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Logistics/Supply Chain: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Introduction to Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management can be simple or complex, but all supply chains contain similar elements and are managed in a similar way. This article will give you a introduction to these concepts. Firstly, you will learn about the elements that define a company's supply chain. Secondly, you will discover the three levels of management that are required to efficiently operate the supply chain.
An Introduction to Oracle E-Business Suite
Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) version 12 is an internet enabled product that can be managed from a single site. A company can operate a single data center with a single database, similar to other ERP products. This release was launched in February 2007 and contains a number of product lines which users can implement for their business. Oracle EBS includes the company’s ERP solution as well as supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
How to Improve Order Picking in a Warehouse
Order picking can be defined as the activity by which a small number of goods are extracted from a warehousing system, to satisfy a number of independent customer orders. Picking processes have become an important part of the supply chain process. Picking is seen as the most labor-intensive activity for almost every warehouse and this article examines order picking solutions that are available.
Transportation Worker Identification Credential...
The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as an identification credential for all workers requiring unescorted access of port facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA.
Decoding International Commercial Terms
International commercial terms or Incoterms are a series of sales terms that are used by businesses throughout the world. Incoterms are used to make international trade easier. They are used to divide transaction costs and responsibilities between buyer and seller. This article describes in detail the thirteen incoterms that can be used.
Where Are Your Supply Chain's Hidden Costs?
Knowing what your supply chain costs today is the only way to optimize it tomorrow.
Management Method That Leads to Success
Total Quality Management (TQM) is an approach that seeks to improve quality and performance which will meet or exceed customer expectations. TQM looks at the overall quality measures used by a company including managing quality design and development, quality control and maintenance, quality improvement, and quality assurance. This article looks at the history and implementation of TQM.
What You Should Know About Cycle Counting in...
Cycle counting is a popular inventory counting method that allows businesses to count a number of items in a number of areas within the warehouse without having to count the entire inventory. Cycle counting is a sampling technique where count of a certain number of items infers the count for the whole warehouse. This article shows different cycle counting methods that can used in a warehouse.
Top 10 Warehouse Safety Issues OSHA Writes...
Safety in American warehouses is regulated by a series of standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OHSA. The main focus of OSHA is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. This article examines the most frequent citations given by OSHA and some of the practical solutions that can be employed in the warehouse.
7 Logistics Functions in SAP Software
SAP is the number one vendor of standard business application software and the third largest software supplier in the world. SAP delivers scalable solutions that enable its customers to further advance industry best practices. This article looks at the various logistics components in SAP.
A Quick Introduction to SAP
SAP ERP Operations solution has become the software backbone that contributes to companies ability to achieve efficiency in the supply chain.
How To Explain Supply Chain To Your Loved Ones
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Warehouse Best Practices
Companies are constantly trying to find ways to improve performance and warehouse operations is area where supply chain managers can focus to gain maximum efficiency for minimum cost. To get the most out of the operation, a number of best practices can be adopted to improve productivity and overall customer satisfaction. Although best practices vary from industry to industry and by the products shipped there are a number of best practices that can be applied to most companies.
Strategic Supply Chain Management
The strategic supply chain processes that management has to decide upon will cover the breadth of the supply chain. These include product development, customers, manufacturing, suppliers and logistics.
Six Sigma Terminology
Six Sigma is a business management strategy that was initially developed by Motorola in the 1980’s, and now is used in many Fortune 500 companies. It is used primarily to identify and rectify errors and defect in a manufacturing or business process. Six Sigma uses a number of quality methods and tools that are used by professionals within the organization who have been trained on Six Sigma techniques. This articles explains some of the common terms used in Six Sigma projects.
How to Create a Logistics Strategy
The supply chain constantly changes and that will affect any logistics organization. To adapt to the flexibility of the supply chain, companies should develop and implement a formal logistics strategy.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Classification
Commercial trucks that operate on US highways can be classified based on their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The classification is divided into eight classes, one through eight, although many people use the more generic terms, light duty, medium duty and heavy duty. This article examines the different types of truck classifications in the US.
Introduction to SAP Inventory Management
Inventory management is the process of efficiently monitoring the flow of products into and out of a warehouse. Here we describe the system used by SAP.
Negotiation in the Purchasing Process
Negotiation in the purchasing process covers the period from when the first communication is made between the purchasing buyer and the supplier through to the final signing of the contract. Negotiation can be as simple as trying to obtain a discount on a case of safety gloves through to the complexities of major capital purchases. This article looks at negotiations in the purchasing process.
Do Metrics Inform Management or Influence...
Should you use metrics to measure performance or improve it? In optimized supply chain, you can do both!
An Introduction to Lawson ERP System Software:
Lawson Software offers an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has been ranked as the number one ERP software product for cost per user.
Supply Chain Impact - Mergers and Acquisitions
Prepare your supply chain for pre and post mergers and acquisitions activity.
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is aimed to prevent contamination of the food supply chain rather than reacting to the events after they occur. The FDA has with new enforcement authorities that have been designed to achieve higher rates of compliance with prevention and risk based food safety standards.
Introduction to the Manufacturing Process
When a manufacturing company begins production of a new material, it has a choice as to the manufacturing process it uses. The type of process depends on the facility, the staff, and the information systems available. Each process has its advantages and some are best at certain tasks, for example, large batches of finished goods, or small numbers of custom items. This article looks at the many manufacturing processes.
Planning Your Warehouse Layout
The layout of a warehouse may need to be changed to accommodate new product lines or to add greater flexibility to the warehouse operations. When a new warehouse layout is proposed a detailed planning process should be followed to ensure the success of the project. The planning process is discussed in this article.
Cross Docking in the Warehouse
The term cross docking refers to moving product from a manufacturing plant and delivers it directly to the customer with little or no material handling in between. Cross docking not only reduces material handling, but also reduces the need to store the products in the warehouse. In this article, the different types, benefits and products suitable for ctross docking are examined.
"I don't get supply chain" or How My Daughter...
Parenting and fatherhood and supply chain and heartbreak
What Are Inbound and Outbound Deliveries in SAP?
In SAP the inbound logistics functionality incorporates inbound deliveries, inbound shipments as well as goods receipts. The outbound logistics functionality covers the picking and packing of materials as well as the outbound delivery and goods issue. This article gives an overview of the inbound and outbound delivery processes in SAP.
Measuring Purchasing Performance
Measuring purchasing performance is important as the purchasing department plays an ever increasingly important role in the supply chain in an economic downturn. A reduction in the cost of raw material and services can allow companies to competitively market the price of their finished goods in order to win business. This article examines how companies are measuring purchasing performance.
How to Measure Manufacturing Capacity
Capacity is often defined as the capability of an object, whether that is a machine, work center or operator, to produce output for a specific time period, which can be an hour, a day, etc. Many companies ignore the measurement of capacity, assuming that their facility has enough capacity, but that is often not the case. This article looks at the different methids of measuring capacity.
How to Reduce Transportation Costs
Transportation costs can be a significant part of a company’s overall logistics spend. With the increases in the price of fuel, the proportion allocated to transportation can be upward of fifty percent. Transportation costs are a major target for company’s to reduce and there are a number of transportation strategies that can be used by management to help reduce costs. This article looks at some of those strategies.
Selecting A Third Party Logistics (3PL) Provider
Third party logistics (3PL) companies are a becoming an important part of today’s supply chain. These companies offer services that can allow businesses to outsource part of all of their supply chain management function. This article examines the rise of the 3PL providers and the mechanism that should be used in the selection of a third party logistics provider.
An Expert's Guide to Lean Supply Chain Management
Lean supply chain management should be considered by businesses who want to streamline their processes by eliminating waste and non-value added activities. Companies have a number of areas in their supply chain where waste can be identified as time, costs or inventory. To create a leaner supply chain companies must examine each area of the supply chain.
Operational Supply Chain Management
Operational supply chain decisions are made hundreds of times each day in a company. These are the decisions that are made at business locations that affect how products are developed, sold, moved and manufactured.
Purchasing Organization Structure
The purchasing function of any company is vitally important to the success of that company. By negotiating with vendors, a purchasing department can get the best quality items, at the best price, at the right delivery time. The way in which a purchasing department is structured is directly dependent on the way in which the company operates.
Could a Green Supply Chain Benefit Your Company?
The public have become more aware of environmental issues and consumers are asking companies about their environmental policies. This article examines how some companies have found that starting to create a green supply chain can add to the bottom line.
SAP Quality Management
Quality Management (QM) is an integral part of the logistics function and within the SAP application it is fully integrated with complementary components including Materials Management (MM), Plant Maintenance (PM), and Production Planning (PP). This article gives an overview of the SAP quality management component.
Freight Forwarding
The main function of the freight forwarder is to act as an intermediary between the client who is hiring them and various transportation services that are involved in getting the product overseas to the customer. This article looks at the different services that a freight forwarder can offer.
Forecasting In The Supply Chain
In the supply chain, forecasting is necessary for manufacturers. Companies use material forecasting to ensure that they produce the level of material that satisfies their customers without producing an overcapacity situation where too much inventory is produced and remains on the shelf. This article examines the use of forecasts in the supply chain with statistical and non-statistical methods.
Commercial Vehicle Size and Weights
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the US Department of Transportation (DoT). It is responsible for the federal size and weight regulations for commercial motor vehicles (CMV). The regulations are found in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 23 CFR Part 658. This article examines the size and weight limitations specified in the federal regulations.
Six Sigma Concepts: The DMAIC Problem Solving...
The Six Sigma system uses a number of quality methods and tools that are used by Six Sigma trained professionals within the organization. The DMAIC problem solving method can be used to help with any issue that arises, usually by those who professionals in the organization who have reached green belt level. This article examines the elements that make up the DMAIC methodology.
Sales and Operations Planning
Sales and operations planning (S&OP), sometimes known as aggregate planning, is a process where executive level management regularly meets and reviews projections for demand, supply and the resulting financial impact. S&OP is a decision making process that makes certain that tactical plans in every business area are in line with the overall view of the company’s business plan.
Participation Trophies, Birthdays and Supply...
Supply chain helps sort out the participation trophy controversy. Optimized supply chain knows a thing or two about performance and results.
Quality In The Purchasing Process
Quality is an important part of the supply chain, whether it is quality inspections during the manufacturing process or checking quality as raw materials and parts enter the factory. Before any part or raw material is used in a manufacturing it is the responsibility of the purchasing department to ensure that the materials that arrive are of the correct quality specification. This article looks at quality in the procurement process.
Inventory Carrying Costs Explained
The cost of carrying inventory is used to help companies determine how much profit can be made on current inventory. The cost is what a business will incur over a certain period of time, to hold and store its inventory. This article looks at the different components that combine to produce an overall cost of carrying inventory.
Classification of Forklift Trucks
The forklift truck has been around for a little under a century, but today it is found in every warehouse operation around the world. Developed as a result of manpower shortages the forklift evolved from a tractor with attachments to the vehicle used today. Recent technology has led to new hybrid vehicles that are environmentally friendly. This article looks at the different classes of forklifts.
7 Pallet Storage Methods for Your Warehouse
Many companies store their products on pallets in the warehouse. There are a number of pallet storage methods that allow the warehouse staff to store pallets efficiently. This article will examine a number of the pallet storage methods that are commonly used.
Transport Documentation
These documents include the freight bill, the bill of lading and the FOB terms of sale. This article examines these transportation documents.
What is Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)?
Vendor Managed Inventory or VMI is a process where the vendor creates orders for their customers based on demand information that they receive from the customer. The vendor and customer are bound by an agreement which determines inventory levels, fill rates and costs. This article describes the VMI process.
SAP Purchasing
Businesses of any size has to purchase items to either manufacture finished goods or to provide services. Before a purchasing department can purchase material in SAP, the department’s unique infrastructure must be configured. To design a structure that best meets a business’s needs, you need to understand the SAP organizational structure and the decisions a purchasing department needs to make.
How to Implement a Warehouse Management System
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have been available for decades and initially allowed simple storage location functionality. Today WMS systems can be standalone or part of an ERP system and can include complex technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and voice recognition. However the basic principle of a WMS has remained the same, which is to provide information to allow efficient control of the movement of materials within the warehouse
Tactical Supply Chain Management
Tactical supply chain decisions focus on adopting measures that will produce cost benefits for a company. Tactical decisions are made within the construct of the wider reaching strategic supply chain decisions that are made by company management.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
The implementation of EDI is important for companies as it can significantly reduce the cost of sending documents. A paper purchase order requires resources to print the PO, fax it, or post it to the vendor. EDI automatically sends the electronic document to the vendor thus reducing the cost of sending the PO. This article describes the basics of EDI and how it is used by businesses.
Free Six Sigma Certification Courses
Links to lean six sigma certification courses but do your homework first. Lean six sigma certification is critical to supply chain optimization.
Pick To Light Warehouse Systems
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How To Obtain A TWIC Card
How to obtain a TWIC card, issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as an identification credential for all workers requiring unescorted access of port facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA.
Operating A Procurement Card Program
The procurement card, or P-card, is a form of company credit card that makes it easier for employees to purchase goods and services.
Measures Of Warehouse Productivity
Warehouse productivity is a number of measurements that management will analyze to monitor the performance of their warehouse operations. The basis of many of the measures used in warehouse productivity is based on how much it costs to perform an operation. is article looks at a number of measure used in warehouse productivity.
Benchmarking In The Supply Chain
Supply chain operations within an organization should be constantly reviewed to identify where improvements can be made or deficiencies eliminated. One method to help do this is to perform a series of benchmarking tests on their supply chain processes. This article reviews the methods involved in benchmarking supply chain processes.
Pallets
Pallets make the logistics world go round. The pallet is found in almost every warehouse and without it the transportation of goods would be significantly harder, and much more costly. The wooden pallet, now joined by the metal and plastic pallet, will hold the raw materials that are used in manufacturing, the finished goods sold to customers, and then start all over again. This article looks at the history of the humble pallet.
ISO 9000 Certification
In recent years many companies have been through the experience of becoming ISO 9000 certified. Sometimes this can be long and expensive process, but businesses are willing to go through certification for the benefits it brings. This article looks at the procedure that a company must follow to achieve ISO 9000 certification.
Route Planning
For logistics businesses the rising cost of fuel has meant that they need to become efficient in the way that they plan their transportation routes. The traditional methods of route planning do not address real time events that affect businesses every day. This article looks at how modeling can create successful route planning.
The PB&J's Of Supply Chain
All of supply chain lessons explained by using a PB&J sandwich.
Customer Service
Customer service is an important element for making a successful business. You can have a wonderful product, but without excellent customer service the item will never be purchased. The customer interacts with a company through a number of channels and the level of service that is afforded the customer goes a long way to achieving customer satisfaction and in turn more orders for the company. This article looks at the key elements for a world class customer service strategy.
SAP Production Planning
Production Planning is an integral part of the logistics function in SAP and it is fully integrated with other components including Materials Management (MM). Every business that has a manufacturing operation will have implemented some level of production planning functionality to ensure that finished goods can be manufactured at the necessary time for customer’s sales orders to be delivered.
Carrier Pricing and Rates
The transportation industry can offer a complicated price structure when it involves moving commodities from one location to another. Each carrier has a price to move a class of commodity to one specific point to another specific point. A number of variables can make the decisions for a transportation manager very difficult when finding the best rate for a company’s shipping needs. This article looks at the way in which carriers pricing and rates are developed.
Super Supply Chain: Stark Industries vs. Wayne...
Fighting crime? Easy. Optimizing supply chain? Now that takes super powers.
Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Supplies (MRO)
MRO items are consumed as part of the production and plant maintenance process.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
The first use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) was documented in the 1940’s by the British Royal Air Force to identify aircraft in World War II and was part of the refinement of radar. During the 1960’s RFID was first considered as a tracking solution in the commercial world. The first applications involving RFID were developed over the next twenty years. This article looks at the benefits of RFID and its advantages over using barcodes.
Calculating Safety Stock
Safety stock is required by businesses to ensure that they have sufficient quantities of material in stock. The safety stock provides coverage for unexpected customer demand, damage in the warehouse or quality issues found in production. However, there are situations where firms do not require inventory to be in stock. This article looks at the methods that can be used to calculate safety stock
Origins and Principles of Lean Manufacturing
Lean Manufacturing has grown out of the production system developed by the Japanese automaker, Toyota. After WWII, Japanese manufacturers adopted production and quality procedures from US industry and expanded the principles to reduce waste in the manufacturing process. This article looks at the origins and principles of Lean Manufacturing.
Lean Six Sigma
Many organizations see Lean Six Sigma as the evolution of the Six Sigma methodology rather than a modification. Six Sigma has been developed over the last thirty years and has become the de facto methodology to eliminate defects from a process and improve the quality of the manufacturing process. The objective of this article is to examine the key steps in the Lean Six Sigma process.
Small Business Guide to Manufacturing
Small businesses are often not associated with manufacturing, however in the US small manufacturers can be found in all fifty states. Organizations such as the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) exist to promote small manufacturers and to lobby government to assist with legislation and federal programs. This article examines some of the manufacturing processes that are used by small businesses.
Public Warehousing In The Supply Chain
A company’s supply chain will include warehousing functions. It can be company-owned, owned by a third party logistics (3PL) firm or a public warehouse. Extra warehouse space is sometimes required due to any number of factors including; seasonal inventory, warehouse re-organization or warehouse damage. This article examines public warehousing and the criteria used in selecting a public warehouse.
The Sole Source Advantage (And Why You...
Drive costs down? Great! Here's why you shouldn't. There are other ways to optimize your supply chain.
Ethics In Purchasing
Every day the media has reports of cases of unethical business practices that involves the purchasing of materials or services in almost every country in the world. Although we like to think that the people who determine contracts and purchasing agreements are fair and ethical, there are some that will accept coercion that may affect the award of contracts that are worth thousands of dollars to those that are worth millions of dollars. This article looks at the ethics involved in purchasing.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
When your company communicates with your customers the process can involve many different people within both organizations using a variety of different methods. To ensure that your company can provide the best customer service experience possible the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software should be considered. This article examines the elements that are found in customer relationship management software.
Federal Express (FedEx)
FedEx, previously known as Federal Express, is a major player in the package delivery market and a direct competitor to global leader, United Parcel Service (UPS). FedEx was founded in 1971 and now has an annual revenue of $40 billion and 300,000 employees. This article examines the history of the company from its early days in Little Rock to the global logistics company it is today.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) covers a wide range of environment, health and safety management issues. A major concern is the protection of employee’s health in the workplace, and that is addressed with an increasing amount of federal and local legislation. Also, companies are becoming more concerned with the environment in their communities and where they do business.
Introduction to Kanban
Kanban is a scheduling system that is used in manufacturing to help companies improve their production process. The kanban system is a “just-in-time” method that was developed sixty years ago in Japan by Toyota to improve manufacturing. The method has been adopted by companies all over the world and has been incorporated into many new enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This article looks at the basics behind the Kanban process.
Supply Chain Management Introduction
Supply chain management can be simple or complex, but all supply chains contain similar elements and are managed in a similar way.
Implementing a World Class Purchasing...
Implementing a world class purchasing strategy will allow your company to stabilize or even increase profits at a time when your costs are rising. This step by step guide will show you the key points to helping you company implement the key elements for a world class purchasing strategy.
Packaging In The Warehouse
Almost every product we purchase as a consumer or a business is packaged. The packaging was initially intended to provide protection for the item as it being handled in the warehouse or when the item is being shipped. Packaging can be extremely elaborate, and for the consumer it can be an art form to entice you to make a purchase. This article looks at the packaging used in the warehouse.
Quality Inspections In The Supply Chain
Quality inspections are important when a manufacturing company creates finished goods; it cannot afford to wait until the items are coming off the end of the production line before they are inspected. Issues in production need to be addressed early in the process in order to correct problems. This article examines the use of quality inspections along the supply chain.
SAP Advanced Planning and Optimizer (APO)
An important component of SAP is the Advanced Planning and Optimizer (APO) application. APO is a suite of supply chain planner applications that increase overall knowledge of the supply chain and provide forecasting, planning and optimization. This article looks at the basics of the APO function.
Hazardous Materials In The Warehouse
Hazardous materials are often found in a warehouse. These materials can be either raw materials or finished goods depending on the nature of your company’s products. However, a hazardous material is one that is capable of producing harmful physical effects . This article examines the subject od hazardous materials in your warehouse and the regulations in place for their safe use.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
When a complex business requirement has been defined, a company is then ready to find a vendor to fulfill the requirements. The first step in finding a vendor is to create a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP should contain in detail every aspect of the business requirement, and what the company requires from a potential vendor to fulfill the requirements specified.
Open Source ERP
Open source software has gained a significant foothold in the business work and it is natural that open source ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are the next evolutionary step in the process. The open source ERP and CRM solutions can be purchased by a company and used as is. This article looks at the advantages and disadvantages of open source ERP software.
Logistics Network Modeling
When a company is designing its new logistics network, it will take into account all the location elements such as customer market, labor pool, quality of life requirements, and government incentives. When these elements have been analyzed, it is possible to create models which give companies more of an insight into the choices that make.
Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is used by companies to help them achieve efficiencies in their supply chain.
Inventory Classification
It is beneficial for a business to classify the inventory in their warehouse so that they can make decisions based on the type of inventory they have. Many companies use some kind of ranking system to classify their materials in the warehouse, such as the ABC classification.
Maximizing Space Utilization
Companies can reduce their costs and improve efficiency of their warehouse by maximizing the space utilization, ensuring that it is possible to store as many items as possible in the most optimum space.
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a designed to perform industrial control operations which can occur on the production line. The PLC is a microcomputer which has a central processing unit (CPU) that controls all of the activity that is required of the PLC. The CPU contains the main processor and system memory. This article examines the history and uses of the PLC.
Vehicle Fleet Costs
A company may make a decision to have an in-house vehicle fleet based on the needs of the company to get goods to customers as quickly as possible. However the convenience of having a vehicle fleet to transport items at a moment notice comes at a considerable price. This article looks at the cost of owning a fleet of delivery vehicles.
Contract Termination
When you negotiate a contract with a supplier the terms of the contract specify details such as the quantity to be purchased, pricing, discounts, and delivery instructions.
How To Use The About.com Supply Chain/Logistics...
How To Use The About.com Logistics/Supply Chain site. Optimize your supply chain today and start contributing to your company's revenue and earnings.
3 Strategic Initiatives from Wal-Mart's...
Early 2009 Wal-Mart introduced a plan that was hoped to ensure that the company would remain the industry leader. Project Impact is based on three strategic initiatives that will improve the benefits to the customer. The three initiatives are; Save Money, Live Better; Win, Play, Show; and Fast, Friendly, Clean. This article examines aspects of the Project Impact initiative.
Less Than Truckload (LTL)
Products are moved from point to point by a number of different modes of transport; air, rail, water and truck. In the US, the movement of goods by truck offers shippers infinite flexibility due at a relatively low cost. Truck transportation can move large items faster than rail as the shipment is not dependent on the railroads timetable. This article looks at the Less Than Truckload (LTL) sector.
Negotiations
The negotiation of an order price, or delivery date is important to the profitability of your company. If every time a deal was being negotiated and your employees let the supplier or customers get everything they wanted as part of the negotiation then your company would fail. It is important that your employees have the skills needed to negotiate successfully.
Continuous Improvement Tools
Total Quality Management is a popular approach to quality in a business that seeks to improve quality and performance which will meet or exceed customer expectations. One core component to TQM is the principle of continuous improvement. There are a number of tools available to ensure that continuous improvement is successful, including process mapping, root cause analysis, and the plan do check act (PDCA) cycle. This article examines these continuous improvement tools in more depth.
Customer Complaints
Customer complaints are something that every business will have to deal with at some time. This can be many hundreds of times a day or very seldom. However many customer complaints you receive, there are ways in which they should be dealt with to ensure that the customer will remain your customer, and order from you again.
Warehouse Zone Storage
When storing items in a warehouse it is sometimes advantageous to store together materials that have similar characteristics, i.e. that require refrigeration or that are over-sized. This article examines the storage zones that can be found in a typical warehouse.
Reverse Logistics
Reverse Logistics can be defined as all activity associated with a product after the point of sale. The aims of reverse logistics include optimization of aftermarket activity, such as customer service, quality inspection and warehouseing, which can produce a new revenue stream, improve customer satisfaction and help the environment. This article examines the elements of reverse logistics.
SAP Sales and Distribution
The sales and distribution (SD) function of SAP is part of the logistics area and contains the processes that help a company integrate with their customers. These processes include providing quotations to customers, receiving sales orders via phone, internet or EDI, shipping the finished goods, and finally billing the customer for the goods that they have received.
Strategies For A Successful ERP Implementation
Every company that embarks on an implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) project hopes that the implementation will be a success; on time and on budget. There are a number of critical success factors that could help ensure that success of a typical ERP project. This article highlights some of the most important strategies that can be adopted for a successful ERP implementation.
Order And Setup Costs
There are a number of costs that make up the total inventory costs for a company. Order costs include the expenses involved in placing an order for a quantity of material, but this does not include the actual cost of the material itself. Setup costs are incurred when production or assembly lines are changed for example when the manufacturing department has to change equipment for a different product or part to be manufactured. This article looks at both these types of costs.
Product Life Cycle
The product life cycle can be divided into several stages characterized by the revenue generated by the product. A life cycle can be very short or very long. Most products start in the product development stage. Companies develop new products all the time and a small percentage of those reach the market. This article describes the different stages in the product life cycle.
Just In Time (JIT)
Just in Time or JIT method creates the movement of material into a specific location at the required time, i.e. just before the material is needed in the manufacturing process.
Creating a Supply Chain Strategy
Optimizing your company’s supply chain grows the top and bottom line. Start optimizing your supply chain today by following these steps.
Is Six Sigma Better Than Seven Sigma?
Six Sigma projects are designed to identify and remove the causes of defects and minimize variability. Seven Sigma doesn't exist. Six Sigma wins.
Inbound Quality Inspections
Quality is important all along the supply chain and one area that is very important in the monitoring of quality is the inspection of items that arrive at the facility from your suppliers. Ensuring that the parts and raw materials are of the correct quality or specifications before the item even enters the plant is a key aspect of ensuring total quality of the finished goods. This article looks at the importance of inbound quality inspections.
Project Management Certification
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is an organization that is dedicated to the education of project managers so that they have the skills necessary to perform the tasks required of them. One way in which the PMI does that is to offer globally recognized credentials that certify project management expertise. This article looks at the certification offered by the PMI.
Introduction to Current Good Manufacturing...
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are followed by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to ensure that their items are manufactured to specific requirements. This article is an introduction to the regulations that govern the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and bioligicals in the US.
How Someone Will Get Incredibly Wealthy Once We...
Optimized Supply Chain Made Global Commerce Possible. Will Optimized Supply Chain Do The Same For Outer Space?
SAP Plant Maintenance
Plant Maintenance is an integral part of the logistics function and in SAP it is fully integrated with other components including Materials Management (MM) and Production (PP). The plant maintenance function covers three areas of maintenance; inspection, prevention and repair. this article gives an overview of the SAP Plant Maintenance functionality.
Quality Certifications
ASQ, formerly known as the American Society for Quality offers certification in seventeen areas for quality professionals, including certificates for Quality Auditors, Quality Engineers, as well as Six Sigma certification in Green Belt and Black Belt. This article looks at the certifications that ASQ offers.
Process Control Systems (PCS)
Process control systems (PCS), sometimes called industrial control systems (ICS), are pieces of equipment along the production line that can be supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), programmable logic controllers (PLC), or distributed control systems (DCS), that can gather and transmit data that is obtained during the manufacturing process.
How Do I Measure On-Time Delivery?
The many ways to measure this all-important supply chain metric.
SAP Supplier Relationship Management
Learn about the SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) application, which can connect a company with its supply base.
SAP Strategic Enterprise Management
The SAP Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) product provides integrated software with comprehensive functionality that allows a company to significantly streamline the entire strategic management process. The SAP SEM product can be installed independently of a SAP ERP system as it does not require a direct link to the ERP software. This article examines the components of the SAP SEM product.
Supply Chain Performance Metrics
Each supply chain performance metric gives a slightly different view of a piece of the supply chain. The important decision for any company is to prioritize which supply chain metrics are important and how they will be used. Many companies use supply chain performance metrics that are easy to calculate but may not necessarily give a true indication of how the supply chain is performing.
Food Supply Chain
The food supply chain is garnishing more attention as consumers are concerned about outbreaks of foodborne diseases as well as issues such as the horse meat being identified in packaged foods in Europe. As with other industries, food retailers and manufacturers have to be more knowledgeable about the suppliers they use and where their product originates.
SAP Extended Warehouse Management
SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) is a component of the SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) business suite. The EWM function is not a part of the SAP ERP suite, which contains standard warehouse management. SAP has announced that although they will continue to support SAP WM, they will not be enhancing the product, and all new warehouse functionality will be included in the EWM component.
Introduction To Vendor Evaluation
Companies are constantly looking at their supply chain to reduce costs while improving the quality of the items they purchase. To select the appropriate vendor for a particular item, a purchasing department can use a vendor evaluation tool. The evaluation of vendors can be determined by using a number of criteria that are either derived from transaction data or observations. The article is an introduction into the vendor evaluation process.
Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) was a database that was maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA) that identified suppliers and vendors excluded from receiving Federal contracts and benefits. The system had issues and was replaced by the System for Award Management (SAM) in 2012.
Why Managing Your Tier II Suppliers Is Critical
Tier II Supplier Management Is Critical To Supply Chain Optimization
Pick To Voice Warehouse Systems
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Master Scheduling
Master scheduling is the detailed planning process that tracks manufacturing output and matches this against customer orders that have been placed. The master schedule is the next step in planning after the sales and operations planning (S&OP). This article will examine the master scheduling process.
Purchase to Pay (P2P)
The purchase to pay process, also known as the P2P process, connects the procurement processes within a company through the goods receipt process, and finally to the payment issued to the vendor. Companies have carefully looked at their P2P process in order to reduce overall costs, enhance operational performance, and make improved financial decisions.
Supply Chain Management Certification
Supply chain management professionals are actively pursued by companies in the US and globally. In recent years companies looking to hire staff for supply chain positions are looking favorably at candidates with supply chain certification. This article examines some of the educational options that supply chain professionals can choose from.
Distribution Centers
Distribution centers have been used by major companies for decades and are seen as a vital part of a company’s supply chain. The distribution center can fulfill two needs, the demand of the customer and the supply from the manufacturing site. The location of distribution centers is also a key element in the design of a company’s supply chain strategy.
Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP)
The 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, required that by February 3rd, 2009, fifty percent of all cargo carried on passenger aircraft in the US had to go through a security screening. The TSA developed the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP), a voluntary program designed to move the screening process to shippers, third-party logistics providers, air forwarders, and independent screening services.
Production Routing
In the discrete production process, a item is produced when a shop order is created for a requirement. The shop order will show all the tasks, materials and equipment that will be used in the manufacture of the part. The routing shows the flow of required work that needs to be achieved, which can in be one or more facilities and could include work being sent to a vendor for specialized tasks.
Market Segmentation
Market segmentation is the identification of parts of the market that are different. Segmentation gives a company a greater ability to better satisfy the needs of its customers. However, not all customers are the same and each has unique characteristics and requirements that may not be found in any other customer. This article examines some of the elements of market segmentation.
Project Management
A company will have any number of projects in progress at one time. These may be as complex as installing a new enterprise wide computer system, creating a new warehouse, or as simple as purchasing a new commercial vehicle. Project management incorporates all of the interactions and interrelationships that need to occur to make the project successful. This article examines the basics of project management.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1972 established the Equal Employment Opportunity program, which was designed to guarantee fair treatment to all parts of American society without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or sex. The act was aimed at removing all discrimination when it applied to employment.
Preventative Maintenance
The aim of preventative maintenance is to ensure that the equipment within a manufacturing plant, warehouse, or other facility is to improve the equipment life and to ensure that the plant does not come to a standstill due to an unexpected failure. This article looks at the major elements of preventative maintenance.
Corn Starch Packaging
A company that needs to package their products have choices in which material they use for packaging. Traditionally companies could use polystyrene materials, but companies are becoming aware of the environmental impact of polystyrene, and need to find suitable green alternatives. The article looks at the properties of corn starch packaging material.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points...
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is where the buyer of a product provides information to a vendor of that product and the vendor takes full responsibility for maintaining an agreed inventory of the material.
Green Supply Chain Best Practices
Trend towards developing a green supply chain is popular but most companies are wondering how this can be achieved and where to start. Businesses have been concentrating on improving supply chain visibility, refining efficiency and minimizing cost. Despite the focus being moving towards a green supply chain the goals of visibility, efficiency and cost reduction do not have to be discarded. Firms who have implemented green supply chains can offer a number of best practices that will help others.
Defining Business Requirements
When a company has a new item or service that needs to be procured, selecting a vendor can be a long and difficult process for complex items or large scale service needs. Before any decision can be made about choosing vendors, there should first be a process followed that defines the business requirement and the requirements you need from the vendor.
DHL
DHL quickly became a leader in international air express delivery shortly after the company was founded in 1969. Initially the company operated a door-to-door express delivery service, transporting documents between San Francisco, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. With expansion into the Asia the company soon became the leader in international overnight service. This article looks at the rise of the overnight delivery company.
RFID and SAP
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry as companies find ways in which its benefits can be used to greater enhance the accuracy of data collection and identification of products. This article examines the use of SAP Auto-ID for companies who look to implement RFID with their SAP ERP application.
Export Processing Zones (EPZ)
Export Processing Zones (EPZs) is a strategy for economic development in developing nations. The tool is used to attract foreign investment to create jobs, expand the industrial base, introduce technology, job creation, and create backward linkages between the EPZ and the domestic economy. However, there are so
Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics
management software have an increasing number of software companies competing for their business. For business owners who feel that products from Oracle, SAP and JDA are too complex and too expensive for their businesses, Microsoft has a range of products under the Microsoft Dynamics umbrella that are more applicable for small and medium businesses.
Inventory Shrinkage
Inventory shrinkage is most often thought of as result of shoplifting, but that is not completely true. A large portion of inventory losses are due to theft by a company’s own employees, through either theft, embezzlement, collusion with vendors, administrative errors, or vandalism. This article looks at the reasons why inventory shrinkage occurs.
Exporting And The Global Supply Chain
The supply chain incorporates all aspects of moving material from the vendor through the manufacturing process to the final customer. The supply chain focuses on vendors, manufacturers, intermediaries, logistical services and the customer. The supply chain is no longer contained within countries borders, but encompasses all nations, whether they are vendors, manufacturers or customers. This article will examine the ways in which companies can export their products to new markets.
Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Pharmaceutical products save lives every day. Manufacturers of these important drugs spend many millions of dollars over many years to bring a product to the market. There are a number of functions in a pharmaceutical company that follow the product from its original discovery to the sale of the product to the public. This article examines the functions involved in the the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.
Procurement Card Best Practices
The procurement card, or P-card, is a form of company credit card that is issued to employees who can then purchase goods and services. The procurement card can save a company considerable amounts as it does not require a transaction from be dealt with by multiple departments and numerous employees. When a procurement card program is implemented the company should follow a number of best practices to ensure a successful P-card program.

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