Author Archive for Chris Jones

Are We at a Tipping Point for Logistics Technology Value?

I’m beginning to wonder if we have hit an inflection point where investment in logistics technology will broadly create business performance gaps. We recently partnered with several organizations to look at business strategies, tactics and logistics technology. The message was clear – investing in technology was the number one strategy. However, success doesn’t necessarily look so certain as there was clearly a difference in spending between the “haves” and “have nots”. Will we see a […]

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Getting (Even) More from Your Transportation Management Solution

Getting benefits from a modern transportation management solution that has just gone live is just the first wave of value available. There’s a lot more that can be gained when companies recognize that transportation management solutions are more than execution systems. With the ability to model alternate scenarios, logistics organizations can more accurately model the benefits and challenges of proposed changes to transportation strategies and processes, and continue to enhance the business value they receive […]

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Why Pool Distribution Now?

Pool distribution as a store replenishment strategy is more relevant than ever because of decreasing margins and the need to move goods quickly to stores in reaction to changing consumer demand. Pool distribution is a great example of the power of the “network effect”, as it leverages numerous retailers and pool operators to substantially lower distribution costs and increase delivery frequency. While pool started with specialty retailers, it is applicable across much of the retail […]

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Forwarder / Broker Benchmark: Challenging Times for Logistics Intermediaries

Forwarders and brokers are a critical part of international supply chains. They operate in incredibly competitive markets that can be characterized by tight margins and highly influenced by regulatory change. This past spring, we conducted a benchmark study with over 100 forwarders and brokers to evaluate how macroeconomic changes were impacting them, the strategies and tactics they were using to be successful and the importance of technology to their business. Below, we’ve included some of […]

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Home Delivery Benchmark – A Detailed View

The strategies, tactics and technology of home delivery are evolving quickly and constantly. It’s tough to keep up with the innovation that is happening in home delivery and also sort out the reality from the hype in the press. As Chris Cunnane described in his report Descartes Evolution – Logistics in Motion, we conducted a survey of a number of our customers to get a broader sense of what was actually happening and how retailers […]

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2016 Supply Chain Predictions

Now that I am finally off the road for the balance of the year, I had a chance to sit down and look at some of the macro trends of 2015 and how they could impact logistics operations and technology providers in 2016. In some respects, the biggest trends are continuations from the past several years. Ecommerce, the economy, customer experience and security are dominating the headlines. They are as fundamental as a shifting population […]

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What Does “1+1=3” Really Mean with Supply Chain Technology?

Stepping Out of Paradigms Dictated by Technological Limitations of the Past One of the biggest opportunities to dramatically improve supply chain performance occurs when traditional supply chain functions are decomposed and reinvented as integrated business processes. Few supply chain practitioners would dispute that notion. However, when it comes to their technology strategy, too many practitioners fall back into deploying the TMS, WMS, Route Planning, Mobile and other technological silos developed in the 1990s that don’t […]

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Creating the Customer-Facing Supply Chain in Home Delivery

Last October, I wrote a post introducing the concept of the Customer Facing Supply Chain and how it expands the value of the supply chain in the enterprise. There has been a lot of interest in understanding how to create a customer-facing supply chain. The following is such an example for retailers and their home delivery operations. Enhance the Entire Shipping Experience Let’s start with the customer-facing supply chain fundamentals for home delivery. The most […]

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It’s all about the Benjamins

Cash is the life blood of any organization and the supply chain is one of the most powerful ways to maximize any company’s cash. If you listen to publicly-traded companies’ earnings calls, the CFO will talk about cash generation from operations and days-sales-outstanding (DSO) as 2 important metrics of company performance. The right combination of supply chain strategies and technologies can help transform your accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) processes to maximize cash […]

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The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.*

When I heard this saying, I thought it so profoundly related to one of the core challenges to supply chain excellence, an inflexible mindset. Too often in supply chain management we are bounded by our approach to supply chain problems, not the problems themselves. For example, one of the greatest challenges in supply chain management is to get beyond a focus on cost reduction as opposed to revenue generation. If you are a supply chain […]

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