Viewpoint: Logistics & Supply Chain Analysis

Evaluating the True Cost of Overseas Manufacturing

United States manufacturing continues to decline. Since 1970, manufacturing employment has dropped 22 percent—nearly nine percent of that drop in the last 10 years alone. Low-cost labor from Asia and Latin America has created extreme price pressure, and manufacturers are especially hard hit, experiencing brand erosion due to private label growth of major retailers. Many […]

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Getting a Grip on Service Parts Operations

Companies have been under tremendous price and volume pressure in the finished goods business for quite some time, but services and parts is the logical next opportunity to improve revenue, boost profits, and directly impact customer satisfaction. In fact, Piper Jaffrey U.S. Bancorp estimates that spare parts represent $700 billion in spending and eight percent […]

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Is It Time to Jettison JIT?

Manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers have come to rely on Just In Time inventory management, or JIT, as a way to reduce costs and improve efficiency. There is no doubt that JIT management has improved companies’ bottom lines and saved manufacturers billions of dollars. While JIT offers the potential to create significant savings for firms, it […]

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Building Security Into the Supply Chain

Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the term “security” primarily addressed cargo theft. Now the term addresses the broader set of security requirements and challenges associated with the increasing terrorist threat. Historically, competition has heightened information-sharing tensions among regulatory agencies, manufacturers, freight forwarders, carriers, and retailers—they have “protected” their piece of the information technology system. The […]

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Technology Is Not a Cure-All

It isn’t always about technology. That sounds a bit heretical to modern ears. Technology has done so much to alter our world, make our lives easier, and provide answers to decades-old business problems. We have come to depend so heavily on the value of technology that our first response to most business problems is investing […]

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Cycle Time Reduction Gives Life to Productivity

Manufacturers that can’t deliver on time won’t keep their customers happy—or keep them at all. This reality is all the more reason why small and mid-sized manufacturers need to get their products into customers’ hands as quickly as possible. Often, however, bottlenecks in the production process make this impossible. The following scenarios of lost productivity […]

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