Warehousing Strategies for Success

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The Amazon Effect is creating elevated levels of stress in the warehousing and distribution world. The key question is how to provide immediate deliveries, customized service, easy returns, and more for a reduced cost – a very good question indeed! A few considerations to ponder:  Storage capacity -What is your storage capacity?  How does that compare with your requirements?  And how can you maximize what you can store in your warehouse? Flow – Are you running in circles around your warehouse to support your customers?  Similar to a manufacturing environment, flow can be an essential ingredient to warehousing success –…
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Should I Move?

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  Our clients frequently call with questions such as:  Should we renew our lease?  Should we move to a lower cost area?  Should we move to a lower cost state?  What considerations should we think about when evaluating our manufacturing and logistics network?  Should we outsource? Thus, we thought it would be prudent to address some questions and themes that should be evaluated from a strategic point-of-view when discussing supply chain network assessments. Let’s start by saying that our top clients begin THINKING about these topics several years in advance. Similar to selling a business, it isn’t the best plan to…
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People Rule

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Why does Southwest Airlines outperform the competition by a long shot in employee turnover (7% vs. 25% industry average)? People! As our long-term readers know, we believe that people rule!  There is just no doubt about it – our most successful clients are similar to Southwest and JetBlue as it relates to people – executives view them as assets; not costs.  Instead of stifling creativity and success, they encourage it! We have to image that no one sets out to stifle creativity when they leave for work in the morning (it sounds like a miserable existence) . Yet that is…
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Imports & Exports: Which Companies Dominate and What are the Related Impacts?

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According to the Journal of Commerce, the U.S. imported double the amount of its exports (measured in TEU). In 2017, imports increased 6% whereas exports increased 1%.  This is quite an accomplishment since China (the top market for U.S. exports) announced an importation ban last year that cut across the various types of the top U.S. export, waste.   So, who do you think was at the top of the import list?   Walmart! The Details The largest segment of import is retail at 3.5 million TEU.  The next largest segment is foodstuffs at 700,000 TEU.  This is quickly followed by…
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E-Commerce Drives Industrial Space to New Heights

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According to the Journal of Commerce, e-commerce is driving industrial space rents to new heights.  Our clients are definitely experiencing the same dilemma! There has been a 12.1% increase in rental rates since 2017, and the L.A. / Long Beach area has the lowest vacancy rate in the U.S. of 1.2%.  Ridiculously, the average price in L.A. was 60%+ higher than the U.S. average in the first quarter! And, stranger yet, e-commerce is driving class B space (not as desirable) to be snatched up. It is becoming the new class A!  Even Class C (even less desirable) is starting to…
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APICS-IE Symposium & Key Take-Aways on GROWTH

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Our APICS Inland Empire chapter hosted the 12th executive panel and networking symposium (over 7 years) on the theme of “Managing Rapid Growth when Manufacturing and Distribution are HOT”.  We had a fabulous panel (clearly enjoying the conversation – see below) of manufacturing and supply chain CEOs and experts.  Thanks to the APICS BOD and Kash Gokli and the Harvey Mudd team for putting on such a value-packed day! Overall, we discussed the power of manufacturing and supply chain in today’s environment.  In the era of the customer, it is all about the customer experience, rapid deliveries, e-commerce and responsiveness.…
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Buried in Data. Dig Your Way Out & Leverage for Success

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90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. Mind boggling!  Of course, we are getting buried in data and aren’t sure how to dig our way out and leverage for success. If you just think about your first few hours after waking up in the morning, you’ve received millions of messages and data:  1) News reports from the radio. 2) Text messages and emails on your phone. 3) Most likely you’ve driven by billboard messages on your way to work.  4) The TV might have been on in the background while getting ready for work.…
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E-Commerce is on Fire

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At the Southern California E-Commerce and Logistics Summit, there was much discussion on e-commerce.  No matter whether you are in a consumer products company (which is typically more geared to e-commerce) or if you are in aerospace, e-commerce principles and implications will affect you.  The bottom line is that we are in the era of the customer:   E-commerce is over 10% of all retail sales currently and projected to climb over 15% by 2023 – Customer responsiveness, rapid deliveries and last mile considerations will become commonplace.  China and the U.S. account for over 80% of the e-commerce growth –…
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Collaboration in the Supply Chain

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To succeed in today’s Amazonian environment, we must keep strange bedfellows.  We just love the Amazon example of innovation – partnering with the U.S. Postal service – known as one of the least-innovative organizations out there.  But it works! Who ever thought you’d see a U.S. postal service mail truck delivering on Sunday for Amazon?   At the Southern California E-Commerce and Logistics Summit, there were several intriguing collaborations:  Union Pacific and BNSF Railway – Although there was a healthy competition over resources (not surprisingly since both are experiencing a skills gap), there was also much collaboration over issues.  The…
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The Skills Gap Emerges as #1 at Prominent Supply Chain Conference

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At the Southern California Supply Chain and Logistics Summit conference, there were several keynote speakers from industry icons such as Amazon, UPS, Union Pacific and more.  One might expect quite a lot of interesting insights into the latest supply chain trends yet the most common theme among the presentations tied back to the skills gap. It boils down to having the “right people” for success – both in terms of employees and supply chain partners.           Several of the themes emerged the supply chain summit:  Automation: Friend or Foe? With the advances of automation in the…
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