Archive for ARC Advisory Group

DC Managers: Use the Right Kind of Metrics to Protect Your Job

ARC Advisory Group surveyed 52 logistics executives and asked them if their companies were using any sort of warehousing costs per unit measurement, defined as “total warehousing costs/total units shipped.” Thirty-seven percent of the respondents were not using this this metric type, which is far too low. Ideally, if a company is doing pallet shipments, it would measure “cost per pallets shipped” to evaluate that zone of the warehouse; if it is building mixed-case pallets, […]

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A Revolution is Coming to the Spare Parts Warehouse

Inventory management is very difficult in a spare parts warehouse. For example, if you are a car or truck manufacturer, your warehouse network needs to carry spare parts for a vehicle you might have stopped making decades ago. Further, your network of dealers and repair shops don’t want to wait for spare parts; industry standard is to provide them with next day delivery of requested parts. What this means is that a spare parts warehouse […]

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Highway Bill Needs to Include Funds for Smart Transportation

US logistics professionals are tracking the status of the Highway Bill — formally known as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act — and they are concerned about longer and less predictable lead times if our highways don’t get the necessary funding. But after reading a recent ARC Advisory Group strategy report titled “Smart Cities: A Global Imperative (available to ARC clients only), I realized that we also need more funding for intelligent transportation […]

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Missed Alarms: What Can Hospitals Learn from SCM Best Practices?

At the end of December, the Boston Globe published an article titled, “Wide heart monitor use tied to missed alarms.” I had a strong feeling I had read that article before, and then I realized I was having a déjà vu moment — ARC had published a strategy report in 2004 focused on alarm management strategies for manufacturing plants. Here are the opening paragraphs from the Boston Globe article: It used to be that only […]

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Smart Products Require a Sophisticated Supply Chain

The first paragraph of my colleague Dick Slansky’s recent Strategic Report on Smart Products’ Supply Chain Challenges (available to ARC clients only) caught my attention. Increasingly, today’s consumers are being exposed to an environment of intelligent products –from toasters to automobiles. The level of intelligence embedded in everything from our cars, to our homes, communication devices, consumer electronics, and even mundane items as our toasters and toothbrushes, increases every day. In the very near future, […]

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Thoughts on Food Safety and Supply Chain Management

According to a recent ARC report, “Food Safety: Are We Getting Better or Worse?” (available to ARC clients only), statistics show that the number of food-borne illnesses and their severity have remained relatively constant over the years. “In the US, this translates into 76 million gastrointestinal illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, 5,000 deaths, and billions of dollars in costs.” Despite scientific and technological advancements in so many areas, we’re really not improving the safety of our food […]

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Protecting Your Supply Chain from Counterfeit Products

Counterfeiting is a growing and pervasive problem across all industries. However, in the electronics, consumer products, food, pharmaceutical, medical devices, aerospace, defense, and automotive industries it is particularly frightening because it threatens consumer health and safety, as well as corporate profits and brand equity. Counterfeiting is increasing worldwide, with counterfeiters using increasingly more sophisticated techniques and consumers purchasing more goods online. The value of counterfeit products was expected to reach $1 trillion globally in 2010, […]

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Supply Chain’s Role in Brand Protection

My colleague Janice Abel recently wrote an ARC Strategic Report called “Best Practices for Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection” (available to ARC clients only).  Achieving excellence in anti-counterfeiting and brand protection (ABP) is a multipronged, cross functional effort that requires the use of various technologies. But Janice makes the case that the supply chain organization has a role to play in these efforts.  First of all, counterfeiting is a significant problem. The US Department of Commerce […]

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Highly-Automated DCs Need an Asset Performance Management Program

ARC recently published a strategic report called Asset Performance Management: An IT Perspective (available to ARC clients only). As I read through the report, I started thinking about a distribution center (DC) I recently visited. This 750,000 sq. ft. warehouse, which cost $250 million to build, made extensive use of conveyors and sorters directing jobs to people at computerized workstations or pick-to-light stations. The conveyors moved packages through box cutting machines and totes over weigh […]

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A Monsanto Plant Tackles Manufacturing Risks

Process manufacturing plants have distributed control systems (DCSs) that are connected to plant floor sensors that monitor pressure, heat, temperature, etc. These sensors are used to regulate processes. For example, flow measurements can be transmitted to the DCS; when the measurement reaches a certain point, the controller instructs a valve to open or close. These sensors can also generate alerts if measurements fall outside desired parameters. These alerts are a key part of supply chain […]

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