Articles

Technology

Selecting A Supply Chain Management System

Choosing supply chain management (SCM) software can be the single most important decision a logistics manager can make. This solution can be one that drives your business to 99.8-percent fulfillment levels or drives it into the ground. Blinco Systems Inc. (www.blinco.com) offers this 10-point checklist to use when interviewing vendors and evaluating SCM software packages. […]

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Choosing Technology Over Nuts and Bolts

Picture this Information Technology (IT) department of a transoceanic shipping company: Hundreds of programmers sitting in front of computer screens. Managers training employees on outdated systems in use for 20 years. Phone calls from business unit heads wondering why legacy work is delaying project deadlines. This was Sea-Land in 1992, when I became CIO. Yet […]

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New Logistics Portal Saves Money on Every Shipment

Supply chain portals are growing in number, uniqueness, and breadth of service to all partners. They will continue to grow, given the ever-increasing usefulness of conducting supply chain management on the web and the constant growth of new technologies in this area. One new portal, which went live in November 2000, is worth noting. LTLNET.com, […]

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Transportation Software: A Guide for the Perplexed

Making the right transportation software choice is harder than ever. More than 60 Internet transportation dot.coms have launched in the last 12 months alone. If you’re like most people, you’re wondering: “How can I make sense of all these companies?” The good news: the Internet can provide enormous productivity gains for transportation and logistics companies. […]

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Automatic Information: The Supply Chain Goes Live

As the pressure for speed and accuracy increases within the supply chain, companies constantly search for technology to deliver goods quickly and reliably. To meet that demand, an ever-increasing number of end user communication solutions—such as RF devices, subtle bar-code readers, cell phones, and personal digital assistants—have been developed and marketed in the past 10 […]

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Delivering B2B Supply Chain Flexibility

The stakes continue to rise in the online business-to-business world. Despite the still rapid entry of new dot.com players—1,000 new sites since the beginning of the year—Forrester Research predicts that within three years, less than 200 will remain. While there are many reasons for the falloff, the main reason is that many sites do not […]

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Getting On Board with Windows CE

Although on-board computers have been used in the transportation and logistics industry for more than a decade, most have been single-function proprietary devices that users could not customize. Now, multi-function, open-systems devices are available that operate all applications, are user programmable, and can be connected to corporate data networks with widely used protocols. Industries such […]

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Leveraging the Power of XML for Supply Chain Integration

Using the Internet to automate the supply chain process is a growing worldwide trend. While many players from diverse backgrounds have entered the field, that does not mean they all have the right stuff to make it in this market. These players—whether providers or users—have to keep in mind the need for new and robust […]

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From Market Position To Eco-System

The door to dialogue is open! In the April and May issues of Inbound Logistics, this column focused on the ways our business is changing. Rapidly. Dramatically. And permanently! I invited readers to respond with their thoughts and their experiences, and respond you did. You wrote about increasing the velocity of supply chains, synchronizing activities, […]

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Understand the Net, Don’t Get Caught In It

This past year has seen an unprecedented move toward consolidation of the supply chain and the Internet. It also has seen a major push toward integrated trading exchanges. These trends are keeping consultants such as Advanced Manufacturing Research (AMR), The Gartner Group, Dataquest, and Aberdeen Group pretty busy. Here’s a look at what these analysts […]

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Buying an ERP System in the Internet Age

The standard business model on which an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is based is inherently inward-looking. An ERP system, typically with client-server architecture and a Windows interface, works on the assumption that a fairly small number of company employees within a specific department will need to access an application. The advent of the Internet […]

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The e-Enabling of Hub Group

The advantages of collaborative partnerships in the emerging world of e-business logistics are numerous. As portals, application service providers, and other services burst forth into this arena, it is important to understand that no enterprise is large enough to do it all alone. Hub Group Inc., Lombard, Ill., a non-asset-based transportation management company specializing in […]

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Staying Up to Speed with Non-Stop Demand

The demand side of the supply chain continues to undergo major changes in strategies and technologies. The scale of consumer demand—and the need for both accurate forecasting and a fast response to demand—acts as the driving force. Fast response time is king of the market. While the Internet has been given a lot of credit […]

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Richter’s Model for Success

The merging of global sourcing and transportation with industry-specific manufacturing creates a golden opportunity for software providers. The apparel and fashion business in particular is prime territory. Staking its claim to this territory is Richter Systems Inc., based in Montreal, Canada. Founded in 1968, Richter focuses its software applications on the apparel industry. “The apparel […]

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