Articles

Commentary

Lessons From the Neanderthals

What do global trade, cavemen, and a TV commercial have in common? Stay with me. Did you catch the FedEx ad about a caveman using Brand X Pterosaur to ship an important stick? Instant classic! The commercial humorously shows that good transportation was as important then as it is now. Oddly enough, new research by […]

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Fostering Flexible Fulfillment

As customers pressure their suppliers to create new products, new variations of products, and new services attached to those products, the supply chain can become severely strained. It may not be enough to handle increased supply chain pressures merely by optimizing existing hardware and software solutions. An increasing need for real-time and synchronized processes exists […]

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Discrete Manufacturers Adapt to Global Economy

Supply chains are the lifeblood of discrete manufacturing—the production of distinct items. As manufacturing operations continue to transform to global enterprises, discrete manufacturers face new challenges. Orchestrating the movement of parts and components around the world is becoming as intricate as brain surgery, driving discrete manufacturers to information technology (IT) solutions to help manage global […]

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Optimize ‘Obnoxious Freight’ With DC Bypass

Companies must continually think of ways to improve supply chain and distribution networks to bolster the bottom line and enhance service levels. With so many products today manufactured overseas, the ability to maintain a streamlined network, despite market volatility, is a key competitive edge. These challenges are magnified for retail and consumer package goods companies […]

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Learning for Earnings

When this magazine made its commitment to logistics education in 1990, few undergraduate or graduate logistics studies programs were available. That is not the case today. Logistics undergraduate, post-graduate, and continuing education programs have expanded a hundredfold. MIT, for example, has seen an application growth of 20 percent annually over the last five years, reports […]

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Sourcing Out of Africa

It’s easy to say that world trade will expand based on available global resources, but it’s harder to do. We have become all too used to thinking of Asia as the prime—and almost exclusive—new supply chain market. But it is a big world, and suppliers will need even more resources if trade is to double […]

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Premium Freight Makes JIT Fit

Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing is a tremendous advantage—when everything works perfectly. But what happens when the supply chain falls out of sync—when an overseas supplier has equipment problems, environmental factors delay deliveries, or defective parts are discovered on the assembly line? How do suppliers avoid chaos and keep JIT production rolling? One solution is premium freight—last-minute […]

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Building a Warehouse Without Going Broke

A warehouse construction project is always a major undertaking. Whether you are retrofitting an existing DC or constructing a new one, it is crucial to pay attention to details so your project is done on time and within budget. Here are some tricks of the trade for controlling costs and ensuring a smooth project. Design […]

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The Million-Dollar Question: ERP or WMS?

Few supply chain decisions impact your company’s day-to-day business, financial health, and customer relations more than selecting and implementing a warehouse management system (WMS). The million-dollar question is whether to choose your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system’s warehouse module, or a specialized WMS. Today, the lines between traditional ERP and WMS vendors are blurring. ERP […]

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Fuel Surcharges: True Financial Assistance Or Sheer Profit Center?

As the news media continues to report on the rise in world oil, gasoline, and diesel prices, as well as the effects of a devastating hurricane season, you might be forgiven for thinking that fuel surcharge announcements by less-than-truckload (LTL) and small package carriers are justified. Not so forgiving are manufacturers, retailers, and industrial shippers […]

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Felecia Stratton

Marking Our First Quarter Century

25 years is a long time to be doing anything. That’s why we recognize anniversaries, sometimes with cards like the one marking Inbound Logistics’ 25th year.You’ll find it in the front of this magazine. Looking at that card, and reading its sentiments, took me on a trip down memory lane, back to our first issue. […]

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More Goes In So You Can Get More Out

Most magazines are designed to be read. The Logistics Planner issue is also designed to be used—again and again. The Planner—and its complementary digital and web profiles—help you find and source the solutions you need to be a true supply chain innovator. Many readers tell us they read the Planner profiles from A to Z […]

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Managing the Supply Chain in Reverse

Those of us who enjoy changing gears manually when we drive don’t hesitate when we have to shift into reverse. But not all reverse actions are comfortable. Taking in, sorting, and repairing or redistributing returned goods is an onerous task for many manufacturers and retailers. Unlike goods moving out of the factory, goods coming back […]

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Can Bar Codes and RFID Co-Exist?

Last year, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology became a media favorite, spurred by Wal-Mart and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) policies requiring suppliers to ship goods that can be tracked using RFID. Such attention makes it seem as if bar-code technology—today’s standard for data collection—will become obsolete overnight. This is not the case, however. Although […]

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Building a China Strategy

Every manufacturing company needs a strategically focused business plan for outsourcing supply chain activities globally. Too often, near-term pressures to reduce product costs or increase overall profitability precipitate outsourced or supplier recruitment activities in product design, manufacturing, and logistics. The decision to source value chain activity in China is certainly no exception. While the pressures […]

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Environmentalists: ‘It’s My Way, Not the Highway’

When it comes to balancing environmental concerns with the need to improve and expand the U.S. transport infrastructure, there is a right way and there is a wrong way. Take California, for example. While Governor Schwarzenegger was traveling in China on a mission to forge more trading opportunities, I was touring the part of his […]

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