Archive for August 2011

What’s Missing in Your 2012 Budget?

As August comes to an end, many of you are probably in the process of developing or finalizing your budget for 2012. There are the usual line items to complete: transportation costs, technology and capital investments, staffing levels and associated costs, and so on. But there is one line item that is likely missing from your budget: investment in leadership development and education. Almost 52 percent of the supply chain executives I surveyed earlier this […]

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Guest Commentary: Leveling the Fuel Surcharge Playing Field

Is it possible to create a fuel surcharge program that is consistently fair to shippers and carriers? As we have seen over recent months, the cost of motor vehicle fuel is a national preoccupation. Perhaps this is one reason why rising prices at the pump, and mechanisms such as fuel surcharges that are designed to spread the pain between shippers and service providers equably, attract so much attention. Another possible reason is that freight practitioners […]

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The Farm-to-Fork Supply Chain

When it comes to following supply chain processes and technologies, the supply chain that extends from a food manufacturer’s factory to retail stores has always gotten a disproportionate share of attention. This is natural because large food & beverage and consumer goods companies were the first to use warehouse and transportation management systems, are heavy users of advanced supply chain planning applications, and are leading the way toward demand-driven supply chains based on the use […]

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This Week in Logistics News (August 22-26, 2011)

The high-tech industry dominated the news the past two weeks. Google announced that it is acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion; HP plans to sell its PC business, as well as stop making tablets and smartphones; and Steve Jobs is stepping down as Apple’s CEO. The Google and HP news point to two high-level trends taking place in the computer industry: smartphones and tablets are disrupting the traditional PC market, especially in the consumer sector, […]

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JB Hunt to Hire 500 Robot Drivers by 2014

Okay, so the title is not true, but JB Hunt or any other large trucking company could make such an announcement in the not too distant future, just like Terry Gou, the CEO of Foxconn recently made. According to a Xinhua News Agency article, Gou said that “Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency.” Or as The Economist put it, […]

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SAP Performance Benchmarking in Supply Chain Management

SAP briefed ARC a while ago on its benchmarking services, the company’s version of the benchmarking metrics offered by the Supply Chain Council (SCC) and the Warehouse Education Resource Council. In fact, SAP tells us that it is “compliant” with the SCC’s Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model. This basically means that many, but not all, of SAP’s metrics come from the Supply Chain Council, the gold standard for supply chain management metrics. As with […]

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This Week in Logistics News (August 8-12, 2011)

Thanks to the roller coaster ride on Wall Street this week, my dream of retiring at 82.5 has been torn to pieces, just like the Powerball lottery ticket I tossed in the trash after not winning the jackpot on Wednesday—heck, I didn’t even get a single number! And so I blog… White House Announces First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses LeanLogistics Launches LeanFleet™ for Fleet Routing and Optimization FedEx Freight Announces […]

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Guest Commentary: Does the Supply Chain Department Need the IT Department?

HighJump Software is just completing an internal implementation of a new ERP package that covers CRM, financials and customer service. The project touched nearly every business process in our organization, and was driven completely by business function owners and business subject matter experts. Involvement from the IT organization was limited to a few security reviews. I have been involved in several ERP implementations in my career and have never seen a software project so independent […]

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Want a Fast-Response Supply Chain? Facilitate People-to-People Communication

What is needed [in a dynamic business environment] is a supply chain of rapid response…Many people who work in the materials business [and] talk about supply chains and the speed of supply chains [have historically] thought about systems talking to systems across enterprises and about processes. But in reality, the speed of the chain is not really related to the systems used by the various companies—it’s all about people, and people talking to people. That […]

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The Value of Flexibility in DC Networks

In the past I have written about the value of flexibility as a driver for what type of material handling you select for your warehouse. I’ve pointed out that companies that implement highly-automated warehouses are very focused on driving down fulfillment costs to the maximum extent possible, although the payback period is often five years or longer. These solutions also present higher risks. Companies often have to make multi-year assumptions about volume growth and order […]

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