Table of Contents: April 2008

California dreamin'
The state of California has postponed its e-pedigree requirement to 2011, giving manufacturers more time to assure that all drugs distributed within the state's borders are accompanied by electronic pedigrees that document their history.
fill 'er up … with biodiesel
Biofuels can be expensive, and the supply network is still under construction. But that's not stopping some of the largest fleet operators in the country from making the switch.
oldies but goodies
Looking for warehouse workers you can rely on? Older folks can be highly reliable and productive, provided you give them the support and benefits they need.
green grass and high-rises forever
The raw material for Fage USA's yogurt may come from the rolling hills of upstate New York, but the end product is churned out in a highly automated state-of-the-art facility.
"nothing is as fast as the speed of trust": interview with Stephen M.R. Covey
We may live in a hyper-networked digital age, says Stephen M.R. Covey. But the secret to swift, efficient business transactions is something distinctly old fashioned: trust.
taking the measure of metrics
Our latest research into DC and warehouse metrics shows that managers are getting better at using those measures to boost performance. But is their DC performance as good as they think it is?

Voices
Big Picture: something's gotta give
At the annual spring meeting of the Material Handling Industry of America, other than an acknowledgment of a slight economic slowdown, reports from attendees seem pretty rosy. I don't get it.
Fastlane: in search of best practices
I realize that one size does not fit all but thought it might be helpful to develop a brief, generic list that could be used as a guide to developing specific supply chain best practices.
Special Handling: distribution vs. the movies
The problem of recruiting workers into the distribution business? The plain truth is that your business is practically invisible to most high school students.
Basic Training: play it safe
Beyond being simply the right thing to do, protecting your workers from unsafe conditions is just plain smart business.
Byways: on time? I'd explain, had I the time
What a slippery thing "on-time delivery" continues to be. The difficulty, it seems, is that there may be as many definitions as there are receivers.
Outbound: reach for the shades
Though things may be pretty dismal in other parts of the economy, it appears that in the logistics corner of the business world, everything's going to be all right.
Rfidwatch: students at UW play tag
Earlier this month, the University of Washington launched what's known as the RFID Ecosystem Project, one of the largest people- and item-tracking experiments on record.
Inbound
winds of change
Auxiliary wind power for commercial ocean shipments is no pie-in-the-sky idea.
color me green (or orange)
This November, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will begin requiring anyone who works within the roads' rights-of-way to wear high-visibility reflective clothing in either lime green or bright orange.
nifty NAFTA numbers
Statistics released last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics showed that the value of NAFTA surface trade grew 4.9 percent from 2006 to 2007.
En garde, FedEx, UPS, and DHL …
The U.S. Postal Service is stepping up efforts to wrest a bigger share of the parcel delivery market from its private sector rivals.
steel yourself
The first steel pallet has been approved for use in the grocery, food manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries.
Importing? Don't fall for these myths
If your company depends on imports, make sure it hasn't bought into any of these "myths" of import compliance, as outlined by the Global Trade Services group at JPMorgan.
Newsworthy
toy inspections get under way at U.S. ports
Reacting to a slew of toy recalls over the last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is deploying safety inspectors to screen incoming shipments at the Port of Long Beach.
March Madness—supply chain style: grad students face off in annual logistics competition
During the competition, each of the 12 teams played the role of a consulting firm preparing a supply chain plan for a start-up company in the wind-turbine industry.
an end to the party? 3PLs see slower growth in '08
Only 37 percent of IWLA members predict their business will grow by 10 percent or more in 2008, while another 17 percent expect sales gains of just 1 to 5 percent.
slow(er) ride: Trucking companies lower speed limits for big rigs
Several major carriers are placing speed restrictions on their rigs to save fuel and reduce air pollution.

Continuing Education

a matter of life and death
For a corporation, an effective supply chain can mean the difference between profit and loss.
a triple threat
What does it take to be a market-leading supply chain? According to Stanford University: agility, adaptability, and alignment.
star performer
Pay for performance, not parts or service transactions.
more options for spring training
Although warehouses and DCs typically fill supervisory positions from the ranks of hourly workers, it doesn't always work out as well as they expect.