Table of Contents: September 2005

a very special delivery
With millions of muggles waiting for the latest Harry Potter volume to hit the bookstores (or their doorsteps), the people charged with its distribution relied not on magic, but on careful planning and painstaking execution.
leader of the pack
Lipstick? Yoga mats? No problem. When it comes to order picking and packing, nothing fazes this third-party fulfillment operation.
the happiest DC on earth: interview with Amy Carovillano
Most people think of DCs—with their low pay, repetitive work and constant deadlines—as undesirable places to work. But then most people don't know about the DC run by Amy Carovillano.
all that glitters ...
Some see gold in those tiny data-rich RFID tags. Others worry that RFID is just another over-hyped technology.
a job for the pros?
Can you afford to hire someone to manage your lift truck fleet? A better question might be: Can you afford not to?
nothing to lose, a lot to gain
Drive DC productivity sky high by raising hourly workers' wages? Welcome to the world of Simplified Gainsharing.
Voices
Basic Training: the second oldest profession
Today, we're using more warehouse space than ever before. Maybe we've moved from pallet-in/pallet-out storage and movement to a world of cross-docking and perfect order fulfillment at the piece level. But the basics remain very much the same as they've always been.
Big Picture: it's not magic
With a shortage of drivers, tighter regulations on drivers' hours of service, and other pressures, transportation capacity is hard to come by these days. Yet even amid the turmoil, some businesses are finding ways to assure transportation capacity is available when they need it and to minimize costs.
Fastlane: the goods without a country
Depending on the nature of your business, making use of a Foreign Trade Zone could save you a lot of money.
Labor Pool: get off the merry-go-round
If you find yourself stuck on the hiring merry-go-round, maybe it's time to take a good hard look at two particular aspects of your practices: the way you hire and the way you manage.
Outbound: a very dangerous thing?
One of the most dangerous things we can do in business—and in life—is blindly accept the "conventional wisdom."
Security Brief: press 1 for collusion
Companies can't afford to overlook employee misconduct, which can easily add up to losses and legal fees in the six-figure range. But how do you encourage whistleblowers to come forward?
Rfidwatch: no summer lull at RFID Research Center
Has Wal-Mart's experiment with RFID technology reduced out-of-stocks at retail stores? We'll have a better idea later this month when the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas releases the findings from its first research project.
Inbound
a brush with fame
They didn't know it at the time, but for the millions of folks who bought books, CDs and DVDs from Amazon.
when trouble calls ...
Worried about the prospect of a visit from the federal food safety inspectors? Confused about where to begin in the case of a recall? The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) has released two new manuals that provide helpful information for managing facility inspections and product recalls.
for faster relief ...
They may have made it look easy, but it wasn't.
WMS market defies the odds
A market roiled by mergers and acquisitions wouldn't ordinarily be expected to produce stellar results.
league of extraordinary gentlemen
Service men and women in Iraq will benefit from a sizeable helping hand from the New York Staten Island Detachment of the Marine Corps League, whose members have assembled nearly 900 cases of donated material (including Visine eyedrops and bullet-proof vests) and loaded them up for shipment to Iraq.
will containers 'Get Smart'?
In the four years since the Sept.
Newsworthy
highway bill finally rolls off the Hill
Good things are worth waiting for, a conclusion reached by most of the logistics industry when President Bush finally signed the Highway Bill into law in late July—nearly two years after it was due.
they're up; they're down
After two years of declines, revenues for companies that sell supply chain management software increased by 4 percent in 2004 to just under $5.
ocean boxes and smart boxes
The Department of Homeland Security wants more information on the contents of all the containers that reach U.
FedEx Ground's DC spree
FedEx Ground continued to roll out its nationwide network expansion last month when the carrier opened a new 156,000-square-foot automated distribution center in McCook, Ill.
UPS sees gold in China market
As part of its rapid expansion in China, UPS has successfully bid to become the official Logistics and Express Delivery Sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Toyota drives forward with new center
With state and local dignitaries on hand, as well as top executives from Japan, Toyota Material Handling cut the ribbon on its National Customer Service Center in early August.

Continuing Education

nights at the roundtables
The fall national conference and meeting calendar is packed with educational offerings, but what about those distribution or logistics professionals who have no travel budget? Happily, they're not doomed to a life devoid of educational opportunities.
back to school
School's back in session, and the universities that offer management education programs for logistics, distribution, warehousing and material handling professionals are no exception.