IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Jason Howton

Crossdocking: A New Vision for an Old Idea

Manufacturers and distributors know crossdocking—the practice of immediately converting inbound deliveries to outbound shipments—can help create more efficient supply chains. But there’s an obstacle to crossdocking that can undermine those efforts: the need for continuous, real-time shipment visibility. Without the shipper’s ability to track and trace individual parcels, shipments may be delayed, misplaced, or duplicated. […]

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Jim Burleigh

Web-Based WMS Solutions Drive Automotive Supply Chain Efficiency

The U.S. auto industry is facing the greatest adversity in its history. One segment of the industry, however, has thrived—aftermarket auto parts. This segment has grown exponentially during the economic downturn, as consumers have been forced to repair their aging vehicles instead of buying new ones. In an industry where specialization and customer service are […]

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Eric Allais

Warehouse Metrics: Measure What Matters

Today’s warehouse managers often accrue massive amounts of performance data, but sometimes find they can apply little of it toward making productivity gains or customer service improvements. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with data, managers should identify and focus on the most useful metrics to gather, report, and apply. Tools or modules often found in warehouse […]

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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, 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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