Archive for March 2010 – Page 2

Take a Different View of Transportation Procurement Solutions

I’ve written a lot about transportation procurement over the past year (see here, and here, and here). The reason is simple: due to favorable pricing conditions, many shippers have put their freight out to bid to reduce their rates. And software vendors have responded by introducing new transportation procurement solutions. Here are three examples: CombineNet: In September 2009, the company introduced RFxpress, a “self service” software-as-a-service sourcing solution that “provides a simple six-step wizard to […]

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Warren Buffett Explains BNSF Acquisition in Annual Letter

Company annual reports typically contain a letter from the CEO or Chairman. Many of these letters are boring and filled with half truths. There is one exception: Warren Buffet’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. His letters are eagerly awaited by the financial community because they are funny and insightful. His most recent letter came out at the end of February. He did not say as much as I was hoping for about his rationale […]

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This Week in Logistics News (Mar 8-12, 2010)

It was another busy week in the world of supply chain and logistics. Here’s our short list of what caught our attention this week: Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.4% in January from December Retail Container Traffic to be Up 13 Percent in March Schneider National Deploys Next Generation In-Cab Technology Descartes Reports Fiscal 2010 Fourth Quarter and Year End Financial Results Descartes Begins Testing With European Union Customs Obama outlines strategy to boost […]

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Unintended Impact of Walmart’s “Project Impact”

Last year, my colleague Steve Banker wrote a few postings about Walmart’s “Project Impact” initiative and the retailer’s quest to simplify its SKU selection (see “SKU Reductions in Consumer Goods Supply Chains” and “Walmart’s ‘Win-Play-Show’ Assortment Strategy”). At a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference yesterday, Walmart U.S. Chief Operating Officer Bill Simon provided a quick summary on the results to date, as shown on the slides below (you can access the full presentation and […]

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Case Studies from SAP Insider: Indigo Books & Music and Newell Rubbermaid

I attended the SAP Insider Logistics and Supply Chain Management 2010 conference in Orlando, Florida a couple of weeks ago. My colleagues attended other SAP Insider conferences held at the same time focused on manufacturing and product lifecycle management (PLM). You can read their takeaways about those conferences and the keynote presentations by Richard Campione, Executive Vice President of Suite Solution Management, and Peter Graf, SAP’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Vice President of Sustainability […]

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Duty of Care Legislation Redefines Private Fleet

The traditional definition of a private fleet is a fleet of vehicles owned by a company to conduct business. When supply chain folks hear the term they tend to think of a fleet of large trucks with trailers hauling goods from the manufacturer’s distribution center (DC) to the retailer’s DC. But other types of fleets exist as well: smaller trucks used to install new products for project-based supply chains; maintenance vans used by technicians to repair […]

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Where Should Young Professionals Look for Supply Chain Jobs?

It is still a tough economy out there, with unemployment in the U.S. still hovering near 10 percent. Where should a young person interested in a supply chain management career look for a job?  My top two choices: Bentonville, Arkansas and Geneva, Switzerland. Bentonville is where Walmart is headquartered. But the jobs there are not just for Walmart. Many large consumer goods (CG) companies have account teams in Bentonville to service Walmart. These account teams […]

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This Week in Logistics News (Mar 1-5 2010)

There’s always something going on in the world of supply chain and logistics. Here are some noteworthy news items from this week: December 2009 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 10.5 Percent from December 2008 U.S. lawmakers launch push to repeal NAFTA Postal Service Outlines 10-Year Plan to Address Declining Revenue, Volume Secretary LaHood Applauds Passage of Highway Trust Fund Legislation LeanLogistics Successfully Completes SAS 70 Type II Audit Descartes Unveils Latest Global Logistics […]

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Owning the Podium: Lessons from Motorola and Toyota

This past weekend, I listened to a sermon about “own[ing] the podium,” which was the goal of the Canadian athletes heading into the Vancouver Olympics. The main question raised by the rabbi was this: What happens Monday morning, the day after the Olympics end, when the cameras go away and the world’s attention moves on to something else? Life goes on, and you can either choose to live in the past, standing on that same […]

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Leveraging the Logistics Software Ecosystem

There is a whole ecosystem surrounding the logistics software market. Part of the reason some logistics software companies thrive and others fail is that some of them do a better job of tapping into this ecosystem and leveraging it to create advantages for themselves in innovation, marketing, and sales. Here are the key classes of players that impact this market: Of course, the logistics software companies themselves are key players. The barriers to entry are […]

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