As a resource, we provide a selection of white papers on industry specific areas.
Truckload, Air, Ocean, LTL and Parcel rates are rising Carriers are regularly announcing price increases. Their increases significantly impact YOUR BOTTOM LINE. But what can you do, you have already negotiated a good discount. Most companies tend to focus all of their energies on the “rate” and / or discount. While not wanting to belittle the importance of this major area; There is much more on the table that can reduce your costs than just those two items. Your negotiations must have a much broader focus than Rate and Discount.
The United States has just finished enduring the longest West Coast port slowdown in modern memory. It will take months to clear the backlog of ships. The effects will be widespread and varied. These effects include: negative impact on GDP and company sales, decreased product margins with increased mark-downs, increased inventories, increased ocean transit times, rising shipping costs (both into and out of the US), and seriously unbalanced worldwide container pools. We know the effects, but what have we learned?
‘Twas the quarter before Christmas, when all through the land,
Supply chain managers were racing to meet holiday demand
The merchants were expecting sales galore
With projections of online and store orders growing 25% more
And the customers expected, “two days to their door”
One of the conundrums facing retail ecommerce today, is How can a small to mid-size retailer compete with the likes of Amazon, Walmart, Kohls, Etc?. They seem to be placing a multitude of E-Commerce Distribution Centers (ECDC) around the country to get closer to their customers. With their scale, they can economically accomplish that. But what if you need to compete against them and lack their size. E-com mandates a breadth of product line to be successful with your consumers. However, Breadth of product equates to inventory and working capital investments. To support this enhanced inventory requires an additional Brick and mortar investment, with the associated variable and semi variable costs required to execute. As scale brings diminishing marginal costs to operate, the small retailer seems to be inherently disadvantaged. What can they do to succeed in the face of this challenge?
FedEx and UPS have announced what may be the biggest price increase in their histories, and it is not on your rate sheet. Beginning in 2015, all parcel shipments will be subject to pricing based upon a minimum density of 10.4 lbs / Cu Ft. Any parcels shipped with a lower density than 10.4 Lbs /CF will have a new dimensional weight calculated for them This weight will be used for rating. This will apply to any package larger than 166 cubic inches, or 7”x6”x4”. This will have a major impact on your shipping costs.
Today’s competitive environment demands that we seek every potential cost or service advantage that we can find to provide our customers the goods and services that we offer at a price that is attractive to them. There are many approaches to achieving these competitive advantages. This paper will focus on those activities under the Logistics and Supply Chain areas, specifically those that may be outsourced.
If you are considering transportation technology initiatives, a selection process based on tools and analysis is better than just application demos and reference checks in predicting future project success. Selecting the right system becomes critical, when the consequences of failure are considered in a highly time sensitive environment. Poor management of transport logistics or system failures can; drive up costs, drive down service, and hurt customers. Our structured method includes analysis of both the functions being included and the business and technical requirements that support that functionality. Following this structured process minimizes risk and supports and effective selection and implementation process. In most companies, everyone suffers when missing or misrepresented key functionality goes awry.
An acquisition agreement was announced, government/shareholders approved, aggressive synergy targets stated, legal close is going to happen or has happened. Now it is time to gain some or all of the synergies projected in the deal. In our experience, having worked for so called serial “acquirers” as well as providing consulting advice; these projects usually require “heavy lifting” across Business and Technology, typically understated in the initial deal. The “heavy lifting” can be reduced by following a few lessons we have learned.
Industry surveys continually show a troubling success rate in Technology projects, a recent survey showed 50% of projects ended up late and/or over-budget and only 28% fulfilled management expectations. How would you and other Executives say company projects have achieved benefits? While critical for business success, great new technology may miss in delivering needed functionality and at times benefits are achieved with fragile technology to support. With difficult economic conditions, System Integrators who respond with bodies, Solution Vendors who admit no wrong, multiple staff locations, shrinking IT budgets, and users who expect instant results, delivery of successful projects has never been as complex.
A marketplace opportunity has been identified, or perhaps costs have increased, or your suppliers continue to be late, and your team cannot find a clear way forward. Do you have the corporate culture, systems, budget, competencies, and other resources needed to pull off the needed market initiatives? Is it time to reexamine some of the ways you are doing business? If you are considering or executing business and technology initiatives, need to improve your cost structure, or need an honest look at whether market opportunity matches your capability, we can help with a Rapid Blueprint Assessment. As an objective third party who brings tools and quantified best practices to the analysis we are better than internal conference room decisions and biased solution vendors. Working with you we leave few stones unturned in assessing and defining rational ways to drive rapid savings and service improvements.
Companies from food to clothing to a wide range of consumer products are finding their customer base is increasing demanding that the companies they buy from have measureable sustainability programs in place. This applies whether your customer is the final consumer, retailer, or another manufacturer. It is indeed important that you fulfill your customers’ requirements. However sustainability is more than just recycling, although that is an important component. Increasingly, going ‘green’ is about improving your own bottom line. Sustainability, like lean, is about designing processes to minimize energy consumption, waste, scrap, and environmental impact. Incorporating sustainability initiatives into warehouse and distribution center (DC) design is proving to be a win-win proposition. It mitigates harmful effects to the environment, encourages worker safety and comfort, while winning the respect of your customers and community. But from a more critical business perspective, it also lowers operating costs, ultimately improving a company’s financial performance.
Companies are increasingly being called upon by customers, shareholders and their own management to identify and measure the environmental impact of their supply chain. Many companies are reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, because the same activities that reduce GHG emissions also reduce fuel consumption and costs. Two of the major impacts that they need to measure are the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases that are emitted into the environment and the economic returns and offsets as a result of their greener environmental actions. Within the supply chain, there are two primary sources of greenhouse gases. The first is the manufacturing process. The second is the physical movement of the goods from source of manufacture to ultimate destination. This paper puts forward the methodology to calculate the GHG emissions during the over the road land transportation and methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for positive environmental change.
Distribution of Cannabis related products is an emerging market that is about to enter an explosive growth phase. Two states have fully legalized the distribution of Marijuana, while another 30 have legalized its use for medicinal treatments and many additional states will have legalization on the ballot over the next 2 years. As with new and rapidly growing markets, there are many new entrants, with varying levels of qualification and skills. The problem is, this emerging market has strict governmental regulatory controls over its product supply chain. Participants are not offered the luxury of evolving controls as the government develops regulations. Further, the penalties for non-compliance with regulations can be severe.
In large and high volume operations, effective Yard Management and Dock Scheduling can make or break your DC productivity. There are 4 levels of Yard Management.
- Spreadsheet Based
- Stand Alone YMS
- Fully Integrated YMS
As senior managers look at their customer fulfillment activities, the question of what kind of system to get or how much to invest is less a question of company size than the complexity of the distribution challenge. The core issues surrounding the selection decision are financial risk, the complexity of functionality, and integration requirements. Management must ask itself what are the financial risks of service failures, inventory inaccuracy and unnecessary obsolescence, picking errors, labor cost and operational inefficiencies. The degree of risk impact will determine the levels of functional complexity and IT integration required. Quantification of the risk elements can be used to establish the budgetary priorities.
Warehouse Management Systems are becoming increasingly complex. They offer more bells and whistles than Spike Jones. Many of these offer more promise than function. They questions you need to ask yourself are; What functionality do I really need? and ; Which solutions offer that functionality in a usable form? If you are considering a new Warehouse Management Systems initiative, a sourcing process based on tools and analysis is better than reference checks and leap of faith in predicting future execution. Selecting the right system becomes critical, when the consequences of failure are considered. Poor management of the distribution center or system failures can; drive up costs, drive down service, shut down plants and customers.
An acquisition has been targeted; the balance sheet has been exhaustively analyzed. But do the operations truly support the business? Will their processes scale? What savings potential is there? Before you get deeply into the acquisition, and integration you should know the answers to these questions and more. Whether it is improving a fair operation, or turning around a bad one; you need a team that can develop the facts and build / implement the plans. You forecasted synergies and savings. Make sure that you get them.
If you are considering a new initiative, a sourcing process based on tools and analysis is better than reference checks and leap of faith in predicting future execution. Selecting the right system becomes critical, when the consequences of failure are considered. Poor management of the distribution center or system failures can; drive up costs, drive down service, shut down plants and customers. Our structured method includes analysis of both the functions being included and the business and technical requirement that support that functionality. Following this structured process minimizes risk and supports and effective selection and implementation process. In most companies, everyone suffers when missing or misrepresented key functionality goes awry.