Archive for Logistics Service Providers – Page 2

Guest Commentary: What’s the Biggest Challenge for Logistics Service Providers?

Ok, there is not just one challenge that logistics service providers face, or one that stands out among the rest either. Logistics service providers (LSPs) face the same challenges that have been on their plate for a number of years now. Therefore, I see the main challenge as “laundry list” management, at least for the foreseeable future. For big monolithic challenges, you have to look out one or two decades, at things like urbanization, smart […]

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Guest Commentary: How to Compete in the Logistics Big Leagues

The weather is warming and trees are blooming. It must be time for baseball! Every year at this time I look over the rosters of my favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) teams and compare how they spend their money to compete and win. The season-long game played in the front offices of major league franchises can be almost as much fun to follow as the game on the field. Which team will find a way […]

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Guest Commentary: Four Ways 3PLs Can Leverage Supply Chain Technology to Attract Clients and Drive Profitability

Turning a profit in a cost-conscious industry like third-party logistics (3PL) is a challenging feat. Businesses are increasingly turning to logistics services providers to run their manufacturing, warehousing and transportation operations more efficiently and cheaply than they can run it themselves. So 3PLs need to run as lean an operation as possible, while at the same time making sure they’re getting paid for each and every service they provide. Tall order! When talking to 3PL […]

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Guest Commentary: Change Agent: A Challenging Role for Freight Management

Much has been written about change management, and the basics of smoothing the way for new ideas and processes are fairly well known. But managing large-scale change in freight transportation deserves its own chapter in the manual. While the general principles of change management apply to transportation projects, there are nuances that managers need to take into account if they are to avoid costly mistakes. And there is ample room for error. As we explained […]

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Guest Commentary: Solving Logistics Service Provider Business Problems with Cloud Computing

The overall business model for most logistics service providers (LSPs) is not that complex. The LSP provides services to their clients that, in turn, generate revenue for the LSP. A key challenge for most LSPs is that the difference between the revenue and expense (their margin) is so small, it must be relentlessly scrutinized. Additionally, given that many customers view LSP services as a commodity, LSPs are constantly challenged to differentiate their offerings against the […]

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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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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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A Logistics Service Provider Makes The BusinessWeek Top 50

I picked up this week’s BusinessWeek and took a glance at their cover story, “The BusinessWeek 50: the Best Performers.”  As I scanned the list of the top 50 financial performers, I was surprised to see a logistics company, Expeditors, included on the list (they were number 28).  I’ve always viewed logistics as a leading indicator of the economy.  When the sector starts to perform poorly, it’s a sign that the economy is heading south, […]

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The iPhone as a Logistics Visibility Device

When it comes to Logistics Service Providers (LSPs), it is clear that FedEx and UPS have technology-driven value propositions.  There is no other way that they could economically and efficiently pick up and deliver large volumes of packages each day without the aid of technology. But technology innovation is not just limited to very large LSPs.  Some “boutique” service providers, like D.W. Morgan, have also built their company, in large part, based on their technological […]

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Visualizing Replenishment

I recently read an academic paper from the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management called “3rd Party Logistics Providers’ Role in Replenishment” that I liked.  The paper contained good information, but it was also a bit long and kind of dense (although not nearly as inaccessible as most academic articles).  I realized after reading it that the vocabulary used by most supply chain managers to talk about replenishment is extremely limited.  This means that the models […]

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