Articles

How-To

Choosing a Third-Party Logistics Provider

A strong performing third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help you increase efficiency, control costs, and improve customer service. However, not all 3PLs are created equal. Tom Patterson, senior vice president of warehouse operations at Saddle Creek Logistics Services, recommends taking these steps and looking for certain characteristics to ensure you select a provider that can […]

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Improving Supply Chain Network Strategies

Today’s world of disruptors and changing consumer behaviors drives companies to continuously revisit their network strategies. Social media ads, mobile purchases, and same-day delivery changed the way we shop, and keeping customers happy has become a challenge. Jason Deloach, vice president of engineering at Americold, offers these tips to create a flexible,demand-driven supply chain. 1. […]

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Optimizing Route Planning to Cut Costs

With consumers expecting more delivery options and the return of rising fuel prices, supply chain managers are finding ways to run leaner. For instance, ensuring transportation operations are making the most efficient use of vehicles, fuel, and drivers is a high priority. William Salter, CEO and president of Paragon Software Systems, offers these route planning […]

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Reducing Packaging Costs

While most businesses are ramping up for peak season, some parcel carriers sent their own early greetings with holiday surcharges. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean your company has to raise prices or take a financial hit. Try these packaging moves to help offset higher parcel costs farther up the supply chain, says Rajiv Saxena, supply chain […]

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Investing in the Right Transportation Management System

The demand for transportation management systems (TMS) is on the rise. A basic solution manages truck and carrier dispatch, fleet maintenance, driver records, billing and driver pay, and DOT compliance. Additionally, a TMS streamlines operations by optimizing carrier routes, managing customer activity, and reporting analytics. Joe Couto, chief operating officer at HighJump, outlines factors to […]

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Recruiting Supply Chain Talent

New technologies, consumer demands, and the rise of the mobile workforce are shifting the business landscape quickly, making specialized supply chain and logistics workers more valuable than ever. It’s imperative for organizations to have a strategy in place to recruit and retain these talented workers. Tisha Danehl, vice president of staffing agency Ajilon, offers this […]

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Making Vendor Managed Inventory Work

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) lets suppliers manage re-supply by monitoring customer stock levels and forward demand that optimizes working capital with service levels. This gives suppliers better visibility into forward demand, allowing them to produce, ship, and store more efficiently. As a result, customers have a smooth supply of product delivered at the right time […]

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Getting the Most From Your 3PL Provider

As the debate between globalization and regionalization continues, getting the most from your third-party logistics (3PL) provider is more important than ever. Businesses need to be agile and able to not only proactively respond to customers, but also adjust in response to any unanticipated business change. While many 3PLs offer similar services and capabilities, companies […]

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Optimizing Your Distribution Center Site

Maximizing the efficiency of your distribution center (DC) site requires strategic planning and ongoing analysis. Stan Krawitz, executive vice president, founder, and head of Canada for real estate advisory firm Savills Studley, offers these tips to help you get started. 1. Select a site location with labor pool availability in mind. When selecting a DC site, […]

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Adding Value to Your Supply Chain

Demand to provide the optimal customer experience continues to escalate, and companies must continually seek out better ways to deliver customer satisfaction and retention. Many companies find that value-added logistics services help give their supply chain a competitive edge. Once limited to services such as shrink-wrapping, display building, and rainbow pallets, value-added capabilities now include […]

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Choosing a Yard Management System

A yard management system (YMS) can provide significant benefits to your operation. Despite this, the yard is often the last area to automate and many operations still manage their yards with radios and clipboards. Greg Braun, senior vice president of sales and marketing with C3 Solutions, provides these pointers to help you select a YMS. […]

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Leveraging Your Routing Guide

A routing guide plays an important role in setting the strategy for carrier selection. It is essentially a shipper’s guide to choosing a carrier to move a particular shipment. While there are many forms of routing guides, an increasing number of companies switched from paper to online portals and beyond to enhanced transportation management system […]

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Protecting the Food Supply Chain

Food producers, distributors, and retailers need to ensure safe procedures are in place to protect the food they handle. These supply chain partners need to implement inventory best practices to guarantee SKUs are in the right store or facility at the right time to better meet customer service requirements. Inventory positioning is not guesswork. Instead, […]

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Using a Systems Integrator for DC Automation

Implementing materials handling automation within a distribution center requires an experienced systems integrator, which acts as a matchmaker to ensure the software communicates fully and freely with the facility’s equipment. Systems integrators are also responsible for the deployment’s speed, progress and outcome; they are the keepers of schedules and standards, the maestros who ensure that […]

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Preventing Supply Chain Fraud

The consequences of supply chain fraud can be severe, yet many companies significantly under-scrutinize their processes. Smart companies have practices in place to help pinpoint and prevent fraud. Wade McDaniel, vice president of supply chain solutions, Avnet Inc., offers the following insight and recommendations to help your company address supply chain fraud. 1. Admit you […]

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Making the Last Mile a Differentiator

The last mile plays a crucial role in the supply chain. As consumers expect increasingly shorter delivery windows, last-mile proximity isn’t just nice to have, it’s a must-have. Will O’Shea, chief marketing officer of XPO Logistics’ last mile business unit, shares how to turn the last mile into a competitive differentiator. 1. Involve additional players. […]

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Prepping Your DC for Peak Season

Are you ready for the holidays? Today’s retailers and their logistics partners need to ask and answer that question well in advance of the holiday season. Mark Sibley, vice president of customer support for BEUMER Corporation, offers this advice to prepare your distribution center before holiday orders come rolling in. 1. Start early. Don’t start […]

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Using Social Media to Empower Your Supply Chain

Social media benefits supply chain management in many ways. Through their social channels, companies enhance communication with customers, generate demand, reduce operating costs, mitigate risk, increase productivity, and gain marketplace intelligence. Companies that aren’t active on social media are at a disadvantage because most of their customers, suppliers, and competitors are. Ready to leverage social […]

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Making Your Distribution Data Work For You

Consumer shipping expectations are changing faster than ever, putting more pressure on omni-channel retailers. While retail giants spend seemingly endless resources catering to customer whims, many other retailers struggle to optimize shipping and distribution practices, increase customer loyalty, and maximize sales without wasting precious resources. With technology permeating every aspect of e-commerce and shipping, retailers […]

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Choosing a Warehouse Management System

Before selecting a warehouse management system (WMS), it’s important to know what drives your company so you can identify the key needs you want the solution to address. Steve Hitchings, senior vice president of information technology for Kenco, offers this advice for choosing the right WMS. 1. Assess your business needs. Know the problem you are […]

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