Articles

IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Successfully Managing Long-Tail Inventories

The concept of the long-tail retail environment refers to the extended downward slope of a unit sales curve that, when illustrated graphically, depicts a “long tail” as demand wanes toward zero. Introduced by Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson in 2004, the term originally described Internet-based companies, such as iTunes or Amazon.com, whose environments are […]

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Can You Afford to Ignore Supply Chain Risk?

As companies gravitate toward a “build anywhere, source anywhere, sell anywhere” mind-set, supply chain risks—entering into long-term contracts at unfavorable prices or sub-optimal quality, excessive dependence on one geography or supplier, lead time variability, and supply disruptions caused by natural disasters—assume greater proportions. Any supply chain setback could negatively impact average operating income and return […]

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Real-Time Location Systems Cover Your Assets

The ability to track assets in a broad geographic area, typically outdoors, is key to transportation management. Satellite and cellular network-based technologies are often used for real-time asset tracking outdoors. But to track assets indoors—in factories, warehouses, or other controlled environments—Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and cellular-based systems lack sufficient signal strength. Alternative techniques employing low-cost […]

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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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