Designing a distribution network is both art and science?it requires pleasing finicky retailers while keeping costs in line. Though slick software helps, most of the work is in getting the numbers?and getting them right.
For small truckers, an out-of-service rig means an out-of-work driver. One truckmaker is borrowing distribution techniques from the retail world to get repair parts right out to dealers and trucks back on the road.
The story's quickly becoming familiar: DC managers identify a problem or bottleneck. They figure out what they need to solve it. Then comes word that the project's been put on hold until the economy turns around.