Supply Chain Expertise and Technology Blog by TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson

Archives for October 2013

How Bridging Islands of Information Will Expand the Cloud

Transportation savings

The age of cloud connectivity is here, and it has already brought capabilities that we could only dream about a decade or so ago.

The planning systems of hundreds of thousands of companies are now co-hosted and interconnected in a way that changes how processes coordinate with each other.

But the next chapter in this fast-moving story could be much more exciting. If the pools of data generated by various mobile devices can be connected into the planning system cloud, we can increase the value of these systems by several orders of magnitude. Read More…

Guest Post: Justifying Investments in Risk Avoidance

Transportation savings

How do you put a value on avoiding a problem that seemingly no longer exists because you’ve already spent money on eliminating it?

This is the classic Catch-22 dilemma faced by many corporate security managers when trying to justify further investments in steeling the supply chain against disruptions.

It’s a vexing problem, but there are ways around it.

The obvious conundrum is that hardening the corporation, its processes, and its supply chain requires investment. If nothing happens and no crises materialize, this effort is, in hindsight, deemed to be a waste of money by senior executives. There is some justification if an actual disruption was sidestepped or its impact mitigated. But even then, it is difficult to quantify the benefits of dodging the bullet. Read More…

- Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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10 Routes to Transportation Savings [Infographic]

Transportation savings

Editor’s Note: On February 4 2013, Kevin McCarthy contributed a blog post for Transportfolio®. We’re sharing his original post here because supply chain savings is always a relevant topic. Please share your thoughts and read the blog post, 10 Routes to Transportation Savings [Infographic].

There are 10 popular ways companies choose to save money on transportation. But where can you get the fastest savings for the least amount of effort? Which task to pursue first, and the resulting savings, depends on what you ship (commodities, volumes, and frequencies), how you ship (the mode or modes), and whether your company is growing by acquisition or not growing at all. Read More…

When Should You Fine Carriers for Ignoring Shipment Status Reports?

Transportation Management System

The “Where is my shipment?” query is probably as old as the trucking business, but being able to answer it is more important than ever.

Carriers that persistently fail to update the status of the loads they are moving make it almost impossible for shippers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to answer this question accurately.

What do you do in such a situation?

Deploy the last resort: a financial penalty for not providing these updates.

But it’s important to be thoughtful about how you fine carriers in this way. The aim is to change their behavior – not punish them. Read More…

Is Your Transportation Budget Destined to Fail?

Transportation Management System

You start the year with what you thought was a realistic transportation budget. Yet, by year end, it’s all gone wrong. Why do transportation budgets fail? While there can be many contributing factors, it really boils down to your approaches to transportation procurement or transportation management (sometimes both). If either element is less than optimal, your budget could fail.

We all know there are external influences beyond your control that will affect your budget—market volatility, forecasts that are off, and changes to product mix and order size, to name a few. But what I’m talking about are the internal forces you can control.
Read More…