• Fuel Surcharge Freight Expense Wildcard

    by Mike Starling | Sep 03, 2015
    Why Do We Continue to Have a Carrier Fuel Surcharge? One of the Supply Chain’s most controversial expenses is the now-infamous fuel surcharge (FSC). Recently I was attending an industry trade-show educational session in which attendees in the room were asked, “How do you handle this added expense?” I was really shocked by the variety of answers. This particular industry segment literally has no standard approach to dealing with this expense. Some look to mitigate it by passing...
    Full story

  • Fuel Surcharge Freight Expense Wildcard

    by Mike Starling | Sep 03, 2015
    Why Do We Continue to Have a Carrier Fuel Surcharge? One of the Supply Chain’s most controversial expenses is the now-infamous fuel surcharge (FSC). Recently I was attending an industry trade-show educational session in which attendees in the room were asked, “How do you handle this added expense?” I was really shocked by the variety of answers. This particular industry segment literally has no standard approach to dealing with this expense. Some look to mitigate it by passing...
    Full story
  • A Slice of Life: A Slice of Supply Chain, Traverse City, MI

    by Sharmi Duncan | Sep 02, 2015
    In our line of work my team and I travel. I love this part of my job—visiting clients, busting our butts on site to improve their operations and cash flow, and always squeezing in a little bit of fun. It’s during these interactions that I am at my best and my happiest, because I love interacting with people and accumulating life experiences. So much of what we encounter every day is directly related to my passion for the supply chain. The people, the conversations, the locale, the...
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  • Applying the Theory of Constraints to a Distribution Center, Part 1

    by David Schneider | Sep 01, 2015
    Herbie is in your Distribution Center. He could be at the Receiving dock. He could be in picking. He could be in Put-away. Or he could be on your Shipping dock. Let’s push that fat kid out the dock door. Herbie became a character for manufacturing and material handling engineers with the release of Eli Goldratt’s book The Goal in 1995. One of the first of the business novels, The Goal introduced managers to the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and a different way of thinking about...
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  • Growth & Underinvestment - System Archetype 10

    by David Schneider | Aug 31, 2015
    Businesses must grow in order to sustain their financial health. A Growing concern is a Going concern. For many businesses, the challenge to growth is the availability of cash funds to support that growth. That is why it is so important for new startups to have access to investment cash, and why so many small businesses never reach the million-dollar annual revenue level. Underinvestment doesn’t only plague small and young companies; older and larger firms can also suffer from a lack of...
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  • “Friends: It isn’t just business, it’s personal.” – Plane of Interaction

    by Pasquale Scopelliti | Aug 28, 2015
    Have you ever heard of MIT’s Media Lab? When I lived in Boston, I used to drive by it sometimes, and I always imagined the ghost of Marshall McLuhan happily haunting that place. I bring it up for this reason. I once read a book about their work, and the thing that sticks in my memory from the book was their incredible definition of interactivity. There were five or six elements they worked through, but only two that I’ve retained. They are: 1. Free Interruptions 2. Unpredictable...
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  • Looking for a few good customers? Take a look at yourself first.

    by Mike Starling | Aug 27, 2015
    Supply Chain Leadership Challenge: WARNING: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! In these trying economic times, the natural tendency for a second- or third-generation family-owned business would be to hunker down and just try to maintain the status quo. Some enlightened companies might even target revenue growth with aggressive sales plans. But what if you could grow revenue without growing the top line? Possible? Yes! How? Management: Look Inside Your Organization Management: Be Honest With Yourself...
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  • The Many Roles of Steel in Highway Construction

    by Nico Scopelliti | Aug 26, 2015
    Companies often approach their marketing with an eye on educating the customer as to the importance and value of their products and services. In the 40s, 50s and 60s, however, companies took it quite far; further than what we'd expect in contemporary information marketing. How about a 30-minute, scripted and entertaining educational documentary exploring the history and development of a commodity, produced naturally by one of the commodity's more aggressive suppliers? These videos were often...
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