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Home   Membership   Learning Center   Resource Center   Events   WERCouncils   About March 10, 2011

WERC Conference 2011 Tuesday's Featured Speaker
At Conference 2008, WERC had the privilege of having Randy Lewis, senior vice president of Distribution & Logistics at Walgreens Company, on our main stage, telling his story of putting the "able" into "disabled," which inspired and moved our audience and was a powerful message about the heart of our industry and how small changes can lead to BIG results. This year in "What Can We Do to Make It Better?" Randy will update us on Walgreens' initiative to hire people with disabilities. "We'd be glad to share what we've learned from the human resources side with anybody. A lot of people have taught us a lot of things. I'm very interested in talking to my peers at the WERC Conference who want to do something like this. It's not as hard as they think, and it makes a big difference."

Join WERC at ProMat
Join us for Lunch & Learn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 21 in McCormick Place Room S401A (South Building, Level 4). The topic will be "An Ounce of Prevention...," a case study detailing how CDW's injury rates decreased substantially while production and employee morale improved after implementation of an innovative work-safe program with a focus on education, stress-reducing stretches and hands-on training.

Systems Logic, the pioneers of Visual Logistics take their turnkey WMS solution on a coast to coast tour.

Learn how Systems Logic helped D+S Distribution (Wooster, OH) go paperless, reduce administrative costs by 60%, and achieve an inventory accuracy of over 99.993%, in under 4 months!

UNEX Manufacturing
Global packaging: Is the US falling behind?
Healthcare Packaging    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Packaging Hall of Famer sees Europe at the front of packaging machinery innovation, with Asia making advances. Healthcare Packaging asked Packaging Hall of Fame inductee Ed Bauer for his opinion on how the U.S. stacks up against the rest of the world when it comes to packaging technology. "In the pharmaceutical arena, if you look at blister packaging, the U.S. trails the European market by an awful lot," says Bauer, who recently retired from GNC. Why is that? "I think it comes down to investment and commitment to the marketplace. Equipment suppliers such as Bosch, SIG, Krones are the ones making the investments in versatile technologies." Another example, he says, is in aseptics, such as for low-acid beverages. "Off-hand, I can't think of a U.S. company that would be able to supply that technology." More

Direct store delivery versus centralized distribution
MWPVL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The North American retail distribution supply chain landscape continues to evolve in response to unprecedented pressure to reduce operating expenses. The primary cause of turmoil in the retail sector is of course the result of unbelievable growth that Wal-Mart has experienced over the past five decades, which quite literally has decimated many companies that maintained a "business as usual" strategy. Without doubt, the dominant trend in retail distribution in recent decades has been the dramatic increase in the retailers' control of the supply chain. North American retailers have been executing on a variety of strategies to increase inventory turns and to reduce operating expenses. In the food industry, one of the important trends retailers and branded food producers have leveraged is the concept of direct store delivery. More

John Westerveld: Coping with catastrophe — Can your supply chain recover?
The 21st Century Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
I spotted this article from The Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago and a couple of points caught my eye. First, 2010 was a record-breaking year for natural and man-made disasters. We had a virtual smorgasbord of catastrophes from flooding to fire to snowstorms. We had volcanoes grounding air travel and earthquakes devastating an entire country. And of course, a major oil spill, the impact of which we will be feeling for years to come. According to the article, the economic losses from the disasters reached $222 billion (three times that of 2009), which is outdone only by the human cost (260,000 lives). The other interesting point is that today's interconnected world makes us far more aware and susceptible to the impact of these natural disasters. More

PRESS RELEASE: AVNET selects Swisslog

Swisslog will implement its AutoStore system - a high density storage/piece picking solution. Stacked bins and series of robots. For more information, visit

American Airlines Cargo launches service between US, Tokyo's Haneda Airport
American Airlines Cargo via SupplyChainBrain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American Airlines Cargo has launched what it said is the first and only service between New York's JFK International Airport and Japan's Tokyo International Airport at Haneda. Following the conclusion of a new Open Skies Agreement between the U.S. and Japan, the service will utilize Boeing 777 aircraft. Connections throughout Asia will be offered through the carrier's core interline partners. The new route and accompanying intra-Asia service will allow American Airlines to support a number of key commodities, including pharmaceuticals, digital cameras and video recorders. More

Interlink Technologies is consistently ranked in the Top 100 WMS technology providers.

Interlink provides reliable WMS technology, accurate information, dependable partnership and peace of mind! THINK INTERLINK! Celebrating 25 Years of WMS Experience in 2011.

Aligning supply chains with real customer needs
Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is the new supply chain imperative understanding the people and behavioral sides of both sides of the value chain? Unquestionably, there has been much more attention to the people dynamic in supply chains generally in recent years, but it seems that mostly has been focused in two areas: 1. "Change Management" and the natural resistance of employees to accepting major changes in processes and technology; 2. "Talent Management," with more companies recognizing that the level and development of supply chain managers in their companies is a critical element of success. But there are many more dimensions of the role of people in the supply chain that companies usually do not well consider in the design and execution of supply chain strategies. More

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Show preview: ProMat 2011 products
Modern Materials Handling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
ProMat 2011, slated for March 21 to 24, will showcase more than 700 exhibits and include a comprehensive educational conference. The event, to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, will offer an array of products to help improve productivity at your company. More

Fire protection code limits product stacking height
Distribution Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As manufactures of lift trucks develop more sophisticated products that lift full pallet loads higher and faster than previous designs allowed, buyers need to be aware of restrictive building codes that may come into play negating some of the advertised benefits of going higher. Recently, Distribution Digest conducted research into fire sprinkler systems from the relatively narrow perspective of how high product can be stored in a warehousing or distribution facility equipped with an Early Suppression Fast Response system. The following is what was found. More

Selecting Mobile Computing Solutions with Confidence

Learn how to increase your ROI on your mobile computing purchase by downloading this complimentary white paper "Top 5 Tips for Choosing Mobile Computers."

Beverage Metrics serves up drink-management solution
RFID Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beverage Metrics, a startup company based in California, has commercially released its inventory and drink pour management system for liquor and wine. Currently, the system is being trialed by half a dozen hotels, restaurants and casinos to reduce shrinkage and provide a better view into the inventory of beer, wine and hard liquor. The company uses RFID battery-powered tags and readers from one of its sister firms, Identec Solutions, as well as software from another of its sister firms, InSync Software, to provide the Beverage Metrics Complete Solution that tracks bottles of liquor. A bar's manager can use system to measure how much liquor a bartender pours per drink, based on a tilt sensor in the RFID tag, which operates at 919 MHz and uses a proprietary air-interface protocol. More

Nestlé makes packaging a strategic priority
Packaging World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A significant change in focus is under way at Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company. Packaging line efficiency, historically a responsibility left to outside sources and rarely viewed as an in-house strategic asset, is being carefully examined to see how it might make a better and more consistent contribution to the bottom line. And right smack dab in the middle of this entire initiative is our old friend PackML, or, as it is more officially known, the ISA-TR88.00.02 PackML Standard. Essentially a packaging machine programming language, it's a standard that Nestlé would like to see embraced by packaging machinery manufacturers around the world. More
A top challenge for businesses that experience unexpected or seasonal influxes in demand is properly staffing their operations to maximize efficiency and minimize labor costs. To learn how to begin staffing for a more productive supply chain, download our complimentary whitepaper here. For information or to speak with us about your supply chain, visit or call 603.792.2205
Keytroller’s VANGUARD boasts .2% accuracy unheard of in a hydraulic scale (within 10# in a 5000# load) putting it within accuracy of load cell scales. Unlike a load cell fork or carriage scale, the VANGUARD can not be damaged in a tough handling application. Accuracy is achieved using a bypass module providing the device hundreds of pressure readings instead of only one which is prone to error. RS232 serial port allows wireless export of data or wireless printing of individual or sequence weighing events.
Flying out to Promat 2011? Visit UNEX Booth #3215

UNEX is exhibiting our Carton Flow products and Order Picking solutions at the Promat2011 Tradeshow. Visit UNEX Booth # 3215 at McCormick Plaza in Chicago March 21st – 24th. Talk to our Sales Team and ask for a SKUBE demonstration. Learn how to increase throughput and pick efficiencies within your operation.

Automation's image improving
Material Handling & Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Integrated Systems and Controls Council of Material Handling Industry of America has released "Sentiment Towards Automation in Warehousing, Distribution and Manufacturing," the second in a series of Automation Reports. Several key takeaways important to the material handling and logistics industry emerged. There is a high degree of satisfaction among the material handling automation users surveyed. Eighty-one percent of manufacturing respondents and 86 percent of warehousing/distribution center respondents are satisfied, very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their systems. More

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Georgia Tech to offer graduate program in supply chain engineering
Food Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Georgia Tech's Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering now is offering a one-year graduate program that will lead to an Master of Science in supply chain engineering. The program will equip young professionals with problem-solving skills necessary to tackle the complexities of global supply chains. The curriculum is built on a strong foundation in analytical methods, which are then rigorously applied in hands-on, learning-by-doing, supply chain courses, all leading to a respected graduate degree. More

Innovation Starts At ProMat® 2011

See and compare solutions for your manufacturing and supply chain operations and network with your peers at ProMat 2011-March 21-24, 2011 in Chicago’s McCormick Place. Discover the best equipment and systems solutions and learn about the latest innovations. ProMat 2011 features 700 exhibits and 80 Education Sessions.

Boston company claims game-changing breakthrough in production of biofuels
The Green Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists have been chasing the potential of algae or other small organism to produce some form of biofuels that could dramatically change the global energy equation. To date, the research has been promising but very slow. Now, a Boston-based company named Joule Unlimited has announced it has developed breakthrough technology that will allow genetically engineered organisms to produce diesel fuel using a very simply process, potentially inserting a game-changing technology into the energy arena. Will it really work? That's the trillion dollar question. More

Food processors beginning to see benefits of going green with packaging
Food Processing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The term "green packaging" is a bit of an oxymoron. The very existence of a package presumes impact on the environment during the package's life cycle and perhaps beyond. But, recognizing that we need packaging to protect food between the point of manufacturing and the point of consumption, processors are focusing on greener packaging. The initiatives include virtually all package formats, from glass jars to plastic bottles and paperboard cartons to flexible packages. Brands attached to greener-packaging projects include the iconic; pantry standards like Heinz Classico and Frito-Lay Tostitos; natural foods brands like Naked Juice, CalNaturale and Stonyfield Farm; even seasonal favorite Girl Scout Cookies. More


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Not your grandfather's Panama Canal
DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are you prepared to handle the new changes in distribution that will come as a result of an expanded Panama Canal? More

PwC: Pharma supply chains need overhaul
@Risk    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pharmaceutical companies are facing increasing pressure to update their supply chains. For some, it's going to be an uphill battle. A new report from PwC US concludes that many pharmaceutical supply chains have suffered from what amounts to benign neglect. Now, they are inefficient, under-utilized and ill-equipped to cope with new medicines, cost pressures and health reform expectations. Essentially, the pharma supply chain needs to adopt a new consumer-oriented focus. As a result, PwC says we can expect the pharma supplier network to become the following. More

Tanzanian logistics company tracks fuel trucks
RFID Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tanzanian logistics firm Usangu Logistic Ltd. is employing an RFID-based system to help assure the distribution of oil products to the proper channels as its drivers transport fuel to gas stations throughout East and Central Africa. The system uses GPS and RFID technology provided and installed by Mukri & Co., a transit cargo and supply chain management solutions company. The solution has been in use since January to determine how well RFID could control pilferage of product by tracking whether a tank is sealed with an RFID tag, which transmits its status to a reader and then sends reader data along with GPS coordinates to the back-end software. More

Think global — even if you're local
Material Flows    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent business headlines are implying that rising labor costs in China are diminishing its attractiveness as a sourcing partner. Logistics professionals know better. They know that material handling and logistics efficiencies, combined with a good set of alternative sourcing plans, can help manufacturers protect profit margins. A recent study by Accenture suggests that low cost countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia may become attractive alternatives for many manufacturers, but they still would face other challenges like less developed infrastructures in ports, roads and facilities; shortages of skilled workers; and political instability. More

Performance You Can Depend On

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What are the hallmarks of a good sustainability rating system?    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The world is awash in CSR ratings and rankings, with dozens of different groups using their own unique methods to assess corporate sustainability performance and rankings. But as with any green label, it's hard to know how well a given system actually measures and tracks the environmental and social performance of the companies it rates. To try to clarify the complicated and at times overlapping world of sustainability ratings, the British consultancy SustainAbility kicked off last spring a four-part project called Rate the Raters and has just published the third report on the project. More
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