Archive for Cloud/Software-as-a-Service

Guest Commentary: Topco Associates: Executing Transportation Management with Sophistication

Many industries have complex supply chains, but the food and beverage industry has some of the most unique issues. A great example of sophisticated transportation execution is Topco Associates, one of the largest retail grocery cooperatives in the United States. Topco provides sourcing, innovation, packaging, label management, quality assurance and nutritional assistance through store brand and private label services. The true competitive advantage Topco provides to members is based on the sourcing and aggregation of […]

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Guest Commentary: Transportation Sourcing Doesn’t Have to Be a Painful Process

As the economic recovery continues, several things are certain: fuel costs will eventually rise, truck capacity will tighten, trucking fleets will decline, driver availability will be constrained and pricing control will begin to shift away from shippers. With base rate increases and fuel surcharge fluctuations on the horizon, best-in-class companies understand the need to become carrier friendly and establish strong carrier relationships to mitigate these future challenges. Since the majority of transportation expenditures are typically […]

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Guest Commentary: Logistics Flow Control: How to Control What You Don’t Control

Who would think that the movie Forrest Gump would provide a great analogy for logistics operations? Unfortunately, the movie quote “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” applies to the inbound operations of too many retail and distribution companies. Despite the best laid plans using concepts such as collaborative planning, the flow of products from suppliers too often fails to match the requested quantities or delivery dates. Our […]

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Guest Commentary: The Future of Logistics Networks

Logistics networks have been around for 30 years in many forms, from cargo community systems to mode-specific and general value-added networks (VAN). In the beginning, these networks were built on highly proprietary technology that required complex integration. Their use was limited to the largest and most technologically sophisticated companies. The Internet weaned companies away from the use of proprietary networking technology, and portals made the networks more accessible to the “low tech” organizations, albeit in […]

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Guest Commentary: Dannon Saves Time and Money by Gaining Visibility into Transportation Process

As part of a webinar series on software-as-a-service (SaaS) TMS, the Director of Transportation at one of our clients, The Dannon Company, provided an overview of the benefits the company achieved by gaining greater visibility and control of its transportation process. Here are some of the highlights of what he presented. Dannon, which is headquartered in White Plains, New York, is one of the top manufacturers and distributors of fresh yogurt in the United States. […]

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Guest Commentary: Does the Supply Chain Department Need the IT Department?

HighJump Software is just completing an internal implementation of a new ERP package that covers CRM, financials and customer service. The project touched nearly every business process in our organization, and was driven completely by business function owners and business subject matter experts. Involvement from the IT organization was limited to a few security reviews. I have been involved in several ERP implementations in my career and have never seen a software project so independent […]

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Guest Commentary: TMS–Build vs. Buy?

A few months back, the spring on my garage door broke. My wife told me that I had the skills to repair the garage door and she said, “Wouldn’t it be a nice weekend project?” As I sized up the situation and repair job, I could envision the weekend ahead of me: reviewing repair websites, making multiple trips to the hardware store, calling in favors from friends…essentially spending the entire weekend tackling the project. I […]

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Guest Commentary: American Hotel Register Makes Every Load and Mile Count

As a frequent guest in hotels across the country, I have many more idiosyncrasies about things like linens, shampoos, coffee and ice buckets than the normal traveler. By no means do I express the eccentric behavior of Mr. Bean, rather I’m more curious about where these items came from and how many trucks it took to get them here. Typically, hotels use suppliers to fill rooms with everything from teeny tiny soaps to bed frames […]

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Guest Commentary: Is Cloud-Based WMS a Real Option for Complex Distribution Centers?

Three years ago, I thought the probability of using an outsourced warehouse management system (WMS) to run a complex distribution center was low. Today, my perspective on this topic has dramatically changed. The pervasiveness of virtualization technologies, which now enable infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), has ushered in a new computing platform, “the cloud,” which is perfect for WMS deployment. A few years ago, SaaS transportation management systems (TMS) were emerging as a credible option for enterprises of […]

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For Large, Complex Transportation Networks, It’s All About “The Solve”

Regular readers of Logistics Viewpoints know that Adrian and I are fans of multi-tenant, network-based transportation management systems (aka software-as-a-service TMS). These solutions take the burden of connecting to carriers and cleansing EDI messages off the back of the shipper. They also make it easier for a shipper to add new carriers if they have a problem lane. And shippers can leverage the network to access benchmark analytics in a way that is not possible […]

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