Supply Chain Insights
A collection of the latest logistics and supply chain management industry whitepapers, eBooks, case studies and more.
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Natural disasters and other events can disrupt connections between you, suppliers, and customers. You can circumvent disruptions or minimize their impact on the supply chain. This whitepaper explores which companies face the greatest risk for disruption, what supply chain mapping can reveal about risk, and how you can build resilience into your supply chain.
This whitepaper will help you gain a deep understanding of how to effectively manage and understand the nuances of LTL freight shipping. It covers the challenges logistics executives face in inbound freight shipping; areas to focus on to improve inbound freight management; and the requirements of an effective transportation management system. Learn how deploying an effective inbound freight program reaps benefits including significant cost reductions, improved transportation efficiency, better control over incoming goods, a boost in customer service, reduction in cycle time, and even freedom from legal headaches.
Forecasting is a thankless task. You’re always wrong, and your work is never done. Good forecasts aren’t always celebrated, but inaccurate forecasts will always be criticized. While poor forecasts deserve to be critiqued, good forecasts – or consistent improvements in forecast accuracy – equally deserve hosannas and rewards. This new e-book provides practical and actionable tips to help your company improve its forecasting process.
Beginning in 2015, UPS and FedEx are changing their rate structures to use dimensional-weight pricing, a common industry standard, for invoicing all domestically shipped parcels. Before these changes occur, it is important to prepare to avoid future headaches. This new whitepaper explains how the transportation and logistics sector will be impacted, defines dimensional-weight pricing, and offers tips to prepare for the changes. It also explains how an investment in dimensioning technology can pay for itself, and makes transportation and logistics processes easier and more profitable.
Prior to investing resources into "big data" systems, software, and people, firms must understand that data aggregation alone is insufficient. Without a well-thought-out strategy, big data projects can result in confusion between teams, or worse, lead to sunk costs. This article uses three examples to illustrate data-driven improvement opportunities in transportation, warehousing, and network design. The ultimate deliverable of data-oriented efforts should be greater transparency in decision-making.
E-commerce continues to push delivery logistics in new directions. E-tailers of all sizes are looking to “disruptive logistics” – a combination of delivery speed and innovation – as a way to add value, separate themselves from the pack, and keep the customer under their banner throughout the entire shopping process. As a result of these moves, formerly well-defined borders between e-tailing and logistics are dissolving, shifting the entire e-commerce ecosystem in new ways that will impact all businesses in the space. This whitepaper analyzes recent trends in e-commerce logistics and presents strategies for e-tail giants, small and mid-sized companies, and third-party logistics providers.
New research reveals that consumers are adopting mobile shopping at an impressive rate, but a looming problem exists. A surprising percentage of consumers report struggling with mobile shopping apps. When consumers struggle, 51 percent abandon the shopping cart and leave the app; 20 percent leave the app entirely and never return. Don’t leave your mobile shopping customers hanging. Read this free report and find out how you can increase revenue, reduce operating costs, and elevate net promoter scores.
You know the perils of food logistics. Let your guard down, and a truckload of perishables turns into an unsellable mess. Or you get stuck with racks full of canned goods nearing their sell-by date. The right third-party logistics provider can help you avoid those pitfalls, while cutting costs and keeping you compliant with relevant government regulations. How do you know which 3PL to trust with your food shipments? Download this free whitepaper to discover the five essential questions every food shipper should ask.
A company’s environmental and sustainability policies strongly influence consumer perception. Environmentally responsible supply chains not only have the potential to sway brand loyalty, but to simultaneously reduce carbon footprint and bottom-line costs through improved efficiency. Download NFI’s whitepaper to learn how sustainable technological improvements and management best practices can help you in transportation and freight management; warehousing and distribution; and property design and construction.
Transportation is one of the biggest expenses for companies, and these costs continue to increase. Learn about current industry conditions, the factors that are contributing to these cost increases, and the benefits a Transportation Management System (TMS) can provide. This whitepaper will answer all your questions, from the TMS options available to the return on investment.
Aimed at logistics managers, this whitepaper examines truckload capacity trends from July 2013 onward and responds to a number of questions: What caused the shortage of trucks, how the shortage of capacity affected spot and contract rates, and which market indictors shippers can use to better understand future supply and demand conditions. The paper also outlines how shippers can harness big data to prepare for volatility in the transportation market and forecast truckload capacity and rates on North American lanes.
Manufacturers in the process of selecting new locations in Mexico for their operations need a full understanding of costs to take advantage of the benefits of manufacturing in the country. This whitepaper covers: the benefits of a cost model, an overview of elements included in a cost model and insight into the types of costs manufacturers should plan for, insight into true costs in Mexico, the importance of customizing each cost model, and a review of the factors that make Mexico cost-advantageous compared to other global manufacturing locations.
This whitepaper addresses some of the myths related to dock scheduling, such as: I Only Need A Basic Appointment Tool Dock Scheduling – My Carriers and Suppliers Will Never Do It; We Can’t Afford to Refuse Loads so Why Bother Scheduling?; I Don’t Need A Dock Appointment Scheduling Because I Deal With A 3PL; Carriers Won’t Respect the Appointment Time; My Vendors Will Never Buy Into the New Scheduling Process; and A Dock Scheduling Software is Too Expensive. Bust these myths by downloading this free whitepaper today.
In today’s fast-paced global economy, it’s critical to identify, understand, and measure how certain business drivers impact your supply chain and your company’s business growth. To do so, you must consider the critical role that labeling plays in meeting the demands of key business drivers. These drivers can have a significant influence and major impact on your business’ performance and overall success. Find out how Enterprise Labeling impacts seven key business drivers – regulatory and compliance, customer responsiveness, supply chain efficiency, business continuity, enterprise collaboration, configurability and segmentation, and brand consistency – resulting in improved performance and efficiency across a global supply chain.
This whitepaper from One Network Enterprises offers a crash course in taking your supply chain from good to great by identifying the latest innovations that are impacting supply chains for the better. It also illustrates how companies can leverage the cloud for predictive and actionable supply network operations, integrated financial measurement, and integrated business planning.
For some manufacturers, accurate data can only be acquired when a shift ends and production reports are logged, or shop floor data is uploaded, resulting in an eight-hour "real-time" reality. For others, the real-time information range is shorter, depending on reporting software limitations. Competitive manufacturers need to ask themselves, "Why is that an acceptable margin?" The answer is: It’s not! When you pull information from your shop floor and back office, reports should be run against live data, not data that is delayed. This whitepaper discusses the importance of actual data, and demonstrates how a lack of real-time information can cause crippling effects throughout the enterprise.
If you import goods through the Ports of LA/Long Beach, the complexity of port and terminal procedures can slow down your cargo. It helps to know the ins and outs of terminal operations to quickly move products off port and into the hands of your retail customers. This paper provides tips on distribution of imported products, from port services to warehousing to final delivery.
Cloud-based services play a vital role in reducing networking costs and boosting agility in small to medium -sized enterprises. And not all cloud wi-fi solutions are the same. Download this whitepaper report conducted by Forrester Research Consulting on behalf of Aruba Networks to learn business priorities for enabling a mobile workplace; review critical SaaS-managed WLAN features for a secure, multi-service platform; and evaluate different cloud Wi-Fi solutions. If your organization is considering a WLAN upgrade, don’t miss this perspective on why cloud-managed Wi-Fi could be the answer.
Over the last several decades, supply chain professionals have focused on performance issues that have emerged from a lack of commercial/business alignment with supply chain operations. While significant improvements have been made, the biggest SC opportunities have shifted. New University of Tennessee Global Supply Chain Institute research shows that a major strategic integration opportunity exists between purchasing and logistics, and failing to capitalize on this opportunity is clearly causing many firms to miss important opportunities to create value. This whitepaper presents strong evidence that organizations that align procurement and logistics decisions not only vertically with business unit strategy, but also horizontally between functions, enjoy heightened functional and financial performance.
From straightforward pallet wrapper applications to complex and robust distribution systems, automation has a foothold in the competitive, modern manufacturing environment. Through applications that integrate seamlessly into your enterprise software solution, manufacturers are soliciting and creating custom programs that make production faster, easier, and more accurate. But once the project for automation has been identified, where do you turn to get the program started? You have two options: Team up with your ERP vendor or develop it on your own. This new whitepaper discusses the benefits of each option, and offers success stories from manufacturers facing common shop floor challenges.
Ever wonder how third-party logistics providers (3PLs) calculate the warehouse prices they charge? This new guide explains it all in plain language. By getting smarter about the 3PL pricing process, you are in a much better position to impact how product is stored and handled – and reduce your warehousing costs.
Sixty-one percent of consumers said their perception of a company is strongly influenced by the company’s environmental and sustainability policies. Environmentally responsible supply chains not only have the potential to sway brand loyalty, but to simultaneously reduce the carbon footprint and bottom line costs through improved efficiency. Download NFI’s White Paper to learn how sustainable technological improvements and management best practices can help you in: Transportation and Freight Management Warehousing and Distribution Property Design and Construction
Nearly 80 percent of respondents to a recent Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium survey believe that supply chain is an enabler of business strategy. Aligning Supply Chains with Business Strategy, a new report based on the survey findings, explores how companies can overcome alignment challenges to build stronger bridges.
One of the most persistent challenges to research organizations is effi cient chemical inventory management. Material isn’t where it should be. There’s not enough for research. Inventory reports aren’t correct. When chemical inventory reports are inaccurate, and research materials aren’t available, the entire lab suffers. There’s a solution. This whitepaper examines the reasons why systems fail or succeed, as well as best practices that optimize chemical inventory workfl ows to ensure accurate inventory data.
This whitepaper discovers how the next generation of supply chain executors will enable 3PL providers and shippers to strengthen their partnerships. Topics discussed in this whitepaper include:
- How a 3PL becomes a 4PL
- The 4PL model
- Key responsibilities and associated benefits of 4PLs
- Best-of-breed technology for 4PLs
- Supply chain planning and execution terminology
- Five keys to forging a successful 4PL partnership
Today, more and more companies are finding value in optimizing their distribution network. By taking a strategic approach to network configuration, they are improving service levels, better managing their inventory and reducing transportation costs. Less demanding in terms of infrastructure, systems, cost, and time than full-scale supply chain optimization, this targeted approach delivers remarkable results. Download this new report for a closer look at how distribution network configuration can imact supply chain effectiveness.
When it comes to global economic competitiveness, the United States is not as strong as it once was. To help mitigate this trend, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made transforming customs procedures to better align with modern business practices a priority. The Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEEs) are an integral part of those efforts. This whitepaper examines what the CEEs mean for importers and brokers, what changes they can expect, and how the CEEs might enable more streamlined and efficient customs processes in the future.
Retailer chargeback fines for non-compliant shipments are a profit-draining reality. But retail suppliers with the will and the resources to prevent and refute chargebacks can avoid hundreds of thousands in lost profit. This Weber Logistics Insight provides background on the origins and rationale for chargebacks, followed by a seven-step process for avoiding or overturning these costly penalties.
Can JIT and Global Sourcing Strategies Co-exist? Understanding the Transformational Power of Cloud-based Supply Chain Visibility in Global Manufacturing
Just-in-time inventory strategies are at odds with global sourcing, but the two can coexist with the right technology. A cloud-based supply chain platform can mitigate the risk of sourcing globally without weighing down the supply chain with excess inventory and costs. Learn how cloud can:
- Reduce buffer stock with in-transit visibility
- Reallocate to meet changing demand requirements
- Avoid hidden costs along the supply chain route
- Reduce emergency expediting costs
You know the perils of food logistics. Let your guard down, and a truckload of perishables turns into an unsellable mess. Or you get stuck with racks full of canned goods nearing their sell-by date. The right 3PL can help you avoid those pitfalls, while cutting your costs and keeping you compliant with relevant government regulations. How do you know which 3PL to trust with your food shipments? Here are five essential questions every food shipper should ask.
Need to reduce transportation costs? Inbound transportation is an area rich with opportunity. In this whitepaper from enVista, you will learn how Transportation Management Systems have evolved to better address expanding inbound requirements, and ways to reduce your transportation spend.
Holistic Supply Chain Management: A Focused Approach to Supply Chain Management through the Lens of Working Capital Management
There’s been a renewal of interest in the past few years around optimizing working capital in the supply chain, and cloud technology makes it easier. Visibility on a cloud-based platform and having standardized, electronic documentation over the network gives managers the tools they need to free up as much cash as possible in the supply chain.
Trust & Verify – Best Practices: Financial Due Diligence and the Outsourcing of Freight Bill Audit and Payment
There are billions of dollars circulated globally for the movement of goods. Transportation costs can be higher than any other expense. It is critical that companies carefully choose their freight payment provider. Performing due diligence on the vendor’s financials not only protects the company’s funds, but also reassures they’ll not lose money and be indebted to any carrier. This whitepaper highlights a number of steps that can be taken to ensure a successful relationship, and protect and minimize the financial risk to the outsourcer.
There is a revolution in today’s supply chain as global corporations find more risk than reward in manufacturing thousands of miles away from customers. As a result, companies are shifting toward globally local supply chain operations or "right-shoring." In this whitepaper, Exel explores right-shoring, highlighting what it means for supply chain operations across geographies and industries.
As corporate budgets shrink, spending on high-tech equipment decreases, challenging high-tech manufacturers and service providers with greater demands on repair and maintenance. A reliable supply chain is essential for parts availability to meet aggressive service level agreements (SLAs), especially for mission-critical systems. Learn why organizations are enlisting outside experts to establish a comprehensive service parts logistics strategy, encompassing a global IT platform, real-time visibility and flexible scalability.
How is your supply chain performing? The inability to do the necessary supply chain analysis can have consequences, both financially and operationally. Smart companies follow a repeatable, consistent approach that determines whether a change can be implemented, and identifies the associated risks. Download Evaluating Your Inbound Supply Chain to discover our process for evaluating supply chains.
When it comes to managing your transportation program, the overriding theme must be control, yet many organizations have not applied the same efforts to inbound transportation management as they have to outbound management, making it a great opportunity for efficiency and cost savings. This whitepaper will identify and discuss the most important, perhaps simplest of steps necessary, to improve Inbound Transportation Management, as well as the opportunities that this improvement will yield.
This whitepaper discusses regulatory and logistical hurdles U.S. businesses must be aware of when shipping across the U.S./Canadian border. These challenges must be understood and addressed as part of the cross-border experience. Transporting goods into Canada is a complicated process. Regulations and protocols are constantly changing and U.S. businesses must entrust their Canadian-bound shipments to a qualified logistics provider that ensures shipments are afforded every trade enhancement, priority clearance review, and duty/ tax reduction to which they are entitled.
This study, based on a survey of North American shippers, examines the top challenges faced in temperature-controlled transportation. It provides interesting insights and information about best practices, common challenges, and emerging trends in today’s temperature-controlled market. The report is provided by RWI Transportation, an asset-based logistics company offering temperature-controlled transportation. RWI manages in excess of 100,000 shipments annually, including both temperature-controlled and dry freight.
Retailers want their goods to seamlessly flow through their distribution network. To meet retailers’ inbound supply chain needs, Descartes created Logistics Flow Control, a comprehensive, cloud-based, multi-party solution that spans the entire process to collaboratively bring together all of the parties to simultaneously manage commercial, logistics and customs inbound processes.
The present economy has served as a reminder that there are no guarantees in business. Many companies are finding themselves struggling to stay afloat, and many are sinking. In better economic days, a company could survive with a moderate profit margin achieved through dedicated attention to its bottom line. Focusing on values increases performance levels, improves service, reduces employee variability, and supports sustainability.
The Perfect Labor Management Storm – Steering Clear of Driver Hazards, Cost Damage, and Areas of Poor Visibility
Growing pressures including driver shortages, HOS regulations, and increasing competition are causing capacity shortages and escalating costs, cutting into already razor-thin profit margins. While some issues, such as weak economic recovery and rising fuel prices, are out of your control, labor is not. Discover how labor management solutions can help you optimize your labor resources by uncovering hidden capacity, consistently enforcing attendance and safety policies, improving hiring efficiency, and controlling costs to boost profit margins. Download this whitepaper today!
Globalization has created boundless opportunities for both large and small companies around the world and has also ushered in a more competitive business environment. This C.H. Robinson whitepaper reviews the essential areas of expertise that a company must master in transportation and logistics in order to capitalize on these opportunities. Topics include:
- Understanding globalization and the changing world.
- Global transportation essentials.
- Why global business requires a global TMS.
This whitepaper focuses on the elements that go into achieving a solid reslotting strategy. Slot maintenance performed in sync with distribution center dynamics helps achieve optimal slotting. Leveraging opportunities such as product volume and mix changes, seasonal demands, and promotions allows for reslotting that increases picking efficiency. Identifying inflection points and reslotting at the appropriate time using underutilized labor at standard rates minimizes costs and improves payback cycles. Once a company determines its slotting strategy and establishes business rules, it can employ slotting technology to achieve a reslotting strategy that minimizes costs and optimizes efficiency. Find out more by downloading this free whitepaper.
Logistics visionaries have talked for years about eliminating or at least reducing the role of inventory in modern supply chains. What is appealing in this vision is the reduction in logistics costs and the fulfillment cycle. Learn how a direct-to-store or distribution bypass approach to global fulfillment can lead to a leaner supply chain by downloading this free whitepaper today.