Table of Contents: December 2006

the returns of an American icon
If you build your business by guaranteeing customer satisfaction, you'd better be prepared for a flood of returns. An exclusive look at L.L.Bean's strategy for staying afloat on a sea of returned backpacks, fly rods, parkas and moccasins.
sorry, you're just not what we're looking for
A decade ago, third-party service providers were happy to do business with anyone who walked through the door. But these days, they're downright choosy about who they'll work with.
the weight of measures
Accurate calculation of "dimensional weight" is carrying greater, well, weight in parcel shipping rates. That's leading to greater interest in tools that measure up to the demands of high-speed cubing and weighing.
taking it to the next level: interview with Ed Huller
Lots of people will tell you that well-oiled supply chain operations can bolster the bottom line. Ed Huller may be the first to suggest they can give the top line a boost as well.
remote control
Visibility and control tools—both hardware and software—offer the ability to manage assets and inventories, wherever they may be.
safety in numbers
It's not often that a simple lot number saves the day. But during this summer's spinach scare, a lot number and the supplier's ace product tracking system helped lead FDA investigators to the source of the deadly E. coli outbreak.

Voices
Basic Training: highways, byways and neural pathways
Supply chain professionals might not always consider just how wide-ranging the critical supply chain infrastructure really is.
Big Picture: midwinter break
In our 24/7 world, it's good to get off the train every once in a while.
Fastlane: letter to Santa
I don't want to sound greedy, but there are some things I really need this year. Like a national transportation policy.
Labor Pool: how to succeed in business despite the office politics
As you move up the career ladder, you're likely to find yourself threatened from every direction: from above (your bosses), from below (your staff) and from the side (your peers).
Outbound: compassion by association(s)
A number of disparate trade organizations, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of the wide-ranging world of logistics, have announced that they are joining together in a unified effort to help Americans in times of crisis.
Rfidwatch: how secure is your RFID credit card?
The next time you pull up to the drive-through window at McDonald's, you might want to reach into your pocket for some good-old fashioned cash.
Inbound
can't drive 65? You may have to live with 68
If the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has its way, large trucks will soon be rolling off the assembly line with built-in speed governors.
Heineken barrels through borders
In a development likely to gladden the hearts of frat boys everywhere, a multinational consortium is testing a technology that promises to shorten the beer run—the international version, at least.
follow that pallet!
If you want to keep tabs on your products after they leave your dock, the simplest way might be to ship them on CHEP pallets.
a switch to the other side of the track?
After 25 years of generally good rapport, relations between the U.
take my freight, please
It can be tough to find a truck under the best of circumstances.
many unhappy returns
You'd better hope Santa gets your size right if he leaves a sweater under the tree this year.
Hey Jude! How can we help?
The associates of Averitt Express are doing their part to take a sad song and make it better.
incoming ATA chair dies in crash
A small private plan carrying the incoming chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Mac McCormick of Bestway Express, crashed Oct.
bye, bye Boardwalk
The game is changing—Monopoly, that is.
Newsworthy
what a relief! Ten industry trade groups unite to form disaster relief program
Though the United States made it through the recent hurricane season unscathed, the logistics community hasn't forgotten the destruction visited upon the U.
we can all breathe a little easier: EPA honors carriers for anti-pollution initiatives
What do Schneider National, Wal-Mart, APL Logistics and IKEA Distribution Services have in common? They all received awards for environmental excellence during a ceremony at the American Trucking Associations' annual conference in October.
finding the ROI in RFID: survey reveals it's not so elusive after all
Though once considered almost as elusive as world peace, ROI (return on investment) for RFID projects is widely regarded as eminently attainable today.
transportation woes to continue in '07
Time may heal all wounds, but so far, it's done little to ease shippers' woes.
when Wal-Mart talks …
… its 60,000 suppliers listen.
China opens its doors to foreign investment and logistics expertise
It's home to the world's busiest port (Shanghai).
Pfizer extends RFID tagging program
Pfizer is stepping up its commitment to RFID technology.
Parrish to lead Cardinal Health's supply chain unit
November was a busy month for Mark Parrish.

Continuing Education

no break in the action
The folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL) won't be taking a winter break this year.
an eye on the Tiger
The feverish push to outsource manufacturing to low-cost countries like China has left supply chain managers' heads spinning with questions about doing business in that part of the world.
right from the start
How do companies seize opportunities in global markets and successfully execute global strategies? What's really happening in Europe, China and India? How do the current shifts in global economies and political infrastructures affect your future supply chain relationships? These are the kinds of questions that will be addressed at "Globalization: Getting It Right," an executive retreat sponsored by the Supply-Chain Council.