Archive for August 2011

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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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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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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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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Guest Commentary: Reverse Logistics: The Untapped Revenue Stream

Reverse logistics has become an area of high priority for companies looking to reduce costs, add efficiencies and improve the customer experience. As a result, manufacturers are uncovering the hidden value of returned assets and streamlining return, repair and product reallocation processes. Once a supply chain afterthought, reverse logistics has evolved into a highly complex endeavor. This is especially true in the hi-tech/electronics sector, where product lifecycles have dramatically shortened, global service networks create more […]

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Guest Commentary: Invisible Visibility

For well over a decade we’ve talked about how supply chain visibility will help minimize the impact of disruptions, decrease order cycle times and risk, and improve service levels. Yet, after all these years, why are people still talking about supply chain visibility like it’s in the future? About now you may be thinking you’ve had visibility within the four walls of your DC for years via your warehouse management system (WMS). If you have […]

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Social Media and Hiring Supply Chain Talent

Erik Qualman, author of “socialnomics,” was a keynote speaker at RedPrairie’s Redshift 2011 conference in May. He gave the most interesting conference speech I have seen in years. The following week Don Tapscott, author of “Macrowikinomics,” gave another great keynote speech at Manhattan Associates’ Momentum 2011 conference. In both cases, the speakers grossly overstated the impact of social media on business and the world. Nevertheless, I could not help thinking there will be big impacts […]

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