Supply chain disruptions are not a new thing. I’ve written about them quite a bit this year, whether they were due to bad weather, political unrest, driver shortages, or faulty equipment. And we’ve certainly seen supply chain disruptions due to employee strikes or walk-outs. These incidents are usually due to what employees feel are unfair wages, benefits, or working conditions. Well Demoulas Market Basket has a new one: they want their CEO back.

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Demoulas Super Markets, Inc, which uses the trade name Market Basket, is a chain of 71 supermarkets in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine in the United States, with its corporate headquarters located in Tewksbury, MA. Market Basket is well known as a low price grocer, with a diehard following, and incredibly busy weekends. In 2008, Arthur T. Demoulas, CEO and grandson of Market Basket’s founders, was elected as President of the company by the board of directors. It’s been a rocky ride, and he nearly lost his position in 2013. About a month ago, Arthur T. Demoulas and two top executives were fired by the board of directors. Two consultants have since been brought on board to run the company.

Market Basket employees were not happy with this decision. Employees demanded that Demoulas be re-instated as CEO, and threatened a walkout and strike if their demands were not met. When they didn’t hear an answer by the middle of last week, they issued an ultimatum to the board, saying they needed an answer by 4:30 p.m.  The answer (which would allow some employees to meet and speak with the board) was not satisfactory, so a walkout ensued.

Employees held a rally at the Tewksbury headquarters and warehouse, essentially deciding not to work. With the warehouse not operating, trucks could not be loaded or unloaded, and deliveries could not be made. All of this meant a complete halt to shipping receiving store inventory. The halting of inventory has brought the company to a standstill, and has left store shelves empty. This is certainly one way to get management’s attention. Individual stores have also joined in the protest, either by striking and not stocking shelves, or by blocking outside carriers to make deliveries. The produce, meat, and dairy cases in stores are completely devoid of merchandise. As far as supply chain disruptions go, this one has no end in sight, and a stalemate is expected from both sides.

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And customers are taking notice (and taking to Twitter). Social media has seen a slew of posts and pictures detailing the lack of inventory availability at stores. And this is becoming a big issue as well. Most Market Basket customers are loyal to the store. However, if they can’t get the products they need, they will shop somewhere else. It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out, and when trucks will begin to make deliveries and store shelves will be stocked again. If the days turn into weeks, Market Basket will have to make a big move. It’s just a question of what that move will be.

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The weather is balmy, and many of us are thinking about the beach or the lakes. But, from a planning perspective, the holiday season isn’t that far away. With the holidays comes an increase in commercial activity, and it’s not too soon to think about effective ways to handle the increase in fulfillment volume. During the holiday surge, it is imperative that a warehouse be able to flex to handle… Continue reading

Courtesy of WSJ and Daniel Hertzberg

Courtesy of WSJ and Daniel Hertzberg

Earlier this week I read a Wall Street Journal article on a tech-driven revolution in sports, written by Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager most well known as the character played by Brad Pitt in the movie Moneyball. I found the article interesting and… Continue reading

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By Ben Cubitt, Senior Vice President of Consulting and Engineering and Cindy Bosecker, Director of Procurement, Transplace

There are three critical phases or elements of a truckload bid event – the upfront development of bid strategy, the execution of the bid, and the use of scenario management tools to drive final bid assignments. While all three phases are critical to a successful bid, many shippers can find significant opportunity… Continue reading

One of our clients, a third parth logistics (3PL) company, will buy a transportation management system (TMS). They asked us what they should look for in the product demonstrations.

After talking to some folks I respect in the industry, this is what I came up with:

In the demo, 3PLs should look for the following:

The ability to do new client onboarding!

  • Can the supplier easily leverage