Table of Contents: April 2005

just what the doctor ordered?
Is it real? Or just a very clever fake? It's practically impossible to tell real drugs from the adulterated or counterfeit. Now one drug maker is using tiny radio-frequency tracking chips to assure pharmacists they're getting the genuine article.
they want it all
First they wanted your parcel business. Then all they went after ground freight and international business. Now the companies best known for moving small packages have become big-time players in third-party logistics.
picture this
Say goodbye to language barriers and guesswork. Today's newest pick-to-light systems feature tiny TV-like display screens that show order pickers exactly which tube of lipstick or bottle of anti-aging serum to retrieve.
too much information?
Feeling defeated by the complexities of carrier selection, routing and load building? Help is as close as your computer.
let's get real: interview with John Langley
Sure, business professor John Langley could teach the principles of supply chain management using hypothetical textbook cases. But he thinks his students are better served by tackling real-life problems.

Voices
Big Picture: can you get there from here?
The first time someone mentioned the Traveling Salesman Problem to me, I figured it had something to do with those ribald jokes I used to hear when I was young.
Fastlane: cutting TMS down to size
Transportation management systems first hit the market in the early 1980s. Though the early versions may seem primitive today, they literally transformed many a logistics operation.
Outbound: Frank was right!
As I was picking up my pen (or, to be precise, putting my fingers to the keyboard), I got distracted by an online news alert that popped up on my computer screen: "Fed Chief Greenspan Suggests Shift from Income Tax to National Sales Tax."
Measuring Up: what we have here is a failure to communicate
The Eighth Commandment: Listen: Find out what your customer wants (not what you think it wants).
Labor Pool: you've got mail …
That same effortless access to the digital world can lead to abuse of office e-mail systems and Internet connections, causing a raft of problems for the company.
Rfidwatch: a few good men (and women)
Worried that you don't have the staff needed to implement a radio-frequency identification (RFID) pilot program? Here's some good news.
Inbound
underground no more
Perhaps rail transportation would have been more fitting, but when a valuable collection of books traveled cross country to be archived at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, it actually went by air, courtesy of DHL.
CHEPping away at the hunger problem
Most companies joining the fight against hunger donate food, contribute money or lend employees to the effort.
the customer is always right
Your "loyal" customers may not be so loyal—or so forgiving—as you think.
we can all breathe easier …
Or at least, we can expect to breathe a bit easier by 2012.
on the rebound
Here's the good news we've all been waiting for … 2005 is shaping up to be a year of recovery for the material handling industry.
ride 'em cowboy!
If you're going to throw a big ol' down-home Texas-style party in a cavernous venue like Houston's Reliant Stadium, you'll need some powerful workhorses to set the stage.
another one bites the dust
As if more evidence were needed that the term "logistics" is losing ground to "supply chain," the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) recently announced that it was renaming one of its subgroups (or "product sections," in MHIA parlance) from the Logistics Execution Systems Association (LESA) to, no surprise here, the Supply Chain Execution Systems & Technologies Group (SCE Group).
Newsworthy
but what will they call it?
If you're already thinking the name "Yellow Roadway" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, brace yourself for the possibility of a Yellow Roadway USF.
the urge to merge
It's not just regional LTL carriers that have apparently decided there's strength in numbers.
a chance to get in touch with your inner geek
If you've ever yearned to join the ranks of techies, now's the time to pursue that dream.
not so fast
Just when software giant SAP thought its deal to buy retail software maker Retek was in the bag, along came SAP's archrival, Oracle, to spoil its plans.