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

Archives for November 2013

Modern Day Challenges of Leaning on Lean

Transportation management system benefits

What capabilities does a transportation management system (TMS) need in order to meet the demands of a lean supply chain?

The concept of lean has been around for a long time. It may seem that we know all the wrinkles and don’t need to give much thought to which TMS applications are the most effective in these environments.

That view is a little shortsighted for a couple of reasons.

First, the definition of lean embraces a much wider range of supply chains than was the case when the concept first revolutionized manufacturing.

Reducing safety stock to a bare minimum has become the norm in many industries in the wake of the global economic meltdown. The ultimate in lean may be direct-to line-delivery, but now days a company that reduces its inventory levels from, say, 30 days to 15 days can call itself a “lean” operator. Read More…

- Vice President, Customer Strategy, C.H. Robinson
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Government Update: FMCSA Changes

Transportation management system benefits

On November 4, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released some long-awaited changes to the presentation of the BASIC data and the information available on a motor carrier’s roadside inspection history. The intent of this release is to alleviate some of the confusion that had existed between the official safety rating of a motor carrier (Satisfactory, Conditional, Unsatisfactory, or Not Rated) and the BASIC data that is used as a prioritization tool for safety interventions and compliance reviews. Read More…

- Director, Government Affairs, C.H. Robinson
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Discovering Your Hidden Talents as a TMS User

Transportation management system benefits

Shippers that invest in a transportation management system (TMS) have a clear idea of the issues they want to address. However, when the system is in place, the range of tools that become readily available can be intimidating.

This is perfectly natural; any new tool comes with a learning curve.

Although the steepness of that curve differs from shipper to shipper, in broad terms there are often three learning stages that users go through as they master the intricacies of a TMS.

This applies for both in-house acquisitions and when the shipper opts to work with a third-party TMS provider. In this post I’ll concentrate on the latter situation.

During the first year or so of the implementation, the main focus is on the high-priority issues that the shipper identified when they decided to invest in the technology. Improving network visibility and developing a more effective billing process are two examples of these overarching goals. Read More…