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Sept. 22, 2023
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


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This Week in SCDigest

bullet It's been 20 Years of SCDigest bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Chain Cartoon Caption Contest!

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts
first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week


A History of US Manufacturing Jobs


Supply Chain by the Numbers


Amazon Bullish on Christmas Hiring
Tesla Semi Put to the Test
Freight Tonnage Falls again in August
US Manufacturing in August Flat Again


Show Us Your Supply Chain Wit

Expert Insight

Supply Chain Technology Is Changing The Way SMBs Compete

Real-Time Visibility Into Inventory Levels, Order Status, and Shipment Tracking Enables SMBs to Monitor and Manage Their Supply Chains More Effectively


Sam Polakoff
Founder and CEO


Read Now

Cloudy Outlook but With a Glimmer of Optimism

Expectations of Lower Import Demand for the Rest of the Year and Retailer Cautiousness Will not Bode Well for the Last Mile


Jay Kent
Managing Director
SLB Performance


Read Now

 This Week's SCDigest OnTarget Newsletter

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week


About how long in feet are the world's biggest container ships?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


It's been 20 Years of SCDigest

It was on September 25, 2003 that the first SCDigest electronic newsletter was delivered, meaning next week marks our 20th anniversary. It's hard to believe.


That first newsletter also featured my inaugural "First Thoughts" column that really built the brand. There is still, if I may say so, nothing else quite like it in the supply chain media.



SCDigest really changed the supply chain media industry as the first all-digital publication, and using a style that uniquely positioned us between the traditional trade press and the analyst community.

Send Us Your Feedback here

Other than four off weeks we allow ourselves annually around major holidays, I believe in 20 years we have only missed a single week.

So at 48 newsletters and First Thoughts columns per year for 20 years, that math tells me we've had about 960 of each over two decades. I believe it actually is 959 newsletters (missing that one week), while I have used a guest First Thoughts columnist maybe a dozen times.

Now back to that first edition. The topic of my column was "The Sorry State of ASNs." In the newsletter format we used back then (see image below), I was able to cover that still interesting topic in a mere 300 words. Now, I take more like 1000 words to get the column done. Maybe I should reconsider my model.

Regardless that first column is short enough that I can include it right here:

The Sorry State of ASNs

When the whole Quick Response initiative for consumer goods and retail was getting established in the early 1990's, (UCC-128 carton/pallet labeling, 856 advance ship notices), the majority of those in the industry, both vendors and end users, would have guessed that within just a few years virtually every logistics flow would have been based on ASN visibility and receiving.

Well, there certainly has been a lot done (a lot of progress?) in the retail chain and by many companies in other industries, but I am still amazed, as we approach 2004, at the number of companies, including major corporations, that aren't getting ASN's even from their own plants into DCs, let alone from outside suppliers.

Wow. I met with the CIO of a large restaurant chain recently, who in a discussion of some new web based tools that could make it relatively easy for suppliers to start generating ASNs for them, reacted something like "We wouldn't want to place an additional burden on our vendors."

I kind of thought it was more like supply chain integration, which, by the way, saves you about 40% in receiving time and improves inventory management.

So what's the deal? Ok, traditional EDI is expensive and harder than it should be, but today there are lots of alternatives. It just isn't that hard to get ASN's intra-network - the barriers to doing so seem to be more political/cultural than IT or investment related - the payback for the investment is huge. OK, so there is a cost to manufacturing, and a benefit to distribution, but isn't this what supply chain management is all about - horizontal process integration, looking holistically at lowest total costs? The web should make getting ASNs intra-company and from suppliers a lot easier. So why aren't we further along?

The funny thing is, I am not sure how much ASN progress has really been made in the 20 years since. I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

First SCDigest Digital Newsletter in 2003




SCDigest really changed the supply chain media industry as the first all-digital publication, and using a style that uniquely positioned us between the traditional trade press and the analyst community.


We were doing lots of webinars and then videocasts before most of the other media had any idea.

I gained a level of fame from my written and video "trip reports" from major supply chain conferences and events, publishing one just last week on the 2023 Parcel Forum, with another scheduled of course for CSCMP Edge in a couple of weeks.

We have some major plans for 2024.

It's been a wild ride. Thanks to all of you for being part of it.

See as Web page/Printable Version

On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributen

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

The Constraints and Challenges of Planning and Implementing Port Operations

This videocast will provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP, present an example port, and discuss port operations.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Dr. Evan Shellshear, Head of Analytics, Biarri.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

A Blueprint for WMS Implementation Success

If You Want a Successful WMS Project, You will Find the Blueprint in this Excellent Broadcast

This videocast lays out the keys to ensuring your WMS implementation goes smoothly, involves minimal pain, and accelerates time to value.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Todd Kovi of Radix Consulting and Dinesh Dongre of Softeon.

Now Available On Demand


Feedback will return next week.

About how long in feet are the world's biggest container ships?

A: Around 1300 feet, the length of more than 4 football field.