sc digest
December 19, 2014 - Supply Chain Flagship Newsletter

This Week in SCDigest

bullet Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas 2014 bullet SC Digest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & By the Numbers for the Week bullet Holste's Blog/Distribution Digest
bullet Cartoon Caption Contest Continues bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Stifel Transportation Weekly and New Supply Chain by Design bullet Videocast/On Demand Videocasts
FREE Calculator: Inbound Shipping Variability
Impact on Expensive Safety Stock


first thought


Supply Chain Graphic of the Week:

Who Will be the Power Retailers in 15 Years?

Amazon Prime Now 1 Hour Delivery Handling Lots of SKUs
Russian Ruble Freefall has Consequences
Truckload Rate Continue to March Higher
Walmart Dominates Top Retail Supply Chain Rankings


December 8, 2014 Contest

See The Full-Sized Cartoon and Send In Your Entry Today!

Holste's Blog: What Does A Distribution Center Operation Have In Common With A Major League Sports Team?


FREE Calculator: Inbound Shipping Variability Impact on Expensive Safety Stock


Weekly On-Target Newsletter:
December 17, 2014 Edition

Santa Cartoon, Top Retail Supply Chains, 34-Hour Restart Change, UN Summit and more

Stifel Transportation Weekly for December 15, 2014

by John Larkin
Managing Director and Head of Transportation Capital Markets Research
Stifel Financial Corp

Deepen Your Optimization Knowledge Over the Holidays with Free E-book

by Dr. Michael Watson


How many US parcels will UPS deliver in December?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page

Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas 2014

I first wrote a supply chain version of the Clement Moore classic poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" our very first year in 2003.


"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from SCDigest!"


Send us your
Feedback here

Since then I have penned some new versions of the poem every few year, but when I looked back at all those, I decided the very first one was still by far the best, so I am going to repeat it again here in 2014, with just a couple of minor tweaks from the original to bring it up to date.

Hope you like it.

Twas the night before Christmas, and I was alone in the DC.

Not much inventory left - we forecast right, I can see.

Our performance reports were hung by the office with care,

And it looked like 2014 bonuses soon would be there.

As VP of Supply Chain, the buck stops right here,
But I would say overall we had a pretty good year.

Now the job isn't easy - for me or my team.
This year's challenges were as great as I've ever seen.

Cycle times shorter – we took out one more day,

While working with 5% less budget, by the way.

Oh the transportation headaches! Capacity and cost!

But that's what you get with all the drivers we've lost.

We re-optimized the network, became more driven by demand,

And improved perfect orders even more than we planned.

And Omni-Channel, my goodness, I need a magic wand

With spells to keep our company from being Amazon'ed.

As I pondered our year, there quick arose such a sound,

I feared a tall bay of reserve rack had just fallen down!

I jumped into my Cushman, raced past each and every dock door,

Towards the back of the DC - what would I find on the floor?

But as I swung round bulk storage, I saw I had nothing to dread,

For there sat St. Nick, on a new Crown truck, green and red.

The red matched his bright suit, which could not have been finer,

Though a small tag in the back did say "Made in China."

He was hanging some stockings from the racking's first beam,

And I could see on each one the names of my team.

On a pallet nearby sat a large sack, which he grabbed with a laugh,

And I wondered what Santa could have in store for my staff.

He said, "I brought you the gifts that will help you to achieve,

Supply chain excellence and flexibility in 2015, I believe.

"For your director of transportation, a new Cloud TMS,

Trust me, it will reduce current transportation distress.

"For your planning team, real-time demand visibility,

And a new IBP process that will drive much greater agility.

"For your inventory group, I can remove much of their pain,

Through true optimization across every echelon in the chain.

"Your DC manager will like the Voice pick system she'll be receiving,

And the advanced WMS that supports strong task interleaving.

"For you, a new Supply Chain dashboard, with all the metrics you want,

So you can see by the second who's performing, and who's not!"

Then he paused for a second, and put a finger to his lips,

Reached in his bag, and pulled out a fistful of chips.

"And the greatest gift of all, as I'm sure you'll agree,

Is for everyone, everywhere - lots of RFID!"

He dropped the tags in the stockings, turned round with some flair,

Pushed a button on the Crown, and it took off in the air!

"Thank you Santa," I shouted, "These are really great tools!

But we'll need help to deploy them, configure business rules!"

Santa yelled, "Yes, the value from tech is sometimes not resultant.

But my elves are just coders – better hire lots of consultants!"

And I heard him exclaim, as he floated high above,

"Yes supply chain's sure hard, but it's the business we love!"

Hope you enjoyed it. You can access a pdf here if you would like.

We're happily taking a couple of weeks off here relative to newsletters, but please keep tabs on the web site for the latest supply chain news. Thanks for another great year. You'll see many exciting new features in early 2015. See you next year!

Did you enjoy Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas? Let us know your thoughts. Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button (email) or section below.

View Web/Printable Version of this Column

New On Demand Townhall:

Townhall Meeting! Is Flowcasting Really a Game Changer in the Consumer Goods to Retail Supply Chain?

Claim is that Store-Level DRP and New Approach to Forecasting Deliver Big Gains - Does It Stack Up?

Andre Martin , Flowcasting Inventor, JDA Software, Kevin Smith of DePaul University, Parag Jategaonkar of Accenture and Fred Baumann of JDA Software.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

Why Now Is the Time to Close the 3PL "IT Gap"

How Leading Logistics Service Providers Can Move to the Next Level of Technology Enablement to Win New Business and Get More Strategic with Clients

Gene Tyndall, former VP of Supply Chain Solutions at Ryder, SCDigest's Dan Gilmore, and Todd Johnson of JDA Software.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

The Impact of Vendor Lead Times and Variability on Inventory Levels

Introducing the New Lead Time/Inventory Level Calculator!

Mark Krupnik of Retalon, Kevin Harris of Compliance Networks and SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore.

Now Available On Demand


Just publishing one excellent Feedback here this week, from Kelly Davis-Orr, Director, Enterprise Systems and Applications at Highlights for Children, who sent in a thoughtful and detailed email based on our First Thoughts column on Calculating the Costs of On-Demand vs Traditional Supply Chain Software.

You will enjoy it.

Feedback on Costs of On-Demand versus Traditional Software:


True SaaS should be multi-tenant SaaS, right? Below is my explanation of true SaaS:

• Hosted in the cloud, but don't use term "hosted" because to me that means that each customer has their own instance/version which is not multi-tenant SaaS.
• All customers share the same code base so support is swift and economical.
• Multi-tenant SaaS: All customers are on the same code base. Single-tenant SaaS: Each customer has their own instance of the software and can take updates on our own schedule. Single-tenant SaaS is not as economical and has less benefits.
• Databases and data are not shared. Each customer should have its own database environment.
• All of a vendor's customers get regularly scheduled updates to the system, sometimes these arrive "turned off" and customers can turn them on as needed. Thus, SaaS customers enjoy the latest and greatest at all times and do not have to wait for costly upgrades.
• SaaS products are highly configurable and do not allow for customization of code. Workflows, invoices, forms, etc. are configurable and do not require changes to base code for these changes.
• Customers and carriers benefit from everyone sharing the same version because once an interface is created for a carrier or 3rd party interface, it is made available to everyone. Also, customers can share reports and configuration, allowing for less "recreating the wheel."

There are many HR and Finance applications that are true multi-tenant SaaS (Workday, Ultimate Software, Cornerstone OnDemand, SuccessFactors, Jobvite, etc.). These are less expensive than traditional systems because vendors can save money on economies of scale since they only support one version - all customers are on the current version. They are also written with SOA architecture which speeds development of new features and supports agile practices.

I am very new to the supply chain world, but have lots of experience in Enterprise applications. It seems to me that SaaS is very new in the WMS market. Gartner says the number of true SaaS WMS vendors is small and lists them in 3 categories as below. They also caution that most of the true SaaS WMS solutions are targeted for less complex warehouse environments, which need significantly less functionality than a Tier 1 WMS. Also, Gartner says that a true SaaS, multitenant environment may not allow enough configuration to ensure customization is not needed for customers requiring Tier 1 functionality. I wonder if this will end up being true, however. If these new SaaS systems are SOA, they may allow for customizations to be bolt-on by customers instead of altering core-code. This would be less invasive and have less TCO than traditional customization.

True SaaS:

• 3PL Central
• Apptricity
• Davanti Group
• Deposco
• eBizNET Solutions
• LogFire
• Synergy Logistics, Snap
• SideUp Reply

Both single and multi-tenant SaaS, do not get advantages of vendor savings since vendor is supporting multiple versions:

• Accellos

Cloud but Single Tenant so do not get all the advantages:

• Generix Group
• HighJump Software
• Infor

• JDA Software
• Manhattan Associates
• Softeon
• Tecsys



Q: How many US parcels will UPS deliver in December?

A: Astoundingly, some 585 million. FedEx will deliver some 290 million orders as well, with large numbers for the US Post Office, too.

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