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Home   Membership   Learning Center   Resource Center   Events   WERCouncils   About July 7, 2011

On the WERC website
Health Reform Issues — from the 2011 WERC Conference, a presentation by Katie Hays of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that explains coming issues with the new health care regulations — is available to WERC members only.

WERCouncil Events
July 11: Southern California WERCouncil 7th Annual Golf Outing

A Good 3PL Relationship Takes the Risk Out of Outsourcing
Outsourcing is often perceived as dangerous by companies that have never outsourced. Establishing a strong, respectful 3PL relationship takes the fear out of outsourcing. To learn how to begin outsourcing without fear, download our complimentary whitepaper here. For information or to speak with us about your supply chain, visit or call 603.792.2205.

Cornerstone Automation Systems
Interlake Mecalux
UNEX Manufacturing
FDA launches new strategy to address challenges of global supply chains
@Risk    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Global production of food and other goods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has skyrocketed over the past decade — so much so that the distinction between domestic and imported products is now obsolete, according to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg. "There has been a perfect storm — more products, more manufacturers, more countries and more access. A dramatic change in strategy must be implemented," she said recently, as the FDA unveiled a new strategy to meet the challenges posed by rapidly rising imports of FDA-regulated products and a complex global supply chain. More


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Keys to successful supply chain transformation
SupplyChainBrain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What makes some supply chain transformation projects achieve corporate goals while others fall short of expectations? Two veterans of numerous high-profile projects agree that one mark of success is investing ample time and energy up front. "Much of the most important work on complex supply chain projects needs to be done before a single dollar is spent," says Ken Mullen, senior managing partner at enVista Corp. "A lot of organizations tend to see technology as a panacea, but we believe that perhaps half of the opportunity comes in looking at processes and asking the right questions before technology ever enters the picture." More

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Will US global trade increasingly move through Gulf ports?
Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the second time in U.S. history, a major inflection point in U.S. global logistics may be occurring, with a substantial amount of container trade starting to move through Gulf Coast ports. For most of U.S. history, East Coast ports in New York and New Jersey were the dominant passageways for international freight into and out of the U.S. Over the last couple of decades, as the focus of U.S. trade moved to Asian imports, West Coast ports, most prominently the sister ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, have usurped the leadership mantle from the New York area. In 2010, for example the combined ton equivalent units of about 7.2 million moving through LA/Long Beach was more than two and a half times the 2.7 million TEU that was handled by New York/New Jersey. More

CSCMP report: Logistics industry shows slow economic comeback
@Risk    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Business logistics costs last year were on par with 2005 and still well below the pre-recession years, according to the 22nd annual State of Logistics Report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Since 1988, the report has tracked and measured all costs associated with moving goods through the U.S. supply chain, and this year's analysis shows the following. More

Ellie Moss: Supply chain, not sustainability, should manage your carbon footprinting
Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Economist's June 2 article "Following the footprints" explores the latest developments in carbon reporting and what companies are learning as they wade into the challenges of measurement. The key insight: "the main benefits of carbon labeling are likely to be incurred not via communication of emissions values to consumers, but upstream via manufacturers looking for additional ways to reduce emissions." There are three reasons why CEOs should be tapping their head of supply chain to unlock these benefits, not their head of sustainability. More

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Rails try new route to intermodal growth
DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For decades, international commerce has dictated the rules of engagement in the U.S. intermodal industry. Seagoing containerized imports were offloaded at U.S. ports of entry, transloaded onto railroads, and moved inland. That business is hardly going away. However, the days when domestic intermodal operations were viewed strictly as a "bolt on" to international service that involved a prior or subsequent ocean freight movement are fast becoming history. Today, the four U.S. Class I railroads are putting greater emphasis than ever on the domestic market as they look for ways to fuel intermodal growth. In so doing, they will try to move beyond their comfort zone of near 2,000-mile hauls and muscle in on the short- to intermediate-distance markets dominated by truckload carriers. More

When tax and logistics climates clash
Material Flows    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the biggest challenges for any student in high school or grade school is speech. Not speech class, but the speech he or she has to make to their folks, explaining their report card. That occurred to me as I tried to figure out the recently released 2011 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research. This report reviews several areas of economic development for each of the 50 states, including manufacturing and logistics health, human capital, cost of benefits, global position and diversification of industries, state-level productivity and innovation, tax climate and venture capital activities. More

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Turn your group into a true team
Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are the people who work for you a real team? It's easy to extol teamwork, but not every group is a team. In fact, most teams we see, aren't — because their managers focus on building the most effective relationships they can with each individual who works for them. They spend their time managing person by person, paying little attention to collective performance. They rarely use their groups to diagnose or solve problems. And when issues arise that clearly affect the group as a whole, they tend to handle them one on one. In taking this approach, they're overlooking an important management tool: the powerful influence that social dynamics in a real team can exert on the behavior and performance of its members. More
Complimentary Distribution ERP Evaluation Kit

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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.

ATI partners to deliver passive RFID sensor
RFID Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American Thermal Instruments, a Dayton, Ohio-based manufacturer of temperature-sensing RFID tags and other temperature-based products, such as forehead thermometers, has established a license with Bob Kauffman, a researcher at the University of Dayton Research Institute, to develop new passive high-frequency and ultrahigh-frequency RFID sensors that have an innovative trigger mechanism. ATI plans to turn Kauffman's design into a finished product within 18 months or less. The company currently sells active HF 13.56 MHz RFID tags, marketed as LOG-IC tags, with an integrated temperature sensor, but tags built on the SMART (Status and Motion Activated Radiofrequency Tag) design would be passive, and thus less expensive. More

UPS Freight raises rates by 6.9 percent
Material Handling & Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
UPS Freight, the nation's fourth largest LTL (less-than-truckload) carrier, has announced a general rate increase averaging 6.9 percent covering non-contractual shipments in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The rate adjustment takes effect Aug. 1, and applies to minimum charge, LTL rates and accessorial charges. This is the second time in less than a year that UPS Freight has implemented a general rate increase. 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.

Key trends outside the box
Modern Materials Handling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ram Krishnan writes, "In the coming years, I believe that five trends happening outside the warehouse box are going to affect how you operate your facilities inside the box. Each of these trends has a bearing on how we should design and run the warehouse. And we make a strong case for profiling your customers, their orders and the inventory. The following are some of the key national, economic and demographical trends and how I believe they will affect strategies in the warehousing business." More

The next big thing: 'Control towers'
The 21st Century Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Trevor Miles writes, "It is amazing how there can be a synergy that drives several parties to coalesce around the same idea. I once read about a crazy idea that if one cow learns how to cross a cattle grid this capability will somehow be transmitted to all other cows. Sounds pretty quirky right? Well somehow the notion of a supply chain control tower has gained broad interest lately across a broad spectrum of industries. I stole the title of my blog from James Cooke of CSCMP who wrote about the same topic a few weeks ago. James comments the following." More

Consolidation keeps logistics alive in UK
Material Handling & Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The majority of the United Kingdom's largest logistics companies are now overseas owned and account for the greatest share of turnover with further industry consolidation predicted, according to new research from Barclays Corporate and Grant Thornton. Overseas ownership of the top 50 U.K. logistics companies has grown to 52 percent over the past five years with their turnover now equating to 69 percent of the top 50's total turnover, a jump of more than 40 percent over five years. Barclays Corporate and Grant Thornton carried out research looking at the changing composition of the top 50 U.K. logistics companies, surveying key decision makers from U.K. logistics businesses on their views of the industry. More

Proactive approach to system optimization management
Distribution Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fixed path material handling equipment and systems, the kind that can be found in the typical order fulfillment DC, have relatively long useful life expediencies — usually 15 to 20 years depending on duty cycle and how well it is maintained. In many cases, these older system are still functional but need to be updated in order to remain efficient and productive. While vendor provided software code eventually becomes extinct, most mechanical and control components can be replaced with an updated version. More

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How too much multitasking at work can slow you down
MIT Sloan Management Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At any given time, are you trying to juggle lots of projects at work? If so, you could be decreasing your output, recent research suggests. Researchers Decio Coviello, Andrea Ichino and Nicola Persico studied a group of Italian judges who were randomly assigned cases and who had similar workloads, in terms of the quantity and type of cases they were assigned. The researchers' findings? The judges who worked on fewer cases at a time tended to complete more cases per quarter and took less time, on average, to complete a case. These findings are described in the researchers' October 2010 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, "Don't Spread Yourself Too Thin: The Impact of Task Juggling on Workers' Speed of Job Completion." More

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Lift truck cost pie in for a re-bake
Material Flows    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the most difficult components to price on a lift truck is the operator. This occurred to me after exchanging e-mails with Scott Friedman last week. He's CEO of Seegrid, makers of systems that are turning pallet trucks into vision-guided robotic vehicles. He asked if I ever saw a chart that breaks down the cost of a lift truck. I told him I remember seeing something that did that but it was quite a while back. Eventually, he found what he was looking for and shared it with me. In this breakdown of "typical lift truck costs," maintenance and purchasing were two of the bigger pieces of the pie, together accounting for almost half of it. Fuel & insurance and disposition were slivers. By far the biggest chunk was "operator cost," which constituted almost half of the pie. More

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SABMiller finds that less is sometimes more when it comes to supply chain planning system success
Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like many companies, SABMiller, the world's second largest beer maker, found itself confronting a number of supply chain challenges for its manufacturing and inventory planning operations in its home country of South Africa in the mid-2000s. Much of that was the result of an explosion in the number and variety of SKUs the company needed to produce and manage, as the number of specialty beers and other drinks rose dramatically. That in turn led to operational and customer service problems — at the same time where SAB's largely protected home market was starting to see a great increase in outside competition. More

Supply chain analytics: Sometimes you just have to VUCAT
The 21st Century Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you attended the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, you may remember the term "VUCA" from the keynote on the first day. It was used to describe today's supply chain and stands for "volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity." The keynote speaker stated VUCA is a military term but certainly fits when discussing supply chain challenges. Let's look at where the T in VUCAT came from. The same keynote also described the foundation that today's supply chains are built on. In particular, there were two analogies that stood out and challenged the audience to think about their own supply chains. More

Who are this year's Rainmakers?
DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some measure success by salaries and titles. Others use a different yardstick altogether. Take the 15 professionals selected as DC Velocity's 2011 Rainmakers, for example. When asked about their proudest professional accomplishments, two spoke of their advocacy work on behalf of green business initiatives. Another mentioned the satisfaction of knowing he had earned — and retained — the respect and friendship of colleagues despite his taking the occasional unpopular stance. Yet another cited his long-term involvement in various professional organizations. More

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Warehousing & Distribution Consulting

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