Archive for continuous improvement

Guest Commentary: The Advent of the 4PL Model in Upstream Oil and Gas

Over the past few years, fuel production in the United States has seen a marked increase, largely due to the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, whereby pockets of natural gas and crude oil trapped deep in the shale layer far below the earth’s surface are extracted via a horizontal drilled well. During the extraction process, the lower, horizontal portion of the well is perforated and flushed with millions of gallons of fracking fluid, […]

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4 Important Factors to Consider When Evaluating 3PL Partners

I often get emails from logistics executives looking for help and advice on selecting a 3PL partner. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I received an email from someone asking if I had updated a framework I had developed several years ago to help companies evaluate 3PLs. The answer was no, but this person’s email got the wheels in my head turning: What are the most important factors to consider when evaluating and selecting […]

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Guest Commentary: 5 Ways to Increase Employee Participation in Continuous Improvement Programs

Getting buy in from employees can be difficult when implementing continuous improvement programs. Employees are often hesitant to change because of the uncertainty on how it might affect them. Getting employees to support the new direction can take time and effort. So what is the best way to increase employee participation in continuous improvement programs? Here are a few suggestions on getting that crucial buy-in from employees: 1. Get Management Truly Involved – The workforce […]

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Guest Commentary: Is a Direct-to-Store Delivery Model Right for You?

Speed is the name of the game in today’s retail landscape. How quickly products are purchased from store shelves depends on various factors, including consumer preference, special promotions, and brand recognition, just to name a few. The trick to gaining speed and increasing your inventory turns is to ensure you have a successful and cost-efficient replenishment system. Over the last few years, many consumer goods manufacturers have been increasingly using a Direct-to-Store delivery model as […]

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Guest Commentary: Cultural Transformation is at the Core of Continuous Improvement in Warehousing and Distribution

Today, more than ever before, companies are looking for ways to implement Lean manufacturing concepts into their distribution and warehousing network as a way to control costs and improve operational performance. This research often leads to the purchase of new technology or equipment. But while investment in these tools might create incremental savings, there’s a far more effective resource that’s often overlooked: employees. The successful implementation of Lean in a warehouse setting truly begins with […]

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Guest Commentary: Portrait of a Next-Generation Transportation Management Solution

Freight payment, freight audit, sourcing and order management — these are just a few of the standard tactical components that customers require to execute basic transportation management solutions. But with a tough business climate expected to be challenging far into the future, a competitive transportation management solution must go beyond the basics. Fuel costs are rising, legislative and regulatory impacts continue, rates are increasing and the driver shortage is reaching crisis levels. It’s imperative that […]

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Guest Commentary: Transportation Strategies for Mitigating Risk as a Continuous Improvement Initiative

Supply chain disruptions occur in many forms, from simple day-to-day concerns to catastrophic natural disasters. While potential risk cannot be avoided entirely, leading companies are taking a new approach to risk management and optimization. Instead of viewing risk mitigation as a one-time or periodic activity, these companies are assessing risk as a continuous improvement initiative. By adopting a combination of sophisticated technology and best-practice processes, organizations can effectively and continuously examine risk across all aspects. […]

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Guest Commentary: Four Critical Elements for Excellence in Supply Chain Execution

Our clients in industries such as automotive, aerospace, hi-tech, retail and consumer goods are emerging from one of our nation’s most trying economic times. Faced with serious pressures to cut costs and boost profits, many companies have re-examined how they source, store and deliver their products. Flexibility, innovation and the ability to operate with virtually no margin of error have become requirements when it comes to logistics outsourcing. A company’s ability to respond to change, […]

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Take Joy in the Journey: Supply Chain Advice from Fred Berkheimer

Fred Berkheimer recently retired from Unilever after a 29 year career.  For the last ten years, he was the Vice President for North American Logistics with responsibility for managing both internal logistics and logistics outsourcing relationships.  Along the way he worked as a process engineer, in packaging, in facilities management, and as a factory manager (at one point he managed about half of Unilever’s factories in the US).  When Fred sent me an email telling […]

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