Articles

Viewpoint: Logistics & Supply Chain Analysis

Reducing Supply Chain Costs: Spend More to Save More

Managers who want to reduce supply chain costs need to spend more on transportation. The key to lower supply chain costs is holding less inventory. Buying more transportation lets you reduce inventory safely. The greatest mistake that manufacturers make today is equating transportation cost reductions with total available supply chain savings. In fact, transportation savings […]

Read More

You Have Entered the Material Transfer Zone

The loading dock has become a critical component of virtually any supply chain strategy. Mistakes in dock design and equipment choices can have costly consequences that ripple throughout the supply chain. For instance, slowdowns and product damage can very quickly multiply when overhead door openings are too small and dock levelers too narrow to provide […]

Read More

Proactive Returns Management Yields Hard ROI

Multi-channel product distribution and stiff competition for more demanding and discerning customers require creative strategies for managing and maintaining customer relationships. As companies search for areas of opportunity to meet these needs, returns management tops the list.Product returns and their impact on a company’s bottom line is an age-old problem. The complexities of reverse product […]

Read More

Handling the Rigors of Global Compliance

Compliance is an intrinsically complex and often misunderstood part of the global supply chain. Unlike other functions such as purchasing and receiving, which generate a lot of attention and activity, successful compliance is gauged when absolutely nothing happens—when freight leaves its origin and arrives at its destination on time and intact. But as soon as […]

Read More

Tapping Into SRM for Supply Strategy and Procurement Execution

Manufacturers today have an opportunity to leverage their supply base for competitive advantage. Unfortunately, most do not have the tools required to tap this value. For the last decade they have focused mainly on growth issues such as supply chain planning and customer relationship management. As the engine of growth has stalled, manufacturers are casting […]

Read More

Raking in the Trash

“It’s only trash.” That’s how supply chain managers often refer to the mountains of packing material, broken pallets, paper, and other trash that clutters distribution facilities. For most companies, disposal is an expense item, with additional costs for compactors, waste bins, carting, landfill use, and myriad other variables. With a little of the same skill […]

Read More

How Retailers Become Promise Keepers

Retailers today increasingly leverage online channels to offer services from third parties, including product drop-shipped from other vendors, cross-branded product bundles, and special orders. Amazon essentially built its business on this model and traditional retailers have followed. These strategies present great opportunities for new revenues, efficiencies, and service levels. But serious pitfalls exist, too. When […]

Read More

Navigating the Virtual Marketplace

Within the logistics online marketplace operates an aggregation of companies acting on behalf of shippers that purchase transportation from a diverse group of logistics services providers. These providers include trading exchanges; logistics solutions providers; trucking, rail, ocean, and air carriers; and companies specializing in ancillary logistics services such as supply chain event management. Over the […]

Read More

Drilling Down to Core Competencies

With increased competition in a sluggish economy, many companies are getting back to basics by re-focusing on critical operational elements and recommitting themselves to the principles on which their businesses were built. Have you taken a step back to examine your company and determine what truly makes it better than the competition? Not in terms […]

Read More

Bringing Logistics Out of Medieval Mode

At the end of the quarter, as salespeople demand that items move off the dock and into revenue status, logistics specialists find their faxes humming, phones ringing, and desktops overflowing with paper. The struggle to meet the transportation needs of customers and move products across international borders would be easier were it not for the […]

Read More

Moving Furniture the Right Way

The online furniture community recently has seen its share of well-publicized supply chain failures. From my perspective as a transportation provider to this specialized niche, these online firms did not seriously consider product distribution issues. Granted, other customer-related consequences contributed to the difficulties, but it is impossible to overcome critical distribution problems. Most of these […]

Read More

Handling Returns: Just Tell Me Where it Hurts

Our economy has experienced tremendous growth cycles over the past several years. As a result, manufacturers are making more stuff, retailers are buying more stuff, and consumers are spending more money on stuff than ever before! Inevitably, mistakes are made, resulting in product defects, bad merchandising decisions, or over-optimistic sales projections. No matter how good […]

Read More

Get Customer-Centric or Get E-liminated

Ask three people to define e-commerce, and you’ll end up with three disparate answers. The problem is that companies use e-commerce to define varying degrees of involvement in e-business. Some companies think they conduct e-commerce because they have e-mail. Some believe that the mere presence of a web site constitutes an e-commerce approach. The fact […]

Read More

Securing America’s Future by Riding the ITS Wave

Ocean liner service is the backbone of international transportation for manufactured goods. General cargo ships, sailing on regular schedules along established trade lanes, annually move more than 1.2 billion metric tons of consumer, industrial, and military commodities ranging from fatigues and milling machines to perfume and designer jeans. In the past 10 years, the number […]

Read More

Is Your Supply Chain Achieving Customer Loyalty?

Business logistics executives face four major challenges: Achieving dramatic reductions in time-to-market. Creating value for shareholders. Marketing their supply chain as a competitive edge. Earning customer loyalty. Organizations must focus time, attention, and dollars on these areas. While many companies have plans to achieve challenges one through three, market leaders know that without true customer […]

Read More