Archive for managed services

Ace Hardware Leverages TMS for Freight Procurement

Eight years ago, Ace Hardware began working with LeanLogistics (a Logistics Viewpoints sponsor) to help with inbound freight moves. Scott McLean, Director of Transportation, and Carey Skoglund, National Logistics Manager, explained to me their journey to more fully leverage LeanLogistics to improve the transportation procurement program. Ace Hardware is a cooperative that serves 4,000 independently owned and operated retail stores across the United States. The cooperative helps these local entrepreneurs purchase goods more cost effectively […]

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4 Questions Before Investing in a Transportation Management Solution

Managing transportation —  the ebb and flow of rates, capacity, fuel and regulations — is an ongoing challenge for many companies, especially those still using spreadsheets and fax machines to plan and execute shipments. At some point, usually when costs are out of control or service levels are heading south, companies finally make the decision to invest in a transportation management system (TMS) or outsource all or part of their transportation operations to a third […]

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Guest Commentary: 7 Building Blocks to Prepare for Implementing a Global TMS

Your supply chain is global, yet you lack global visibility, process, and expertise to effectively manage it. This challenge is not uncommon among shippers around the world. With projected increases in global trade volumes, the pull of developing economy growth engines, and rising middle class consumer spending, the need for global TMS technology and expertise is growing. The global arena is a demanding environment for freight managers, and shippers must be equipped to deal with […]

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Guest Commentary: Managed Procurement Services Allow Companies to Optimize Transportation Investments

From weight loss goals to cleaning out the garage, resolutions are around every corner as we kick off 2013. While you work on improving your lifestyle, why not do the same for your transportation sourcing? Transportation sourcing is a significant challenge for many companies. Typically, the procurement process to identify potential new carriers and award business requires a major investment of resources. The transportation team must develop a request for proposal (RFP), follow up on […]

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Best of Breeds are Dead. Long Live Best of Breeds!

Last week, RedPrairie and JDA Software, two leading providers of supply chain and logistics software, announced that they are merging together (see our commentary here). Both companies had grown through the years by acquiring best of breed vendors, and now that they have reached a certain size, they are joining forces to offer customers “a full spectrum of solutions for planning and execution across the entire value chain.” In a call with analysts last week […]

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Power Users are Necessary to Drive Success

I visited my first Control Tower a few weeks ago–TMC’s North American facility in Chicago. TMC is the transportation managed services division of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, an ARC client. A Control Tower is a location where a transportation managed services provider uses its transportation management system (TMS) to do regional planning and execution of transportation loads for its shipper clients. TMC performs transportation planning and execution for 40 clients, but many of these clients retain […]

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How a Large CPG Company Runs an Efficient Supply Chain in Developing Countries

Infosys, the global IT services company with an offshore model, held its annual Infosys Connect conference last month. Two directors from a very large consumer packaged goods (CPG) client spoke during a track session for analysts. Like many Western multinational firms, this company’s growth will largely come from developing countries, where the company has a goal to acquire 1 billion new customers. But running an efficient supply chain in these regions is very difficult. There […]

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