All Columns Entries
Monday, October 01, 2012
The U.S. railroad industry, consisting of over 600 large and small service providers, has successfully engineered itself into a viable and largely profitable segment of the nation’s logistics marketplace.
Effective use of business analytics—using quantitative methods to derive forward-looking insights from data—is essential for companies that are serious about supply chain excellence. Why? Because with analytics, supply chain managers gain a deeper understanding of what is happening upstream and downstream. As a result, they’re better able to assess the operational impacts of prospective supply chain decisions.
A senior vice president of a major national carrier recently asked me if I thought that tomorrow’s shippers have the commitment to maintain the depth of talent necessary to manage one of the value-added programs that I allude to in my columns. I have always maintained that committed process and performance excellence bring exceptional benefits to both the company and its carrier partners, but they require a combination of developmental and seasoned talent.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Staying abreast of developments that impact oil supply and demand helps shippers and carriers understand and plan for fuel price fluctuations; so the recent news coming out of Saudi Arabia must have left many in the logistics and transportation industry scratching their heads.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
As shippers consider entry into an outsourcing arrangement for freight management, they quickly discover a range of pricing options from various service providers. These service providers have a variety of business models that drive their market offers, and shippers need to understand what these models are so they can evaluate not just the offer, but the potential for long-term satisfaction with the contract.
Today more than ever, innovation is a top priority. Sixty-two percent of executives questioned in a recent Accenture survey noted that their business strategy is “largely” or “totally” dependent on innovation. Nowadays, however, companies don’t only need to innovate, they also need collaborators—partners—to help make innovation happen.
While the next few months may see a stall in its torrid pace of development, there’s little doubt about Brazil’s resolve to conquer hemispheric markets and penetrate new ones.
Once you retire from the traditional 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. work days, new hobbies and picture puzzles become a part of everyday life. Sounds boring? Well, it’s just the opposite.
Ron and Linda Arnett, highly skilled “puzzlers” with extraordinary insight and sequential awareness, recently introduced me to picture puzzles. Their tutelage provided me with a greater appreciation of the challenges logisticians face in determining the fine points of vendor qualification criteria, assembling the best pre-qualified providers, and selecting the players who can do the precise points of detailed tasks both effortlessly and consistently.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
It’s my honor to present the logistics and transportation community with the results of the 29th Annual Quest for Quality Survey. This is the culmination of a six-month research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that’s become known as the most important measure of customer satisfaction and service performance excellence available in our industry.
Shippers are increasingly telling me that the number of options in the less-than-500-pound shipment market confuses them. The one thing that many can understand is that costs continue to climb despite the deregulation of rates. However, enormous savings can be achieved by knowing your shipment weight and distance, direction, and cube as well as the capabilities of your carrier.