Table of Contents: October 2008

"green" gear takes sting out of Burt's Bees' expansion
Concerns for the environment had kept Burt's Bees from embarking on a much-needed DC expansion project. But "green" equipment and fixtures helped allay those concerns.
road map from the aftermarket
The hard-earned lessons of the automotive aftermarket are clear: Stay focused, stay anchored, and stay with the basics.
regional LTLs hang tough
Times may be hard and costs may be high, but regional LTLs are forging ahead with plans to improve service. It won't be easy, though.
head of the class: interview with Bob Lieb
Some academics gain fame for their achievements as educators, others for their research. Bob Lieb has earned renown on both counts.
the go-between
In Simon & Schuster's fast-paced distribution operations, the warehouse management system may call the shots. But it's the warehouse control system that makes sure things get done.
running like clockwork
Runaway growth over the past decade had put a strain on order fulfillment capabilities at The Swiss Colony's Madison, Wis., DC. But an automated system has transformed it into a well-oiled operation.
Orient express
Small shipments can be costly and inefficient in China. A test of compact cargo containers shows how China's railways can improve shipment security while dramatically cutting transit times for small loads.

Voices
Basic Training: thinking outside the box
It's rare that packaging gets much attention in discussions on supply chain management. And that's dangerous.
Big Picture: pulled over in the breakdown lane
Last month, the Federal Highway Administration announced what highway watchers had long feared: The Highway Trust Fund would be broke at the end of the month.
Fastlane: somewhere over the rainbow
OCT. 1, 2010. The big news this fall, of course, has been the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, but possibly even more exciting than that (at least to the supply chain community) was yesterday's announcement of sweeping new transportation legislation.
Outbound: made in America, revisited
Recent data and reports indicate that American companies from various industry sectors are starting to rethink their offshoring strategies.
Security Brief: are you proactive or reactive?
In tough economic times, companies are sometimes reluctant to spend money on security audits and assessments. But that's a risky approach in the long run.
Techwatch: no crap—it's diesel!
A two-year-old biotech company in California has developed a genetically engineered microbe that excretes diesel.
Inbound
lean and clean
Have you noticed that laundry detergent bottles have gotten smaller? You can thank logisticians for that.
Operation Squid Lift
In July, a crew from the U.S. Air Force's 326th Airlift Squadron delivered a shipment that was unusual even by their standards: two giant squids destined for display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
make your business less risky
FM Global, one of the world's largest insurers of commercial and industrial properties, has released thousands of pages of its loss-prevention guidelines through its Web site.
on the roads again
A recently released report measures the condition of state-owned highways and roads.
pallet chic
Here's a new twist on recycling pallets: Make furniture out of them.
IWLA wins double-header
The International Warehouse Logistics Association says it was instrumental in getting 3PLs onto legislators' radar screens at both the national and state levels.
Newsworthy
got peak? who cares!
Rather than worrying about traffic snarls and customs delays, the supply chain community is concerned because, with the economy sagging, there hasn't been a peak shipping season to speak of.
a capital idea
UPS Capital, Big Brown's financial services arm, has launched a program to extend credit to small U.S.-based importers.
DHL in the hot seat
A year from now, DHL's decision to turn over its U.S. air linehauls to UPS may be seen as a tough but necessary business decision.
food shippers may get more on their plates
A congressional bill introduced in late July would place a host of additional burdens on those who process, package, ship, store, and distribute domestic and imported foods.
intelligence gathering
In late May, 51 researchers from 14 countries gathered for the 10th International Material Handling Research Colloquium in Dortmund, Germany.
big gains for GTM software
One sure sign that global supply chains are expanding: Sales of global trade management software are on the rise.

Continuing Education

green grows the supply chain
The time is coming when supply chain managers will be as concerned with sustainability, carbon footprints, and energy efficiency as they are with inventory turns, on-time delivery, and customer satisfaction.
tools of the trade
Penn State University created its "Processes and Tools for Supply Chain Success" course to help managers and executives better understand and use state-of-the-art tools and concepts in supply chain management and operations.
bundle up!
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals has significantly expanded its CSCMP University online course offerings, going from 40 courses to more than 200.
avoid Lean culture shock
As word gets out about their potential to reduce total logistics costs and warehouse space requirements, Lean programs have been attracting a lot of attention.