Jun. 14, 2012

Rules of Thumb online

TranSystems sponsors popular warehousing & distribution guidelines on WWW.WERC.ORG as a tool for estimating capital equipment costs associated with alternative layout options, operating systems, equipment applications, security, warehouse technology and other general guidelines. Users can submit their requirements online and receive a Rules of Thumb customized email summary of costs/items.More

Social media for the supply chain: Help or hype?
Companies of every size and industry have embraced popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, among many others. The latest Survey of Third-Party Logistics Providers, conducted by Northeastern University and sponsored by Penske Logistics, found 64 percent of respondents with LinkedIn accounts, 47 percent with Facebook pages and 36 percent with Twitter accounts. Such efforts have focused mostly on marketing, advertising and customer relationship management. Relatively few have tapped into the social networks as a means of communicating both internally and with key supply chain partners. And there's even a lot of push-back on the marketing side, too.More

Is item-level RFID right for you?
DC Velocity
RFID finally seems to be hitting its stride. Last year, several big name companies — particularly in the retail industry — launched widescale item-level RFID tagging initiatives. For example, Macy's Inc. pledged that all 850 of its Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores would be using RFID technology by 2012. These early initiatives are reportedly producing big benefits.More

Annual DC Metrics Report released at WERC Conference — time for more focus on soft metrics?
Supply Chain Digest
The annual DC metrics report was unveiled at the Warehouse Education and Resources Council conference a few weeks ago in Atlanta. With the effort led by Dr. Karl Manrodt of Georgia Southern University and Kate Vitasek of consulting firm Supply Chain Visions, the ninth year for the report covers ground both on which metrics are being used and how companies are performing, but with a bit of a twist this year.More

Fit lift trucks to your world
Material Handling & Logistics
A misapplied lift truck is like an ill-fitting shoe. Both cause systemic discomfort. A system solution should start with a ride through a day in the world of each operator.More

ATA calls crash accountability reports flawed
Material Handling & Logistics
Recently, American Trucking Associations called on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro to release the results of FMCSA's study on the use of police reports to determine crash accountability.More

The strategy of slotting
DC Velocity
Eric Welsh, an industrial engineer at the John Deere Distribution Center in Milan, Ill., discusses how the facility manages slotting of tens of thousands of parts in its massive distribution center.More

How to become a sustainable company
MIT Sloan Management Review
Few companies are born with a broad-based commitment to sustainability. To develop one, companies need leadership commitment, an ability to engage with multiple stakeholders along the value chain, widespread employee engagement and disciplined mechanisms for execution.More

RPA: 4 steps to managing, tracking reusable assets
Modern Materials Handling
At any given time, a manufacturer can likely tell you the quantity of bulk items available for processing, and a distributor can tell you the number of trucks it has on the road and the number in for repairs. However not every company can tell you how many reusable assets, including pallets and containers, they have out at retail stores, in the warehouse or waiting for repairs.More

Get employees to compete against each other
Harvard Business Review
By using technology to create a form of the leaderboard typical in sales organizations, innovative firms are infusing their workplaces with competitive spirit. Both companies and high-performing employees stand to gain. We call these firms "winners take all" organizations.More

ISM report: US manufacturing still strong in May, though a couple of worrying signs
Supply Chain Digest
At a time of growing economic uncertainty, driven in large part by continued troubles in Europe relative to sovereign debt, the Purchasing Managers Index for May released recently by the Institute for Supply Management showed generally strong if somewhat mixed results, as from the view of Supply Chain Digest manufacturing continues to lead the way in the U.S. economy.More

CEMA: Conveyor booked orders up 3.9 percent from April 2011
Modern Materials Handling
The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association reported that its April 2012 booked orders increased 3.9 percent when compared to April 2011 orders. April 2012 booked orders when compared to March 2012 booked orders were down 3 percent.More

Critical steps for sustainability change management, long-term adoption
Environmental Leader
Today, many organizations are making sustainability goals and initiatives a priority, not a "nice-to-have." The 2011 McKinsey Global Survey on The Business of Sustainability found that 57 percent of respondents say their companies have integrated sustainability into strategic planning; 67 percent say sustainability has been integrated into mission and values; and 60 percent say sustainability has been integrated into external communications.More

In Memoriam: There was something about Mary
Material Flows
Tom Andel writes, "If you remember when Material Handling & Logistics was Material Handling Management, you probably remember Mary Aichlmayr. She was MHM's editor in chief for a couple of years before moving on to a job in one of the industries we cover. But during her brief tenure at the helm of MHM, she earned the respect of many logistics professionals. More often than not that respect grew after she interviewed them at an event for an MHM feature. You couldn't help but like how genuinely curious Mary was about your job and your business. Plus, the fact she was a woman gave her a good starting-off point for any discussion."More