Archive for benchmarking

Benchmarking: Avoid Being The Tallest Pigmy

Benchmarking is the practice of comparing business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies. It is used to measure performance using a specific indicator or indicators resulting in a metric of performance that is then compared to others to assess how well or how poorly a company is performing. This is sometimes referred to as “best practice benchmarking” or “process benchmarking”.  Management uses this process to evaluate various aspects […]

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The (New) Future of Fulfillment: How Warehouses are Transforming Operations

It was three years ago that Logistics Viewpoints and DC Velocity launched a survey of logistics practitioners to evaluate the future direction fulfillment facilities, technologies, and practices. The survey’s format evaluated past, present state, and expectations for three years into the future. The findings, published on Logistics Viewpoints and on DCVelocity.com, were well received. Last week Logistics Viewpoints (ARC Advisory Group) launched a new survey (The Future of Warehousing and Fulfillment) that will serve as a […]

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How Transparent Is Your 3PL Network?

When dealing with the nuances of complex transportation networks, an organization often relies upon multiple transportation-focused 3PL providers, ultimately resulting in a fragmented network that lacks visibility and effective communication. Often this isn’t by design, but organically manifests itself due to different parts of the business being run by different groups. Furthermore, it can be seen frequently in companies that have grown through acquisition or consolidation. In these instances, one business unit used 3PL A […]

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Benchmarking: A Key Ingredient to Campbell Soup’s Ability to Greatly Improve their Forecasting

Campbell Soup’s forecast accuracy had gradually deteriorated. The company engaged in advanced benchmarking as part of a holistic strategy to improve our results by strengthening their processes, people, and tools. The result? Forecast accuracy better than the industry average.

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Robust Benchmarking of the Demand Management Process is Possible

Robust benchmarking is difficult. It is now possible to do robust benchmarking of the demand management process. That is much harder to do than you might think.

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Takeaways from MercuryGate 2012 User Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the MercuryGate 2012 User Conference in New Orleans (MercuryGate is a Logistics Viewpoints sponsor). There were more 40 presentations throughout the three days, with the first half of the event focused on logistics service providers and the other half on shippers. Many of the company’s 200+ customers were in attendance. While MercuryGate has historically had a strong presence in the 3PL market, its shipper customer base continues […]

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How to Avoid Slippage in Transportation Procurement Savings

I spoke recently with a transportation manager at a manufacturing company about a strategic transportation procurement event his company had conducted. What impressed me the most about the results was how little slippage the company has experienced in its projected savings. This manufacturer had not conducted a network-wide transportation procurement event for some time. Before beginning the procurement event, the company decided to conduct a lane benchmarking exercise to discover which lanes it was getting […]

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The Science Behind the Benchmarking of Lane Rates

Gathering benchmark data to drive better procurement is a very valuable exercise. In the realm of transportation, this means getting benchmark data on what companies are paying to move freight on particular lanes. However, for a benchmark to be valid, you need a sufficiently large sample size, which is not a  problem if you are moving freight from New York City to Chicago, but what if you have regular flatbed shipments between Helena, Montana and […]

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You Are the New Vice President of Supply Chain Management! Now What?

If you were hired as the top Supply Chain Management executive at a company, what would be your top three initiatives to improve the company’s capabilities? Here is my list: 1.   Get the right people on board! You can’t accomplish anything else if you don’t have the right talent. The toughest part of the job will be getting rid of people who don’t have the right skills and attitudes. As a new executive, the best […]

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Benchmarking Your Competitor: Get Your Hands on their Vendor Guide!

Do you want to understand the supply chain capabilities of your key competitors? Or gain insights into how their supply chains are structured? If your competitor is a large company, they almost certainly have a vendor guide. And if you type their name and “vendor guide” into a search engine, there’s a good chance you’ll find their vendor extranet where you can access and read their vendor guide. I did that for a large, “big […]

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