more software for hard times
Re: "software for hard times," January 2009
I cannot argue with author James Cooke's assertions that transportation management, visibility, and global trade management software applications are on the radar of many organizations; they are clearly at the top of the list for technology projects in 2009. I would like to add my two cents in support of an application that has received a good deal of press in recent times: inventory optimization.
While the ROI of these applications, especially TMS, can be quite rapid, I would place inventory optimization against any of these for the amount of dollars saved through the reduction of inventory while protecting service levels.
In recessionary times, organizations are eager to identify costreduction opportunities. One of the best is through the reduction of inventory, but doing so with the necessary business intelligence to prevent the erosion of fill rates. For full disclosure, I do work for a provider of an inventory optimization solution.
Richard Murphy, TCLogic
what's the fuss about?
Re: "fuel surcharge squabble headed for second round," NewsWorthy, February 2009
I enjoyed the article concerning fuel surcharges being—or not being—passed through to truckers.
As a broker for many years, I would just like to say that 100 percent of the freight I move is flat rated to truckers. They certainly have the option to take the rate quoted, negotiate a higher rate, or decline the load. In 90+ percent of my flat rate quotes, the truck is getting 100 percent of my line-haul rate plus a portion of the fuel surcharge. Another way to look at it would be, they are getting 100 percent of the fuel surcharge plus the majority portion of the line haul.
I really do not see the issue here. A broker has to make money just like anyone else. Our gross revenue is the line haul plus the fuel surcharge totals. Therefore, depending on how you want to word it, the broker is actually only keeping an amount of the total revenues and rarely does that ever even equal the full amount of fuel surcharges being billed.
Kenny Hooker, Wolf Creek Logistics, Farmington, Ky.
Fuel surcharges are paid to reimburse the fuel buyer for the extra expense. It's this simple: The fuel buyer should get the fuel surcharge—all of it.
Danny R. Schnautz, Clark Freight Lines
managing DCs from on high
Re: "hey! you! Get on the cloud," TechWatch, January 2009
I think it is possible to get warehouse management software to work in the cloud. But it would require the small and medium-sized customers to use it almost out of the box to an extent. One challenge in this area is that the vendors typically want to concentrate on large accounts, leaving small operations out in the cold.
Using technologies such as standard EDI, XML-based data, or even manual data entry, it is possible to have much of the interfacing done easily. The trick will be to integrate the material handling equipment into the cloud-based version effectively (with a decent response time).
We should herald the first major WMS to go SaaS.