All Columns Entries
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Our March issue includes coverage of a number of recent collaborative efforts geared toward driving the industry forward through the power of a more unified voice.
I often run home from a store, write down the events of an interaction that I had, and then lose the note. However, in a recent case, the unsolved problem had a built-in, daily reminder. Almost every night my Droid smart phone automatically turned itself back on after I powered it off—if I could only be so lucky with the other notes I lose.
I want to draw your attention to developments in Washington that threaten to overwhelm shippers with new liabilities that carriers have traditionally controlled.
In Logistics Management’s April 2010 issue, we introduced Profit, Sales, and Operations Planning (PS&OP), a way to align supply chain decision-making with high-level financial goals and long-range strategic planning. Since that time, more companies have begun implementing PS&OP-like approaches—using financial data, scenario modeling, and analytics to concurrently optimize sales, balance demand and supply, and maximize profits.
Refinery closures and sulfur regulations threaten to push diesel prices over $5 this year.
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.
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.
This month’s cover story on the evolving relationship between Tuesday Morning, an upscale retailer with 865 stores, and its motor carrier partner is an inspirational sign of the times—and contains a theme that we may be hearing repeatedly from other shippers if the economy kicks into high gear.
Humor aside, NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL), logistics, and a submerged Italian cruise ship have a lot in common.