Inbound Logistics has posted a review of Transportation Management Systems (TMS) players in the market. They note:
Still, at the heart of all TMS products is a software engine that strives to create maximum transportation efficiency for its users.
All the major players are listed as well as whether they offer a licensed or hosted version of their particular solution. Take a saunter that way!
Tags: Inbound Logistics, TMS, TMS Software provider
3PLWire alerted me to the publication of the Top 30 3PLs of 2006, a list compiled by Richard Armstrong of Armstrong & Associates released his annual report of the top 3PL providers in North America.
Rankings are based on total annual revenue in N. America.
Well, it looks like GENCO made the list this year and at the #24 position. Well, its good to know that even if it were a Top 25 list, GENCO would have still made it.
The Top 30 3PL list:
1. UPS Supply Chain Solutions
2. C.H. Robinson Worldwide
3. Schenker USA/BAX Global
4. Expeditors International of Washington
5. Schneider Logistics/Dedicated
6. DHL Contract Logistics (Exel)
7. Penske Logistics
8. EGL Eagle Global Logistics
9. UTi Worldwide
10. Kuehne + Nagel Contract Logistics, North America
11. Ryder System
12. Caterpillar Logistics Services
13. Hub Group
14. Menlo Worldwide
15. Meridian IQ
16. J.B. Hunt Dedicated Services
17. TNT Logistics North America
18. Werner Dedicated Services
19. Landstar Global Logistics
20. Greatwide Logistics Services
22. NFI Industries
23. PBB Global Logistics
25. Logistics Insight Corporation
26. Ozburn-Hessey Logistics
27. Total Logistics Control
28. BNSF Logistics
29. A.N. Deringer
30. Kelron Logistics
Tags: Top 30 3PLs of 2006, 3PL ranking, Richard Armstrong, Top 3PL providers in N. America, Logistics Quarterly
Forewarned is forearmed, they say – I wonder, if it holds when it comes to computers – very finicky things, these machines. Well, mostly so in this case. However, this month has not been very great on the computer front – I’ve trashed/burnt three computers now. First, two desktop computers at home that had a KVM switch between them went down together because of what looks like a power surge in one of the computers. So I had to buy a brand new one – got a Core duo which more than made up for the loss of the two. Then roughly a week and a half later, my work laptop just blinks (maybe the coffee that I splashed on it helped! ),flickers and then calls it a day. No! Year, No! life.
It will be a little slower than usual getting off the ground after this crash. I’ve recovered almost everything vis a vis this blog and so should be up and running to speed soon enough.
Yesterday, I signed up at the Aberdeen Group website to take advantage of a free report offer that is running through Jan 26th, 2007 to download a copy of the report titled – New Strategies for Financial Supply Chain Optimization. (Apparently at this link, you don’t even have to sign up to get the report) The focus of the report is,
Rethinking Financial Practices with Your Suppliers to Maximize Bottom Line Performance
and the introduction to the report outlines what the folks at Aberdeen think is a glaring opportunity for firms that have gone the route (I guess there are but a few firms that have not either lead or followed their competitors overseas) of global sourcing or offshoring/outsourcing:
Driven by the pressing need to lower the cost of goods sold, companies have embarked on sourcing from emerging markets and have been able to achieve significant benefits when the strategy was executed correctly, including 10%-35% savings on the cost of goods purchased. However, most companies are still leaving money on the table because they fail to take into account the SCF opportunity when undertaking low-cost country sourcing (LCCS). Applying SCF innovations can bring the next wave of cost savings into the corporate LCCS program, helping a buying organization optimize its working capital, reduce product unit costs by taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities due to the higher cost of capital in emerging markets, as well as reduce supply base risk by enabling faster and more predictable payments to emerging market suppliers.
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If you’re not, here’s more…
I came across a post by Steve Talbott titled – The deceiving virtues of technology. In a sense, this post is only peripherally related to the two previous posts in this thread – Imagining the tenth dimension (Or thinking out of the box?) and Before thinking out of the box, how about thinking in the box?. While the post might be dated November, 2001 the contents of the post as Steve articulates them are far older.
It is related to the previous post in the sense that a reliance (or over reliance) on technology makes us dependent on that technology to articulate our ideas or even carry out simple arithmetic. In the business context, it is true that there are some business applications or problems that would simply surpass the bounds of human competence (Since I work with optimization models, I’m entirely aware of that limitation in human beings because its a limitation in me – I think I can keep about 3 or 4 variables in my head at a time but not more than that). Here, technology is vital in filling in the gap that lies outside the bounds of human competence (as is conceived today) – technology (such as a computer, mathematical programming environment and optimizers) is a real aid. However, my co-workers are dependent on this same technology in a different way – for them it is not an aid in the true sense of the word. Optimization models are really black boxes that spit out magical answers when you click Run. Period.
But why make a big deal of it? After all, if I were to change the fields, I would find myself using some other technology less as an aid but more as a form of dependency. The difference is that I am troubled by this not because I’m a self control freak or too independent minded but because I’m skeptical of the spit out “answers“. Usually, there are too many assumptions that are never made explicit, calculations and underlying models that capture reality in a way that is very particular and finally limitations beyond which such black boxes perform erratically.
This is as true of a financial calculator as it is of ERP or SCM software. It is why I have been “suspicious” of the SOA and SaaS operating models that are being developed for the enterprise market. The learning organization (do you hear this term bandied a lot these days?) was found not learning and thus has been outsourced – that cannot be a good thing for the long term.
Also, I promise that this is the last of the thinking out of the box series. Really!
Tags: The deceiving virtues of technology, Steve Talbott, Black box technology, Thinking out of the box
SDCExec.com has posted a Global Supply Chain Best Practices Quiz authored by Bernie Hart, a global product executive at JPMorgan Chase Vastera.
Start the New Year right with nine tips for evaluating your supply chain management organization
First the scoring matrix,
Upon finishing the quiz, if you find that you have responded with more “no” than “yes” answers, 2007 may be the time to transform these gaps into opportunities for improved supply chain management and greater profitability.
Bernie provides in total 27 questions under 9 major areas. The only problem that I have with this quiz is that reaching a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer is a difficult proposition – in other words, this is a difficult (and perhaps for some, a very difficult) quiz. In fact, for a number of questions, the answers are likely to indeterminate.
Take the following question for example under the major heading:
Design of your Global Supply Chain Network should align with your customers’ requirements and expectations.
Are customer service levels understood, and is the supply chain designed to meet them?
How can you answer whether the supply chain is designed to meet the understood customer service levels? If you attempted to answer this question at the very strategic look (perhaps through some optimization problem), how would you incorporate the notion of customer service levels into that model. If you took the route of inventory modeling and optimization that allows you to position your inventories in appropriate locations in order to meet expected customer service levels, how do you account for the optimal logistics model to actually execute this inventory location. The answer, as of now, cannot be given so easily.
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SeekingAlpha reports about the results that SAP AG reported today – SAP Warns, Sending Shockwaves Through Enterprise Software.
Eric Savitz of Barron’s reports,
Bad news for the enterprise software sector this afternoon, as SAP (SAP) just warned that fourth quarter software revenue growth came in short of previous guidance. This is a bit confusing, so bear with me. SAP reports product revenues, software revenues, and total revenues, and it reports on both an actual and constant-currency basis. But the bottom line is that software sales came up short for both the quarter and the full year.
The SAP stock (SAP) is off more than 10% as I write and Oracle (ORCL) is also taking a late afternoon dive.
Tags: SAP warns, Enterprise software sales