Archive for Logistics Outsourcing

3PLs Offer Solutions to Manage Medtech Challenges in Europe

Non-European medical device companies face a number of challenges — and opportunities — when attempting to enter the European market. Addressing these issues early in the process helps avoid unnecessary and costly delays and ensures a greater chance for a successful transition. Part of the plan should include partnering with an established and experienced 3PL to act as a consultant in setting up the operation from a full supply chain perspective. The following prioritizes and […]

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Vested Outsourcing: The ‘Mind Shift’ is Finally Happening

Back in April 2009, I took a 2.5-day course on Vested Outsourcing (called “Performance-Based Outsourcing” at the time) at the University of Tennessee. Halfway through the course, I shared some of my key takeaways, including this one: Implementing Vested Outsourcing “the right way” takes a lot of work and discipline, and it requires 3PLs [third party logistics providers] and customers to make a clean break from the way they’ve always done things. It’s a mind […]

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This Week in Logistics News (December 31, 2012 – January 4, 2013)

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing vacation. Now it’s back to the grind — and fun. There was very little news this week, but here’s what caught my attention: JDA and RedPrairie Complete Merger New UPS Worldwide Express Freight Service Offers Faster International Shipping in More Lanes Roadnet Technologies Unveils Product Enhancement To MobileCast Vehicle GPS Tracking Software Operating System Wal-Mart to Police U.S. Warehouses (Wall Street Journal) As expected, […]

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Rating 3PLs on their IT Capabilities

My colleague Clint Reiser and I recently interviewed twelve logisticians at manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies ranging in size from very large to very small. Our focus was on four key dimensions that should logically correlate with how well a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider is able to perform. Those dimensions include a 3PL’s IT capabilities, their ability to execute, their ability to drive continuous improvement, and their ability to bring innovative solutions to the […]

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The Value of Flexibility in DC Networks

In the past I have written about the value of flexibility as a driver for what type of material handling you select for your warehouse. I’ve pointed out that companies that implement highly-automated warehouses are very focused on driving down fulfillment costs to the maximum extent possible, although the payback period is often five years or longer. These solutions also present higher risks. Companies often have to make multi-year assumptions about volume growth and order […]

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Guest Commentary: Reverse Logistics: The Untapped Revenue Stream

Reverse logistics has become an area of high priority for companies looking to reduce costs, add efficiencies and improve the customer experience. As a result, manufacturers are uncovering the hidden value of returned assets and streamlining return, repair and product reallocation processes. Once a supply chain afterthought, reverse logistics has evolved into a highly complex endeavor. This is especially true in the hi-tech/electronics sector, where product lifecycles have dramatically shortened, global service networks create more […]

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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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Guest Commentary: Value-Added Services Bring Flexibility to the Supply Chain

Evolving consumer behaviors have dramatically impacted the way retailers deliver products. From clothing, to cars, to computers, consumers have gotten used to getting the custom product they want, when they want it. Case and point: While Dell’s business model was one of the first to create a true build-to-order and direct-to-consumer supply chain, consumers today have the ability to buy just about any electronic device customized with the specifications they want, right down to storage space, […]

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Winner of Nobel Prize in Economics On Outsourcing and Supply Chain

Oliver Williamson, a Professor Emeritus at the University of California Berkley and co-recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics, published a paper in April 2008 titled “Outsourcing: Transaction Cost Management and Supply Chain Management” in the Journal of Supply Chain Management. Williamson’s area of expertise is transaction cost economics. The paper is far more focused on theory than practice, and is not an easy read by any means. However, there are a few nuggets of […]

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What Doesn’t Kill Us, Makes Us Stronger: A New Model of Logistics Excellence

It’s been a year since fuel hit an all time high and companies were scrambling to keep fleets on the road, goods on the shelves and their sanity.  And it’s been nine months since the economy went south and the jury’s still out on when we’ll begin the long, arduous climb back to normalcy. I believe it’s not all bad.  In fact, there are lasting lessons to be learned from an economic downturn and tough […]

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