WERCWatch
March 4, 2010

WERC & Georgia Tech

Did you know that WERC members receive a 10 percent discount on select courses at The Supply Chain and Logistics Institute? Go to your MyWERC page on the WERC Web site for more information.
Read about the WERC Delaware Valley Council's new internship program.
Managing and Improving Warehouse Operations seminar, March 23 to 24, Kansas City Marriott Downtown.More

Can inventory reductions achieved in 2009 be sustained?
SupplyChainBrain
Creating sustainable improvements in efficiency is the biggest challenge with regards to inventory performance. Based on the 2009 working capital performance research by REL among the largest 1,000 public U.S.-headquartered companies, 51 percent of companies improved their Days Inventory On-hand performance in 2008. Only 46 percent of those companies improved in two consecutive years and less than 17 percent in three consecutive years.More

10 tips for improving piece picking
DC Velocity
If you've been involved in order fulfillment for a decade or more, there's a good chance you've seen a shift in your facility's picking patterns. During the last 10 years, many DCs -- particularly in the retail sector -- have found themselves picking far fewer pallets or cases and a lot more individual items or pieces. And that's no trivial change.More

How to work with your vendors to go on a packaging diet
GreenBiz.com
Packaging -- especially wasteful packaging -- has become a bright spot on the radar for companies and individuals that are working to reduce their environmental impacts. But even the most proactive companies are finding that the problem can't simply be addressed in house. In my work in the IT department, I constantly am frustrated with the wasteful product packaging we receive from our IT equipment vendors. And the complaints are widespread, as in these examples I've gotten from our customers.More

RFID can improve efficiencies, deliver cost savings in warehouses
RFID Journal
Many warehouse managers and supply chain consultants are skeptical that RFID can deliver value in the warehouse. But recent technology advances coupled with a new approach to deployment in warehouses can improve efficiencies and deliver a return on investment.More

The future of dairy: Milk in a bag
Salon.com
Milk bags are far more unremarkable than most Americans think. They're common in India and many European countries, and constitute a frequent choice for 60 percent of Canadian, Polish, South African and Chinese milk buyers. Why bags? They use 75 percent less packaging than bottles, which saves valuable manufacturing costs. They're also recyclable and cheaper for consumers.More

Warehouses and DCs: Focus on the fundamentals
Modern Materials Handling
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That sums up the way things happen in too many warehouses and distribution centers. Customer requirements and order profiles change, but far too often processes stay the same. That's why once a year DC managers should take a step back and focus on the fundamentals of what they're doing in their facilities and how they're doing them, says Donald Derewecki, assistant vice president at TranSystems.More

The changing outlook in sustainable supply chain management
SupplyChainBrain
There is a surge of initiatives being planned or already in the process of implementation that aim at increasing the sustainability of supply chain management processes. Of more than 1,600 companies participating in the 2009 Aberdeen Report survey, 48 percent reported having a sustainability/green initiative in place. Among those with existing initiatives, 59 percent reported current initiatives focused on the supply chain, and 13 percent said they planned to begin a supply-chain-focused sustainability initiative in 2009.More

Why don't you have a supply chain risk management process in place?
The 21st Century Supply Chain
The @Risk blog has an interesting article asking "Do you have a Supply Chain Risk Management Process in Place?" According to a poll conducted during Aravo's supply chain risk webinar series, 71.4 percent of those polled said their biggest concern continues to be risk of supplier viability. Yet another study highlighted in the article shows that when companies decide to outsource, only 10 percent actually perform a risk assessment. The remaining 90 percent focus only on unit cost, transportation and inventory impact.More

Logistics expert Tom Mentzer dies
Logistics Today
After battling cancer for three years, John T. (Tom) Mentzer died Feb. 26 in Knoxville, Tenn. Mentzer was the Harry J. and Vivienne R. Bruce Chair of Excellence Professor in Business in the Department of Marketing and Logistics at the University of Tennessee. Mentzer wrote more than 190 papers and articles as well as eight books. He was recognized in 1999 as the most prolific author in the Journal of Business Logistics.More

Barcode scanning helps Salvation Army distribute goods in Haiti
Material Handling Management
The Salvation Army is replacing handwritten paper index cards with high-tech barcode technology to ensure that more than 4,000 families in Haiti efficiently receive food, shelter and medical supplies. UPS has donated the technology and adapted it for disaster relief supply distribution. A barcoded card helps the Salvation Army in Haiti manage the distribution of supplies by tracking goods received, the number of family members per household and their camp location.More