Feedbacks of the Week - On Inland Ports:
Having been in the Port/Maritime Industry for more than 20 years and inland ports being a buzz word for as long as I can remember, it is important to note what is “old” and what is “new”. The “new” is the booming logistics centers like Alliance, TX; Joliet, ILL and the Port of Tacoma’s South Sound Logistics Center in Maytown, WA. It is where transport modes come together with warehousing, distribution, assembly and light manufacturing co-exist and flourish. Many times these are in customs bonded and free trade zone designated areas.
The transport modes most critical are highway and rail. However, air is becoming very fashionable and in some cases (Alliance being one) is critical to the success. Waterborne transport plays a minimal effect.
However, with all that said, your point that this concept is not for everyone is very key and to the point. Too many regional, state and local business development enterprises see an inland port, or logistics center, as an answer to all of their economic development woes. Besides your North Carolina example add to the list Front Royal, VA and Quincy, WA. They key to the “non-success” of these later two examples is the railroad desire not to fully engage in a rail shuttle between a nearby seaport and the inland port. Thus more trucks on the road.
Inland Ports will play a key role in the ever-changing global supply chain and logistics of major shippers but they need to be planned with a strategic view of the entire, systematic view of the global supply chain. This includes foreign (off-shore) sourcing strategies, transportation and distribution strategies (all water via the Suez, all-water via the new Panama Canal or intermodal from the West Coast) and local/regional distribution strategies which is directly impacted by regional, state and federal environmental and economic requirements.
J. Michael Zachary
Sr. VP, Global Supply Chain Services
While the results are very shocking, I definitely believe they are also very accurate! I would also venture to say that some of those “in-house” TMS’s are probably based off of some sort of Excel spreadsheet but they were probably too embarrassed to say that or their IT department admit to it. It is astonishing to see how our industry refuses to utilize technology which most best of breed systems or commercially purchased systems utilize in order to be effective and productive. I don’t know if companies are just unwilling to invest in a real TMS (i.e. a system that’s infrastructure is not based on a Microsoft bundle application) because it is job security due to the fact that even the most basic TMS (commercial or best of breed) can eliminate the need to have Pat Smith spend their day typing information into a spreadsheet or if it is just self-induced ignorance.
Great Article but doesn’t help my current frustration with our industry. It is sad that third-world countries are hungry for new TMS programs/technology, while the majority of companies in the US are happy sticking with the ole trusty abacus!!!
Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC
On 2D Bar Codes to Trigger Web Pages:
I see what you're saying about a 2D symbol launching a web page and itis intriguing. Perhaps as intriguing as the idea of using a 2D symbol is that of having a web page to provide a "filter" between a corporate database and the outside world, thereby addressing the issues companies have about providing trading partners access or having to communicate data to an external 3rd party database.
As far as the test result example, in this day of e-mail and easy electronic communication, I'm not sure why the results couldn't be sent electronically and, ideally, imported directly into the customer's database. However, for other applications, I think it might have considerably moremerit than just providing information.
For pharma e-pedigree, for example,it might be the ideal way to show the complete pedigree of the item because the web page could pull data from diverse sources while not granting access to any of them, thus helping ensure the security of the overall system.
I don't know of anyone doing anything along these lines but it is a very interesting concept.
On Boeing's Supply Chain Troubles:
Boeing’s experience with the lack of visibility into the supply chain is a common problem. Where as before, popular opinion suggested that it only affected smaller businesses, now there is clear evidence that this problem affects all business both large and small!
A fundamental value at I-MarcoPolo.com is to deliver to our clients transparency into the supply chain. To the point where accountability of suppliers has an immediate impact on the health of the supply chain and strengthens the relationship.
Beijing Marco Polo Global Trade & Logistics Services Ltd.
Tremendous article! It could be the start of a book....
Its great to hear a realistic account of what can and does go wrong with out-sourcing. It would also be interesting to get an account of the real costs involved. The planned savings are not nearly as great as they seem initially. I hope the Italian instructions really helped them assemble the final unit...(hahaha)
Also, a good job of outsourcing requires on site engineering support, especially for the first critical items. Without it you may as well go to the casino.
The hardware shortage is classic. Nobody thinks about running out of them, until the line is shut down. On my next airplane flight I am going to examine those rivets a little closer as I board....
Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing
On 2008 Supply Chain Trends:
I believe that Jim Tompkins’ and other insightful 2008 predictions, highlighted in this column, provide a lot of food for thought.
Our global economy is changing quickly, driven by many geo-political factors. As Jim and others have pointed out in their predictions, the original motivations to perhaps source manufacturing or supplier capability within China or other parts of Asia was too often driven by a singular cost factor of labor. As manufacturers increasingly add more informed, as well as more sophisticated decision-making capabilities that analyze total landed costs, and incorporate the complete cost picture, that original sourcing decision becomes more problematic when placed in broader context.
The existing high cost of and demand for energy will probably continue into the foreseeable future, and supply chain organizations will be once again challenged to respond with alternative strategies. Labor cost increases in China and other countries, are causing manufacturers to seek the next lower-cost alternative. Emerging, higher growth global economies will reinforce the need to build more sophisticated local logistics infrastructure. It’s no wonder that 2008 predictions conclude a movement to continuous near-shoring, dual-sourcing, and network reconfiquration. There are already signs from major manufacturers that the shifts are underway, and 2008 promises to be another interesting year for our profession.
I would conclude that many of these predictions point to three critical agendas for supply chains in 2008:
Integrating supply chain strategy within overall business strategy. In my view, this would umbrella integrating value-chain operations, planning, risk management and execution strategy with the overall business strategy. Perhaps the time for supply chain strategy to make its presence in the board room has finally arrived. It’s time for the profession to move beyond vertical mentality.
Making improved analytics, intelligence, and more timely decision-making the prime supply chain process initiative in 2008. Let’s build upon the successes of lean and postponement, and move toward total network visibility, with the ability to sense and respond to any product business or fulfillment need.
Investing in broader and deeper skills across the various supply chain functions, global suppliers and global regions, insuring that the whole supply chain is much better positioned to respond to any challenge
Yes, there are interesting times ahead, and supply chain should be a proactive leader, not a follower.
The Ferrari Group