Articles

Commentary

Prospective RFID Users Face Supply Chain Challenges

Although radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is not new to logistics or the supply chain, interest—and the need for interest in it—has skyrocketed. Alarms set off by the Department of Defense and Wal-Mart, among others, has many a supply chain manager in a tizzy. The DoD and Wal-Mart now mandate that all cases and pallets […]

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IT Does Matter

Arguably the most important development impacting transportation, except for the invention of the wheel, has been the application of information technology. Yes, I know, the nationwide rail network, the excellent interstate highway system, the containerization concept, the Panama Canal … But the reason I think logistics IT is preeminently important is because it impacts everyone […]

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Integrating SCM with Product Lifecycles

All manufactured products move through a cycle of creation to maturity to decline. There are exceptions—a dairy product such as milk, for example—but the general rule is that product evolution is a stark reality within the manufacturing enterprise. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software recognizes this. Let us look at the process of product lifecycle management […]

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Penetrating the U.S. Market With No Warehousing Investment

Warehousing just got a major facelift in the global supply chain world. Companies are starting to globally expand their product markets without the added weight of materials management, warehousing and distribution costs—and without adding staff in new markets. An excellent example of this new logistics trend is a Middle East manufacturer of ready-to-assemble consumer PVC […]

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Breaking the Size Barrier in Global Logistics

The last three years have brought a whirlwind of activity to global sourcing, which eliminated many traditional manufacturing jobs in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the manufacturing workforce in the United States shrank by two million production jobs between 2000 and 2003. Headlines appear weekly with news of more outsourcing […]

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C-TPAT: Staying Ahead of the Curve

John, the newly appointed Ohio Valley plant manager, arrived at his desk 6:30 a.m. Monday with a plan to organize the week. He was surprised when almost immediately the phone rang. It was a freight forwarder in Hong Kong wanting to speak with the plant’s logistics manager, Barbara. The forwarder told John that some electronics […]

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The Politics of Fear

Media-amplified hysteria and politicization of homeland security in certain circles may be driving security policies toward unreality. Some believe that the only way to protect good people from bad people is to lock down the good people instead of aggressively sanctioning the bad. Are we over-emphasizing security at the expense of interdiction in the war […]

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Inner City Direct-to-Store Delivery: Complex but Improving

Last month’s column dealt with the problems associated with transportation and logistics in an inner city environment. The staff and manager of a New York City supermarket, in their attempt to receive a shipment, were faced with numerous challenges such as parking restrictions and limited access to delivery doors. The problem of receiving, however, is […]

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Please Don’t Squeeze the 3PL

When is it practical to develop a cost-plus relationship? Many companies that outsource spend up to 60 percent of their logistics management time defining, selecting and negotiating the 3PL agreement yet do not fully realize the total benefits available from the outsourced relationship. The cost-plus agreement must allow the outsourcer to maximize the ROI from […]

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The What, Not the Where, of Site Selection

While much has been written about site selection from the real estate and cost reduction perspective, little has focused on the supply chain management perspective. What’s the difference? To start with, true SCM focuses on adding value to the customer and sharing that gain with all the component links in the supply chain. Rather than […]

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Easing the Impact of HOS Regulations

With the new Hours of Service (HOS) regulations now in effect for transportation providers, transportation management systems (TMS) are coming to the aid of shippers. The systems help shippers assess the impact of the new guidelines, incorporate the regulations into automated processes, and identify areas of improvement to minimize the financial impact of the regulations […]

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Forging Industry-Academia Partnerships

Economic pressure derived from reduced state and federal funding has fueled escalating tuition costs. As a result, government, taxpayers, parents, and business practitioners are paying closer attention to the activities of business faculty. Critics contend that higher business education is breaking down, that the system is churning out irrelevant academic research and training students to […]

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Who is the Typical IL Reader?

Who are the typical Inbound Logistics readers? They are the unusual mixture of the practical and theoretical. Straining their brains to solve the seemingly unsolvable, yet not afraid to get dirt under their fingernails to get the job done. They understand the complex algorithm that helps rationalize the unpredictability of future demand, yet they are […]

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Direct-to-Store Deliveries: Not Always Easy

Some software providers see their goal as offering a fully automated supply chain. It is a great goal and one that can have significant bottom-line results. Between the striving for that goal and the reality of achieving it, however, some setbacks can occur. These problems are the consequence of the reality within which we live. […]

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