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Consumer Goods Logistics Blog


Alex Stark

Recent Posts

It’s Valentine’s Day: Are You Still in Love with Your 3PL?

Posted by Alex Stark on February 13, 2020

Marriages and logistics partnerships all start with an assumption of a happy ending. But it doesn’t always work out that way – in either case.

Why do 3PL outsourcing relationships fail? A lot of the top reasons parallel what we hear in divorce courts. If any of the following reasons feel familiar to you, it might be time to ask yourself, “Are we with the right 3PL partner?”

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Topics: 3PL Outsourcing

Is Your 3PL in the News? What for?

Posted by Alex Stark on January 30, 2020

Third party logistics companies (3PLs) are often in the news these days – but for reasons quite different than they were 10 years ago. 

This thought occurred to me while I was skimming recent news items in some of the top logistics industry trade publications. I decided to start counting and classifying the types of stories about specific 3PLs. Close to 75% were related to either acquisitions, financial performance, lawsuits or problems with labor contracts. The remaining 25% or so were about value delivered for customers or service expansion.

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Topics: 3PL Outsourcing, KANE Company

Why You Should Move Secondary Packaging Closer to the Consumer

Posted by Alex Stark on January 23, 2020

Much of the cost and complexity in CPG supply chains happen post manufacturing.

Think about it. You might have one product – a potato chip – that gets packaged in dozens of ways. Historically, this final packaging has been handled as a discrete supply chain function by contract packaging companies. But an increasing number of CPG companies are recognizing the huge cost advantages – as much as 30% of combined warehousing, packaging and freight costs – of performing secondary packaging in the distribution center.

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Topics: Consumer Goods Logistics, Warehouse Operations

The KANE story – in the style of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Posted by Alex Stark on December 27, 2019

It’s the evening of Christmas day. I’ve retreated to my home office after enjoying an outstanding day filled with family, great food, and the sharing of presents. Being a supply chain wonk, I’ve already pondered the Christmas magic of how all these goodies find their way to their final destinations. Yes Virginia, it is all about logistics.

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Topics: Supply Chain Challenges, Consumer Goods Logistics, 3PL Outsourcing

Flexibility AND Scalability: A Scarce Combination Among 3PLs

Posted by Alex Stark on October 17, 2019

Check out the marketing claims of many third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and you’ll see the words “flexible” and “scalable” used regularly, and often together.  The fact is, most are good at one or the other, but not both.

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Topics: 3PL Outsourcing

Happy CX Day

Posted by Alex Stark on October 10, 2019

What did you do to celebrate CX Day earlier this month?

Wait…what?! You’ve never heard of it?

CX, of course, is short for Customer Experience. CX Day celebrates those customers. You know, the people who keep the lights on. The day itself moves around a bit, making it hard to get traction for this particular celebration.

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Topics: Supply Chain Challenges, 3PL Outsourcing

What’s Wrong with Continuous Improvement Programs in Logistics?

Posted by Alex Stark on September 12, 2019

Lip Service.  According to Merriam-Webster, it’s a belief “expressed in words but not backed by deeds.”

There’s a lot of that going on when it comes to programs for continuous improvement in logistics. Some companies do quite a good job presenting the image of a quality-driven operation. But too often the banners, slogans and award certificates – the eye candy – don’t translate into real cultural change.

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Topics: Supply Chain Challenges, Warehouse Operations

The ROI of Logistics Safety Programs

Posted by Alex Stark on August 22, 2019

Every logistics operation will say safety programs are a priority. But many such claims are lip service only. Safety solutions, over and above OSHA-mandated programs, cost money – for training, equipment and software. Many companies struggle to invest money in things that might happen.

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Topics: Supply Chain Challenges, Logistics Labor Management, Warehouse Operations, Logistics Safety, KANE Company

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