IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Greg White

3PL Value-Adds Mean Millions

You hate to say it, but everyone knows it: Today’s third-party logistics (3PL) relationship is transitional. Many 3PLs live and die by the freight rates they offer clients. Why? Because your shippers see the relationship as transactional, and trucking-focused. Shippers write checks for shipping expenses nearly every day, and freight is in the forefront of […]

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Nari Viswanathan

Handling Change: There’s an App for That

Eighty-nine percent of business leaders are either experiencing or anticipating external volatility or change to impact their business, according to a recent survey. And 91 percent expect internal change in products, channels, services, or markets to create planning challenges. Given that most business leaders must manage some sort of change within their demand-supply networks, why […]

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Mark Humphlett

Can Your Global Supply Chain Withstand a Crisis?

Natural disasters, fluctuating oil prices, and other global factors continue to disrupt the flow of essential equipment and goods for manufacturers worldwide. For many companies, it has triggered a critical question: Can our organization’s supply chain withstand a major upheaval? It is an important question, because the flow of money through a supply channel determines […]

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Christine Wheeler

Wireless Workstations Unplug Savings

Thanks to wireless technology, carts with on-board power supplies are opening new frontiers of efficiency, productivity, and profitability in distribution centers (DCs). These mobile- powered workstations (MPWs) carry computers, bar-code scanners, and printers, reducing paperwork and operator travel. DC employees can waste countless hours walking to and from deskbound computers to perform tasks such as […]

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Mike Skinner

Mobile TMS Applications Improve Supply Chain Visibility

Online applications for mobile devices are emerging in ways that can finally close or reduce many of the information gaps in the supply chain between transportation planning, the shipping/receiving dock, customers, and even accounts payable. These mobile applications are enabling shippers to interface directly and more effectively with logistic partners; access logistics information in non-traditional […]

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Mike Morel

Improving Logistics and Distribution Processes at International Subsidiaries

Large enterprises continue to set up international subsidiary operations to find opportunities for growth. These subsidiary operations include sales and distribution offices, small operating divisions, customer service units, and joint ventures. They often need to develop their own logistics and distribution mechanisms to receive inbound shipments, store inventory and deliver orders to their customers. Unlike […]

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Michael Watson, Ph.D.

Discovering the Value of Analytics

Many companies are building analytics strategies, which use data to facilitate better decisions. To develop improved analytics strategies, consider the three different types of analytics: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive. Each type uses data in a different way to provide a different type of value. Descriptive analytics: Using data to improve how you describe or report […]

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Fabrizio Brasca

Containerization’s Benefits Can’t Be Contained

Today’s leading companies are reexamining their supply chain operations, and implementing new strategies and technology to improve performance and enhance efficiencies. Moving cargo in containers, or containerization, is one area of opportunity shippers can leverage, not only in downstream transportation and logistics functions, but also in unexpected upstream supply chain planning functions. In its simplest […]

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Nigel Hughes

Benchmarking Keeps Logistics IT Outsourcing On Track

Logistics departments rely on technology to drive operational excellence. Benchmarking—analyzing an organization’s performance against the comparable activities of another or its own over time—has traditionally been applied to validate and/or improve a service contract’s value. In an economy characterized by unstable growth and eroding margins, optimal logistics IT performance is necessary for companies to remain […]

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Tamara Dwyer

The Three Pillars of Effective Returns Management

Returns management presents both challenges and opportunities for inbound logistics. Waste management regulations and non-compliance penalties are increasing. Rising commodity prices and a growing secondary marketplace, however, create an opportunity to recover value from used and scrapped materials. A cost-effective reverse logistics program connects the incoming supply of returns with the product information and demand […]

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Henry Hicks

Managing Supply Chain Disruptions

These are challenging times for supply chain managers. During the past few years, a range of events and natural disasters has severely disrupted global supply chains, causing far-reaching effects across diverse geographies and markets. Yet today’s logistics landscape also holds huge potential for supply chain technology developments that help organizations better manage catastrophic events, as […]

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Robert Byrne

Use Transportation Planning for Competitive Advantage

Learning to thrive in a volatile market goes beyond simply controlling its effects; successful companies must navigate challenges to create competitive advantage. Three factors add complexity for today’s transportation planners. First, the U.S. gross domestic product grew by two percent in the third quarter of 2011, with personal consumption up 2.3 percent. Increased spending creates […]

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Brendan Lowe

5 Steps to Improving Food Product Traceability

Food safety represents a pressing concern for consumers and food retailers. Several high-profile incidents have cost billions due to sickened consumers, lost sales, and contaminated products. If these occurrences have taught U.S. retailers anything, it’s that the ability to react swiftly and appropriately to food-related issues is essential. The passage of the U.S. Food and […]

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Lorcan Sheehan

Safeguarding Your Supply Chain Against Rising Fuel Prices

Rising fuel prices have affected most supply chains through fuel surcharges or increased component and operating costs. By planning ahead and evaluating where your supply chain activities are performed, as well as your current processes, you can face these challenges head-on and reduce the impact on your operations and the bottom line. Prepare your supply […]

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Ralph Lieberthal

RFID and Supply Chain Visibility: You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See 

Smart companies are striving to reduce costs, improve service, and increase return on investment throughout the supply chain. Automation-based solutions can play a crucial role in meeting those goals, and many organizations consider radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology a major force in transforming global supply chain automation and visibility. It’s hard to manage what you can’t […]

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Chad Collins

Building Operational Excellence Through EDI

While many companies leverage EDI (electronic data interchange) to comply with trading partner requirements, few take advantage of EDI to drive operational excellence. Limiting EDI use to fundamental transactions, such as purchase orders and invoices, leaves money on the table and misses an opportunity to strengthen customer service and overall competitiveness. Companies achieve the greatest […]

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Karen Bomber and Jim Caudill

Inventory Intelligence: The Key to Unlocking Omni-channel Retailing

Omni-channel retailing–providing shoppers a seamless experience through all channels–combines the flexibility of cross-channel and mobile shopping with the revenue- and loyalty-building capabilities of a face-to-face retail experience. Because keeping availability promises is vital to omni-channel success, retailers depend on integrated IT systems. Retailers who succeed at integrating their inventory intelligence can cut costs, accelerate turns, […]

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