WERCWatch
Jun. 20, 2013

Conference recordings and videos

Conference 2013 recorded sessions are available to members online at www.werc.org. Sign on with your member information to see and hear the best of conference 2013. Also, check out the speaker interviews Supply Chain Brain conducted at this year's conference. Go to WERC's YouTube Channel.

WERCouncil events

  • July 23, Northern California Midsummer Networking & Raffle Event, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • July 24, Chicagoland WERCouncil Presentation: Key Issues in Domestic Freight Transportation, 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 24, 12th Annual North Texas WERCouncil — Warehousing Resource Convention, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • More

    Demand for more customized services at the DC drives changes in order fulfillment strategy
    Supply Chain Digest
    Today's distribution centers are providing an ever increasing array of individualized customer specific services that require special "off-line" operations including assembly, packaging, customization, and store-ready shipments that disrupt the continuity of orders flowing from picking to shipping. While most of these services generally are considered to be beneficial, they increase operational complexity and labor cost at the DC.More

    Report: US logistics system has entered a 'new order' marked by historically sub-par volumes, grudging gains
    DC Velocity
    Every year for the past four, transportation and logistics professionals have waited for the high priestess of industry data, Rosalyn Wilson, to deliver them from the near-ruins of the Great Recession and into the land of bountiful returns that many had grown accustomed to prior to the downturn. Judging by the conclusions of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals 24th annual "State of Logistics Report," which Wilson authors, they may have some more time to wait — at least a couple of more years.More

    ITA member survey depicts growing optimism, increased demand
    Modern Materials Handling
    An April survey of members of the Industrial Truck Association shows an estimated expected growth of 2 to 3 percent for 2013 over 2012 figures, with another 1 to 2 percent increase anticipated in 2014. These are among the findings of ITA's quarterly market intelligence survey designed to help its members depict trends and recognize the changing needs of the industry. In the survey, ITA members estimated the 2013 market for forklifts at approximately 179,000 to 184,000 units, compared to 178,904 for 2012.More

    A new alternative truck fuel enters the playing field
    Supply Chain Digest
    There has been a flurry of activity and investment around natural gas powered trucks in the U.S., with the promise of reducing operating costs, carbon emissions, and dependence on foreign oil, as the U.S. rapidly builds out its natural gas producing capacity using new fracking techniques. But is there a new kid on the energy block that may give compressed or liquid natural gas a run for its money?More

    Warehouse walkers on wheels
    Material Handling & Logistics
    With the slow economic rebound and 2 to 3 percent predicted growth in 2013, large manufacturing plants and distribution facilities are looking for some efficiency wins. Strategies can be as simple as using small electric scooters to shave miles of unproductive walking time. Other benefits of using these one-person vehicles include reducing wear and tear on employees' bodies and preventing the misappropriation of material handling equipment as a means of transportation.More

    Get published in WERCWatch
    MultiBriefs
    In an effort to enhance the overall content of WERCWatch, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of WERC, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

    The changing nature of shipper-3PL contract relationships
    Supply Chain Digest
    The growth in logistics outsourcing continues apace, but because the economic downturn shippers have been changing their thinking relative to relationships and contracts with 3PLs. That includes new approaches to which party controls which assets, and especially new shipper thinking with regard to risk sharing with 3PLs.More

    Time for fleet refreshment
    Material Handling & Logistics
    At a time when skilled workers and the time they need to get work done are at a premium, the latest generation of powered industrial trucks is getting more attention. Although there are still many vehicles from previous generations being maintained to stay on duty, the jobs they're being called to do require more sophisticated skill sets related to time, space, labor and asset management. The common denominator is information, and managers crave the kind of information industrial trucks can generate.More

    Leaders: Listen for the train
    By Deborah Wipf
    We often do the same routines the same way for months or even years and don't realize when the process is broken. Then someone new joins the team and asks, "Hey, why are we doing it this way?" We look at them strangely, not really understanding what they're talking about. "Why wouldn't we do it that way?" Like a train horn you hear every day, it's easy to ignore the small, routine stuff and get caught in this trap of sameness and normalcy. But if we're truly going to lead our teams — or even ourselves — we need to look at our work a bit differently.More

    6 reasons leaders make bad decisions
    Forbes
    Employees are growing noticeably more frustrated with their leaders. Employees want their leaders to have their backs and listen to their concerns; to provide clarity of purpose and performance expectations; and to chart a road map for the future. They expect leadership from their leaders — but instead many employees are finding themselves being led by people that lack focus and vision, mismanage resources, and get caught up in corporate politics. More

    How to lead when you're not in power
    Harvard Business Review
    For all of the books (thousands) written on leadership, individuals (millions) who have participated in leadership seminars and dollars (billions) invested in leadership development, too many leadership experts still fail to distinguish between the practice of leadership and the exercise of bureaucratic power.More

    Lean your warehouse workforce
    DC Velocity
    Warehouse and distribution center managers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to handle the greatest amount of product in as little time as possible, with the highest level of service, and at the lowest possible cost. Yet despite their best efforts, they still may overlook opportunities to achieve that goal.More

    Boomers want to stay in logistics
    Material Handling & Logistics
    Each day, another 10,000 baby boomers turn retirement age. Their eventual retirement will have an impact on the job market, candidate pool and economy. While past predictions had the mass exodus underway by now, that's not happening.More

    Are your conveyors ready for e-commerce?
    DC Velocity
    When retailers first began dabbling in e-commerce — whether as a pure play or as a supplement to their brick-and-mortar operations — they often were able to get away with handling order fulfillment manually. But now, as online retailing explodes, they're finding that approach just doesn't cut it. In order to keep up with the increase in volume and the demand for faster turnaround times, they have to automate. At the very least, they have to put in conveyors and sortation systems.More

    What to do when an employee cries at work
    Harvard Business Review
    There are lots of reasons someone might be upset at work, from the personal — divorce, illness, kid troubles — to the professional — a failed project, bad review, or nasty colleague. Given how much time we spend in the office, it seems inevitable that people will occasionally get emotional. But how should you handle tears as a manager? What should you do with a distraught employee?More