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Scenes from the CSCMP conference in Philadelphia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Guerriere   
Oct 06, 2011 at 11:15 PM


Business Drivers - Rising cost of oil, new truck US regulations, shortage of drivers

Result - Competitors collaborating by consolidating shipments at cross-dock facilities for common customers.

Effects on electronic supply chain- oh boy... this is getting complex.  What does that do to the 856 advance ship notice?  How does one keep up with constant change and allow for growth in EDI and B2B supply chain information exchange?  Good technology providers with responsive support and a focus on one's business and industry is more than just a good start.

So what's new from the front lines of the leading annual supply chain conference?  Robots?  Yes, actually, the Kiva robots were impressive.  But I would have to say that the consistent theme was continued execution of lean practices and proven technology that is become more pervasive and less costly to implement.  We are seeing more case studies of companies being able to grow with less mundane and valueless human maintenance.

Some of the new content included taking a fresh look at port security risks using portfolio risk methodology.  Another popular standing room only session was The Science Behind how Carriers Price.

This was one of the most popular sessions of the CSCMP conference in Philadelphia.  A few years ago it would not have been.   In 2009 carriers were getting overwhelmed with RFQ's while shippers did their best to beat them up when the market was at its lows.  But now shippers are putting on a shiny smile to their carrier friends as they come back to them in a rising market with tight capacity.  Carriers are greeting them with a new technology enhanced integrity pricing model.

The room was overflowing with shippers to hear from Ken Burroughs, VP, UPS Freight, Bryan Foe, VP, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, and Derek J. Leathers, President and COO of Werner Enterprises.

Shippers, here are a few suggestions for procuring freight:         

o   Forget the lane by lane bidding process.  Carriers have been subsidizing the less popular routes for the better routes.

o   Sell yourself - share information, from long term plans to real time demand shifts.

o   The more transparency offered and long term potential business, the less rates become.

Ms. Gay Whitney, SVP GS1 US, reported that the industry is finally gain momentum for item level EPC - RFID.  Case studies are beginning to show big improvements in inventory accuracy and in-stock improvements.   Gay went on to extol the benefits of accurate synchronized data.  With the proliferation of mobile applications that scan bar codes, there are a lot of sales opportunities to be gained with providing online mobile content based on a bar code label.

The American Red Cross was represented by Toni Briggs Huff, Sourcing manager of Freight and Transportation.  If you think your job is stressful with CGP products missing their shipment window, you should visit with Ms. Huff.  If her shipments miss the shipment window it could be fatal.  Who does the Red Cross depend on for expedite shipments?  Panther Expedited Services.

CSCMP distinguished award winner Chuck Taylor, passionately made an argument that the 10K+ mile supply chain is soon to be obsolete.  Middle East oil production hit it's peak in 2005, and is on a quick decline.  He expects prices to more than double in the next five years.  He urges supply chain experts to begin planning for this new world.

More to follow... reporting from Philly with a mean mummer's hang-over and shiny shoes (courtesy of one hard working model that shines).  Thanks Antra.

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Last Updated ( Oct 07, 2011 at 09:27 AM )

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