light of the I-35 bridge collapse, a new Association of American Railroads study indicates that U.S. railroads need an overhaul, too. The National Rail […]

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