Table of Contents: December 2008

oil? We don't need no stinkin' oil!
The rest of the country may be fixated on volatility in the energy markets, but some logistics pros say the best way to deal with the situation is to ignore it.
cube route to better slotting
Capturing precise dimensions of the SKUs in your DC can help make more of your storage space. And tape measures may not be up to the task.
a tale of two reorganizations
After seismic corporate shakeups, two food and beverage industry giants re-evaluated their transportation strategies ... and came to completely different conclusions.
little cost, big benefits
When Grayling Industries needed a real-time view of inventory on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, it turned to rented software for help. Now, the mid-sized company knows exactly what's what—and where it's at.
fast flow
Two years ago, growth in its bath and plumbing products business threatened to clog operations in Liberty Hardware's California DC. But since the company moved to a high-speed automated facility, orders now flow freely.
Church & Dwight gets its house in order
The consumer goods giant had all the tools it needed to create good demand forecasts. But its organizational setup left something to be desired.
hold 'em or fold 'em?
Some companies are turning a tidy profit by reselling returned products that were once consigned to the scrap heap. The trick, they say, is figuring out what's junk and what's worth a second look.
an inquiring mind: interview with Chris Norek
Rather than dispense wisdom from on high, consultant Chris Norek prefers to lead clients through the supply chain strategizing process by asking some well-chosen questions. The results speak for themselves.

Basic Training: getting savvy about being green
Even C-level executives are coming over to the environmental side. And their message is clear: The business world is getting serious about getting green.
Big Picture: fuel efficiency
No manager anywhere in a global supply chain has much, if any, influence over the price of fuel. But that's not to say managers are left without options.
Fastlane: my annual letter to Santa Claus
My wish list for this year is a lengthy one. But I know you don't have much time to read, so I'm going to limit it to six requests.
Techwatch: back to the future
A new approach to production promises to make it feasible for manufacturers to economically produce custom-designed goods in low-volume quantities.
Outbound: it all makes perfect cents
A currency fluctuation here, a commodity shortage there, and what has long seemed a perfectly sound approach to business suddenly makes no sense at all.
pop culture
Wondering what to do with all that bubble-style packing material that's been accumulating in your warehouse?
fun with RFID
Speakers at a recent meeting of CSCMP's New England Roundtable had 'em rolling in the aisles when the subject of getting a return on RFID investments came up.
highway lullaby
Meet Linda Courtney, a professional truck driver who has won a state driving championship while pregnant.
well-oiled machines
3PL company States Logistics Services Inc. says it is converting its truck fleet to run on B99 biodiesel.
another tool in the safety belt
Thanks to OSHA, warehouse and DC managers now have one more source of safety information they can share with lift-truck drivers.
reach for the stars
You might not think that astronauts and supply chain managers have much in common, but according to retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Rick Searfoss, their missions are similar in some respects.
financial aftershocks rattle the supply chain
A tougher lending climate could trigger an unfavorable ripple effect across logistics and distribution operations, experts contend.
Dell looks outside for fulfillment help
Dell is seeking proposals from 3PLs to manage its fulfillment centers in the Americas, according to a company source.
DHL's exit from U.S. domestic market could push rates up
The decision by DHL Express to pull out of the U.S. domestic express delivery market is likely to lead to higher rates for U.S. delivery services, as the low-priced competitor departs from the world's largest market, analysts say.
note to importers: get it in writing
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has increased the number of products that require safety testing and written certifications of compliance with safety regulations and standards.
Greatwide Logistics in bankruptcy
Dallas-based Greatwide Logistics Services, considered a solid operating franchise, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late October.
Starting next month, readers will find new features and fresh, constantly changing content on our Web site,, and our new video channel,

Continuing Education

take the lead
The University of Wisconsin's "Supply Chain Leadership" course is designed to show participants how to diagnose the root causes of poor supply chain performance.
work with what you've got
Gross & Associates and the Warehousing Education and Research Council have teamed up to offer a two-day seminar called "Maximizing Warehouse Space."
the case for a lean existence
Penn State University's "Applying Lean Principles Across the Supply Chain" will introduce participants to ways of applying lean thinking to supply chain challenges.