Articles

Commentary

Container Carriers: Why Can’t We Make Red Tape a Thing of the Past?

Container shipping is one of the world’s youngest industries—younger, in fact, than the computer industry. When Malcolm McLean drove the first container onto a ship less than 50 years ago, Big Blue was already churning out early computing and communication systems. Despite the rapid evolution of computer technology, container shipping companies still fail to grasp […]

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Building a High-Velocity Supply Chain Network

Managing an extended supply chain network effectively requires coordination among many geographically dispersed partners. Done well, you can reduce operational costs and increase bottom-line profitability and customer loyalty. Done poorly, you can face increased personnel, as well as higher inventory and rush charges, all incurred in an attempt to avoid dissatisfied customers. With increasing decentralization […]

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Proactive Returns Management Yields Hard ROI

Multi-channel product distribution and stiff competition for more demanding and discerning customers require creative strategies for managing and maintaining customer relationships. As companies search for areas of opportunity to meet these needs, returns management tops the list.Product returns and their impact on a company’s bottom line is an age-old problem. The complexities of reverse product […]

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CF Bankruptcy: Labor Day

Consolidated Freightways files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Labor Day. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Can part of the reason for the demise of this once great carrier be laid at organized labor’s door? I remember meeting with two highly-placed CF executives six years ago. They were making the rounds, explaining to the press […]

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What’s Behind mySAP’s Technology?

The technology behind mySAP’s Supply Chain Management module—which spans planning, execution, networking, and coordination processes—bears closer review. mySAP SCM is built upon industry standards such as HTML, XML, and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). These tools ensure interoperability and flexibility. Part of SAP’s flexible optimization strategy is the use of user-specific heuristics. “Within SAP, heuristics are […]

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Truckers Unite to Combat Terrorism

Last September, our nation and the trucking industry were shaken by the realization of our vulnerability to terrorist attacks. While the trucking industry has fought to combat cargo theft and address other security concerns for many years, never before have we considered the magnitude of tragedy that can occur when cargo and equipment fall into […]

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Handling the Rigors of Global Compliance

Compliance is an intrinsically complex and often misunderstood part of the global supply chain. Unlike other functions such as purchasing and receiving, which generate a lot of attention and activity, successful compliance is gauged when absolutely nothing happens—when freight leaves its origin and arrives at its destination on time and intact. But as soon as […]

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Food Retail: It’s a Jungle Out There

I was watching The Discovery Channel with my son the other day and saw a program about a group of cheetah hunting a lone springbok. Menaced from the front, sides, and rear the antelope leapt high in the air, and dodged from side to side to escape the jaws and claws of its larger, faster […]

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For SAP, Size No Longer Matters

In this era of business change, even the biggest supply chain technology providers are reaching out to small- and mid-sized companies, creating new products, and making it easier for companies to respond to their offerings. Much of their focus is also targeted toward easier implementation. Industry stalwart SAP has responded to these changes in business […]

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Transforming Companies and Services on the Web

Developments in information technology are transforming the logistics industry by expanding the capabilities of logistics providers and enabling them to automate services to enhance customer support. Using the web, a logistics company can offer a variety of services and information to you without requiring them to invest in special software programs. Logistics services providers are […]

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Tapping Into SRM for Supply Strategy and Procurement Execution

Manufacturers today have an opportunity to leverage their supply base for competitive advantage. Unfortunately, most do not have the tools required to tap this value. For the last decade they have focused mainly on growth issues such as supply chain planning and customer relationship management. As the engine of growth has stalled, manufacturers are casting […]

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3PL Growth: Strange But True

In any field, find the strangest thing and explore it,” said renowned physicist John Wheeler. “You can learn a lot about your world if you take that approach.” Well, perhaps the strangest thing in our world of transportation is the advent of the 3PL. Many say buying transportation is just about buying a commodity—”I don’t […]

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Clicking Toward Dynamic Carrier Selection

As supply chain technology evolves, service providers continually refine their offerings to deal with specific challenges. One difficulty many companies face is finding the optimal carrier for a shipment. To address this, Clicklogistics, currently being acquired by Yellow Corporation’s Meridian IQ division, recently launched version 3.0 of its web-native transportation management system (TMS) featuring a […]

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The 4 T’s of SC Excellence: Timing, Trust, Transparency, Technology

Last month, 75 years after Charles Lindbergh’s landing in Paris, his grandson Erik recreated the historic trans-Atlantic run. Charles navigated by sight—flying low and sticking his head out the window. Erik flew with advanced avionics and a sealed, heated cabin. What else has—and hasn’t—changed since the original flight? Both flights were as much logistical as […]

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Inbound Logistics: Playing the Name Game

“You are so much more than just inbound.” “Inbound Logistics…is this a magazine about importing?” “Why do you cover only inbound transportation?” So why do we call the magazine Inbound Logistics? Over the years, I have been asked this question, and at a logistics trade show in Chicago last month, I was asked it repeatedly. […]

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Elite System Boosts Supply Chain Visibility

Web-based businesses continue to grow and become more sophisticated, especially when it comes to the supply chain. Technology that was once the exclusive provenance of CAD programs and complex industrial or financial GUIs now has a good chance of being used in applications that serve the supply chain. Clearly companies need greater visibility along as […]

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Raking in the Trash

“It’s only trash.” That’s how supply chain managers often refer to the mountains of packing material, broken pallets, paper, and other trash that clutters distribution facilities. For most companies, disposal is an expense item, with additional costs for compactors, waste bins, carting, landfill use, and myriad other variables. With a little of the same skill […]

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