Articles

Commentary

Cycle Time Reduction Gives Life to Productivity

Manufacturers that can’t deliver on time won’t keep their customers happy—or keep them at all. This reality is all the more reason why small and mid-sized manufacturers need to get their products into customers’ hands as quickly as possible. Often, however, bottlenecks in the production process make this impossible. The following scenarios of lost productivity […]

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Feeling Full: More is More

When choosing the mix of articles, and setting their length, for our annual Logistics Planner issue, I have more freedom than usual. As an editor, I normally face tremendous pressure to keep things brief in recognition of, or perhaps in surrender to, today’s quick reading habits. Each issue, I struggle with a brevity bias, as […]

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Keith Biondo

Descartes Was Wrong … and Right

Descartes divided our world into two distinct parts—”extended things,” things that are real, existing in the physical world and “thinking things,” thoughts and memories. Descartes was wrong. That’s what New York scientist Timothy Tully says and he is out to prove it. How? By using molecular biology to break down thoughts into physical components. He […]

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Where the Supply Chain Meets the Value Chain

By taking a different approach to the way we look at certain objects and processes, we gain the benefit of objectivity. A similar method holds true when looking at the supply chain. It is the nature of systems, especially complex ones such as in the supply chain, to evolve and change. Part of the pressure […]

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Building Bridges With Your 3PLs

With competition at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to develop a trusting relationship with your logistics partners. As the logistics business grows, 3PLs offer services that encompass the entire supply chain. They no longer just manage your warehouse—today they offer global solutions that include transportation, warehousing, customs, and IT services. Because […]

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If You Spend IT, Efficiencies Will Come

While corporate departments such as operations are often high on the list for systems improvements, logistics departments are usually close to the bottom of the pecking order. As a result, many supply chain management systems are woefully behind the times. This, however, doesn’ t mean that logistics professionals have to or should accept this slight […]

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Reducing Supply Chain Costs: Spend More to Save More

Managers who want to reduce supply chain costs need to spend more on transportation. The key to lower supply chain costs is holding less inventory. Buying more transportation lets you reduce inventory safely. The greatest mistake that manufacturers make today is equating transportation cost reductions with total available supply chain savings. In fact, transportation savings […]

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NITL: A League All Their Own

The discussions at last month’s TransComp in Anaheim were wide ranging, covering port lockouts, homeland security, and globalization. But there was also a hint of what we might expect in 2003, and lest we grow too optimistic, economic recovery is not near at hand. A conversation I had with David Stubblefield, outgoing president of ABF, […]

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Using Aftermarket Service As a Strategic Weapon

Web-based inventory, supply chain planning, and forecasting tools are among the more important and growing applications in the supply chain industry. Within this maelstrom of supply chain management, customer relationship management, warehouse management, and ERP offerings, Atlanta, Ga.-based Servigistics is taking an aggressive position in aftermarket service. “Global leaders such as Dell, Toshiba, EMC, and […]

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Transforming Density into Savings

As companies continue to focus on supply chain management to increase efficiencies and drive down costs, they are examining every link in the supply chain—from manufacturing to logistics and transportation. But after carefully scrutinizing your supply chain and identifying strengths, one question remains: how do you turn those strengths into a means to achieve your […]

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Navigating the Rigors of NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been the catalyst for many small- to mid-sized U.S. importers to expand their comfort zone and test the waters with new suppliers and customers. While many large or multi-national importers have processes in place to determine and track eligibility for NAFTA and other special trade programs, smaller […]

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Network Software: Finding the Perfect Fit

A shift is occurring in the way logistics software is delivered. Companies have spent billions of dollars customizing, implementing, and maintaining supply chain software to improve efficiency and service. Yet, despite this investment, projects are often discontinued as software too quickly becomes shelfware. High failure rates and delayed ROI can be attributed to costs associated […]

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Are You a Logistics Laggard?

Logisticians get saddled with lots of responsibility when things go wrong—the shipment is late, the shipment is lost, the carrier filed Chapter 11, the ports are closed. Now we learn that we are not practicing “socially responsible logistics.” Talk about piling on! “The logistics discipline appears to be more of a laggard with respect to […]

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CRM Plays Crucial, Often Confusing, Role in SCM

The importance of customer relationship management (CRM) within the supply chain is vitally important. This column offers my take on some important integration issues. The customer and the customer’s customer have been a critical part of the supply chain since its inception. The customer is quite clearly what the supply chain is all about. Having […]

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You Have Entered the Material Transfer Zone

The loading dock has become a critical component of virtually any supply chain strategy. Mistakes in dock design and equipment choices can have costly consequences that ripple throughout the supply chain. For instance, slowdowns and product damage can very quickly multiply when overhead door openings are too small and dock levelers too narrow to provide […]

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CLM: The Rules are Changing

The rules are changing? I wish somebody would tell that to the longshoreman’s union. I was recently in the center of the dock lockout imbroglio in San Francisco, having made the trip to attend the Council of Logistics Management’s 2002 conference. Business as usual for dockworkers apparently means a 70+ percent increase over three years, […]

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Velant’s Automated Planning Solution

Two primary goals of transportation management are reducing costs and enhancing customer service. To meet these demands and improve its transportation planning offerings, Velant, a solution provider headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., has developed a managed service that integrates advanced technology with the expertise of logistics specialists. The company’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) is targeted at […]

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Proactive Involvement Ensures Clean 3PL Startup

When applied appropriately, an outsourcing strategy can add strategic advantage to your organization. Whether the value lies in asset efficiency, cost containment, customer service, marketing strength, or technological advantage, many 3PL customers can show measurable improvement in one or more of these areas. Customers dissatisfied with a 3PL, on the other hand, often cite unrealized […]

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