No man is an island, wrote the poet John Donne—and according to a new book by Yossi Sheffi, the same could be said of logistics operations. Sheffi, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics, believes companies gain a competitive advantage by locating their transportation and distribution operations within "logistics clusters"—geographically concentrated sets of logistics-related business activities—instead of in an isolated area.
Imagine cars driving themselves seamlessly and safely down the highway. Gone are traffic jams, crazy drivers, and commute-induced headaches. A vision of the future? Actually, no, this was the vision of the 1939 World's Fair and an idea that has come, come again, and now seems closer than ever before. A combination of technological availability, continuing safety concerns, and escalating congestion and energy problems fuel transportation researcher and policy-maker dreams of robotic vehicles.
If you don't have one already, there is a fair chance that an analytics group (AG) will become part of your supply chain organization at some point soon. This type of resource is attracting more interest partly in response to the increasing complexity and strategic importance of supply chains. Other drivers are the growing volume of market data that companies need to interpret and the availability of more sophisticated analytical tools.
New lab conducts ground-breaking research on megacity supply chains
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 19, 2012 – The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) will launch the Megacity Logistics Lab at its Crossroads 2012 conference, June 28, 2012, on the MIT campus, Cambridge, MA, USA. How to design, build, and manage the supply chains that are critical to the sustainable growth and operation of these giant urban centers is the main focus of the new research initiative.
Making sustainability central to logistics decisions is smart business but requires closer collaboration and creative thinking by shippers, suppliers, packagers and retailers. That's the conclusion of participants in a GreenBiz.com webcast this week. "Start by thinking about savings opportunities," said Stephen Silva, senior vice president of global logistics for toymaker Hasbro, during the webcast, "Smart Moves: Supply-Chain Decisions that Save Fuel, Cut Costs and Reduce Emissions." "They will go hand-in-hand with the environment and emissions.
Larry Lapide, research affiliate at MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics, deploys a maritime metaphor to dramatize the pressing need for companies to implement an effective sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.
With increasing focus on supply chain performance, the recruiting, hiring, and retention of logistics and SC talent is becoming a key differentiator for companies competing in global markets. But as companies have expanded internationally, the demand for supply chain and logistics talent has also become international in scope. As a result, multinational companies with sources and markets on opposite ends of the earth face a significant staffing challenge: Finding the talent to support current and future growth across countries.
In 1930, former Massachusetts state senator George Parker tried to ban car radios because they were too distracting. He invoked the ire of both the Radio Manufacturers Association and motorists, who loved driving to music, even though early radios were expensive and sometimes burst into flames. After consumers protested at his office, Parker dropped the effort and decided to focus on drunken driving instead.
The driver’s seat is a fascinating setting in which to study HUMAN DECISION MAKING. Where else do you have people practicing a highly learned activity with a major safety implication involved with failure? Hands-free technology can allow a driver to keep both hands on the wheel. However, it may not offer all the SAFETY ADVANTAGES that many believe.
The highest logistics and supply chain salaries continue to be earned by those who concentrate on adapting new technological advances and maintain a life-long commitment to learning.
According to the findings of Logistics Management’s (LM) 28th Annual Salary Survey conducted by Peerless Media Research Group (PRG), average earnings and compensation have actually leveled off over the past year. However, our research team also found that an aging workforce is giving way to younger, more highly trained professionals who also happen to be savvy technologists.
The MIT SMR – BCG 2012 Sustainability and Innovation research report “Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point” prompted an invitation to participate in a White House Sustainable Supply Chain Dialogue on March 30 in Washington, DC.
What are the major developments that will impact supply chain professionals in the months and years ahead? What challenges will they face in helping their companies compete in an increasingly global environment?
Supply chain management is not the only function that is grappling with the problems of matching supply and demand in a highly uncertain business environment. HR faces similar challenges. But with HR, the mandate is to deliver people--not products-to the right place, at the right time, at the right quality, and in the right quantity. In fact, the "personnel supply chain" obeys many of the principles that govern its goods-carrying counterpart.
As carmakers and lawmakers draw up plans for combating distracted driving, new research from MIT shows that drivers can lose focus even with their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Furthermore, the level of distraction that drivers encounter can best be measured in shades of gray rather than black and white.
Paul Hunter takes us for a ride into the future. He looks at technology that could save drivers from themselves, but there is a downside.
There is much debate in supply chain management circles about how the profession can meet the demand for talent. The SCM community is putting a lot of effort into finding and developing career minded individuals, but it also has to rely on human resources departments to create effective employment programs. Are these HR practitioners up to the task?
Edgar Blanco, a research director at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, says that although companies may find the collaboration process challenging, it is essential: “If you’re going to focus your strategy on carbon reduction or environmental impact or social impact, you need to engage your suppliers. Without them, you cannot succeed.”
While Mexico and Canada remain our primary international trade opportunity, LM’s analyst panel tell us that bolder players will be exploring more distant markets once the Panama Canal expansion is complete.
New study suggests that electric-powered trucks will save money for businesses.Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office
A company looking to purchase an electric-powered delivery truck today will likely experience some sticker shock: Such a vehicle costs nearly $150,000, compared to about $50,000 for the same kind of truck with a standard internal-combustion engine.
What was intended as a way to reduce traffic congestion on the highways through short-sea shipping along the East Coast more than 50 years ago has ended up playing a key role in making offshore manufacturing in low-cost locations across the globe economically viable. The innovative use of large metal containers to ship goods eventually led to the development of an intermodal transportation system that today is the unsung hero of global trade.
SupplyChainBrain caught up with Dr. Edgar Blanco at the 2011 Annual Conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, in Philadelphia.
Companies commonly use outsourcing as a means to lower costs or cover an area of supply chain expertise they currently lack. These relationships also bring opportunities to collaborate on ways to improve operational efficiency. A type of outsourcing that offers these benefits and takes collaborative relationships to a higher level finds an individual or team of professionals from the vendor embedded in the client company’s organization.
We've been talking all morning about the alleged terror plot which was reportedly being planned by a 26-year-old Ashland, MA man. According to the FBI, Rezwan Ferdaus wanted to take remote control planes, loaded with explosives and fly them into the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol.
Jim Rice, from the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, stopped by Fox 25's Beacon Hill studio to talk about it.
View the interview here.
UPS chairman and CEO Scott Davis explores free trade, the U.S. economy — and the truth behind those whiteboard ads.
While many Americans see today’s increasingly competitive global economy as contributing to the nation’s economic woes, UPS Chairman and CEO Scott Davis argued in a Tuesday talk at MIT that free trade ultimately benefits the U.S. economy and employment.