Table of Contents: January 2009

ready for the storm
Our exclusive survey shows that distribution managers weren't waiting around last fall for official pronouncements of a recession. They were already buckling up and hunkering down for a rough ride.
fleeing China? Look before you leap
2008 gave U.S. companies many reasons to re-examine sourcing in China. But pulling up stakes may not be the answer.
software for hard times
The economy may be slumping, but analysts say demand for supply chain execution software will stay strong this year.
taking it off the streets (and highways)
The trucking industry's future may lie not with the roads, but with the rails.
Do It Best learns to do it better
The hardware co-op discovered that software and RF devices can go a long way toward streamlining order fulfillment. But adding voice technology makes it better.
the greening of Whirlpool's supply chain
At Whirlpool, being green is more than just spin. Not only has the appliance maker taken the lead in developing energyefficient products, but it has also redesigned its supply chain with an eye toward conserving energy and cutting air pollution.
a series of fortunate events: interview with Susan Rider
Susan Rider was running an ad agency when a fortuitous conversation with a banker changed the course of her career. What followed was a curious journey that has taken her to the top of the supply chain profession.

Voices
Basic Training: straight talk about customer service
Customer service dictates where we locate facilities, how we design distribution networks, and what processes and technologies we deploy and employ.
Big Picture: who knew?
Concern over the condition of the nation's infrastructure has now deepened to the point where even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most noted for its "just say no" stand on most government programs and spending, has joined the battle.
Fastlane: the seven deadly sins of supply chain crisis management
As we prepare to navigate new courses in these challenging times, I suggest we endeavor to avoid what I call the seven deadly sins of supply chain crisis management.
Special Handling: if it ain't broke, should you fix it anyway?
There are some obvious advantages to using a slow period to make operational upgrades, particularly if the changes will be far-reaching and potentially disruptive.
Outbound: one day closer to recovery?
It's been about four months since it first became painfully obvious that the global economy hadn't just started sliding downhill, it had essentially fallen through a metaphorical trapdoor.
Techwatch: hey! you! Get on the cloud
Cloud computing is expected to gain traction quickly with supply chain software users, who are already accustomed to using applications that are hosted on the Internet.
Inbound
baby, it's cold inside
It's January, so we've been thinking a lot about how to keep warm here in frosty New England. Maybe that's why these announcements caught our attention.
thinking green? think ink!
When it comes to environmental initiatives, companies often overlook areas that may seem insignificant but actually can have a measurable impact on the environment.
wanted: research ideas
For the first time ever, MHIA is providing direct funding for material handling and logistics research.
a platform you can live with
An article on the Web site GreenUpgrader.com explains how shipping pallets can be used to construct temporary housing in disaster areas.
out-of-this world visibility
IHS, parent of the economic research firm Global Insight, can track oceangoing ships by satellite.
scrap heap
If factories aren't manufacturing, it stands to reason that they no longer need the raw materials like scrap metal they ordered from overseas suppliers.
Newsworthy
will Teamster givebacks be enough to save YRC?
As of this mid-December writing, 40,000 Teamsters working at YRC Worldwide's four trucking units were voting on wage concessions their leaders had negotiated with YRC management.
help for the heartland
On Nov. 21, Ohio launched a $100 million initiative to bring infrastructure investment to the economically battered state.
time to scramble: cargo-screening deadline approaches
Starting next month, 50 percent of air cargo shipments must be screened prior to loading on board an aircraft.
C-TPAT-worthy? Prove it!
The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has a message for non–asset-based 3PLs that want to join C-TPAT: Prove you belong.
milestones
John Fontanella: 1948-2008; Ron Carey: 1936-2008.
NITL president: Shippers willing to pay for infrastructure improvements
In a sign of the times, the president of a prominent industry group has gone on record stating that the nation's shippers would be willing to accept higher fees or taxes to help finance badly needed improvements to the nation's infrastructure.

Continuing Education

no excuses
Through its Kelley Direct Program, the University of Indiana now offers an online master's degree program in Global Supply Chain Management.
be a hero!
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and World Trade magazine are offering a seminar called "Optimizing Working Capital by Integrating Trade Finance and the Supply Chain: The New Operational Paradigm."
the head of the Hydra, the apples of Hesperides, and supply chain management
Georgia Tech's upcoming seminar on supply chain analytics is designed to teach participants how to use analysis tools and business intelligence software to make better and faster decisions.
metrics mastery
WERC now offers a two-day seminar, "Using Metrics to Achieve Results," that provides a roadmap to developing and implementing metrics.