Jan. 12, 2012

Using Metrics webcast

Jan. 19 is the first session
It's easy to fall into the trap of too many metrics/too little useful information. The trick is to use your metrics to drive performance in your facility — based on the principles of benchmarking that YOU apply to your unique situation. WERC will help you in that effort by coming to your house in an innovative six-session webcast format.

WERC at Modex
Please join us as we present two focused educational events in conjunction with Modex 2012:

  • Feb. 7, Using Metrics in the DC, Annual Workplace Study
  • Feb. 8, Building or Adding to Your Tool Kit for Fulfillment Excellence

  • WERCouncil events
  • Jan. 18, Chicagoland WERCouncil FedEx Facility Tour, 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 18, NY/NJ/CT WERCouncil Aeropostale Tour, 3:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 19, Northern California Tony's Fine Foods Facility Tour, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 26, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Bon Ton Stores Facility Tour, 7:30 to 10 a.m.
  • More

    Rising transport costs unavoidable?
    Material Handling & Logistics
    A year ago, shippers hoped to hold transportation rate increases to the 4-5 percent range; other industry sources thought rates could rise by 8 percent or more. As it happened, rates spiked seasonally on the spot market in 2011, followed by steady increases in contract rates, according to Mark Montague, an analyst at TransCore Freight Solutions. Contract rate increases landed between those two predictions, with a 6.5 percent increase through November, while spot market rates rose a full 7.4 percent, Montague reported in his blog. Spot market rates rose at an uneven pace throughout the year, especially for vans.More

    Report: Demand for logistics real estate to grow in 2012
    DC Velocity
    Demand for high-end industrial property used for logistics operations will continue to grow into 2012, leading to tightening capacity and rising rents until new supply hits the market later this year, according to a forecast issued by a leading real estate advisory firm. The vacancy rate for logistics facilities, which peaked at nearly 14 percent at the end of 2009, fell to under 11 percent two years later and is expected to dip into the single digits by the end of 2012, said Dallas-based Grubb & Ellis Co.More

    The leadership resolutions that work best
    Harvard Business Review
    Scott Edinger writes, "How many of your New Year's resolutions came in pairs? Have you, for instance, vowed to get more exercise and eat less this year to become physically fitter? I wouldn't be surprised if many of your other resolutions came in pairs as well: engaging more in acts of service and kindness for spirituality; pursuing new hobbies and carving out more family time for renewal; and reading more and watching less TV for intellectual growth. We choose more than one way to reach our goals because we intuitively understand that the interaction between different approaches will give us a greater chance of success. The same is true with leadership resolutions."More

    10 tips for sustainable package design
    Greener Package
    With the fundamentals of sustainable packaging in mind, the following are some areas to consider when implementing changes to your packaging for improved environmental impact.More

    'Engineering' supply chain excellence
    DC Velocity
    Brent Beabout, Office Depot's vice president of global network strategy and transportation, explains how his background in engineering and focus on the value of team and leadership is carving out a new path to success in Office Depot's supply chain.More

    California law aims to purge supply chains of slavery
    Material Handling & Logistics
    On Jan. 1, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act officially went into effect. This law requires retail sellers and manufacturers doing business in the state to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains. The law applies to companies with greater than $100 million in annual worldwide gross receipts. The law also requires the Franchise Tax Board to make available to the Attorney General a list of retail sellers and manufacturers required to disclose efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking pursuant to that provision.More

    Logistics solutions: From the sublime to the ridiculous
    Material Flows
    Tom Andel writes, "I've been talking to seasoned logistics professionals lately about their strategies to overcome the limitations of their local transportation infrastructures. Their work is inspiring. For example, Alastair Smith, senior director of operations for the Port of Vancouver, is faced with handling 5 million tons of cargo every year. However, he expects that volume to triple by 2020, thanks to growth in the Asian agricultural markets his organization serves. To prepare the Port for that growth his organization is improving rail access in and out as well as deepening the waterway serving the port so it will be able to accommodate larger ocean vessels."More

    A pitch for extreme logistics TV
    Material Flows
    Tom Andel writes, "In my last blog I was dismissive of a new shipping service some college students are trying to get off the ground. I complained that I couldn't even get onto their website, and surmised they must be having trouble selling their concept. I owe these students an apology. www.SendwithMe.com is a working website — it just took a few minutes for it to come up on my screen. I still think the concept is a bit weird, though. They want to build off the perception that the efficiency-poor U.S. Postal Service is on its last legs and that FedEx drivers regularly and literally toss parcels over the recipient's fence. (YouTube got a lot of hits showing that particular service offering)."More

    Confidence is a numbers game
    Harvard Business Review
    When Ginny Rommety became IBM's new chief executive last fall, she spoke about a point early in her career when she was offered a promotion that she initially rejected, for fear that she was underqualified. Her husband asked her: "Do you think a man would have ever done that?" She learned an important lesson then and there: to be self-confident on the outside even when she felt self-critical on the inside.More

    Patrizia Pepe brings efficiency to its supply chain
    RFID Journal
    Since installing RFID systems at its three distribution centers and attaching an EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency RFID tag to every garment that it sells, Patrizia Pepe — an Italian fashion designer of clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry for men, women and children — has more than doubled the amount of products that each DC can handle per hour as they are received from factories or shipped to stores, according to Lorenzo Tazzi, the company's information technology manager.More

    Report: Freight costs far outstripped tonnage in 2011
    DC Velocity
    In a stark reminder of the rate pressures and sub-par growth besetting shippers for the past year, a leading index of shipping activity reported that freight costs in 2011 jumped 18.8 percent over 2010 levels, while volumes rose a scant 0.7 percent over the same period. The index, compiled by freight auditing and payment firm Cass Information Systems Inc., measures shipments and expenditures of hundreds of Cass's clients, who collectively spend about $17 billion on transportation services annually. The survey showed a 12-percent fourth-quarter volume decline from the prior quarter, a larger drop than is expected on a seasonal basis. But from November to December alone, expenditures rose by 1.8 percent.More

    Green Supply Chain Year in Review
    The Green Supply Chain
    It was an interesting year in Green Supply Chain news and developments, though not always in the direction that Green SMC proponents would have liked to seen. Progress on greenhouse gas emissions went sideways at best, culminating at December's UN Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa, which barely eked out a weak accord that basically was an agreement to reach an agreement by 2015, and then giving countries another five years to get the treaties approved in their own countries.More

    Hey, you got supply chain in my project management!
    The 21st Century Supply Chain
    John Westerveld writes, "Recently I was reminded of an old TV commercial for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Now, some of the readers of this blog may not be old enough to remember this commercial, so I'll give you the 'CliffsNotes' version. One person is walking down the street enjoying their peanut butter. Another person is walking the other way eating a chocolate bar. The inevitable happens; and they collide causing the chocolate bar to get into the peanut butter. One of them declares, 'Hey, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!' The other replies, 'You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!' Then to everyone's surprise, they find that the combination works! So, what does this have to do with supply chain you ask?"More