Articles

Logistics I.T.

Bill Michalski

Measuring the Value of Collaboration

Structured, achievable supply chain collaboration that drives savings relies on the relationship between purchasing and inbound logistics departments. Without real collaboration, two distinct decision-making processes exist based on separate performance metrics and personnel incentives. Buyers determine what orders to place. Logistics planners determine how to route the shipments. Buyers strive to avoid stock-outs while keeping […]

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Tim Eusterman

Why Innovation Matters for Rugged Mobile Technology

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets is giving many logistics IT and operations leaders pause. They are questioning what these mobile computing trends mean to their operations, and their potential impact on traditional rugged mobile computing for supply chain and logistics applications. Behind the innovation in smartphones and tablets is a deep understanding of how […]

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Malysa O’Connor

Are You in the Dark About Labor Visibility?

This is an extremely challenging time for logistics companies. Margins that were already razor-thin continue to be squeezed due to rising costs and constant pressure to cut prices to stay competitive. At the same time, customer expectations are higher than ever as they demand faster delivery requirements and shorter lead times. In logistics — already […]

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Steve Dowse

Why Supply Chains Need Business Intelligence

Companies that want to effectively manage their supply chain must invest in business intelligence (BI) software, according to a recent Aberdeen Group survey of supply chain professionals. Survey respondents reported the main issues that drive BI initiatives include increased global operations complexity; lack of visibility into the supply chain; a need to improve top-line revenue; […]

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Pablo Ciano

International Shipping: Moving at the Speed of Technology

New technologies for planning, managing, tracking, and securing shipments are continually evolving. With new digital options always just around the corner, organizations of all sizes must stay informed of the latest advances. When it comes to international shipping, technology is especially important—not only because tremendous growth is expected, but also because the processes involved are […]

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Steve Biondi

Embarking On an IT Modernization Journey

Planes, trains, and automobiles represent just a few possibilities to consider when moving an object from Point A to Point B. To secure a competitive advantage, shippers must ensure the transportation services they buy are safe, modern, reliable, and competitively priced. Many transportation providers have realized these goals by investing in an information technology (IT) […]

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Greg Kefer

Filling the Cloud with High-Quality Data

The millions of dollars spent on supply chain software are squandered if data flowing through it lacks integrity. An attractive, feature-laden application is like a Ferrari—it only runs well when the right fuel flows through the engine. In this case, data is the fuel that powers this impressive vehicle. Without it, only the glitzy exterior […]

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Felecia Stratton

The Future of Predictive Analytics Looks Certain

One recurring talking point at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s (CSCMP) September 2012 conference in Atlanta was the importance of predictive analytics. This subset of statistics captures patterns within large volumes of information to predict supply chain behavior and events—in effect, forecasting future demand based on past demand. The emergence of cloud networking […]

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Erv Bluemner

SaaS-Based Transload Management Systems Enable Transport Efficiencies

Q: Why are rail shippers turning to transload facilities to ship products to receivers? A: Transload facilities bring significant economic advantage to shippers who are not directly served by railroads, but desire the cost-effectiveness of rail shipping. Transloading operations provide the capability to transfer products between transport modes—primarily truck to rail. Typically, products are transported […]

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Krishna Rallabhandi

Shared Technology Resources Hold the Key to Supply Chain Optimization

Q: How can value chain partners cooperate to create and share efficiencies? A: While it is understandable for each supply chain partner to maintain its own information technology, many companies rely on more than one IT system—along with spreadsheets and email—to manage supply chain operations. To further complicate matters, every transaction in the complex global […]

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Gregory Bellows

Information Access Differentiates Transportation Providers

Q: What are the most important elements of an information technology (IT) strategy for participants in the transportation chain? A: Strategically, there is only one IT goal: to differentiate your service from your competitors. Tactically, you need to figure out how to deploy mobile computing for customer- and employee-facing iPad and smartphone applications. Today, information […]

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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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John Reichert

Collaborative Visibility for Optimum Efficiency and User Experience

Q: Why is collaborative visibility important? A: Supply chains have become extremely complex and fluid. The number and variety of products has exploded, lifecycles have shrunk, and interdependencies between organizations are at an all-time high. Natural disasters such as Japan’s tsunami in March 2011 showed that a major global event can have a far-reaching impact […]

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