Is your supply chain over-served?

At the recent Stifel Transportation and Logistics Conference, I moderated a panel discussion that included representatives from Wal-Mart, Dell, Under Armour and Clorox. One topic they covered that I found especially interesting was that some companies were entertaining the idea of slowing down their supply chain. Why would they do that?

By ·

At the recent Stifel Transportation and Logistics Conference, I moderated a panel discussion that included representatives from Wal-Mart, Dell, Under Armour and Clorox. One topic they covered that I found especially interesting was that some companies were entertaining the idea of slowing down their supply chain. Why would they do that?

First, decisions affecting logistics and supply chain costs are increasingly being made “up the food chain” at the C-Level. Executives looking at the bottom line are always interesting in cutting costs, but only recently have many started to look at new ways to save when it comes to their transportation spend. Additionally, companies are starting to look at whether the customer service they are offering in terms of supply chain speed is actually paying dividends.

For example, the Dell representative highlighted the savings associated with their decision to slow down its Supply Chain from 58 hours to seven days. With Dell’s (some would say) legendary dedication to speed and customization, that was a big change. But as Dell incorporates/combines a “made to stock” with their traditional “made to order” model, they are changing their supply chain.

Given the significance of this change, I asked how long it took Dell to make this decision? The answer: Two weeks. Afterwards, the individual from Dell told me with the slim margins in the PC/Tablet/Electronics industry, the savings associated with slowing down their supply chain are vitally important in Dell’s ability to compete.

It was interesting to note that the other shippers on the panel had their own stories about what their companies were doing to manage their costs. Whether it’s looking at packaging, sourcing from Asia, or working with carrier to address inefficiencies, it was obvious that when it comes to managing and reducing logistics and supply chain costs, everything is on the table.

One of the reason, I find these conference so valuable is because you can get a wealth of valuable information in a couple of days. You can hear from the top executives and learn what they are doing and how it will affect your operations. And that’s why I’d like to challenge you to attend NASSTRAC’s annual meeting in Orlando Florida on April 13-16, 2014. They have put together an outstanding education and networking event and in three short days, you’ll get more useful information than you can imagine. You can learn more by going to NASSTRAC.org.

 


About the Author

Mike Regan
Mike helped grow TranzAct Technologies to become one of the largest privately held logistics information and freight audit and payment companies in the United States. He is extremely active in and participates on numerous boards of industry specific organizations and is a highly sought after speaker for transportation related topics across the country.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Digital Issue: The Current State of Third-Party Logistics Services
It has become quite clear that logistics professionals are now facing an unprecedented set of challenges. From tightening capacity, to ongoing regulation hurdles, to the complexity brought on by e-commerce, today’s shippers are transforming the way they manage their logistics operations.
Download Today!
From the June 2017 Issue
Here are five trends that every shipper­—and potential shipper—must watch as the demand for experienced logistics and supply chain professionals soars.
2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Volume stable, business steady
Cross-Border Logistics: NAFTA tune-up time
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Women in Logistics: Breaking Gender Roles to Win the War for Talent
In this session you'll hear from a panel of women who are now leading top-level logistics and supply chain operations. The panel will share their success stories as well as advice for women who are now making their way up the ladder.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...
The Evolution of the Digital Supply Chain
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management,...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...