Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Most companies’ manufacturing strategies involve decisions relating to landed cost per unit, cost/quality balance, and various SKUs’ compatibility with supply chain parameters—transportability, packaging, serviceability. However, one thing is often missing: insights for connecting manufacturing operations with business results. Few companies excel at understanding and optimizing the business value of their manufacturing decisions.
Rare is the news day that passes without mention of the proposed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. In fact, just as I was about to send this article to the Logistics Management editors, news broke that President Obama rejected the proposed route for the KXL. Of course, this is not the last we will hear of the project. The route will be revised and resubmitted for review, and we will soon revisit the issues surrounding the KXL.
Manufacturing picked up in 2012 where it left off in 2011: in growth mode. The ISM's PMI hit 54.1 in January, which was 1.0 percent better than January’s 53.1.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday unveiled a five-year, $260 billion transportation bill entitled The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. This bill comes at a time when the current national surface transportation authorization, SAFETEA-LU, which is on its eighth extension at current funding levels since September 2009, expires at the end of March.
While Mexico and Canada remain our primary international opportunity, LM
’s analyst panel tell us that bolder players will be exploring more distant markets once the Panama Canal expansion is complete.
The Panama Canal expansion isn’t the only factor driving infrastructure improvement efforts. Count population growth, increased exports, new trade agreements, global competition, and shifting trade lanes as other elements pushing aggressive U.S. port investment and expansion.
This past month I was in Central America working with a natural resources firm on the negotiation of terms and freight for global supply and distribution. I was reminded again of the diversity of cultures and approaches to negotiation, contracting, and price components.
As supply chains continue to become more global and complex, the risk of disruption intensifies. Yet while most companies recognize the increased risk potential, many are ill prepared to handle a disruption. This article argues for a new set of risk management techniques in a world where heightened supply chain risk is now part of the game.
Mobile and wireless technology is making a measurable impact on today’s warehouse & DC operations. Savvy users are going multi-modal, pulling multiple technologies and software capabilities together to increase productivity, cut pick-rate errors, and increase inventory accuracy.
Company officials said this change reflects where it wants to go as a trucking company.