Archive for Guest Commentary

Tackle Cross-Border E-Commerce with a Global Mindset

The market size of cross-border e-commerce is growing rapidly and is expected to eclipse $1 trillion in 2020, according to a 2016 report by Accenture & Ali Research. For context, cross-border sales were $230B in 2014. Success in cross-border e-commerce lies in navigating the complex ecosystem of rules and regulations, import/export restrictions, currency fluctuations, cultural norms of product pricing, payment method expectations, and the onus on retailers to be transparent with total costs at checkout. […]

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The New Face of Order Fulfillment

Today’s retail distribution centers (DCs) face more challenges than ever before. Consumers’ adoption of mobile technology and growing demands for convenience – coupled with the increasing competition of a crowded retail space – have led to complex omni-channel environments that put 24/7 demands on not only DCs, but entire supply chains. In the face of these pressures, DC managers are focused on streamlining processes, boosting productivity, and expediting order fulfillment. To do this successfully, managers […]

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A Second Chance at a First Impression

E-commerce businesses are continuing to allocate more resources and energy into building a consumer-driven supply chain. As the work unfolds, one thing is clear – the end delivery is becoming the new handshake between consumers and brands. Today, customer experience plays as much of a vital role for consumers as product quality and price. In fact, 76% of consumers say they view this experience as the true test of how much a company values them. […]

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Logistics in 2017: The year of drones and data streams

Technology in the 21st century evolves at a frightening pace. The newest innovations have a lifespan measured in months. No sooner have businesses accommodated a new technology than it is superseded. The companies that adapt to each rapid change are the only ones which stand a chance of survival – it soon becomes hard to compete without the latest technological ability. The same thing is happening in logistics. The rise of drones and connected data is […]

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Leveraging Supply Chain Design to Thrive in Uncertain Times

Presidential election years always bring with them a certain level of uncertainty, and this year’s election cycle may have ranked near the top of that category.  Every new administration brings some amount of expected change, and while the range of policy changes are yet to be fully understood, there are already early signals — and it appears that status quo is not the trend. This year’s election process has brought renewed focus on supply chain […]

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Four Steps for Wider, Deeper Use of Your TMS

We all know transportation management systems (TMS) are cost savers. They help us automate processes, gain visibility, and manage movement more effectively. However, to continually achieve year over year cost savings, it is important to evaluate your current processes and look for ways to achieve wider, deeper use of your TMS. One of the most famous methods used for continuous improvement is the “Shewhart Cycle” also known as PDSA. American engineer W. Edwards Demming made […]

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This Week in Logistics News (January 14 – 20)

For the ninth year in a row, I attended the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show in New York City. Not surprisingly, the show was packed again, with new and innovative solutions across all areas of retail (more to come on that in a future column). The Big Show always makes me think of the logistics required to pull it off – hundreds of suppliers with booths, collateral, and equipment, tens of thousands of people, […]

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2017 Regulations Update: Top 4 Issues Affecting Trucking this Year

Recently, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Dave Nemo’s Road Dog radio show. We recapped some of the big stories in trucking regulations in 2016 and discussed the issues coming up in 2017. Here are the top four issues I will be following in 2017: Change in DOT and FMCSA leadership This will be the number one issue I watch in 2017. I plan to follow the new leadership of the U.S. […]

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Why RFPs Don’t Work for Transportation Management Systems

To help you deliver freight at the lowest cost that meets customer requirements, a transportation management system (TMS) has to learn and understand the complexities of your particular business. This level of intimacy, however, is often not appreciated by first-time TMS purchasers. I see many companies make their TMS vendor selection as if they were buying accounting, HR or other back office software – and this approach is typical when finance leads the selection or […]

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Creating a More Stable Environment for Navigating Demand and Rate Changes Using Transportation Optimization

A sophisticated transportation management system (TMS) can help companies overcome the challenges of modern shipping. Transportation modeling technology can help shippers evaluate the effects of uncertainty and variability in their networks. In this way, they can effectively manage logistics across an entire, dispersed ecosystem. Modeling helps users to understand and prepare for the impact of any potential changes before they are operationalized. These changes can range from expanding networks to carrier flux or even to growing businesses, all of which require adjustments to logistics.

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