Articles

IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

GTM Technology: Why Not?

Global trade management (GTM) software simplifies trade compliance, provides visibility across the supply chain, and offers effective manufacturing cost sourcing. Yet the international supply chains of large companies are 50 percent automated at best, according to Aberdeen Group. This statistic begs the question: Why aren’t more companies investing in GTM software? Some businesses develop their […]

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Improving Fleet Management Performance

The nation’s trucks hauled 10.7 billion tons of freight in 2005, according to the American Trucking Associations’ truck tonnage index. This figure represents nearly 70 percent of tonnage, including manufactured and retail goods, carried by all domestic freight transportation modes. Yet many in the trucking industry have been slow to recognize the strategic importance of […]

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Selecting the Right Warehouse Management System

The typical warehouse buzzes with activity every day. Products arrive at the loading docks, forklift drivers shift pallets around the floor, automated retrieval systems pull goods for shipment. Warehouse management systems (WMS) provide tools for keeping track of all that action. Today, dozens of technology vendors – from well-established to relatively new – offer warehouse […]

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Location-Based Services Put Efficiency on the Map

Enhanced productivity. Cost savings. Revenue increases. Improved customer relations. These are among the most important – and most widely acknowledged – benefits of deploying location-based service (LBS) tools such as geographic positioning systems (GPS) and street-level routing (SLR). Add one more benefit of emerging importance that will have significant impact over time: reduced emissions. Corporations, […]

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With SaaS, You Make the Rules

Most companies spend 40 to 80 percent of their annual transportation budget on moving inbound shipments from suppliers. Despite these whopping costs, businesses boast relatively little control over their selection of inbound carriers or their service levels. Instead, most depend on suppliers to correctly assign carriers, then provide tracking information to the buying organization. This […]

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The Case for a Global Trading Partner Network

America’s appetite for imports continues to grow—in 2006, the United States imported a record $1.6 trillion of goods, according to U.S. Customs. But today’s global trade practices are highly fragmented. A typical overseas purchase, for example, requires the various parties in the logistics process to trade more than 60 different documents across partners, countries, languages, […]

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Technology Collaboration Enables Visibility and Security

Complete Document and Shipment Visibility (CDSV) is a concept that enables trading partners to have 100-percent visibility to the condition, status, and location of international shipments in a paperless environment. The concept allows shipment stakeholders to know the exact status of inventory and finished goods in the pipeline. CDSV also contributes to eliminating supply chain […]

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Data Fuels the Supply Chain

When struggling to implement international supply chain management software, it helps to focus on the importance of clean and usable data. Failing to get good data into and out of your supply chain management IT system is like filling a Lamborghini with nail polish remover and expecting it to win the Grand Prix. How do […]

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Bouncing Back When Disaster Strikes

When natural disasters strike, businesses often must frantically search for essential items to deliver to beseeching customers. Adept use of sophisticated information tools can help retailers and suppliers “weatherproof” their supply chains. Diverting shipments, moving inventory to forward locations, and anticipating potential spikes in demand, can help moderate the effects of natural disasters. The following […]

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Visibility: Seeing is Believing

Take a look at this list of avoidable logistics problems: Time wasted manually scheduling shipments and tracking products from channel to channel. Missed opportunities from not knowing the exact quantity of inventory in transit and stock availability. Strained relationships after shipments fail to make their destination on time. The common element is a lack of […]

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Restricted Party Screening: Who Are You Doing Business With?

Exporters and financial institutions historically used Restricted Party Screening (RPS) solutions to determine whether the names and addresses of their consignees appeared on any “denied parties” lists. Today, companies recognize that they may not deal in any way with certain blacklisted parties. Since Sept. 11, 2001, regulatory agencies have made clear their expectations that companies […]

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TMS Shopping Made Simple

During my 15 years as a transportation technology professional, I have stood on both sides of the trade show aisle—shopping for and selling transportation management systems (TMS). Navigating the technology marketplace, as I have learned, is no easy task. It can make purchasing a TMS downright frustrating. If you are in the process of selecting […]

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Hitting the Asset-Tracking Trifecta: Bet on Visibility, ROI, and Safety

Throughout the transportation industry, losses due to cargo shrink (theft, damage, and spoilage) total an estimated $100 billion annually. Many companies have turned to RFID to help prevent cargo shrink, monitoring assets throughout the supply chain so they can identify when a particular asset enters or departs one facility or another. This method, however, doesn’t […]

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To Hang On, Let Go of Antiquated Processes

In today’s brutally competitive environment, manufacturers are discovering that the only way they can hang on is to let go. They are realizing they must abandon antiquated business processes and take full advantage of the affordable and sophisticated technologies available to them that automate and enhance processes throughout the plant. Letting go is no easy […]

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Technology Moves Forwarders Forward

Freight forwarders are hardly a lonely breed; more than 10,000 ply their trade in the United States, according to government statistics. In this brutally competitive business, what makes one freight forwarder or logistics provider rise above the pack to be among the few that evolve successfully into genuine partners to their customers? There is no […]

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The Time is Right for Wireless Automation

The public for-hire motor freight market has been growing consistently, while significant consolidation has occurred. Even for the best operators, however, margins remain in the low single digits. Motor freight carriers are challenged to improve service levels, reduce damage, optimize pick-up and delivery, and significantly improve shipment visibility. To date, mobile communications solutions aimed at […]

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