Articles

Commentary

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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Liability Lessons Learned in 2005

This year began with expectations that insurance rates would finally decline as markets recovered from the effects of Sept. 11. Over the past several years, insurers imposed strict underwriting disciplines to restore profitability to the market, which, in turn, attracted new capital. This brought about greater competition and with it, the prospect of softening premiums. […]

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Identifying Products: It’s Not Just About RFID

Not all issues surrounding proper identification of products involve RFID. Companies must address some core challenges to reap the maximum benefits of product identification and visibility. In this age of RFID research, development, hype, good works, pilots, case studies, claims, ever-evolving standards, and the force of the big gorillas—super-retailer Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense—it’s […]

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William J. Augello, Esq.

Getting Time Limits on Your Side

Shippers are familiar with the rule that they must file claims against carriers in writing within the time limits defined in carriers’ bills of lading or tariffs, or in government statutes or treaties. But rules have exceptions. The Carmack Amendment, for example, states that a motor carrier, freight forwarder, or railroad may not limit the […]

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Does RFID Pass the Return on Assets Test?

Proponents rarely discuss RFID without claiming dramatic inventory savings. These savings, however, require businesses to invest in RFID and wait to reap returns. When evaluating investments—such as RFID—aimed at reducing inventory and working capital, consider the impact on Return on Assets (ROA), a proven indicator of an investment’s financial impact. ROA is calculated as revenue […]

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Freight Damage Claims: Know, Act, Reap

The Latin phrase Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est may be the most quoted maxim of our information age—knowledge is power. In business we use the “knowledge is power” principle to shape our decisions so we can reap positive long-term rewards. One unsung area where properly applied knowledge yields power is comprehensive management of the freight damage […]

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Diversifying Your Supply Chain Portfolio

Diversification is a sound strategy for investors and logisticians alike. Just as those skilled in arbitrage hedge investments to mitigate risk and allow for modest portfolio growth by taking advantage of small value increases in other areas, supply chain practitioners diversify their proprietary and outsourced logistics assets—abroad and at home—to lay off risk, reduce costs, […]

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Working on the Railroads

The recent fuel crisis emphasizes just how much we need our national rail system. The rails, with their efficient fuel usage, are a vital link in most supply chains; the only link in others. Rail hubs and intermodal transportation connect shippers to truckers, and to ocean and air carriers. But the fuel crisis has also […]

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States Targeting Logistics Hit the Bull’s-Eye

How much do you know about state and local economic development policy? Here’s a quiz. Check which industry is most favored in terms of federal, state, and local tax incentives: Industry A, where national employment has grown by 12 percent over the last five years, and will continue to accelerate with the globalization of the […]

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Supply Chain Security: Fact vs. Fiction

Man has always been intrigued by transmutation—transforming one element into another. In days of old, we tried changing lead into gold. Today, some are trying to convert the public’s fear of supply chain vulnerabilities into political currency, or solid gold votes. While concern is warranted, some choose to grandstand by floating obviously impossible solutions against […]

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Buying Business Insurance? Dig Deeper

Q: It has been four years since the events of Sept. 11 caused the world’s insurance market to restrict coverage and raise prices. Now, many are wondering if Hurricane Katrina will have the same effect on insurance. What do forecasters predict? A: Insurers are still assessing Hurricane Katrina’s financial impact, gathering details on the magnitude […]

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