Table of Contents: June 2005

fit for combat
As conventional warfare gives way to the era of the swarming, flexible, agile fighting force, big changes are in store for the battalions responsible for clothing, feeding and equipping the troops. Here's how the Pentagon is transforming a sluggish supply chain into a streamlined hypernetworked model for the digital age.
clogged arteries
America's sclerotic transportation network is already creating delays and backups during peak shipping periods. So what will happen when the rising tide of low-cost Asian imports hits our shores?
sonic boom
A scant three years ago, voice technology vendors questioned whether theyíd be able to wean order pickers from their paper lists, keypads and touch screens. Now their biggest problem is keeping up with a double-digit surge in demand.
there's more to ROI than meets the "I"
Promises of quick payback never fail to grab management's attention. But when it comes to selling your great idea, don't underestimate the power of the "soft" returns.
The Rainmakers
Making it to the top of their profession just wasn't enough. Our 12 Rainmakers are also determined to change the logistics world.

Voices
Big Picture: now where was I?
Science now has documented what most of us have long suspected—that e-mail, instant messaging and the like so distract us that they quite literally diminish intelligence.
Coursework: at least you won't have to worry about pop quizzes
Need to know more about material handling, but can't get away to school? The Material Handling Institute and the Material Handling Industry of America and its product section subgroups have begun creating self-paced electronic lessons (elessons).
Fastlane: what's in a name?
Some have begun to think of international "outsourcing" as synonymous with "offshoring," the controversial practice of shutting down U.S. factories or offices and sending the jobs overseas. And as a result, the mention of "outsourcing" today is greeted with the same enthusiasm generally reserved for the avian flu virus.
Outbound: are you hot or not?
After years of toiling in obscurity, America's logistics professionals suddenly find themselves a hot commodity.
Labor Pool: on the job, but not on the ball
A sick worker is rarely a productive worker. Just because an employee can drag himself in to work doesn't mean he'll be able to muster the concentration to accomplish anything.
Measuring Up: to thine own strategy be true
Wal-Mart and Target undoubtedly use similar metrics to assess supply chain performance. But that's not to imply their metrics programs are interchangeable.
Rfidwatch: end of the RF-IDentity crisis
The Generation 2 standards for RFID may have only been ratified in December, but eager users aren't wasting any time checking them out.
Security Brief: is your DC really secure?
Most DCs believe they've taken adequate steps to prevent loss. But some recent audits have shown that this confidence may be misplaced.
Inbound
you'll work hard for this money!
If you ship goods Down Under, we have good news and bad news for you.
recognizing a Corps competency
When the annual award for Supply Chain Excellence in Supply Chain Operations and Management was handed out at the recent Supply Chain World Conference and Exposition in California, it wasn't the contingent from Wal-Mart or even Dell that strode up to the podium.
why everybody loves Raymond
Alert readers might recall that in early January, Raymond Corp.
small may be beautiful, but Wal-Mart's sticking with big
There are companies out there that believe smaller is better when it comes to DCs, but Wal-Mart isn't one of them.
94 miles of shelves on the walls
If placed end to end, the shelves installed recently in the new National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) office would stretch from Florida to Cuba.
Newsworthy
shippers learn to live in interesting times
Shippers may not be enjoying the turbulent times they've been thrust into, but they're learning to deal with them.
Roadway turns 75
When Roadway Express celebrated its 50th anniversary back in 1980, the trucking industry was on the brink of upheaval.
it's called RedPrairie, but investors are seeing green
Private equity investors Advent International and Vestar Equity Partners have cashed out of RedPrairie.
here's hoping for a cure for the summertime blues
If it seems that fewer flat-screen TVs, appliances and camera phones are barreling through the nation's DCs than there were a few months back, there's a reason for that.
UPS buys its way into LTL shipping biz
UPS has entered the less-thantruckload (LTL) business with a bang.

Continuing Education

what's next—master of the universe?
If earning a Master's in Logistics Management just doesn't sound like enough of a challenge, how about studying for a Master's in Business Logistics Engineering (MBLE) degree? Beginning this fall, Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business and its College of Engineering will offer a joint engineering/logistics degree program.
you want me to run the what?
A surprising number of people end up managing warehouses or overseeing some other aspect of distribution and logistics not because they chose this career path, but because their bosses sent them there.
at least you won't have to worry about pop quizzes
Need to know more about material handling, but can't get away to school? The Material Handling Institute and the Material Handling Industry of America and its product section subgroups have begun creating self-paced electronic lessons (elessons).