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    Examine the Relations of the Current Suppliers by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model and Appointing a Task Force to accomplish these goals.

    The key to agile manufacturing can sometimes be the partnerships that the organizations have. This is the reason why it is important to observe the partnerships that exist and to examine the possible options that you could hold in those relations. You should do this before the new approach is implemented. This is important for two reasons:

    • It will ensure that the stable partnerships will be strengthened in order to enhance agile manufacturing.
    • It enables the partnerships that don’t work for your benefit to be located so that those ties may be cut off. This will benefit the organization by eliminating unnecessary costs.

    It is important to evaluate the partnerships with your existing supplier in order to categorize your relationships into the two groups shown above. Agile manufacturing can be benefited by the relationships you can take advantage of. When you eliminate the ones that do not strengthen the capabilities of your organization, money but more importantly time will be regained. Be mindful of the partnerships with your suppliers you keep; especially those associated with your speed and responsiveness.

    In the following blog post, we’ll review the importance of Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    How Do They Do That? Airline Inventory Management 

    Aviation inventory management is one of the most major aspects of a supply chain. Maintaining the levels of in-flight magazines, linen items, and other comfort items for a passenger are rarely considered by customers, but if none of these things were present the problem would be apparent. More often there are many little things that are managed daily that the unconscious minds of passengers would not even notice, but if all of these things were absent then the complaints would arise and the problem would be self-evident. This important yet time-consuming aspect of aviation logistics is one that such supply chain companies as the Aeroparts Company specialize in.

    Aeroparts has a specialized IT department that is capable of writing bespoke software solutions and the detailed reports that can and will provide all their customers with a fast and accurate picture of the stock in their business. This is essential knowledge in today’s fast moving retail sector. To be able to undertake a perpetual inventory count has never been easier with such technology as this being offered to us today.

    Aeroparts offers supply chain solutions to the commercial sector and the military aviation sector. Aeroparts services include but are not limited to the area of demand forecasting, inventory planning, procurement, quality assurance, warehouse management, order fulfillment, transportation management, reverse logistics, rotatables and repair cycle management. Sales and customer support, technical support, call center operations and management, and most importantly,  inventory control.

    When a company outsources its supply chain to another company, it frees up and allows that company to be able to focus on other things. Not to say that the supply chain is not important because it can often be the single reason a customer returns or not. But if a company uses a company such as Aeroparts to handle their supply chain needs such as inventory management, then the company can concentrate on their core competencies and more pressing other business issues.

    Augmented Reality Is The New Reality In Supply Chain Management

    What is Augmented Reality you ask? Augmented Reality is the live view of an actual environment that has augmented or supplemented elements via computer-generated input like, sound, video, graphics or even GPS coordinates. For example, for you football fans out there, the yellow first down line you see on tv is Augmented Reality. You are watching a live game, but you also see all of the graphics on your screen which are computer-generated elements.

    In 2017 Augmented Reality is going to have an estimated value of over $6 billion. Who knew it was such a huge business? Augmented Reality is used quite a bit in Supply Chain applications and is truly only limited by the imagination. Just last year, Augmented Reality seemed like science fiction to most and now it is poised to be one of the most successful additions to businesses ever.

    Businesses are able to implement this technology quicker than usual due to the fact that today’s new hires have been using technology most of their lives. With video games, phones, tablets and even the new virtual reality items out there. Remember Pokemon Go? That game is the perfect example of Augmented Reality and almost everyone was playing that game.

    This technology is going to help all businesses reduce training time throughout their supply chain, and is growing by 100% yearly. That does not mean it is without its problems. One of it’s biggest issues is low battery life. They are working on this problem as you read this.

    Would Augmented Reality work in your business? Would you consider using it?

    We would love to hear what you think of this technology.

    Meet The ‘Not So Baby’ Beluga

    The Beluga aircraft actually looks like a Beluga Whale due to the fact that it was modified to carry large cargo. It is similar to the Antonov An124-100.

    “The Beluga is capable of carrying loads of up to 47 tons over a distance of 900 nautical miles. Lighter loads can be transported over much longer distances.” This shows that the Airbus Transport International 300-600ST Beluga class aircraft are capable of transporting large cargo amounts for long distances.

    The Airbus Transport International corporation specializes in carrying large and heavy payloads for its subsidiary Airbus, for government entities and the commercial aircraft industry. The Beluga takes on contracts to transport large fuselage, launch vehicles, satellites, and large aircraft parts.”The Beluga has regularly transported the fuselage sections of an A340, the wings of the Airbus A340, or two winglets of the A320.”

    This aircraft, at one point, carried a record-breaking chemical tank and its supports weighing in at 45 tons. It has also carried an aluminum fuel tank that was 9m in length for the NASA X-33 Venture Star Spacecraft.

    5 new Beluga aircraft, which will be bigger than the existing aircraft, are in production and should be ready by 2020. This aircraft totally deserves all of the attention it receives.

    We would love to read your comments about this article and the Beluga aircraft.

    Is It Safe To Ship Magnets By Air?

    Magnets can be an extremely dangerous cargo item to ship internationally or domestically. Domestically, magnets are being deregulated. But with that said the packaging requirements for shipping these extremely sensitive and dangerous cargo items are strictly mandated and strictly enforced by the government. Contracted engineering company’s that will be dealing with the outsourcing of the magnetism of the items being shipped must follow the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods regulations in order to comply with the FAA and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements for shipping magnets by air internationally or domestically.

    When shipping anything that holds a magnet charge by air, one must first understand the classification and definition of “Magnetized Material” as given by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This is important because this could determine a price difference and a capability change. For instance if the cargo item has a magnetic field strength of 0.159 A/m (0.002 Gauss) or more at a distance of 2.1 m (7 ft) from any point on the surface of the assembled package, then the item is considered magnetic material to the point that it must be packaged separately and differently. Secondly, the packing instructions are important when dealing with magnetic material. Magnetized material is to only be accepted under the conditions that the cargo items, such as magnetrons and meters, have been packed so that the polarities of the individual units oppose one another and do not affect one another. Permanent magnets must have keeper bars installed to be properly accepted by any outside organization. And lastly, for proper acceptance, the packaging must denote that the magnetism does not exceed 0.418 A/m (0.00525 gauss) or must produce a magnetic compass deflection of 2 degrees or less.

    The Federal Aviation Regulations require that all personnel packaging any magnetically dangerous cargo good, item or article, especially magnets, are to be trained to package the items in a proper manner. Training records must be maintained to document that initial, follow-on and refresher training is being accomplished in the proper intervals as applicable. Objective evidence will be required to ascertain the effectiveness of training and the training program alike to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    To ensure the prompt and continuous following of their rules the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposes strict penalties for violations. With all the rules and regulations dealing with the process of moving magnetic cargo internationally or domestically, magnetic fields in air-space are minute to minimal keeping it extremely safe to fly.

    This One Thing Puts FedEx At The Top Of Its Game

    FedEx was the first overnight express delivery company in the world and is the world’s largest airline in terms of freight tons flown daily.  FedEx is also considered the world’s largest airline in terms of the number of aircraft.  With over 375 destinations worldwide and one in nearly every country, it is extremely hard to find someone that is not familiar with the name FedEx.

    One of the reasons FedEx has become so dominating in cargo transportation is because of the reoccurring contracts that are signed with the United States Postal Services allowing FedEx to transport their Express Mail and Priority Mail.  These past two contracts allow FedEx Express to place drop boxes at every United States Postal Services post office.  Needless to say, the United States Postal Service is the largest customer of FedEx.

    The major strength of any company, not just FedEx, is its ability to work around the clock, utilizing all 24 hours in the day. FedEx has demonstrated their ability to utilize time more efficiently by capitalizing on red-eye flights.  When cargo items being transported, such as freight, are on the ground in the day, those same items can be transported at night by FedEx for the “long haul” and the last stretch of taking the cargo item to the final destination can be completed by the ground forces in the day.  Because of this maximization of all 24 hours FedEx has set the bar for all to follow in terms of productivity.

    Six Sigma thinking can give a business fact-based situation to transform what are considered abstract scenarios and turn them into tangible solutions.
    What is Six Sigma?

    Sigma is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The idea behind Six Sigma is that if one can measure how many “defects” it has in a process, it can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to “zero defects” as possible.

    To achieve the quality of Six Sigma, a process must produce no more than 3.4 defects per million parts. Three Sigma is 93.3% accuracy. Four Sigma is 99%. Five Sigma is 99.7% and Six Sigma is 99.99%. To scale, three Sigma is 1.5 misspelled words per page in a book. Six Sigma is one misspelled word in all the books in a small library.

    Best said by  Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi: “Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase it, we can catch excellence!”
    What are the Process Improvement Methodologies?

    Process improvement methodology has five steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC). These steps are designed to guide teams through a rigorous process of clearly understanding the situation and capturing information, enabling teams to look past the symptoms of a problem and identify the true root causes. After verification of the suspected root causes, the Improve and Control phases of the DMAIC process are used to develop solutions, organize and execute implementation plans, and monitor the results closely to ensure the realization of expected benefits.

    And FedEx’s implementation of the Lean Six Sigma has increased its productivity and brought them a bit closer to perfection.  By using Lean Six Sigma, FedEx has better measured their defects, or practices that are counter-productive, in their process and systematically found a better way to eliminate them and get as close to their goal of zero defects as possible.

    It is becoming increasingly important that both quality and quality assurance are considered in any business that hopes to survive, let alone thrive.  The FedEx organization has employed the Lean Six Sigma methods and techniques for better controlling of both their quality and quality assurance processes within the corporation.

    FedEx has no competition with any other freight or cargo carriers due to one major advantage, its massive size. As of June 2016, the FedEx Express fleet consisted of 659 operational aircraft and another 89 on order, making it the largest civil fleet in the world!  In addition, the average lifecycle of any given aircraft is roughly 22.2 years, meaning that their fleet 600+ is steadily growing because of the low rate of having to replace individual aircraft often.

    How Do The Holidays Affect US Supply Chains?

    image

    In the wake of giant shipping company Hanjin’s bankruptcy is a mess that retailers across the country will be sorting out for weeks, if not months.

    The South Korean company’s bankruptcy is forcing big chains to spend buckets of cash to get their goods from ports to warehouses in time for the busy holiday shopping season. Also, some small businesses could have less to offer this year because of this.

    “Samsung had the most cargo on Hanjin ships by a long shot, with more than 8,000 container units of goods stacked on the vessels from August through the end of September, according to Datamyne, which tracks trade data. Other big names included Hanes, J.C. Penney, Microsoft, and Kmart”. Ashley Furniture also had about 900 containers on ships, plus had to find trucking companies to deliver all of it at additional costs.

    Parents and retailers alike are hoping that the aging US infrastructure along with shipping problems, won’t leave them trying to explain to children why the “Must Have” toy this season just isn’t going to be under the tree.

    As we all know, the holiday season is a make-or-break time for retailers along with suppliers. Getting all products to the right place at the right time is at it’s most critical during this time of year. Retail supply chains and distributors need to have plans in place to deliver all of the goods that are expected to be sitting on store shelves and warehouses. Consumers are ready and willing to part with their hard-earned cash in order to buy the gifts that everyone on their Christmas lists wants.

    “During last year’s peak season, for example, consumer electronics giant Hewlett-Packard shipped 10.5 million products to U.S. retailers in the first 25 days of November alone”. According to HP spokesperson Laura Wandke.

    “The holiday season puts great pressure on all U.S. supply chains because everyone peaks at the same time,” explains Larry Ravinett, senior vice president of logistics and supply chain solutions for National Retail Systems (NRS), a Secaucus, N.J.-based 3PL specializing in retail logistics.

    Forty percent to 50 percent of revenue for the year is earned in this very short time period,“ he adds.

    The last few years have seen record port congestion and a 10 day West Coast port shutdown that had over 300,000 containers waiting for deliveries across the country. Since then, the industry has tried to be better prepared to handle any challenges that arise, including seasonal issues.

    According to Brooks Bentz, a partner with consulting firm Accenture,Peak season shippers should position themselves to succeed in the following areas:

    Transportation network management. Develop a comprehensive, real-time view of the supply chain and of available transportation alternatives, including service options, cost/service trade-offs, and preferred providers.

    Strategic transportation services sourcing. Use a holistic, multimodal approach to procuring transportation services, and leverage overlapping capacity and demand networks to optimize costs and service.

    Demand planning and forecasting. Feed updated demand data to all trading partners, with enough granularity—such as specific information by day, week, or month—to enable proactive planning to meet capacity and service requirements.

    Supply chain visibility and event management. Provide real-time visibility at the SKU level so inventory can be tracked, diverted, or reallocated as needed. By doing this, shippers can detect potential disruptions and identify and address bottlenecks.

    Here is to hoping that all goes well this holiday season and for every child that has asked for that special toy to find it under their tree this Christmas morning.

    Examine the Relations of the Current Suppliers by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model and Appointing a Task Force to accomplish these goals.

    The key to agile manufacturing can sometimes be the partnerships that the organizations have. This is the reason why it is important to observe the partnerships that exist and to examine the possible options that you could hold in those relations. You should do this before the new approach is implemented. This is important for two reasons:

    • It will ensure that the stable partnerships will be strengthened in order to enhance agile manufacturing.
    • It enables the partnerships that don’t work for your benefit to be located so that those ties may be cut off. This will benefit the organization by eliminating unnecessary costs.

    It is important to evaluate the partnerships with your existing supplier in order to categorize your relationships into the two groups shown above. Agile manufacturing can be benefited by the relationships you can take advantage of. When you eliminate the ones that do not strengthen the capabilities of your organization, money but more importantly time will be regained. Be mindful of the partnerships with your suppliers you keep; especially those associated with your speed and responsiveness.

    In the following blog post, we’ll review the importance of Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    How Do They Do That? Airline Inventory Management 

    Aviation inventory management is one of the most major aspects of a supply chain. Maintaining the levels of in-flight magazines, linen items, and other comfort items for a passenger are rarely considered by customers, but if none of these things were present the problem would be apparent. More often there are many little things that are managed daily that the unconscious minds of passengers would not even notice, but if all of these things were absent then the complaints would arise and the problem would be self-evident. This important yet time-consuming aspect of aviation logistics is one that such supply chain companies as the Aeroparts Company specialize in.

    Aeroparts has a specialized IT department that is capable of writing bespoke software solutions and the detailed reports that can and will provide all their customers with a fast and accurate picture of the stock in their business. This is essential knowledge in today’s fast moving retail sector. To be able to undertake a perpetual inventory count has never been easier with such technology as this being offered to us today.

    Aeroparts offers supply chain solutions to the commercial sector and the military aviation sector. Aeroparts services include but are not limited to the area of demand forecasting, inventory planning, procurement, quality assurance, warehouse management, order fulfillment, transportation management, reverse logistics, rotatables and repair cycle management. Sales and customer support, technical support, call center operations and management, and most importantly,  inventory control.

    When a company outsources its supply chain to another company, it frees up and allows that company to be able to focus on other things. Not to say that the supply chain is not important because it can often be the single reason a customer returns or not. But if a company uses a company such as Aeroparts to handle their supply chain needs such as inventory management, then the company can concentrate on their core competencies and more pressing other business issues.

    Augmented Reality Is The New Reality In Supply Chain Management

    What is Augmented Reality you ask? Augmented Reality is the live view of an actual environment that has augmented or supplemented elements via computer-generated input like, sound, video, graphics or even GPS coordinates. For example, for you football fans out there, the yellow first down line you see on tv is Augmented Reality. You are watching a live game, but you also see all of the graphics on your screen which are computer-generated elements.

    In 2017 Augmented Reality is going to have an estimated value of over $6 billion. Who knew it was such a huge business? Augmented Reality is used quite a bit in Supply Chain applications and is truly only limited by the imagination. Just last year, Augmented Reality seemed like science fiction to most and now it is poised to be one of the most successful additions to businesses ever.

    Businesses are able to implement this technology quicker than usual due to the fact that today’s new hires have been using technology most of their lives. With video games, phones, tablets and even the new virtual reality items out there. Remember Pokemon Go? That game is the perfect example of Augmented Reality and almost everyone was playing that game.

    This technology is going to help all businesses reduce training time throughout their supply chain, and is growing by 100% yearly. That does not mean it is without its problems. One of it’s biggest issues is low battery life. They are working on this problem as you read this.

    Would Augmented Reality work in your business? Would you consider using it?

    We would love to hear what you think of this technology.

    Meet The ‘Not So Baby’ Beluga

    The Beluga aircraft actually looks like a Beluga Whale due to the fact that it was modified to carry large cargo. It is similar to the Antonov An124-100.

    “The Beluga is capable of carrying loads of up to 47 tons over a distance of 900 nautical miles. Lighter loads can be transported over much longer distances.” This shows that the Airbus Transport International 300-600ST Beluga class aircraft are capable of transporting large cargo amounts for long distances.

    The Airbus Transport International corporation specializes in carrying large and heavy payloads for its subsidiary Airbus, for government entities and the commercial aircraft industry. The Beluga takes on contracts to transport large fuselage, launch vehicles, satellites, and large aircraft parts.”The Beluga has regularly transported the fuselage sections of an A340, the wings of the Airbus A340, or two winglets of the A320.”

    This aircraft, at one point, carried a record-breaking chemical tank and its supports weighing in at 45 tons. It has also carried an aluminum fuel tank that was 9m in length for the NASA X-33 Venture Star Spacecraft.

    5 new Beluga aircraft, which will be bigger than the existing aircraft, are in production and should be ready by 2020. This aircraft totally deserves all of the attention it receives.

    We would love to read your comments about this article and the Beluga aircraft.

    Is It Safe To Ship Magnets By Air?

    Magnets can be an extremely dangerous cargo item to ship internationally or domestically. Domestically, magnets are being deregulated. But with that said the packaging requirements for shipping these extremely sensitive and dangerous cargo items are strictly mandated and strictly enforced by the government. Contracted engineering company’s that will be dealing with the outsourcing of the magnetism of the items being shipped must follow the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods regulations in order to comply with the FAA and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements for shipping magnets by air internationally or domestically.

    When shipping anything that holds a magnet charge by air, one must first understand the classification and definition of “Magnetized Material” as given by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This is important because this could determine a price difference and a capability change. For instance if the cargo item has a magnetic field strength of 0.159 A/m (0.002 Gauss) or more at a distance of 2.1 m (7 ft) from any point on the surface of the assembled package, then the item is considered magnetic material to the point that it must be packaged separately and differently. Secondly, the packing instructions are important when dealing with magnetic material. Magnetized material is to only be accepted under the conditions that the cargo items, such as magnetrons and meters, have been packed so that the polarities of the individual units oppose one another and do not affect one another. Permanent magnets must have keeper bars installed to be properly accepted by any outside organization. And lastly, for proper acceptance, the packaging must denote that the magnetism does not exceed 0.418 A/m (0.00525 gauss) or must produce a magnetic compass deflection of 2 degrees or less.

    The Federal Aviation Regulations require that all personnel packaging any magnetically dangerous cargo good, item or article, especially magnets, are to be trained to package the items in a proper manner. Training records must be maintained to document that initial, follow-on and refresher training is being accomplished in the proper intervals as applicable. Objective evidence will be required to ascertain the effectiveness of training and the training program alike to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    To ensure the prompt and continuous following of their rules the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposes strict penalties for violations. With all the rules and regulations dealing with the process of moving magnetic cargo internationally or domestically, magnetic fields in air-space are minute to minimal keeping it extremely safe to fly.

    This One Thing Puts FedEx At The Top Of Its Game

    FedEx was the first overnight express delivery company in the world and is the world’s largest airline in terms of freight tons flown daily.  FedEx is also considered the world’s largest airline in terms of the number of aircraft.  With over 375 destinations worldwide and one in nearly every country, it is extremely hard to find someone that is not familiar with the name FedEx.

    One of the reasons FedEx has become so dominating in cargo transportation is because of the reoccurring contracts that are signed with the United States Postal Services allowing FedEx to transport their Express Mail and Priority Mail.  These past two contracts allow FedEx Express to place drop boxes at every United States Postal Services post office.  Needless to say, the United States Postal Service is the largest customer of FedEx.

    The major strength of any company, not just FedEx, is its ability to work around the clock, utilizing all 24 hours in the day. FedEx has demonstrated their ability to utilize time more efficiently by capitalizing on red-eye flights.  When cargo items being transported, such as freight, are on the ground in the day, those same items can be transported at night by FedEx for the “long haul” and the last stretch of taking the cargo item to the final destination can be completed by the ground forces in the day.  Because of this maximization of all 24 hours FedEx has set the bar for all to follow in terms of productivity.

    Six Sigma thinking can give a business fact-based situation to transform what are considered abstract scenarios and turn them into tangible solutions.
    What is Six Sigma?

    Sigma is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The idea behind Six Sigma is that if one can measure how many “defects” it has in a process, it can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to “zero defects” as possible.

    To achieve the quality of Six Sigma, a process must produce no more than 3.4 defects per million parts. Three Sigma is 93.3% accuracy. Four Sigma is 99%. Five Sigma is 99.7% and Six Sigma is 99.99%. To scale, three Sigma is 1.5 misspelled words per page in a book. Six Sigma is one misspelled word in all the books in a small library.

    Best said by  Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi: “Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase it, we can catch excellence!”
    What are the Process Improvement Methodologies?

    Process improvement methodology has five steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC). These steps are designed to guide teams through a rigorous process of clearly understanding the situation and capturing information, enabling teams to look past the symptoms of a problem and identify the true root causes. After verification of the suspected root causes, the Improve and Control phases of the DMAIC process are used to develop solutions, organize and execute implementation plans, and monitor the results closely to ensure the realization of expected benefits.

    And FedEx’s implementation of the Lean Six Sigma has increased its productivity and brought them a bit closer to perfection.  By using Lean Six Sigma, FedEx has better measured their defects, or practices that are counter-productive, in their process and systematically found a better way to eliminate them and get as close to their goal of zero defects as possible.

    It is becoming increasingly important that both quality and quality assurance are considered in any business that hopes to survive, let alone thrive.  The FedEx organization has employed the Lean Six Sigma methods and techniques for better controlling of both their quality and quality assurance processes within the corporation.

    FedEx has no competition with any other freight or cargo carriers due to one major advantage, its massive size. As of June 2016, the FedEx Express fleet consisted of 659 operational aircraft and another 89 on order, making it the largest civil fleet in the world!  In addition, the average lifecycle of any given aircraft is roughly 22.2 years, meaning that their fleet 600+ is steadily growing because of the low rate of having to replace individual aircraft often.

    How Do The Holidays Affect US Supply Chains?

    image

    In the wake of giant shipping company Hanjin’s bankruptcy is a mess that retailers across the country will be sorting out for weeks, if not months.

    The South Korean company’s bankruptcy is forcing big chains to spend buckets of cash to get their goods from ports to warehouses in time for the busy holiday shopping season. Also, some small businesses could have less to offer this year because of this.

    “Samsung had the most cargo on Hanjin ships by a long shot, with more than 8,000 container units of goods stacked on the vessels from August through the end of September, according to Datamyne, which tracks trade data. Other big names included Hanes, J.C. Penney, Microsoft, and Kmart”. Ashley Furniture also had about 900 containers on ships, plus had to find trucking companies to deliver all of it at additional costs.

    Parents and retailers alike are hoping that the aging US infrastructure along with shipping problems, won’t leave them trying to explain to children why the “Must Have” toy this season just isn’t going to be under the tree.

    As we all know, the holiday season is a make-or-break time for retailers along with suppliers. Getting all products to the right place at the right time is at it’s most critical during this time of year. Retail supply chains and distributors need to have plans in place to deliver all of the goods that are expected to be sitting on store shelves and warehouses. Consumers are ready and willing to part with their hard-earned cash in order to buy the gifts that everyone on their Christmas lists wants.

    “During last year’s peak season, for example, consumer electronics giant Hewlett-Packard shipped 10.5 million products to U.S. retailers in the first 25 days of November alone”. According to HP spokesperson Laura Wandke.

    “The holiday season puts great pressure on all U.S. supply chains because everyone peaks at the same time,” explains Larry Ravinett, senior vice president of logistics and supply chain solutions for National Retail Systems (NRS), a Secaucus, N.J.-based 3PL specializing in retail logistics.

    Forty percent to 50 percent of revenue for the year is earned in this very short time period,“ he adds.

    The last few years have seen record port congestion and a 10 day West Coast port shutdown that had over 300,000 containers waiting for deliveries across the country. Since then, the industry has tried to be better prepared to handle any challenges that arise, including seasonal issues.

    According to Brooks Bentz, a partner with consulting firm Accenture,Peak season shippers should position themselves to succeed in the following areas:

    Transportation network management. Develop a comprehensive, real-time view of the supply chain and of available transportation alternatives, including service options, cost/service trade-offs, and preferred providers.

    Strategic transportation services sourcing. Use a holistic, multimodal approach to procuring transportation services, and leverage overlapping capacity and demand networks to optimize costs and service.

    Demand planning and forecasting. Feed updated demand data to all trading partners, with enough granularity—such as specific information by day, week, or month—to enable proactive planning to meet capacity and service requirements.

    Supply chain visibility and event management. Provide real-time visibility at the SKU level so inventory can be tracked, diverted, or reallocated as needed. By doing this, shippers can detect potential disruptions and identify and address bottlenecks.

    Here is to hoping that all goes well this holiday season and for every child that has asked for that special toy to find it under their tree this Christmas morning.