Table of Contents: February 2005

catch of the day
Large software vendors that once cared only about reeling in the big ones are discovering something the smaller WMS vendors have known all along: There's good fishing to be had among the small and medium-sized companies too.
the envelope(s) please …
And the pouches, tubes and parcels while you're at it. DHL Express wants your domestic small package business. And it's willing to spend big bucks to get it.
plug it in, turn it on, keep it going
There's more to conveyor performance than feet per minute. Smart users look for systems that can be installed quickly, are simple to maintain and stay up no matter what.
waging war on returns
In the home computer market, a single return can vaporize all the profits from the sale. No wonder consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers are so intent on avoiding them.
really fast food
In European DCs, bags of coffee and sugar are whipping out of highly automated storage and retrieval systems at a rate of 3,000 cases per hour. Is America next?
the "IT Guy": interview with Danny Garst
It's not every day that you see someone appointed to head up both information technology and the supply chain. But then, Danny Garst isn't exactly your everyday professional.

Voices
Big Picture: 2020 visions?
With all the visionaries out there foretelling a future when businesses (and nations) collaborate in a seamless, well-oiled supply chain, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics have injected a badly needed dose of reality into the fantasy.
Fastlane: the year of living cooperatively
Managing a supply chain requires expertise in collaboration, cooperation and relationship building. But from where I stand, it seems that we simply don't treat each other very well.
Labor Pool: not-so-civil wars
No matter how big or small your workplace, sooner or later, relations between two employees will erupt into conflict.
Measuring Up: don't look back
Many times companies track their performance using traditional financial and operations reports gathered from their ERP and WMS systems. That's a mistake.
Outbound: come together right now
It was less than a decade ago that the term "supply chain management" first appeared in the title of a CLM conference session. Since that time, the internal and external worlds of logistics have slowly but surely been converging.
Rfidwatch: short circuits?
Wal-Mart may see radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags attached to incoming cases and pallets as an ingenious solution to the problem of costly stockouts.
Security Brief: let the buyer beware
Though the usual response to rising theft is to seek out a high-tech solution, technology is rarely the answer.
Inbound
desperately seeking drivers
Worn down by the constant struggle to find—and retain—qualified truck drivers, managers at one transportation and logistics company are placing their bets on plain old-fashioned cash.
maybe they just didn't want to share
Most companies seeking outside logistics expertise hire a third-party service provider to give them a hand.
Texas tries to clear the air
Sure they put horses out to pasture, but lift trucks? As part of a clean-air initiative, Texas is offering cash incentives for companies to retire aging lift trucks and replace them with new low-emission models.
better late than never
It may have taken the government more than a year to release the data, but in this case a little good news is worth the wait.
there's more to "slap and ship" than meets the eye
"Slap and ship" may be catchy shorthand for a popular method of RFID tagging, but it appears that it's not quite so simple as it sounds.
Newsworthy
mobilized for relief
When disaster strikes, the world mobilizes.
Wal-Mart gets its way
Though in the early days some were skeptical, it appears that Wal-Mart has prevailed.
a whole lot of shaking going on
Just when you think the dust has settled in the logistics software market, along comes word of another acquisition or merger that shakes things up all over up again.
flying high
Things are looking up for the air transport industry.