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Recent Posts by Diane Mitchell:

Manufacturers Looking For Total Value From National 3PLs Are Missing the Strategic Value Needed to Drive Stronger Growth

Some customers hesitate to work with a regional partner for fear of “putting all of their eggs in one basket.” However, doing business with a nationwide behemoth can trap them in a swamp of bureaucracy. While I worked at nationwide 3PLs like Schneider, I used name recognition to open doors and find opportunities with manufacturers without realizing that our customers were not seeing the true strategic value. Nationwide 3PLs claim to leverage stronger networks to provide cost savings, but in reality, lack the dexterity to be able to flex to meet customer requirements. This leads to customer frustration, poor service, and ultimately greater cost on the back-end.

Topics: warehouse DC

Poor Final Mile Customer Experiences Lead Many Midwest Manufacturers to Bring Products Closer to Plants

As I mentioned in my Journal of Commerce article, “Reducing the Transport Risk in US Manufacturing Supply Chains”, many midwest manufacturers are looking for alternative import approaches to bring raw materials closer to their plants. They want to protect their operations, the supply chain and their customers as they are frustrated with final mile delays, breaks in production, inconsistent product flows to customers when using East Coast ports to manage freight moving into the U.S. Increased costs compound the issue and are felt by manufacturers and end customers.

Topics: warehouse Port

From Cost to Growth Center

Barriers to Growth 

Manufacturers Have Little Control Over Inventory Turns & their 3PLs Are Focused Elsewhere

Studies show that the typical cost of carrying inventory is 10.6% of the inventory value. The highest performing manufacturers with the most profitability growth potential spend 7.4% while the lowest performers spend double on inventory (up to 14%!) Because there is a 77% correlation between profitability and inventory turns, it’s important for manufacturers to keep inventory levels as low as possible and to sell inventory as quickly as possible.

Topics: logistics third party logistics WHAT IF logistics warehouse

Traditional TMS Does Not Deliver Desired LTL Cost Savings, Visibility & Predictability to Manufacturers

The Distribution Director for one of our packaging clients in Wisconsin was challenged with limited transportation data visibility and increasing freight costs. As transportation cost was rising more than the average double-digit gains the industry experienced, both finance and leadership began to look for a stable budget solution to offset costs and grow profit margins.

Topics: TMS

Manufactures Are Under-Served with Traditional TMS Platforms

When I was the VP of Transportation Management Solutions, for a large trucking company I competed against providers offering JDA and other platforms. I sold Oracle and MercuryGate solutions to mid-market manufacturers and distributors. While I was a major proponent for these platforms, I learned that TMS platforms have not evolved to support LTL and parcel needs.

Topics: WHAT IF logistics 3PL TMS

Warehouses & DCs Will Cost Manufacturers Up to 3% Profit Margin Loss with an Inability to Give Walmart Product On-time, In Full

On-time, in-full scores for Wal-Mart’s top 75 suppliers -- including  Unilever -- had been as low as 10 percent. Not one had reached the 95 percent long-term target, hurting the retailer's ability to improve product availability to compete with Amazon, which provides consumers with the products they want, when they want it at the price they want it. The retailer is losing an estimated $1B due to product unavailability as products are not being shipped on time, in full or products are arriving too early cluttering back rooms slowing time-to-shelf.

Topics: 3PL warehouse DC

Emerging SCM Platforms and Technologies Fall Short in Meeting the Needs of Mid-Market Supply Chains

Frustrated with the lack of automation, streamlining and “service” that 3PL providers are delivering, mid-market supply chains who are tired of being under-served have been moving to rising SaaS, cloud and other platforms that promise to make their supply chains efficient. There are also mid-market supply chains that know they need a TMS but because of the lower cost of entry, they’re going with these solutions versus the outsourced solution.  

How Mid-Market Supply Chains Are Under Served

On average, mid-market supply chains ($50M to $150M) replace supply chain providers every 2 to 3 years as they are not achieving continuous ROI improvement and they are not getting the attention they deserve. They’re too big for the small supply chain operators who do not have the technology and processes in place to manage $50M to $150M in supply chain spend. And, they are not large enough to garner the strategic attention from the big industry players who are choosing to focus their improvement energy on the Apple’s and Nike’s that are providing higher supply chain revenues. 

Topics: Transportation WHAT IF logistics 3PL Port