Logistics/Supply Chain: Most Popular Articles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SAP ERP Operations solution has become the software backbone that contributes to companies ability to achieve efficiency in the supply chain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lawson Software offers an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has been ranked as the number one ERP software product for cost per user.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These documents include the freight bill, the bill of lading and the FOB terms of sale. This article examines these transportation documents.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Journal of Commerce (JOC) is reporting that there could be real trouble coming up in the ports, airports and other transportation facilities, as employees
MRO items are consumed as part of the production and plant maintenance process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The procurement card, or P-card, is a form of company credit card that makes it easier for employees to purchase goods and services.
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.
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.
Learn about the SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) application, which can connect a company with its supply base.
As companies want to develop their supply chain management teams they are looking for employees that can offer more than the basic knowledge of logistics and supply chain. Candidates that offer potential employers additional knowledge and experience are in greater demand and candidates can show that they have these skills by formally recognizing them through certifications. This article examines the different types of lean certification available.
Customer satisfaction is extremely important in an economy where the vendors are having to work hard to win new business and keep their existing customers. If a company fails to satisfy their existing clients there are many other vendors who would like the opportunity to win the business. This article looks at how vendors can win and retain customers by providing a high level of customer service.
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.
Companies require that quality is part of every link in the supply chain, whether it is raw material at a vendor’s facility or finished goods delivered to a customer. To ensure that the quality personnel are able to achieve the optimum results, a Laboratory Information Management System is vital to that success. This article describes the key features of the a LIMS system.
Manugistics began life as a company called Scientific Time Sharing Corporation (STSC), formed in 1969. Initially STSC was geared towards writing programs using the APL computer language for IBM. After a number of years of developing APL programming for the personal computer and developing operational decision-support software, STSC changed its name to Manugistics in 1992. This article looks the rise and fall of Manugistics and its purchase by JDA Software in 2006.
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.
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.
Cross docking reduces costs by shipping material as it is received.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every company has a corporate culture. It is developed over time as a company goes through changes, with acquisitions and divestitures. Not every company has the same type of culture. For every company events take place that cause changes to be made to the culture so that the company can continue evolving
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Risk management is a topic which many small businesses would imagine that they do not require, but they probably have already adopted some kind of risk management strategy without even knowing it. Large companies have departments that do nothing apart from plan and implement risk management to ensure that the company benefits from any risk that it takes.
Ariba, founded in 1996 by Keith Krach, offers procurement departments the opportunity to manage, monitor and analyze purchasing expenditures.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration develops and enforces rules and regulations that relate to drivers, vehicles, and the carrier. As well as the enforcement of regulations, the FMSCA encourages the education of drivers and carriers. This article examines the work of the FMCSA.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, sometimes called SOX, actually refers to the federal law, The American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act of 2002. It was introduced after the Enron and Worldcom scandals where billions of investor’s money was lost when the share price of these public firms became worthless. This article looks at how Sarbanes-Oxley has affected the manufacturing industry.
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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.
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.
One of the worse things that can happen to a business is to have a stockout. This means that with no inventory of a certain item, production has to be stopped or a customer order will not be fulfilled. For a warehouse manager it is a scenario that they most dread and with it comes a significant cost to the company.
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
The market is often segmented by companies to satisfy the needs of the customer, improve growth opportunities, increase profits, and increase market share. One objective of market segmentation is to reduce the risk in choosing where, when, how, and to whom a product, service, or brand will be marketed.
A public warehouse provides short or long-term storage to companies that require additional warehouse space.
To drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as person is required to have a commercial driving license. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 required that drivers of commercial motor vehicles were qualified to drive such vehicles to ensure greater safety on the highways of the United States. This article looks at different aspects of commercial vehicle licensing.
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.
Project management methodology is important when a company initiates a number of projects across their enterprise. By either developing an in-house company methodology or adopting a standard methodology, each project should operate along a given set of principles that can be transposed from project to project. This article looks at what should be included in a project methodology.
A crucial activity for planners is to when to decide to place an order. There are a number of reorder methodologies that can be adopted. Although most computer systems are based on the materials requirement planning (MRP) method, there are other methods that planners can use which are examined in this article.
The Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) designation is an certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) which indicates that quality professionals have reached a high level of understanding of the quality audit process. Quality audits are important to companies who manufacture or offer services in order to ensure that the quality process is being maintained.
When an organization has identified that it has a potential risk, it will either perform a risk assessment in house, or hire an independent company to carry out an assessment. There are many elements to a risk assessment that depend on the type of risk assessment required, but there is a process to be followed when carrying out an assessment.
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.
Today there is a drive in the food supply chain for food safety along all aspects of the supply chain. Keeping food safe requires that food growers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and importers work in unison to ensure that the end product that reaches the consumer is safe for consumption. This article examines food safety across the supply chain.
In any modern manufacturing facility the equipment used requires a level of maintenance to ensure that the manufacturing process is not disrupted and the production plan can be achieved. World class organizations spend time and resources on maintaining their equipment using a preventative maintenance plan. This article looks at the processes included in Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wood pallets have traditionally been the way in which material is moved from vendor to customer and then onto the consumer. The wood pallet sits in warehouses and stores throughout the world. In the US there are millions of pallets in use every day and the vast majority is made from wood. For the manufacturer of the wood pallet there are voluntary guidelines and this article looks at these standards.
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.
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.
Every business has to have customers to sell to so that a profit can be made. Sometimes companies have great services or products, but fail due to their of lack of ability in finding the right customers. There are a number of ways in which companies can find and retain customers, from cold calling to collaborating with other firms. This article will examine a number of these options.
United Parcel Service (UPS) began as company founded with a loan of only $100 back in 1907. Since then the company has grown into the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. This article describes some of the history of this company and how it has grown to the multi-national corporation it is today.
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.
Customer Service functionality contains the processes that a company requires to deliver the services are offered to customers. These services can be for warranties that are offered with products or warranties that are purchased by customers. This article looks at the major aspects of the SAP customer service functionality.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is used by companies to help them achieve efficiencies in their supply chain.
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.
Agile project management is based on a set of ideals that have been adopted to overcome some of the shortfalls of traditional project management methodology. The ideas behind Agile have been developed over many years based on academic studies and real world experiences. This article looks at the methodology of Agile and how successful projects can benefit.
Technology companies in the US have experienced a shortage of skilled workers and laws have been passed to allow foreign workers into the US to perform certain jobs for a given period of time. The H-1B visa is the most well known of the foreign worker visas, but for some companies they can use the L-1 visa to bring to the US workers who have worked for the same company overseas.
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.
Closed loop recycling is the process where post-consumer waste is collected, recycled and used to make new products. But in the closed loop all participants should work together to make sure that the flow continues. This article examines some examples of closed loop recycling that is in operation today.
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.
Kitting is the term that is used to refer to the assembly of individual items into ready to ship sets, packages or kits. This process will not usually occur until the time the order is to be shipped to the customer. The items will be stored in the warehouse, picked, and then assembled into the appropriate kit before shipping.
The Scrum project management methodology was developed in the 1990’s alongside the Agile methodology, as a method to allow teams to work together to get products developed. It offers only a small number of rules within the framework but allows complex projects to be completed in a short timeframe. This article looks at some of the highlights of the Scrum methodology.
Warehouses are busy places. Goods are constantly on the move; inbound and outbound deliveries have to be dealt with as well as the movements of items from location to location. Many companies are looking to warehouse operations are an area where they can make environmentally sound decisions. Companies are concentrating on three areas to help them in this endeavor; reduce, reuse and recycle. This article will show you where you can help your company make your warehouse green.