Archive for Uncategorized

What happens When Everyone is the “Shipper of Choice”?

The over-the-road capacity challenges of the last year have caused a lot of shippers to rethink their carrier acquisition and retention strategies. While the capacity situation is better than in 2018, the capacity challenge never goes away and carriers across the board have learned to become more particular about which shippers they will do business with. Leading shippers and logistics services providers (LSPs) have realized that price beat down, erratic volumes and poor coordination dramatically […]

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Warehousing in China Displays Distinct Dynamics

The industry dynamics of warehousing in China differ substantially from those in North America and Europe. My discussion with professor Xiande Zhao of CEIBS and his panel at a digital innovation forum organized by CEIBS and Z-Park provided me with the pulse of warehousing in China. The Suning.com insights were particularly informative.

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How Full Freight Visibility Can Help Improve Customer Service

Freight visibility is a hot topic these days. Companies are under greater pressure to know where their freight is at all time. As customer expectations for fast and low-cost shipping continue to rise, globalization is increasing, and we see ongoing fluctuations in freight capacity it’s more important than ever for companies to know where shipments are at every stage. But what does visibility really mean when it comes to a successful transportation strategy? And, how […]

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Manhattan Associates: Momentum in Progress

Today’s posting comes to you from the 2019 Manhattan Momentum conference in Phoenix, AZ. The conference thus far has featured a proper balance of product roadmaps and customer success stories. Manhattan’s CEO, Eddie Capel, set the stage for the conference agenda with a presentation that framed the content for the next three days. For starters, 2019 marks the 25th year of Manhattan Associates’ user conference. I first attended 10 years ago, and the company and […]

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ProMat 2019 – Large Investments on Display

The ProMat show hall had an elephant in the room – Toyota Industries and its companies were front and center, as a display of its recent strategic acquisitions into the warehouse automation world. Piece picking robots, shuttle system enhancements, collaborative robots, and the software that makes these systems “intelligent” were the highlights of my attendance at ProMat 2019. The following exhibits were the most infomative to me.

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The Elements of a Successful Transportation Management Competency Center

Too many larger transportation projects fail to deliver value over time or end up being scrapped because there was inadequate investment in a long-term post-go-live support and growth strategy. The most successful enterprise-wide transportation management programs don’t stop with the successful rollout of the system. Instead, they go on indefinitely, delivering more business value over time. To sustain and grow their transportation management success, companies need to implement a competency center. This post summarizes the […]

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The High Cost of The One Percent Inventory Accuracy in Your Supply Chain

If your company is experiencing inventory accuracy problems, the problem extends across your entire logistics network—and right to your end customer. Here’s how digital inventory technologies are helping companies solve those challenges. The supply chain industry is going through a transformation because customers’ expectations are changing and labor is hard to find and retain. If you add to that the national warehouse vacancy rate hovering at record lows and warehouses bloated with inventory pulled in […]

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Is 2019 the Year of Robotic Piece Picking?

The overall structure and content of the MHI Promat and Modex events evolves very slowly from year to year. However, a prevalent theme seems to arise each year that differentiates one event from years prior. I’m told that robotic piece picking was the stand-out theme at LogiMAT last month and that theme will surely cross the pond to ProMat next month. I plan to spend a large portion of my time in Chicago at the […]

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Autonomous Trucks Today

Last summer, I wrote an article about the future of electric trucks. Notably, I outlined that the industry was ready to transition to zero-emission trucks and that a number of major manufacturers including Tesla, Daimler, Thor, and Toyota had unveiled electric class-8 trucks while UPS, FedEx and DHL had unveiled electric class-6 parcel trucks. But now the big question is whether the industry is ready for autonomous trucks. The jury is clearly still out on […]

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How Supply Chain is (Still) Underappreciated

Supply chain advancements are credited with efficiency improvements within organizations but are often overlooked for their beneficial economic side-effects. For example, supply chain software may contribute more to productivity than traditional measures such as GDP suggest. One example is the Great Moderation. Another is the inability of economic models to capture the rapid improvement of software over time. This inaccurate measurement leads to underreporting of quality improvements. This underreporting is supported by the deflationary nature of software products.

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