Today's supply chains are so complex and change so rapidly that optimization efforts often are overtaken by events, says Mike Comstock of Grand Canal Solutions. Planning needs to become much more dynamic, with analytics adapted to make optimization a continuous process, he says.
The goal for 3PLs always is to negotiate a win/win contract with existing and new customers, says Mike Bautch of Universal. He offers insights and examples on how to create win/win relationships that keep improving over the years.
Supply Chain operations increasingly are impacted by corporations' quality assurance and quality control programs, says Laurel Nelson-Rowe, managing director of the American Society for Quality. She discusses the importance of these programs in protecting brand reputations and ensuring customer satisfaction.
John Reichert, director of supply chain execution solutions at Tecsys, discusses factors driving increased demand for 3PL services and describes the type of provider best positioned to leverage this growth environment.
Several years ago SanDisk realized that its build-to-forecast model was causing excess inventory and poor on-time delivery. The company decided to transform to a pull supply-chain model based on actual demand and postponement. Kehat Shahar, vice president of operations and supply chain planning at SanDisk, talks about this journey.
Truckload marketplace Transfix is adding a new dimension to matching drivers with available loads, says CEO Drew McElroy. By making greater use of smartphones, McElroy says Transfix makes more efficient matches, which reduces empty miles and driver wait times.
SmartCentres, the largest shopping center developer in Canada, has launched a popular drive-in pickup service for e-commerce customers. Located at existing shopping centers, Penguin Pickup accepts deliveries from any online retailer.
Mergers and acquisition in the 3PL industry are on the upswing, with deals in the first two quarters of this year outpacing all of last year, says Ronald Lentz of G2 Capital Advisors. Lentz looks at factors driving this trend and other issues impacting the industry's financial health.
The term "digital supply chain" describes the integration of advanced technology, big data, and analytics to better manage and execute the physical supply chain, says Frederick Hartung of Jabil. He explains how this is playing out today and what it means for the future.
Even though the invoice-to-cash cycle is critical to corporate health, many companies give little attention to the billing process, says Sean Smalley of Billtrust. Many opportunities exist within that process, however, to speed payment and reduce costs.