Articles

Commentary

Drilling Down to Core Competencies

With increased competition in a sluggish economy, many companies are getting back to basics by re-focusing on critical operational elements and recommitting themselves to the principles on which their businesses were built. Have you taken a step back to examine your company and determine what truly makes it better than the competition? Not in terms […]

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A 2001 Supply Chain Odyssey

Had science-fiction guru Stanley Kubrick been a logistician, even he would have been hard-pressed to envision or even script an odyssey as surreal and unimaginable as 2001. Californians spent the beginning of the year in the dark—literally—as gas and oil prices skyrocketed and fuel surcharges became an added burden. If ever there was a doubt […]

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Ensuring Security Through Visibility

We have all become more security conscious in the last few months. Keeping tabs on processes has never been a bad idea, but under today’s circumstances better visibility, closer attention to procedures, and tight recordkeeping make the flow of information about personnel and goods all the more useful within the supply chain. Supply chain video […]

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Ports Play Role in Homeland Defense

Rizak Amid Farid was arrested in Italy on Oct. 18 after police found him hiding in a container bound for Canada. The container was equipped with a satellite phone, two cell phones, a laptop, a bed, a bathroom, and enough food for an extended trip. Farid carried falsified passports, and documents identifying him as an […]

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Many Happy Returns

Recent events have compelled many businesses to narrow their focus on specific components within the supply chain. But in terms of product recalls, the potential impact a product defect might have on other manufacturing, distribution, and transportation processes demands that companies take a broader view of the supply chain. This past year, several widely publicized, […]

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When Should You Outsource Transportation?

Outsourcing non-core competencies has now become a widely accepted practice across many industries. One company may outsource IT hosting capabilities while another outsources customer service and yet another fulfillment needs. Consider the many retailers who have outsourced their fulfillment to third-party logistics (3PL) providers the past few years. A retailer’s strength is in selling directly […]

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Bringing Logistics Out of Medieval Mode

At the end of the quarter, as salespeople demand that items move off the dock and into revenue status, logistics specialists find their faxes humming, phones ringing, and desktops overflowing with paper. The struggle to meet the transportation needs of customers and move products across international borders would be easier were it not for the […]

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CLM Shows Resolve

Shortly after the tragic events of Sept. 11, we received reports of several logistics industry events being cancelled. There was also some question as to whether one of the most important logistics meetings of the year would take place. The Council of Logistics Management made the right call deciding to proceed with its annual conference. […]

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VMI: Managing Supply Based on Demand

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is not a new application, but its role in today’s supply chain is attracting more and more interest. Driven by a need for greater competence in supply chain processes, the roles some supply chain partners play are shifting away from traditional inventory management. Now, the vendor tracks the quantity of products […]

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September 11, 2001

I don’t have the ability or, at this time, the inclination to craft the correct words that describe to you what happened on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Let me just relate what I saw, thought, and felt on that day. The morning was clear and bright, with perfect weather. My routine was […]

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On the Economy: Good Thing Johnny Can’t Read

It’s back to school time, when some folks’ thoughts turn to the lack of educational excellence in America: “Why Johnny can’t read.” But there could be a side benefit: “Johnny” is not reading the bad press about the economy. He and Mrs. Johnny keep right on going to the mall. While it’s true certain segments […]

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Inventory Trendspotting: Qualifying Suppliers Online

One common way to identify emerging technology trends is to follow the trails of strategic partnerships between companies. While these agreements often result in the implementation of a new technology, at the very least they can enhance a technology that in turn augments a service to some customer within the supply chain. One such partnership […]

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Moving Furniture the Right Way

The online furniture community recently has seen its share of well-publicized supply chain failures. From my perspective as a transportation provider to this specialized niche, these online firms did not seriously consider product distribution issues. Granted, other customer-related consequences contributed to the difficulties, but it is impossible to overcome critical distribution problems. Most of these […]

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Jack the Giant Killer

In the fabled tale of old, Jack the Giant Killer, a smaller, more wily competitor (who also has a friend with special powers) whips a larger, more powerful foe. It can happen in modern times too, logistically speaking. Let’s consider a real-world example of how using a 3PL helps a company operate successfully against competitors […]

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SCM Software: An Intelligent Response to a Complex Need

Our current set of ERP applications grew out of an array of MRP and MRP II applications and their extensions. ERP took its cast from MRP and therefore was created first and foremost for transaction processing, data collection, and reporting of that data. Its motivation and structure came out of the financial world and naturally […]

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Gan’s the Man

As editor of Inbound Logistics, I get plenty of mail from readers. This month, I was bypassed. All your mail went straight to Gan McManus, the fictional hero of Strikepoint . It’s only fair to turn this column over to Gan and let him talk to you directly. —Felecia Stratton, Editor Wow. I want to […]

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SCEM: Managing Problems Before They Happen

The recent advent of trading communities, trading partners, and the resulting issue of collaboration strategies has placed a new emphasis on supply chain web applications. As if the supply chain market needs additional heat, the economics of the time call for increased monitoring of business processes. Supply chain managers want that monitoring to anticipate problems […]

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