February 4, 2016
Lean Six Sigma (LSS) thrives on the notion that there is always room for improvement, and it looks to eliminate defects that can hinder the flow of a process from moving toward its performance end goal. On the day-to-day ground level, as challenges arise, solutions are sought not by looking in the rearview mirror asking what could have been done. The question to pose instead is “How can we improve?” to prevent future challenges. This is accomplished with help of the people who touch every part of daily operations through a process called managing for daily improvement.

January 25, 2016
Mike Dieter, Chief Technology Officer, Transplace

Companies continue to be faced with the challenge of reducing operation costs within a rapidly changing supply chain. In order to develop cost saving strategies, you must know where you stand today and have the technologies in place to quickly and effectively make those changes. This requires that shippers have complete visibility of their entire supply chain operations by utilizing transportation management systems and business intelligence capabilities to drive financial and operational improvement. The sheer amount of data surrounding the supply chain make business intelligence (BI) tools a necessity for interpreting the endless array of information which can be complex and help establish a baseline and improvement targets. Another tool that assists in breaking down data into actionable information is executive dashboard reporting which helps key management to get an overview of operations and drill down to quickly see and react to changes or concerns in a timely, proactive manner.
- See more at: http://www.supplychainopz.com/2016/01/supply-chain-technology.html#sthash.NpIxZqyF.dpuf

January 14, 2016
These days, sourcing has become a common discipline in supply chain and transportation management. There is an organizational expectation that transportation modes will be sourced and cost will be taken out of the network with some regularity. However, meeting these expectations while maintaining service year-over-year has become more challenging. To get more out of the market, we need to change the approach, as it is no longer enough to simply conduct a “bid” for transportation capacity. Sourcing professionals have to continuously push the limits of data, technology and the decision-making process to find and deliver value.

November 27, 2015
A new rule to protect drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations was published Nov. 30 in the Federal Register.

Known as the “driver coercion” rule, it provides FMCSA with the authority to go after not only carriers, but also shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.

“This Rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The final rule, to take effect 60 days following its publication, addresses three key areas: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA, steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations, and penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.

“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”

In formulating this Rule, the agency heard from commercial drivers who reported being pressured to violate safety regulations with “implicit or explicit threats” of job termination, denial of subsequent trips or loads, reduced pay, forfeiture of favorable work hours or transportation jobs, or other direct retaliations, the agency says.

Some of the FMCSA regulations drivers reported being coerced into violating included: hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving, commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements, drug and alcohol testing, the transportation of hazardous materials, and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

And while Congress in MAP-21 called on FMCSA to address the matter, particularly with regard to time lost at the shipping dock, many in the industry have felt driver coercion is a complex problem best solved in the marketplace.

“With the looming shortage of drivers, the market economy will dictate that those shippers that tie up drivers and tractors aren’t going to be well served by the trucking industry,” Transplace CEO Tom Sanderson told Fleet Owner recently. “Trucking companies today, more so than ever, will not put up with any kind of abuse or coercion by a shipper or broker of their drivers.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA), however, in its formal comments on the rule applauded FMCSA “for taking the important step of recognizing the direct impact of economic conditions in the trucking industry” on highway safety.

“The marketplace demands for just-in-time shipping and greater transportation efficiency have meant ever increasing pressure to perform on one party, the driver,” OOIDA said. “This is the first time this agency has attempted to address the causes of violations of the motor carrier safety rules, rather than merely interdicting violations after they have occurred. This is a completely untapped area for substantial improvements in motor carrier safety.”

More information on what constitutes coercion and how to submit a complaint is available on the FMCSA website.

November 11, 2015
According to Transplace: “Social media has become an integral part of our marketing and communications strategy and key to expanding our brand awareness and thought leadership in the logistics and transportation space.”

Central to that strategy is creating original content for the company’s Logistically Speaking blog and sharing via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Transplace notes that:“By distributing this content across our social channels to foster sharing, conversation and engagement, we’ve continued to gain influence with our targeted audiences.”

The company’s LinkedIn page, Facebook page, and blog were named as “favorites” in an industry survey conducted by Fronetics. And Transplace’s reputation as an industry leader is increasing outside the social space. Recently, the company received nine awards from logistics and technology publications, including third in the “Top 10 3PL” by Inbound Logistics and “Logistics Company of the Year” by Estrategia Aduanera, Mexico’s leading international trade magazine.

What’s more, as Transplace’s reputation continues to grow, so does the business. The company recently acquired M33 Integrated, a 3PL with a particular strength in the flexible packaging sector, making its sixth acquisition in the last five years. Impressive.

Social media has been critical to the growth of Coyote Logistics and Transplace. Does your small business have a social strategy in place?