Articles

How-To

Setting Data Standards

The purpose of any automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) system is to provide a quick and accurate way to enter data into an IT system. But the old maxim, garbage in, garbage out still applies. Without a consistent means to represent data within a bar code, RFID tag, XML, or other form of data […]

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Getting Started With RFID

While bar codes took more than 25 years to evolve, RFID is being adopted quickly in the marketplace. By 2007, RFID technology budgets will double, RFID tag purchases will reach 1.6 billion, and 83 percent of today’s pilots will convert to full-scale implementations, predicts Accenture’s global management consulting and technology team. In a 2005 interview […]

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Selecting an International Air Carrier

When you ship by air, you need to look at the global picture. With world boundaries changing so frequently, and the European Economic Community continuing to emerge and develop, air cargo customs clearance and shipment tracking have become more challenging. You can simplify these challenges, however, by selecting the right air carrier/forwarder partner. Here’s how, […]

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Locating a European Distribution Hub

It’s official. You’ve decided to take your company global, and because it is no longer cost-effective to reach international customers from your U.S. operation, you need to open a European distribution center. Finding the best place to locate that hub is key. The European Union is made up of 25 countries, all with their own […]

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Monitoring LTL Carrier Performance

If you don’t evaluate your less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers monthly, start now. The only product an LTL carrier has to offer is service, so monitoring is crucial. Every aspect of your evaluation should reflect on how the carrier provides—or fails to provide—the service you require and expect. Joe Heilig, senior transportation specialist for EnVista, a logistics […]

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Getting ROI from RFID

With so many companies providing RFID systems, and so many expensive choices, how do you buy smart? Here are 10 tips on selecting an RFID system that provides a return on investment, according to a customer survey by Waltham, Mass.-based OAT Systems Inc., an RFID software and services provider. 1. Get educated. Learn best practices […]

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Boosting Loading Dock Safety and Productivity

The loading dock is a critical component of the Material Transfer Zone (MTZ), whic. reaches from the drive approach into the shipping/receiving/staging area. The MTZ covers a broad range of concerns including: dock positioning and design, trailer design, load configuration, dock equipment systems, and the interaction between material handling vehicles and product shipments. A smooth-flowing […]

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Selecting a Freight Broker

The truck capacity shortages shippers experienced last fall are sure to continue as the year goes on. But armed with a good freight broker, you can weather the storm. Many shippers turn to brokers when freight demand far outstrips carrier capacity. Shippers using a broker can access increased capacity without the hassle of managing new […]

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Negotiating With Railroads

How can you get the best bang for your buck when negotiating with railroads to ship your products? Following a systematic approach and developing a list of priorities helps ensure good rail service at a good price, according to Todd Hoyt, director of business development, supply chain services, BNSF Logistics. 1. Prepare a history. Before […]

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Selecting a 3PL Without an RFP

Eleven years ago, Chuck Franzetta, president of logistics consulting group Franzetta Associates, was asked to consult for a major transportation entity trying to to jump-start its struggling third-party logistics division. He discovered that the 3PL was primarily focused on preparing detailed responses to a slew of RFPs (Request for Proposal), which cost the company a […]

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