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More DTCI links…

The interest in DTCI (Defense Transportation Coordinator Initiative) related material has been surprising. So, I thought that I’d post a roundup of links about it:

DTCI Program Office

DTCI – the beginnings – What the DoD was trying to achieve through the DTCI?

DTCI incorporates lessons from its pilot program – Outlines some of the reasons why DTCI was a successful program; a pilot and then the real thing.

The Big Switch – A lengthy article that highlights the many turns of the DTCI project.

DTCI protest info – Some information about the protest lodged by TIA

My own blog posts about DTCI are here:

Uncle Sam’s looking for a few good bids

DTCI contract awarded to…

High level overview of DTCI


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High level overview of DTCI

If you wanted to know more about DTCI (Defense Transportation Coordinator Initiative), you might want to check out this public link from SDDC – Defense Transportation Coordination Inititative Overview Briefing that provides a high-level summary presentation of the scope of the DTCI contract.

What I’d cue you into are the following slides:

Slide 4 which shows the scale of the US DoD logistics network and conservatively what the Dept. hopes to save.

Slide 7 which is the roll out plan for the DTCI contract which should give you an idea of the complexity of the network and the volume that will flow in it

Slide 8 which is the distribution of the facilities that will fall under the plan

Slide 9/28 which summarizes the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that the coordinator is expected to fulfill.

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DTCI Contract awarded to …

Menlo Worldwide. Menlo Worldwide is the winner of the DTCI contract awarded by the US Dept. of Defence (DoD) for all Continental US (CONUS) logistics. DTCI is a huge contract not only to win (which was the easy part) but it’s going to be a challenging one to execute as well,

Under the contract, which is potentially worth $1.6 billion, Menlo will be responsible for deploying and operating an integrated logistics solution for shipment planning, optimization, shipment execution and overall transportation resource management governing all Department of Defense (DOD) materiel shipments moving into and among DOD facilities in the 48 contiguous United States.

They should be congratulated. Their team was as follows:

Menlo Worldwide is prime contractor for DTCI in partnership with the following principal subcontractors:

  • Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), which will provide IT infrastructure hosting, network management and integration services;
  • ONE Networks Enterprises, Inc., which will provide the transportation management software for shipment planning, optimization and execution, and;
  • Olgoonik Logistics, which will provide professional services supporting the participation of minority-owned and small business firms as service contractors for DTCI.

DTCI was a project that I worked on in my previous firm GENCO for a considerable amount of time – it was a stretch experience for me and so I truly enjoyed it. I blogged about it previously here – Uncle Sam’s looking for a few good bids (Something I worked on)

What I didn’t know then and I know now is the composition of the teams that competed for the project. I didn’t know the teams because the DTCI project was split up into an analysis component which GENCO competed on and won and the execution component which Menlo (or rather Con-Way Inc) has just won.

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Supply Chain Software Once Again Hot Sector – Part 1

Supply Chain Software Once Again Hot Sector reports Investors Business Daily (IBD) in last Friday’s edition of their business rag. They report:

The supply chain gang is back in business.

Makers of supply chain management software fought a rough spending climate as tech budgets froze in the early 2000s.

But over the past year, many of these companies have come back with solid growth and higher stock prices.

Some firms such as Manhattan Associates, JDA Software Group, Logility and Red Prairie,

have recorded double-digit revenue growth in the past year. That compares with a 7% growth rate for all software.

The funny thing is that I had been looking for a job late last year and early this year, not really looking but I was knowledgeable about the state of the Supply Chain software hiring phenomenon. And I did note that these companies and others were expanding their employment base, first a trickle and then much more than a trickle. Its good to know that there was a "real" story behind that uptick.

However, some of this makes little sense:

Several factors sparked the rebound. Manufacturers and retailers face stiff global competition, so their supply chains are more important.

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Why I will not shop at Walmart anymore?

And the caveat line should be – pending some tradeoff analysis. The fact of the matter is that I’ve made up my mind but I need some numbers behind my intuition even though I think that the numbers will also bear me out.

The surest question that I will be asked is – You shop at Walmart? Perhaps, @ SCM is now on the blacklist of many a reader. So let me give you the list of reasons that didn’t go into making this decision and those that did loom large.

1. I’m not doing this for the Mom and Pop stores. I am a big fan of small businesses but it is because, strategically speaking, they are nimble actors who can identify, supply and defend niches at first and then grow from there. In a sense, I like small businesses because they compete in different ways from large businesses and some small businesses go on to become big businesses because they’ve profited from insight, positioning and in most cases from a good dose of luck. Or to abstract it a layer further, I like small businesses because they have a good deal of pluck and a whole lot of spunk.

2. I’m not doing this because Walmart treats their employees "poorly". There is no doubt in my mind that I will not do the kind of jobs that Walmart employees do. Unless I have no choice but to do so. I do not think that it is beneath me. There is nothing more mind numbing than punching in the item SKU code whenever the reader cannot read it, deal with "some" customers (more of that later but I think you know that special subset of customers that I am talking about) but these guys do it day in and day out. What’s more that they don’t make a lot of money and they don’t get much (if any) by way of health care etc. I am more or less certain or perhaps I "believe" that in the long run (and that’s the shame of it – it is the long run and not the short run), employers who don’t value their employees are just not going to cut it.

3. I’m not doing this because Walmart imports stuff from China. Or India. Or Tahiti for all I care. Undeniably, there is an impact that such wholesale import of goods from every port in the world including Timbuktu (such as on the trade balance between nations for one and its attendant issues) creates in the importing country but if you think that a Ferrari F430 is worth buying and you can do so, I think that a china made floor lamp is worth having and would like to obtain it at the cheapest price. And besides, I need the light a whole lot more than you desire the thrill of the ride. And yes, I am quite aware that such choices affect American manufacturing (and that American manufacturers have to compete with an artificially pegged yuan and so on and so forth) but this land was once the Wild West. I get the distinct feeling that a lot of Americans think of this land right now as the Mild Rest – a significant something has been lost in that transition. The fact that Walmart imports a lot of stuff from China is the effect of that transition but not the cause. To locate the cause, you have to find, metaphorically speaking, the time when the saddle was traded for the armchair.

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Time to go for a boutique?

T’is time to go for a boutique? I’d like to draw your attention to this list of articles by Steve Banker of Arc Advisory Group:

Top SCM Boutique Consulting Firms: Part 1, The Logistics Boutiques

Leading SCM Boutiques – Part 2, Supply Chain Planning Vendors

10 Coolest SCM Boutique Consultants

Most of the firms listed in the lists above span from small consultancies to behemoths who make the industry and in some cases is the industry. So what is it that these small fish are thinking when they play in the playground of the behemoths? By the way, why are there small fish anyways? Are the big fish listening?

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Logistics Management awards Quest for Quality

Logistics Management has as its lead story this month, the winners of its Quest for Quality awards in the transportation arena. Check it out!

The basis of their picks, the criteria of ranking is discussed in the article. They include:

Transportation service providers are rated on LM’s five key criteria: On-time Performance, Value, Customer Service, Information Technology, and Equipment & Operations. Due to the nature of supply chain services offered by third-party players, a different set of criteria is used to judge this category. Third parties are rated on the following attributes: Carrier Selection & Negotiation, Order Fulfillment, Transportation & Distribution, Inventory Management, and Logistics Information Systems.

The evaluation itself is a weighted metric. The scores take into account the importance readers attach to each attribute. Each year, readers are first asked to rank the attributes in each category on a five-point scale, with 5 representing the highest value and 1 representing the lowest value. Our research team then uses those attributes’ rankings to create weighted scores in each category.

And the winners in the broad categories as outlined below are:

Some thoughts to savor though,

But while shippers are clearly more satisfied with their core-carriers, we have noticed a somewhat troubling trend that began with our 2006 report. Overall satisfaction and core satisfaction scores are trending downward over the past two years. As a matter of fact, the survey found that core satisfaction scores were down over 2006 findings in every category with the exception of Truckload-Expedited (38.3), Rail/Intermodal (30.69), and Air Cargo (35.00). And while core satisfaction scores continue to be higher than non-core, our team found that the 2007 overall satisfaction scores were down in 13 of the 16 categories compared to the 2006 results.

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About me

I am Chris Jacob Abraham and I live, work and blog from Newburgh, New York. I work for IBM as a Senior consultant in the Fab PowerOps group that works around the issue of detailed Fab (semiconductor fab) level scheduling on a continual basis. My erstwhile company ILOG was recently acquired by IBM and I've joined the Industry Solutions Group there.

@ SCM Clustrmap

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August 2007