Archive for transportation management system

Improving on Strategic Sourcing

These days, sourcing has become a common discipline in supply chain and transportation management. There is an organizational expectation that transportation modes will be sourced and cost will be taken out of the network with some regularity. However, meeting these expectations while maintaining service year-over-year has become more challenging. To get more out of the market, we need to change the approach, as it is no longer enough to simply conduct a “bid” for transportation […]

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Guest Commentary: Is Your TMS Pulling Its Weight?

Can you name all eight of Santa’s reindeer (nine, if you count Rudolf)? I did an unscientific survey of those around me and found most could only name Rudolf plus three others. Everybody seemed to remember Dancer and Prancer but most couldn’t come up with Comet and Vixen. It’s a good thing Santa remembers them all because it takes at least eight reindeer to get him off the roof and around the world in just […]

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3PL Executive Insights from MercuryGate User Conference 2013

What is the path to building successful and lasting 3PL-customer relationships? That was the main theme of a panel session I led at last month’s MercuryGate User Conference 2013, which included the following 3PL executives: Shelli Austin, VP at Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) Michael Bartz, CIO at ReTrans Jane Sandifeer, VP Business Solutions at Advanced Shipping Technologies Brad Stewart, President at Rockfarm Supply Chain Solutions The panelists talked about the importance of trust and transparency, […]

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Guest Commentary: It’s Not the Same: Facing the Challenges of Deploying Globally

I am fortunate. The supporting facts behind this blanket statement are gleefully numerous, but for the purposes of a blog focused on transportation and logistics, I am going to whittle it down to the cumulative opportunities I have had to fly, quite literally, around the world and see a multitude of logistics challenges and best practices. From Greenville, South Carolina to Guangzhou, China, I have witnessed incredible challenges as well as quite clever innovations. As […]

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Guest Commentary: Time for a New Class of Freight Rating

“I want to know the real, total cost of my shipments before I make them.” Over the years, we have talked to a lot of shippers and logistics companies who are in the “rating gap.” These shippers don’t need a full TMS, which includes sophisticated planning and execution, but clearly require a highly-functional contract management system or service to determine their expected real total freight cost. What is the Gap? Here is a diagram of […]

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Guest Commentary: The Top 15 Signs You’re Ready for a Cloud-Based TMS

Since September of 1985, David Letterman of The Late Show has been amusing viewers with his Top 10 lists. Because we’re enjoying a holiday this week, let’s use that format to explore the technology tipping point for logistics companies. There comes a time when growing companies need to take a long look at their current state and their prospects for the future and ask themselves, Do we have the tools and the talent we need […]

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Guest Commentary: Republic Plastics Sees Quick ROI with SaaS TMS

It is surprising to me how many companies still rely on spreadsheets and fax machines to manage their transportation operations. But ultimately, these companies reach a point where they need to automate their transportation processes in order to meet customer requirements and scale their business. Such was the case of Republic Plastics, a leading manufacturer of premium foam private label tableware products. For Republic Plastics, the company was seeing a shift in freight transportation to […]

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Transportation Simulation: Who Needs It?

If you have a lawn mower, why would you need a lawn service? If you have an iPod nano and a cell phone, why would you also need an iPhone? If you have a transportation management system (TMS) and a network design tool, why would you need a transportation simulation solution? A network design tool works in strategic time frames, often a year or more, and answers questions about where manufacturing plants and warehouses should […]

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This Week in Logistics News (June 10-14, 2013)

I’m short on time this morning, so let’s go straight to the news. Transplace Updates, Enhances TMS Freight Allocation Module 2.0 Infor Delivers Automotive Innovation Throughout The Value Chain Wal-Mart buys a ‘predictive analytics’ firm (Internet Retailer) Google finalizing $1.3 billion deal for mapping company Waze (Reuters) Con-way Freight Announces 2013 General Rate Increase Freight Shipments Fell 1.2% in April from March Retailers Remain Cautious On Merchandise Imports U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of […]

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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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