Noted logistics educator Dr. Thomas J. Goldsby is the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation Professor in Business, Professor of Logistics, and Chair of the Department of Marketing & Logistics at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. He is an academic advisory board member to the National Center for the Middle Market located at Ohio State. We recently talked to Dr. Goldsby about some of the challenges and opportunities associated with logistics for middle market companies.
KANE’s new Chief Operating Officer is Richard McDuffie, a 30-year logistics industry veteran with a strong track record of driving operational excellence in logistics across the retail, manufacturing and 3PL industries. We recently sat down with Richard to discuss some of the changes he has seen in the industry over the years and what the future might hold.
Distribution network optimization has become a white-hot topic these days as “the Amazon effect” leads businesses to evaluate how quickly they can get products to customers.
Warehouse optimization modeling exercises examine the upside of being closer to customers versus the downside of carrying more inventory in more locations. The biggest mistake companies make in this area is relying too much on the modeling software itself to provide an answer to the question: “How many warehouses should I have and where should they be?”
Owner-operators are freedom-loving entrepreneurs. They own their trucks and want to earn a good living, while remaining independent. Some may choose to hunt profitable freight on load boards, while others align with carriers to provide dedicated capacity.
In recent months, Kane Freight Lines has had an increasing number of inquiries from drivers seeking owner-operator trucking jobs. That’s because currently, in the spot market, load-to-truck ratios are down and rates are down. The owner operators who rely on load boards are working hard to find profitable driving opportunities. Two-way freight would help, but that’s nearly impossible to find in the spot market. And, if you get it, the rates will need to be dirt cheap.
These two words summarize the day of many customer service representatives (CSRs) across the world.
In logistics, we measure just about everything. If it moves, we measure how fast. If it sits, we measure how long. If it costs money, we measure how much.
But do we ever measure happy?
Not often, if at all. And that’s too bad. Happy is an under-rated metric.
The bar has been raised on logistics performance. Retail customers want perfect orders (expect a fine if they’re not perfect), and they want them faster and delivered within tighter and tighter time windows.
As a logistics manager, the spotlight is shining brighter on you and, by extension, your logistics service providers (3PLs). You want and need your 3PLs to be great. But, ironically, achieving that result may have as much to do with how hard and how smart you work, as your 3PL.
On February 11, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced plans for a commercial vehicle ban on all major highways in Eastern Pennsylvania in anticipation of a predicted snow-ice mix the following day. Thankfully, the severity of the storm fell short of predictions and roads remained safely drivable for the duration of the weather event.
But by the time DOT administrators caught up with Mother Nature’s exact plans, it was too late for trucking companies to avoid major financial losses related to pulling trucks off the road.