Thoughtful operational changes and technology solutions can help distribution centers tackle the current challenges, build resilience, and boost responsiveness.
The shift from “just-in-time” to “just-in-case” inventory management bears implications for working capital and requires distributors to adapt.
All signs indicate that 2022 will be the year of capacity—not just for air, ocean, ground, and final-mile parcel, but also in terms of labor and the customer experience, SEKO executives stressed in a media call discussing Chinese New Year's impact on the supply chain.
Faced with increasing e-commerce complexity, distribution centers have to balance flexibility with efficiency. Here are the products, equipment, and systems that streamline DC operations.
Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS), a leading provider of water management solutions products, needed to expand its distribution footprint to meet demand. Here’s how DHL Supply Chain helped ADS amid a building boom.
The integration between 6 River Systems collaborative mobile robots called Chucks, Packsize, and JD Edwards’ ERP systems doubled Legend Valves’ pick rates and increased its order management and shipping accuracy.
Is the supply chain ready to deliver COVID-19 vaccines? The supporting technology exists and the resources are in place, but now that the vaccine is available, it's up to the logisticians to connect those dots from end to end.
A profile of Tonya Jackson, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer with Lexmark, a creator of imaging solutions and technologies.
Distributors face liquidity shortages brought on by the pandemic. Pressed between both struggling ends of the supply chain, they can only negotiate so far. What are they to do? The answer may lie in their receivables.
Take a look at the latest order picking solutions taking distribution and fulfillment to the next level.
With great adversity comes great creativity—that’s how Annette Danek-Akey, EVP of supply chain at Penguin Random House, helped quickly convert a new facility into a picking and shipping point to meet the fluctuating demand for books.
Ecentria deploys inVia Robotics’ Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) system to automate order fulfillment in its Aurora, Illinois, distribution center.
When their client pivoted to make a low-cost, readily available bed to quickly serve those on the front lines, SEKO Logistics rapidly set up distribution operations to meet urgent demand.
MPO’s cloud platform for order and logistics management allowed an agricultural spare parts distributor to streamline fulfillment, obtain full order visibility, and reduce shipping costs for customers.
Red Classic created a complex regional transportation solution to optimize Coca-Cola Consolidated’s distribution network following a multi-year expansion effort.
Distribution centers used for short-term storage and cross-docking are changing to accommodate the growth in online ordering and rising expectation for rapid delivery.
The New NAFTA winners and losers; shippers need larger customs bonds; Panama Canal sets record annual cargo tonnage in fiscal year 2018; South Korea trade growth remains positive in Q4 2018; the EU countries importing the most coffee; Feelunique partners with SEKO Logistics for cross-border growth into China; first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains
Getting a distribution center in shape for a high-volume holiday or seasonal period requires advance planning to make sure all systems work, the facility is properly staffed, and temporary workers are properly trained. Inbound Logistics asked the experts for their holiday preparation advice; they provided these seven commandments that will light the way.
Distributors continue to play a valuable role within many supply chains. At the same time, changing business models, and especially the rise of e-commerce, are prompting many to enhance the services they offer.
Dow Building Solutions gained faster, more reliable distribution to customers at a reduced cost with help from KANE.
Cath Kidston partnered with SEKO to expand the company’s inbound business from Asia to the UK and its distribution centers in Hong Kong and Shanghai supplying its international franchises.
Profile of Jonathan Parks, VP, global logistics and distribution, with Rent-A-Center
Aaron Leach is senior director of supply chain with Wayne Farms, LLC, in Oakwood, Ga. He has held this position since 2013. Wayne Farms is the sixth largest vertically integrated producer and processor of poultry in the United States.
Kelli’s Gift Shop Suppliers deployed Janam’s mobile computers and transformed its distribution center operations. From improving efficiency and productivity, find out how the handheld devices boosted inventory control and customer satisfaction for the wholesale distributor.
The overall complexity of running the supply chain will drop as the product portfolio becomes more streamlined. Here's how to do just that.
Distribution centers (DCs) play a key role in the overall success of each peak season, as supply chain professionals must meet the surge in consumer demand and fulfill orders efficiently. Here are 10 ways to help you identify and fill seasonal needs of distribution centers.
Implementing material handling automation within a distribution center requires an experienced systems integration, which acts as a matchmaker to ensure the software communicates fully and freely with the facility’s equipment.
Profile of Bert De Winter, director of EMEA logistics with HP Inc.
The demand chain model drastically reduces a distribution center’s footprint and associated costs by replacing safety stock with information.
Profile of Alan Sargent, supply chain and logistics director, Just Born Candy
Rise of e-commerce changing logistics real estate landscape; Companies who don’t sell globally may be sacrificing profits; Many smaller fleets non-compliant with upcoming ELD mandate
The winter of 2013-14 disrupted the intermodal shipping industry in North America, causing service problems and impeding growth. However, intermodal now offers a number of attractive advantages for shippers, particularly as rail operations pour resources into their intermodal efforts to strengthen service and compete with trucking. Sites that specialize in intermodal utilize innovations to streamline the process and apply new resources to make for an increasingly efficient and effective distribution process.
Oregon-based manufacturer Blount International was bleeding money from leaks all across its supply chain. It found that the correct application of the right data management technology provided and maintained by the right partner was the solution to the problem.
Profile of Peter Schuele, head of global supply chain and distribution at the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Rising consumer expectations are driving change throughout the supply chain. And there’s no tougher test for meeting increased expectations than Black Friday. The time is now for warehouse managers to examine the three critical success factors in warehouse labor management.
With the growth of e-commerce, retailers have identified a potential opportunity to reduce working capital by thinning inventory at brick-and-mortar stores—opting instead to maintain major portions of inventory at distribution centers upstream.
A more comprehensive approach to supply chain management can help provide a great omni-channel experience that encourages customer loyalty and optimizes profitability.
A new app helped a coffee merchant digitally transformed its retail sales and distribution processes.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) created and implemented a new way of taking and filling orders for its annual cookie drive. Here’s how it made sure cookie sales didn’t crumble.
Dave Christensen, vice president, supply chain with Glazer’s, Inc., oversees demand planning, replenishment, logistics, and master data management.
The warehouse design of tomorrow is flexing to meet the physical needs of basic warehouse operators as well as more highly automated e-commerce fulfillment centers.
Launching a cost cutting, productivity-enhancing, or sustainability initiative creates efficiencies with environmental benefits and cost reductions.
Through automated, rules-based wave management and replenishment, American Hotel Register Company was able to eliminate manual sortation and create multiple, tailored options to proactively release orders by type.
The warehouse management system (WMS) has emerged as a valuable tool for tracking and streamlining tasks, the workforce, and material/equipment flows. Here are two factors driving its adoption today.
There's no derailing hub-and-spoke networks. Find out why their adoption is arguably as significant an event in shipping efficiency as containerization itself.
If there’s one lesson that we’ve learned from fine bourbon or whiskey, it’s that good things come to those who wait. Distilleries know this better than anyone. But when it’s time to get that product out the door and in the hands of distributors, the last thing a distiller wants to do is wait.
When an outdated warehouse management system was putting a dent in a distributor’s workflow, it turned to a technology partner to grow its e-commerce business.
Sound strategies for maintaining, optimizing, and modernizing materials handling systems can mitigate risk in today’s DC and go a long way toward ensuring a smooth ride in the supply chain.
Investments in pick/put-to-light technology, wearables, robotic AGVs, high-speed conveyors, voice-directed picking, and a warehouse control system equate to an automated, smart, and efficient distribution center.
Transportation and logistics deal value continues to rise; distribution centers prepare to reduce picking errors; mobile-based freight brokerage; predictive analytics and Internet of Things revolutionize procurement
Radio Frequency Identification Technology has a multitude of benefits that can have a significant impact on reducing and eliminating waste in the extended supply chain.
As e-commerce continues to surge, the case for automation is now too compelling to ignore. One good way to start can be to automate parcel sorting at local and regional distribution centers.
While doing business with China, many companies face a wide range of challenges trying to navigate the country’s complex trade programs.
The pursuit of perfection may seem an impossible goal. But, with the right combination of key elements, four regions in the United States have achieved logistics greatness.
Jeff Larson, director of distribution engineering analysis at Tiffany & Co., works with the jewelry company’s international locations to help improve their operations.
Warehouse operations no longer allow for “business as usual” practices. New initiatives and strategic investments in capital improvements will lead to greater returns in productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Investing in the latest materials handling equipment, WMS technology, and physical building improvements will result in a fully integrated distribution center.
E-commerce and omni-channel retailing have a major impact on supply chain and logistics needs, and customers have to make sure their supply chain is equipped to offer maximum flexibility.
Work with a team of service providers to get a new retail distribution center up and running in only six months? We should all be so lucky.
Judi Griffin, director of logistics at Burkhart Dental, is responsible for three distribution centers, purchasing and customer service teams, and inbound and outbound freight costs.
To break the cycle of needless, duplicative logistics costs, many competitors are choosing to work in tandem.
E-commerce excellence and proximity to large population areas are the new drivers behind site selection for fulfillment centers.
Whirlpool is taking a page out of its Lean production manual and following Penske’s lead to create a more flexible and responsive North American supply chain.
It was the worst of times for U.S./Mexico healthcare. Can demand-driven logistics make it the best of times?
Executives at two leading companies weigh in on supply chain’s value to their organizations.
Determining the best location for a new or expanding business in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace is challenging. These locations offer a number of advantages when it comes to meeting today’s logistics and supply chain needs.
When a merger required Nature’s Way to consolidate distribution facilities, it called on the services of system supplier The Numina Group for a new design and technologies. Today, the facility successfully distributes products to customers in 50 states, and overseas through five supply chain channels.
Intertape Polymer Group outsourced transportation to gain control of its diverse product line and protect profit margins.
Kevin X. Jones, vice president of inbound transportation at Walmart, focuses on building transportation synergies.
Partnerships between four shippers and their 3PLs demonstrate logistics outsourcing strategies.
When a natural disaster hits, consumers rely on home improvement stores for the products they need to repair or rebuild.
TAJ Flooring used a transportation management system to improve shipment and freight spend visibility.
Voice-directed technology can help improve worker safety and reduce employee-training time, yet some companies avoid them because of these five common misconceptions.
This article provides a step-by-step guide to logistics network optimization.
Companies planning new distribution centers or warehouses weigh process data to choose materials handling equipment.
Hub-and-spoke transportation models maximize cargo shipping efficiency, delivering better visibility and cost savings.
E-commerce retailers choose specialized distribution centers near parcel carrier hubs and transportation infrastructure.
Cosmetics companies face challenges such as time- and temperature-sensitive shipments and retailer packaging requirements.
Third-party logistics providers are assuming a less transactional, more consultative role with shippers.
Big data gathered by materials handling equipment helps warehouse managers improve productivity and safety.
Retailer DSW's new replenishment materials handling solution improves inventory control and reduces in-store markdowns.
Establishing an efficient distribution center network require careful planning and frequent updates.
An order management system from DF Young and Superior Technology helps Cintron Beverage Company boost inventory accuracy, fulfill orders easily and quickly, and track products throughout the supply chain.
A new inventory management system by Manhattan Associates nurses Nature's Best's fulfillment operations back to health.
Changing consumer expectations and demand for greater efficiency, economy, and productivity present new twists and turns in warehouse automation.
This story examines what customers want in an e-commerce operation and shares fulfillment strategies that merchants use to keep those customers happy.
Online retailers seeking new sites for DCs and warehouses need the transportation infrastructure to support a constant, rapid-fire flow of shipments – plus a capable workforce, affordable utilities, and business incentives to help them get the most from their investment.
Close-out retailer Tuesday Morning implemented Interlink’s WHSe-LINK warehouse management system to receive, store, and allocate its daily inbound shipments of unique SKUs.
Schwan’s Home Services optimized its distribution network by using a hybrid insourced/outsourced model; and Sun-Maid Growers of California used collaborative distribution to create better economies of scale in its transportation operations.
Food company Bob Evans entrusted Millard Refrigerated Services with its warehousing and distribution operations. The two businesses worked together to expand both their supply chain capabilities.
Brian Hancock, president, North America for Martin-Brower, discusses the unique supply chain and distribution operations supporting the McDonald’s restaurant chain.
When baseball cap maker New Era’s business growth hit critical mass, it realigned its distribution operations, fusing Menlo Worldwide Logistics’ outsourced solutions with its global supply chain.
Colgate took more than four million miles out of its network while handling five percent more cases of product – and even managed to cut logistics costs, sharing the savings with customers and suppliers.
Amazon closes Texas distribution facility over sales tax dispute; Robert Guenther of United Fresh Produce Association comments on FDA Food Safety Modernization Act; U.S. General Services Administration rolls out green guidelines for government suppliers; Crossdocking use is on the rise
When Boise Paper wanted to consolidate five Northeast region facilities into just one, it turned to Nexus Distribution for customer service excellence built on a sound implementation process.
Collaborative distribution lets manufacturers, especially consumer product goods (CPG) companies, merge loads destined for the same end point to maximize trucking efficiency.
A Direct-to-Store Delivery (DSD) delivery model helps consumer goods manufacturers gain speed and increase inventory turns.
The key to successful shipping in Alaska is to partner with a transportation provider that knows how to manage Alaska’s many obstacles.
Dannon's network design provides flexibility and speed to serve customers quickly, reduces transport time and costs, and delivers on the company's sustainability initiatives, while ensuring product freshness.
By integrating contract packaging into distribution operations, companies can cut costs by 30 percent.
Geography, transportation infrastructure, and a strong distribution sector make Memphis a natural logistics hub.
Small and mid-sized manufacturers lack the scale to ship in full truckloads, creating thousands of separate, inefficient lines of supply—all moving to the same mass retailers. Collaborative distribution reduces the number of trucks on the road and cuts distribution costs.
Inbound Logistics Publisher Keith Biondo outlines how Walmart is taking inbound logistics to the next level.
When selecting a site for a new warehouse or distribution center, there's a second infrastructure that demands attention: the power generation and delivery system.
Nonprofit organization MedShare distributes recovered medical supplies to the places of greatest need.
Global shoe retailer ALDO implements a high-stepping, end-to-end inventory and distribution system.
Inbound Logistics Senior Writer Joseph O'Reilly visits Bellavance Beverage Company, a Nashua, N.H. beer distributor.
A transportation management system (TMS) can help companies navigate unsettled business conditions and boost performance.
Echo’s proprietary technology enables M. Holland to meet national business needs with a more strategic routing process.
From line haul to the last mile distribution center, from intake to proof-of-delivery processes, SEKO Logistics streamlined workflows for a fast fashion giant.
Partnering with Elenteny Imports enabled BREA Wine Co. to become “super-efficient” on the compliance side, accelerating distribution.
Echo’s proprietary technology enables M. Holland to meet national business needs with a more strategic routing process.
From superheroes to strategists, here are the fictional figures and real-life people that IL readers would put in charge of global vaccine logistics and distribution.
In her previous role managing supplier relationships at Starbucks, Sylvia Wilks learned what good customer service really looks like. Now that she supplies customers at TireHub, she knows how to meet their expectations and build the national tire distributor’s customer-centric culture.
These three winning projects exemplify ID Logistics' mission to continually drive process improvements and boost service levels.
GE recently launched its in-house SmartHQ Solutions suite. The SmartHQ Distribution module uses big data and smart warehouse technology to track real-time traffic, reduce product handling, and improve on-time delivery.
To prepare for the return of crowded streets in urban areas, cities and shippers explore alternative vehicles, apps, pricing solutions, and distribution centers to address last-mile gridlock.
Kansas City, which offers an appealing central location and established "inland port," provides a blueprint for distribution hotspots.
As e-commerce demand grew, retailers went from using small, existing distribution centers to opening entire fulfillment centers to combining omnichannel facilities. Paul A. Myerson discusses the advantages.
As businesses slowly recover following COVID-19 fulfillment and distribution centers can't simply flip a switch and return to normal operations. Reopening will require a rigorous methodology backed by data and analytics, and creative thinking about how to leverage existing technology in the workplace.
With exacting specifications and transportation challenges heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, shippers are turning to these partners to move chemicals safely and optimize supply chains.
DHL provides Mio with more control over inbound orders from eight countries to reduce detention and demurrage costs while improving intake planning for distribution centers.
Investing in data management can help your DC run smoother. However, you shouldn’t quit once you’ve rearranged a few aisles. Take your learnings from fulfillment and use them to encourage greater data investment in all aspects of your operation.
Best Buy made its list and checked it twice, and it's ready to take on the holiday season with a new and improved supply chain.
Dock appointment scheduling solutions enable shippers, carriers and consignees to avoid decreases in annual earnings and improve driver safety.
Modernizing your distribution business isn’t just about adopting the latest and greatest technology. From seamless scalability to cost-efficiency to tax benefits, the right solutions can pave the way to significant results.
A Q&A with Scott Cornell, transportation business lead and crime and theft specialist at Travelers, on how to avoid theft during the holiday season.
3PLs and tech providers can empower ethical supply chains, winter warehouse tips, what is most important to carriers when working with shippers, Fleet Advantage 2018 benchmarking survey reveals fleet operators pulse about rising fuel and maintenance and electric trucks, female high school students, findings from 2019 Third-Party Logistics Study, Forrester forecasts that companies will spend $434.9 billion to run IoT solutions by 2023, startup aims to make robots safe around factory workers, conditions ripe for multistory warehouses, automated material handling equipment market to exhibit significant growth during 2018–2024
A DHL distributed a poll to U.S. e-commerce businesses, reveals major challenges, priorities and more for e-comm businesses this Cyber Monday.
Manufacturers and wholesale distributors are optimistic about the perceived impact of the Trump administration’s plans for trade deregulation on their businesses, according to new research commissioned by business software provider Exact.
E-commerce has forever changed the way people shop. Now businesses of all sizes must reassess their supply chains to go direct to the consumer with faster-than-fast delivery and free shipping.
Selecting the best metrics at your company’s distribution centers requires the right tools, careful study, and constant collaboration.
When a paper-based order management system slowed a baseball bat manufacturer’s growth, the company digitized for out-of-the-park growth.
With rail facility upgrades underway and intermodal network improvements on track, these sites are riding high on intermodal advantages.
While the use of last-mile delivery has increased in the pandemic era, the process has experienced various growing pains. A new consumer survey shows customers have encountered regular delays and would like to have greater visibility of their deliveries.
Helping to increase worker safety and comfort, boost productivity and efficiency, and bring about cost savings, wearable technologies like hands-free wrist and ring bar-code scanners, smart glasses, and ergonomic safety monitors are increasingly in demand.
With capacity tight and trucker employment stretched thin, carriers can be selective about who they work with, so it’s important for shippers to have a game plan. Here’s how you can stay in the driver's seat.
Warehouse management systems are coveted now more than ever as consumer behaviors continue to shift. This short list of leading solutions can help your business stay agile to meet surging fulfillment demands.
Warehouse and DC managers are following the lead of their e-commerce peers and looking at ways to streamline their receiving and warehouse processes. One of the smartest places to start is also one of the simplest—barcode label printing.
How the COVID-19 pandemic changed demand in five product categories, the challenges those changes created for e-commerce fulfillment, and the strategies that merchants and their service providers deployed to meet the need.
The last mile will have to accommodate the reliable distribution of the billions of vaccines that providers will manufacture and ship in 2021. Here are the obstacles facing the supply chain.
Verst Logistics helped an arts and crafts supplies company address peak season challenges and growing sales by expanding its supply chain capabilities.
How will digital technologies and automated solutions help your supply chain succeed in this new, post-pandemic reality? For starters, they increase resilience in the face of disruption and support your workforce.
The acquisition triples Taylored’s footprint in key areas, totaling more than 4.1 million square feet of distribution space.
Timely deliveries are critical for Tacony, a manufacturer and distributor of sewing and floor care products. Learn how the family-owned company cut costs, streamlined transportation, and boosted service levels by collaborating with Sunset Transportation.
Consumers are planning to do their holiday shopping mostly from home and earlier this year, presenting big challenges for distribution centers.
Looking to streamline load building, True Manufacturing turned to MagicLogic Optimization and integrated Cube-IQ, a software solution that optimizes load planning. The result was reduced work hours and increased efficiency.
TA Services' transportation management solutions helped MRC Global, a distributor of pipe, infrastructure products, and valves and fittings, improve visibility and enhance service levels.
The chemical distribution industry poses a unique challenge for warehouses and carriers due to the wide range of goods that fall under strict regulatory requirements for handling, storage, and shipping. Finding a 3PL partner who can meet these expectations is critical and often requires considerable research and evaluation.
Accepting credit cards can be a major differentiator for businesses, enabling customers to pay however is most convenient for them. To balance this need with the necessity of maintaining margins, consider credit card surcharging.
Take a look at notable good works, green projects, acquisitions, and more from February 2020.
We asked and you answered—these are the supply chain terms and phrases that you think people often confuse.
New facilities in Indianapolis and Reno enable 3PL MD Logistics to support faster time to market for its life sciences and pharmaceutical customers.
Pool distribution is one strategy that’s getting a second wind in the face of intensifying e-commerce pressure and the changing face of America’s malls.
Faced with rapidly-accelerating demand for its products, skin care company Rodan + Fields, an e-commerce merchant, chooses a distribution solution that includes a new location and automation.
New and noteworthy in the supply chain
Florida's state-of-the-art seaports and airports, and strong highway and rail networks, have helped establish a strong and growing logistics sector.
Profile on Paul Nugent, director of logistics for Kitchen and Bath Americas with Kohler Co.
Inbound Logistics offers this annual guide of some top TMS providers and solutions that can put you on the right road toward improved transportation management and performance
A new study from Descartes Systems Group shows the ongoing e-commerce growth and the importance of delivery performance for customers.
Bar Code Direct modernized and optimized a large Fortune 500 retail warehouse, taking a three-pronged approach that yielded dramatic speed and productivity gains.
Implementing a drop shipping solution comes with its share of challenges for a 3PL provider, as these types of orders differ from a standard parcel shipment. Here’s what to consider.
Get moving with these actionable tips to jolt your warehousing, transportation, and logistics operations.
A profile of Lori Fellmer, vice president of logistics and carrier management with BassTech International.
When the time arrives to consider investing in additional space, many distribution centers, retailers and businesses dependent on warehouses face a dilemma: should the organization move to a new facility, build an addition, or try to retrofit an older warehouse? And, in the case of a retrofit or addition, what can be done to make an aging or existing warehouse space more suitable?
Here are some warehouse operations moves—some small steps, some not—companies can do to boost their bottom lines and improve customer satisfaction, including layout and organization, docking, picking and receiving, fulfillment, and packaging.
Unyson helped a customer simultaneously increase service for time-sensitive shipments while decreasing costs.
By partnering with Hub Group, a major dairy and food ingredient company is finding the right capacity at the right time while using supply chain data to be more time- and cost-efficient.
Whether online or in-store, customers expect an immediate and frictionless shopping experience, thanks to Amazon. To compete, you must level the playing field with experiences that keep customers coming back to your branded e-commerce site.
Even after adding a third production shift to its foundry, Lodge Manufacturing Company couldn’t manufacture enough cast-iron cookware to fill orders. To meet demand, the family-owned business in southern Tennessee invested $85 million in a second foundry, a modern 212,000-square-foot distribution center, and the company’s first warehouse management system, mobe3 from EVS.
This story looks at some of the trends and challenges associated with e-commerce today, and strategies for dealing with those challenges, through the eyes of one small retailer, one medium-sized and one large.
Readers share how they keep their smaller retail businesses competitive against massive-commerce companies.