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Home   Membership   Learning Center   Resource Center   Events   WERCouncils   About July 28, 2011

On the WERC website
WERC members can access several of the 2011 Conference sessions from the front page of Nonmembers can register for any of the sessions that are posted to the WERC store for a $30.00 fee. Hear the best-of-the-best industry presentations with only a small investment of time and money.

WERCouncil events
  • Aug. 9, Indianapolis WERCouncil Adidas-SLD Tour, 2:15 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 11, North Texas Encore Presentation of the DC Metrics Study Results, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 12, NorthTX WERCouncil 10th Annual Warehousing Resource Convention, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 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 MORE

    Yusen Logistics
    Cornerstone Automation Systems
    Interlake Mecalux
    UNEX Manufacturing
    What's the cost of addressing supply chain risks?
    The 21st Century Supply Chain    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Recent natural disasters are forcing supply chain executives to take a hard look at their supplier relationships. There always has been a risk of natural disasters, but the frequency is increasing with more substantial consequences. The global nature of the supply chain creates more risk as the consumer is much more likely to buy elsewhere. Companies can't rely on customer loyalty. In the article, "Boeing and Sharp: Addressing Different Types of Supply Chain Risk," the two companies speak about their changes in strategy. How do you define critical parts that require a second source? The article talks about the effectiveness of focusing on the 80 percent of your spend that typically comes from 20 percent of your suppliers. Does that work? More

    PRESS RELEASE: COMPETEC selects Swisslog

    17th customer selects AutoStore for Picking & Storage Efficiency For more information, visit

    10 guidelines for supply chain network infrastructure planning
    IndustryWeek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    A recent study of supply chain activities indicated that as much as 80 percent of total supply chain costs are determined by the network in place and not by the decisions the supply chain team makes on a daily basis within that network. The cause can be attributed to infrastructure, which significantly determines the types of decisions and degrees of freedom that are available to supply chain decision makers. As a result, many companies have literally stumbled into pitfalls associated with warehouses, distribution centers and sources of supply (manufacturing, supplier locations, etc.) because they lacked thoughtful design. More

    Building a performance culture in distribution
    Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    What is a "performance culture" in distribution center operations? And what does it take to get there? The term, originally coined by the consultants at Kurt Salmon Associates, has moved into the wider distribution lexicon, though not pervasively so. Still, it is increasingly common to hear logistics executives and distribution center managers to speak of their success in building a "performance culture" in their operations, or their plans to get there. It is not apparent that there is a clear definition of what the term means, or how a company knows when its DC operations have moved to this state of goodness. More

    California 3PL Solutions Since 1927

    Pacific Coast Warehouse offers a complete line of logistic services including import distribution, Food & Beverage, ABC license, Hazmat Chemicals in separate DC, Fulfillment & Full line transportation services.

    Cliff Holste: For DCs that depend on their material handling systems, avoiding operational obsolescence is 'mission critical'
    Distribution Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    In a recent article, Distribution Digest reported that as material handling systems age vendor provided proprietary software code, that enables sub-systems as well as individual pieces of equipment to function, eventually becomes extinct. Based on the questions and comments we received, it appears that this came as a surprise to unsuspecting DC operations managers. So, we thought it would be appropriate to offer a bit more explanation as to how this can and does happen. There are important structural and policy differences in the way logistics software and machine software is sold, supported and maintained by business management system providers as compared to material handling system providers. More

    Lift trucks and labor retention
    Modern Materials Handling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Bob Trebilcock writes, "Zut alors! Lift trucks are going European! That's one of the takeaways from the nearly dozen interviews I did with lift truck OEMs recently about the latest features on today's trucks. Now, that doesn't mean your operators will be wearing berets, smoking skinny cigarettes and requesting espresso breaks. Rather, it's that lift truck OEMs are beginning to get requests from their North American customers for the kinds of ergonomic technologies that are already common on European trucks. Those would include finger tip fork controls, swivel seats and technologies that make the operator's job easier." More

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    Procurement gaining supply chain visibility
    Material Handling & Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Procurement professionals can add value in their companies' businesses by taking a stronger role in supply chain management, according to Accenture's new 2011 procurement research study, Compulsive Contributors: Accenture Research and Insights into High Performance in Procurement. The report designates this type of procurement professional as a "master," and according to Accenture's research, many such Chief Procurement Officers now are poised to influence their companies' financial performance. Supply chain visibility plays a key part here, but still represents a huge growth opportunity. More

    WERC: Proving the value of association membership
    DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
    In the current economic climate, everyone is looking for ideas for cutting costs, streamlining operations, and so forth. Membership in associations such as WERC is more important now than ever. 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."

    Robotic materials handling comes of age
    Modern Materials Handling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The future looks promising for robotic materials handling, according to Henrik Christensen, the Kuka Chair of Robotics at Georgia Tech. From where he sits, Christensen says we have a ways to go before robotic materials handling is commonly deployed. At the same time, he's having conversations with a number of leading companies that are exploring the technology for their operations. One of those is a leading provider of wholesale groceries. In fact, a conversation with one of their executives sparked Christensen's interest in applying robotics to materials handling. "When I talked to one of their supply chain executives, he told me that only 20 percent of the logistics chain for food handling is automated," Christensen says. "At the same time, about 70 percent of the cost of groceries is tied up in logistics and handling." More
    A True Global Warehouse Network

    Yusen Logistics operates an extensive network of warehouse facilities across the U.S. Committed to our in-house Five "S" Quality Pledge (Safety, Savings, Sanitation, Standards, Satisfaction), we work to maintain the highest standards in every aspect of our business, always innovating to create advantage for you.
    End-to-End Fulfillment Systems
    Cornerstone Automation Systems offers order picking systems and a full line of technologies to automate order fulfillment requirements, ranging from operator assisted to fully automatic fulfillment. CASI builds turnkey systems to optimize end-to-end fulfillment including receiving, putaway, picking, shipping, and sortation.
    Interlake Mecalux models EasyWMS at WERC
    Interlake Mecalux will demonstrate the upgrades made to its innovative EasyWMS software at the Orlando conference. EasyWMS standardizes warehouse functionality while also allowing for customization among individual facilities. It is this customization on which Interlake Mecalux will look to shine the brightest light during the four-day conference.

    Karen Sumberg: The cost of closeted employees
    Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Erika Karp vividly remembers the secrecy and subterfuge that colored every workday before she told her colleagues that she was a lesbian. "You have to devote a huge amount of psychic energy to being closeted — changing pronouns, switching names. I did that for years," Karp recalls, all the while knowing that coming out could jeopardize her career in investment banking. "It was torture." According to a 2009 Human Rights Campaign report, more than half of LGBT employees are not "out" of the closet. Being in the closet is not just painful to individuals; it's also an enormous talent drain for their employers. By not promoting and supporting an inclusive workplace, organizations whose workplace environments cause LGBTs to stay in the closet risk alienating and ultimately losing a critical tranche of talent. More

    Don't Miss MODEXSM 2012

    See and compare solutions for your manufacturing, logistics and supply chain operations and network with your peers at MODEX 2012. Discover equipment and systems solutions and learn about the latest supply chain innovations and leading trends. Explore 500 exhibits and choose from a variety of educational sessions.

    Minority report: Supplier diversity must become a strategic priority
    Material Handling & Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    U.S. companies must make supplier diversity a strategic priority and stop viewing it as simply a corporate citizenship obligation, according James Lowry, senior adviser of Boston Consulting Group and co-author (with Dartmouth's Leonard Greenhalgh) of a new book, "Minority Business Success: Refocusing on the American Dream." "U.S. companies need to do a better job of supporting and developing minority businesses," Lowry says. "Minorities will become the majority of the U.S. population by 2045. Therefore, minority businesses need to deliver the value that American corporations expect — at every level of the supply chain. Right now they do not, as they are relegated to low-value or peripheral work that does not directly support the corporate value chain." More

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    Elaine Cohen: How to set sustainability goals
    Sustainable Business Forum    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    A recent piece of research from GreenResearch™, a research, advisory and consulting firm focusing on cleantech, alternative energy and sustainability, looks at the trends and best practices for defining, managing and communicating sustainability goals. This is an interesting subject. The quality, quantity, scope, "softness" and "hardness" of sustainability goals as presented in sustainability reports varies widely, from those that are clearly measurable (and therefore manageable) to those that are broad directional aspirational type statements that offer no clue as to how progress will be assessed. More

    Dan Gilmore: Inventory Performance 2011
    Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    For the last several years, I have been doing reporting and analysis based on the annual Working Capital Scorecard that had been published by CFO magazine based on data compiled by REL, a division of the The Hackett Group. My work on this has focused on the inventory part of the working capital equation — more on that in a moment. This year, however, the data available from CFO magazine was a bit limited, and The Hackett Group shared the numbers with me directly — and it is very interesting as always. The just released 2011 data is based on year-end 2010 financials from hundreds of U.S. public companies. More

    Five Million Possible Configurations,
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    Learn how the Jungheinrich EKX 513-515k Turret Truck and Order Picker can be easily customized for your application.

    Companies fail to recognize impact of risk, compliance failures
    @Risk    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Most people would agree that the first step in solving a problem is admitting that yes, indeed, there is a problem. So, how are companies going to implement effective risk and compliance management practices if they don't even realize the impact of risk or compliance failures on their organization? A new report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit illustrates some concerns. More

    Systems integration: Start at the end
    DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    When planning a major material handling system, it can seem a long road between inception and completion, from the blank page to an effective operation. That journey begins with a good map — or, more precisely, with a detailed system design for the warehouse operation. Crafting a detailed plan can be a complex and often daunting process. Experienced systems integrators say the journey begins with a clear understanding of the destination. "The first thing we like to do is get a handle around the real objectives or goals of the project," says John T. Giangrande, a senior account executive for Fortna, a major systems integrator and supply chain consulting firm. More

    Lean Storage Maximizes Space Utilization
    Increase space utilization 30%- 50%. UNEX offers the most extensive full width carton flow product line in the market to organize SKU’s, condense your storage needs and provide FIFO rotation of your inventory. All UNEX products ‘drop-in’ to existing rack structures making it easy to convert from static to dynamic storage. more

    Teresa Norton: The value of praise
    Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
    As a child growing up in the U.S., I was raised on praise, not always deserved. If it wasn't a gold star on a school report, it was an A for effort. In China, praise is so subtle as to be indiscernible. During my early days in Hong Kong, I would get in a lift with young parents and offer some glowing observation about their child. They'd smile broadly and say "Oh, but he is very naughty" and I'd think, "Don't say that in front of him, he'll grow up to be an ax murderer!" Almost 30 years later I understand they were saying everything with their beaming smiles — their words meant nothing. More

    John Westerveld: Natural disasters aren't the only risks in town
    The 21st Century Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The past few years have brought risk due to natural disasters to the front of supply chain consciousness. Severe storms, killer tornadoes, devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, forest fires and drought. All cause for concern, all are risks that supply chain professionals should have mitigation plans in place to address. But risks can take other forms, and these risks can be just as devastating to a company's bottom line. A post by "the doctor" over on the Sourcing Innovation blog, led me to this article in IndustryWeek. In it, they present a short case study about how a company survived the chaos and upheaval of Hurricane Katrina, only to fall victim to other risks. More

    Supply chain awards — country music style
    Material Flows    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    I like country music, but not so much for the music. I like it for the relationship that has grown between its artists and its fans. It's a great model for any industrial supply chain. Whereas in Hollywood, movie and music stars are separated from their customers by agents, producers and their own entourage of assistants, in Nashville, country music artists have developed a direct connection with many of their customers. They know what their fans like and what they don't like because these fans tell them directly. The fans reward their music suppliers for excellent service, too. At the annual Country Music Awards, it's these customers who judge the quality of their suppliers. Greatness isn't determined by an academy of middlemen that separate suppliers from their customers. The customers are trusted to set that quality standard. More
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