Articles

Technology

Tom Heine

Data in a Flash: Utilizing EDI

Q: Where did EDI come from? Heine: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has been used in various forms since the 1960s. Today, all Fortune 1000 companies use EDI, as do millions of other businesses. In the transportation field, big retailers led the way in implementing EDI. In the mid-1980s, EDI standards emerged, and each type of […]

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IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-May 2009

Products Shippers can fully utilize the space inside a trailer with the Ancra Cargo AutoDeck system, which adjusts the height of each beam to create a customized decking solution. The automated system reduces losses resulting from cargo damage because pallets don’t have to be stacked on top of each other, and increases load averages by 10 to […]

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Rumble in the IT Jungle: ERP vs. Best-of-Breed

If the logistics software world held a heavyweight championship fight, it would feature ERP systems such as Oracle, SAP, and Infor in one corner, versus best-of-breed providers – Manhattan Associates, i2, and HighJump – in the other. While ERP may be the reigning champ, best-of-breed is a serious challenger, and the fight would go quite […]

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The Million-Dollar Question: ERP or WMS?

Few supply chain decisions impact your company’s day-to-day business, financial health, and customer relations more than selecting and implementing a warehouse management system (WMS). The million-dollar question is whether to choose your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system’s warehouse module, or a specialized WMS. Today, the lines between traditional ERP and WMS vendors are blurring. ERP […]

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ERP and SCM: Making the Marriage Work

Once a cozy nook for enthusiasts, supply chain management has turned into a major focus for enterprises worldwide. That’s why IFS North America has extended its services from pure Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to offer component supply chain software. “ERP and supply chain management need to work hand-in-hand,” notes Cindy Jaudon, president of IFS North […]

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RFID Use Limited Only by Imagination

Logistics professionals have long viewed radio frequency identification (RFID) as a technology of the future. By fixing their vision on the distant horizon, however, they may be overlooking the real value that RFID can deliver today. RFID technology is already used thousands of times each day in port, distribution center, and fleet operations around 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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Balancing IT Strategy with ROI

For years enterprise software implementations were all about the Big Bang. After spending months and millions of dollars installing a new system, the grand moment would come, the “on” switch would be thrown, and the organization would suddenly achieve Nirvana. Times have changed. In a chilly economy, IT executives cannot afford to wait very long […]

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If You Spend IT, Efficiencies Will Come

While corporate departments such as operations are often high on the list for systems improvements, logistics departments are usually close to the bottom of the pecking order. As a result, many supply chain management systems are woefully behind the times. This, however, doesn’ t mean that logistics professionals have to or should accept this slight […]

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Creating a High-Velocity Supply Chain

Performance improvement over the past 10 years has been largely based on internally focused enterprise systems that integrate functional processes and promote internal efficiencies. With ERP and various flavors of supply chain planning and transportation management tools, manufacturers and distributors have been successful at achieving a first level of benefit, but often at the expense […]

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Making an Online Community Work

Online communities allow large groups to get together to solve problems and share information. Whether you are building a community, selecting technology, or simply a participant, these tips from Joseph Cothrell, vice president research, Participate.com, Chicago, Ill., can help you make the most of your online connection. 1. Define a business purpose and let the […]

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SCEM: Managing Problems Before They Happen

The recent advent of trading communities, trading partners, and the resulting issue of collaboration strategies has placed a new emphasis on supply chain web applications. As if the supply chain market needs additional heat, the economics of the time call for increased monitoring of business processes. Supply chain managers want that monitoring to anticipate problems […]

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