Ken Cottrill"/>

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

About the Author

Ken Cottrill — Editor / Writer

Ken serves as Principal for Ken Cottrill Communications. Ken brings more than 25 years of experience turning business ideas into compelling stories. He brings a deep knowledge of supply chain management and logistics and international trade. Prior to his current role, Ken served as Director of Global Communications for MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.

Guest Post: A Resolution You Might Want to Consider – Think Big

think big

Here’s a prediction for 2013: something big will happen.

OK, I’m not exactly going out on a limb here, but bear with me.

By “big” I mean a world-scale event such as a natural disaster, a political upheaval, or a technological breakthrough. Unfortunately, the statistics favor the first possibility. Read More…

Setting Your Procurement Clock

fresh procurement

Last week, Chris Brady and Kevin McCarthy reviewed some of the approaches taken by shippers to timing Truckload (“TL”) procurement events. In this post, we take a look at factors that influence these buying strategies.

As McCarthy has argued in several TMC posts, second guessing the TL market by trying to buy when freight rates have hit bottom is chasing fool’s gold.  It’s impossible to predict market movements with certainty, so the chances are that your timing will be off.   Read More…

Hot Off the Press


It is difficult to keep pace with technological change, particularly where the relevance of a technology to the logistics business is not immediately obvious. To help you track developments like these we are introducing a series of posts on new technologies, starting with this piece on 3D printing by guest blogger, Ken Cottrill. 

The project team at a US-based fashion apparel company has received approval for the digital design of a new multicolored shoe for women the enterprise plans to launch. At the press of a key, the design data is fed to a 3D printer that begins to “print” a prototype shoe. Simultaneously, a supplier’s 3D printer in China starts the same process. Later that day, the team calls its Chinese supplier to discuss the finished prototype and production of the stylish new model.  Read More…

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Unexplored Territory in the Globalization Map

International freight transportation

The need to expand globally is almost a given in most markets, and from a supply chain perspective it now comes as no surprise that international growth exposes operations to more risk. Does this mean that we have been pursuing globalization for so long that it no longer holds any surprises? The answer, of course, is no, particularly in areas such as freight transportation.

Consulting firm McKinsey maintains that a “globalization penalty” remains a less obvious challenge in the global arena[1]. Using data on some 500 corporations, the firm identified 20 local leaders and 18 global leaders and compared them on elements of organizational health. Read More…

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Building the Logistics Brand

Value of a brand

Apple is the world’s most valuable brand according to media research company Millward Brown Optimor in its 2011 study of the Most Valuable Global Brands. The study measures the share of company earnings driven by brand identity.

Many attributes contribute to the value of a consumer-facing brand. There are personality type characteristics such as “friendly” and “trustworthy” as well as qualities like “value for money” that are more service oriented.  Read More…

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