Table of Contents: September 2008

battered, but still aloft
Soaring fuel costs and security restrictions have pushed the air-cargo industry into retrenchment mode. Still, predictions of catastrophe seem premature.
dynamic duo
The shipping problems facing golf-cart maker E-Z-GO were too complex to be solved by transportation software alone. But when the company added a second application to the mix, the results were well above par.
remote control
Diagnose lift-truck performance from afar? It might sound like science fiction, but it's now possible—and it has the potential to change the way you manage your fleet.
supply chains can promote peace: a postscript and a thank you note
Last fall, DC VELOCITY Editor at Large Steve Geary wrote about the role of supply chain initiatives in helping rebuild the Iraqi economy ("can a supply chain promote peace?" November 2007). At the time, Geary was deployed in Iraq, working as a member of a team charged with promoting employment in the war-torn nation. In this follow-up article, he looks at developments in that initiative in the months since he filed his initial report.
go with the flow
It won't be an easy sell, but switching fulfillment operations from wave-based to waveless picking, which pulls orders when capacity is available, may lead to spectacular productivity gains.
Whirlpool's delicate cycle
After the company announced plans to buy Maytag, Whirlpool's supply chain team faced the daunting challenge of combining the supply chains of two of the world's largest appliance makers while conducting business as usual.
power to the people: interview with Doug Eckrote
It doesn't take magic to create an award-winning work environment, says Doug Eckrote of CDW. You just have to keep the lines of communication open and empower your people to make decisions.
a DC gets its own fast fulfillment
With sales surging, online retailer Zappos.com needed an order picking technology that could be up and running quickly. The answer? A system that uses robots to bring goods to order pickers.

Voices
Big Picture: the calculus changes
For those who manage business supply chains, how they respond to energy challenges may prove to be the defining moments of their careers.
Fastlane: oh, Congress, where art thou?
Without a clear vision and clearly stated goals, we simply cannot formulate infrastructure or energy strategies, develop tactics for executing those strategies, or intelligently discuss how the necessary improvements will be funded.
Outbound: are you up to speed on your jargon?
Maybe it's time for those of us in the logistics profession to put aside our lengthy to-do lists for a moment, and indulge in a little lexicon-building.
Techwatch: redesign the chain to reduce costs
If companies want to minimize their transportation costs, they need to take a comprehensive view of the nodes in their supply chain network.
Basic Training: risky business
Supply chain risk factors have always been present, but are today more diverse, more plentiful, more global, and more consequential than ever before.
Inbound
it's hip to be square
They may not be a big hit with consumers yet, but square, flat-topped milk jugs are the best thing since sliced bread, at least as far as Sam's Club is concerned.
space case
Researchers have embarked on a mission to take testing of RFID tags, bar codes, and printing solutions to the final frontier: outer space.
leaders of tomorrow
Ask senior leaders in supply chain management about demographics, and they're likely to talk about the shortage of young people entering the field.
swap till you drop
Cory Home Delivery Service, Penske Truck Leasing, and Demountable Concepts Inc. have pooled their expertise to provide a new service that lets furniture retailers extend their delivery radius without adding warehouses or cross-dock stations.
honoring one of our own
There's a good reason why the top-flight coverage of defense logistics contributed to DC VELOCITY by Editor at Large Steve Geary is such a compelling read: He reports with the authority that comes from personal experience.
CBP wants you to drop a dime
U.S. Customs and Border Protection in June launched an online reporting system that allows tipsters to confidentially notify the agency of suspected trade violations.
Newsworthy
ready to recover
The Washington State Department of Transportation's decision to learn from the private sector about building resiliency into supply chains has led to the creation of what the state agency calls its Freight System Resiliency Plan.
brother, can you spare a truck?
The National Furniture Bank Association and the Institution Recycling Network are asking for help from transportation and logistics professionals.
California plans reefer restrictions
Shippers moving refrigerated goods into California may soon have more to worry about than temperature fluctuations and high fuel prices.
JDA buys i2 Technologies
In the latest sign of consolidation in the supply chain software market, JDA Software Group has said it will acquire i2 Technologies Inc. for $346 million.
who operates the best supply chains?
The votes are in, and Apple Inc. has won the top spot in this year's AMR Research report on the world's best supply chain operations.

Continuing Education

seize the day!
You may not think of yourself as a hot commodity.
go with the flow
Interested in riding the latest business management wave and implementing Lean and/or Six Sigma in your operation? The Lean Six Sigma Logistics for Supply Chain Management Certificate, designed by training and third-party logistics service company LeanCor, will give you the tools and tactics you'll need.
time for some homeWERC?
The Warehousing Education and Research Council's (WERC) latest educational offerings allow industry professionals to work on strengthening their distribution management skills from home (or the DC).