Archive for March 2012

This Week in Logistics News (March 26-30, 2012)

Last night, I kept telling R (my four year-old daughter) that she had to go upstairs to take a bath, and she kept refusing, insisting that she didn’t have to because she’s taken “like 5 baths this week!” When she finally couldn’t take it any more of me saying “Come on, let’s go!” she storms out of the room and says, “Where’s Mommy?! I’m telling on Papi!” I don’t know who’s in charge around here, […]

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Guest Commentary: Topco Associates: Executing Transportation Management with Sophistication

Many industries have complex supply chains, but the food and beverage industry has some of the most unique issues. A great example of sophisticated transportation execution is Topco Associates, one of the largest retail grocery cooperatives in the United States. Topco provides sourcing, innovation, packaging, label management, quality assurance and nutritional assistance through store brand and private label services. The true competitive advantage Topco provides to members is based on the sourcing and aggregation of […]

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Lesson from Pink Slime Incident: Social Media is a Supply Chain Risk

Supply chain risk management is often synonymous with natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, and as we witnessed last year, those types of events can significantly disrupt supply chain operations. Economic conditions, political unrest, oil and commodity prices, quality issues, capacity constraints, and the financial stability of suppliers are also on the “risk radar” for most supply chain executives. But what about social media? Can what people say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs bring […]

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Future Electronics Implements TMS and GTM to Drive Customer Service Excellence

Future Electronics is a world leader and innovator in distributing and marketing semiconductors and passive, interconnect and electro-mechanical components. Future is a private company, headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The company differentiates itself by providing an exemplary standard of customer service through product marketing, technical solution support, in-depth inventory, professional selling procedures, and highly-reliable distribution systems. For the company’s supply chain group, this means it must hold a relatively large available-to-sell inventory. Future supports this with […]

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This Week in Logistics News (March 19-23, 2012)

Last October I bought three new shovels in anticipation of another cold, snowy winter. The snow and cold never came, and it was 81 degrees here in Boston yesterday. This coming October I will buy a snow blower. Acquisitions and new software products headline this week’s news. United Parcel Service and TNT Express to Create a Global Leader in the Logistics Industry Amazon.com to Acquire Kiva Systems, Inc. LeanLogistics Releases On-Demand TMS® v.12.1.0 Accellos Announces […]

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Why Did Amazon.com Acquire Kiva Systems?

Back in May 2004, I wrote a commentary titled, “What If UPS Acquires Manhattan Associates?” I used that hypothetical headline to highlight a trend I saw in the industry: the convergence of various business models, namely logistics services, technology, and consulting. And one of my predictions for 2009 was that a leading logistics service provider would acquire a leading logistics software company. That prediction never came true, but the convergence of these business models continues, […]

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Guest Commentary: Retailers and Manufacturers Must Rethink their Planning and Fulfillment Strategies

This is an interesting time to be a supply chain professional. We are seeing a convergence of revolutionary trends that are causing retailers and their manufacturing suppliers to truly re-think how they approach their planning and fulfillment strategies. Here are some examples: Multi-Channel Retailing. Not long ago, a retailer’s transportation focus was on loading trucks and shipping into distribution centers and stores. The recent increase in parcel activity due to direct consumer fulfillment is changing […]

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An “Undercover Boss” Works in a Warehouse

I had never watched an episode of the popular television show “Undercover Boss,” but when I saw in a commercial that they were taking their cameras inside a warehouse, I decided to tune in. Sam Taylor, the CEO of Oriental Trading Company (OTC), posed as a new warehouse employee. OTC is the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer retailer of party supplies. Direct-to-consumer distribution centers (DCs) require a high volume of unit picks, unlike most other DCs that […]

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This Week in Logistics News (March 12-16, 2012)

Lots of news to get to this week, especially related to global trade, so let’s get right into it: Senate Passes 2-Year Transportation Bill (New York Times) Freight Shipments Fell 3.6% in January from December Retail Container Traffic To Increase 10 Percent In March (NRF) Descartes Unveils New Cloud-Based Security Filing Solutions for Air Forwarders Kewill Releases Updated Version of Customs Clearance Solution Menlo Worldwide Asia Pacific Granted Secure Trade Partnership (STP) by Singapore Customs […]

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Supply Chain Lessons from Rare Earth Dispute with China

“Rare Earth Element supply is a supply chain risk management issue, with national security implications…If President Obama and Congress are betting our future on building a green economy, I hope they understand that it’s most critical components are Made in China.” I wrote those words more than 2.5 years ago in “Our Green Economy is ‘Made in China’,” and after years of rising tensions over this issue, the United States, the European Union, and Japan […]

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