Articles

Viewpoint: Logistics & Supply Chain Analysis

Building a China Strategy

Every manufacturing company needs a strategically focused business plan for outsourcing supply chain activities globally. Too often, near-term pressures to reduce product costs or increase overall profitability precipitate outsourced or supplier recruitment activities in product design, manufacturing, and logistics. The decision to source value chain activity in China is certainly no exception. While the pressures […]

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Freight Damage Claims: Know, Act, Reap

The Latin phrase Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est may be the most quoted maxim of our information age—knowledge is power. In business we use the “knowledge is power” principle to shape our decisions so we can reap positive long-term rewards. One unsung area where properly applied knowledge yields power is comprehensive management of the freight damage […]

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Should You Sell or Outsource In-House Transportation Assets?

Many companies with in-house transportation capabilities in place to support core operations often explore outsourcing to cut costs and liberate capital. Shareholders of these companies—whether public or private—are often better served by viewing these assets as a standalone business for an eventual spin-off or sale as a going concern. Whether to sell, spin off, or […]

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Non-Asset-Based IMCs: Adapting Yet Again

BNSF Railroad’s decision to eliminate rail-owned intermodal equipment by June 2006 is easy to understand. By only accepting private trailers and containers for transit, BNSF’s cost savings and bottom line should swell. Both Wall Street and shareholders applaud the railroad’s move. Will traditional non-asset-based intermodal marketing companies (IMCs) be a casualty of BNSF’s decision? Strong […]

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Sourcing in China? Give BLPs a VIP Role

As global sourcing continues to lengthen the inbound supply chain, companies are placing more focus at the beginning of the chain, where product originates. The growing number of manufactured products originating in Asian countries such as China presents challenges for manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers that are sourcing inventory there. Companies have not fully developed […]

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Automate, Optimize, Audit for Smart Supply Chains

While politicians argue about the domestic effects of outsourcing manufacturing operations, logistics professionals know the practice only increases our responsibilities. The frenetic pace of global trade, coupled with the impact of outsourced manufacturing around the world, has transformed delivery of products into a complex engineering task that is quickly creating new jobs. Academia is already […]

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Keeping an Eye on RFID Challenges

In The Prince, savvy politician Machiavelli asserts, “there is nothing more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than taking the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” That 16th-century admonition should serve as warning to those who espouse the advancement of RFID. The swirling hype, promises of opportunity, and […]

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Distribution Takes Center Stage

A paradigm shift has occurred within the supply chain, and distribution is taking center stage. In the midst of a total revival from its undistinguished past, distribution is now more instrumental than ever to an organization’s success. Traditionally, distribution took a back seat to manufacturing and other supply chain activities—not surprising given its historical perception […]

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