Friday, January 26, 2007
Overcoming the Barriers to Improved Internal Collaboration
SCDigest Editorial Staff
The News: Research in the Journal of Business Logistics identifies key barriers to better internal collaboration between marketing and logistics functions
The Impact: The prescriptions to improve collaboration are not new, but a fresh reminder of the opportunities to better integrate these functions internally is worth considering.
The Story: Many people may not know or remember, but to a large extent logistics as a discipline grew out of the field of marketing, where “distribution” was considered a sub-discipline.
In the fall 2006 issue of the Journal of Business Logistics (available to members of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals at its web site: www.cscmp.org) Alexander Ellinger and John Hansen, of The University of Alabama, and Scott Keller, from The University of West Florida, published research based on a number of in-depth interviews they did with both logistics and marketing professionals in business-to-business oriented corporations.
To the surprise of no one with experience in either area, to a large extent logisticians and marketers think the other side is less than cooperative and focused correctly. A summary of the perspectives of each side is included by the authors, and published below:
Source: Journal Of Business Logistics, Vol. 27 - No. 2
Again, it will not come as a surprise that the authors found that “Logistics managers in our sample were frustrated by the relative indifference towards the logistics function and lack of attention to detail of their marketing colleagues. Logistician respondents stated that they frequently find themselves having to react to fulfill marketers’ promises to customers that have been made without input from logistics.”
They quote one respondent as saying, “Marketing people, in my opinion, will not come to logistics people. As a logistics person, the burden of proof is on me to go to them.”
On the other hand, as the authors write, “A common perception among the marketing manager respondents was that logistics is often willing to forsake the customer to save on costs.”
One interviewee on the marketing side commented: “You always get the feeling when you talk to [logistics] people that they’re too busy.” Does that ring home at all?
The authors identified a number of barriers to improved collaboration between sales and marketing. These are summarized below:
Source: Journal Of Business Logistics, Vol. 27 - No. 2
The approaches to overcoming these barriers should be fairly obvious. In the end, it’s all about leadership, communication, and listening first, talking second.
Certainly, many consumer goods companies, such as Campbell’s Soup and a number of others, that have very successfully implemented customer logistics teams that integrate sales, marketing and logistics, understand these opportunities very well.
What’s your take on the integration of marketing and logistics? Is it better than in the past? Why or why not? How do you think it the collaboration can best be improved?
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
24/01/2007 - Shipping giant DHL has bagged a lucrative contract with pharma giant Wyeth and become the first logistics provider to be given complete responsibility for a company’s worldwide clinical trial materials distribution.
It is no surprise that Wyeth is the first pharma company to make such a move. The company is a huge proponent of outsourcing in order to stay competitive and its business model is now based around the principle of outsourcing or off-shoring anything that is not a core function.
According to DHL, Wyeth is hoping the new arrangement will increase efficiencies within its clinical trial materials distribution process by “uniting the flow of information and physical goods through automation and improved collaboration.”
It will also enable each step of medical material transfer to be visible and monitored from product development to trial to consumption, providing Wyeth with improved visibility and control of its clinical shipments, said DHL.
Under the deal, the terms and length of which were not disclosed, DHL will oversee and co-ordinate the logistics of Wyeth's clinical material shipments and processes throughout multiple distribution channels across the globe, as well as the warehousing of materials.
Together, Wyeth and DHL will create a closed-loop clinical trial materials supply chain to streamline track and trace capabilities, financial and performance indicators and operational process flows.
Commenting on the arrangement, Ira Spector, vice chief of operations in clinical development at Wyeth Research said: "We believe this unique collaboration has the potential to reduce the logistical complexity of our clinical trial operations by providing a leading global infrastructure, and expertise in logistics solutions within the life science industry."
"Our goal is for DHL to significantly streamline our clinical trials logistics operations, improve our clinical trial logistical analysis and rationalisation of related warehouse optimisation, and encompass services provided to our research organisation and third party service providers."
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
射频识别即RFID（Radio Frequency IDentification）技术，又称电子标签、无线射频识别，是一种通信技术，可通过无线电讯号识别特定目标并读写相关数据，而无需识别系统与特定目标之间建立机械或光学接触。
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radio waves. Chip-based RFID tags contain silicon chips and antennae. Passive tags require no internal power source, whereas active tags require a power source.
Types of RFID tags
RFID cards are also known as "proximity", "proxy" or "contactless cards" and come in three general varieties: passive, semi-passive (also known as semi-active), or active.
RFID in inventory systems,
A primary security concern surrounding RFID technology is the illicit tracking of RFID tags. Tags which are world-readable pose a risk to both personal location privacy and corporate/military security. Such concerns have been raised with respect to the United States Department of Defense's recent adoption of RFID tags for supply chain management. More generally, privacy organizations have expressed concerns in the context of ongoing efforts to embed electronic product code (EPC) RFID tags in consumer products.
A second class of defense uses cryptography to prevent tag cloning. Some tags use a form of "rolling code" scheme, wherein the tag identifier information changes after each scan, thus reducing the usefulness of observed responses. More sophisticated devices engage in challenge-response protocols where the tag interacts with the reader. In these protocols, secret tag information is never sent over the insecure communication channel between tag and reader. Rather, the reader issues a challenge to the tag, which responds with a result computed using a cryptographic circuit keyed with some secret value. Such protocols may be based on symmetric or public key cryptography. Cryptographically-enabled tags typically have dramatically higher cost and power requirements than simpler equivalents, and as a result, deployment of these tags is much more limited. This cost/power limitation has led some manufacturers to implement cryptographic tags using substantially weakened, or proprietary encryption schemes, which do not necessarily resist sophisticated attack. For example, the Exxon-Mobil Speedpass uses a cryptographically-enabled tag manufactured by Texas Instruments, called the Digital Signature Transponder (DST), which incorporates a weak, proprietary encryption scheme to perform a challenge-response protocol.
Still other cryptographic protocols attempt to achieve privacy against unauthorized readers, though these protocols are largely in the research stage. One major challenge in securing RFID tags is a shortage of computational resources within the tag. Standard cryptographic techniques require more resources than are available in most low cost RFID devices. RSA Security has patented a prototype device that locally jams RFID signals by interrupting a standard collision avoidance protocol, allowing the user to prevent identification if desired. Various policy measures have also been proposed, such as marking RFID tagged objects with an industry standard label.
How would you like it if, for instance, one day you realized your underwear was reporting on your whereabouts?
— California State Senator Debra Bowen, at a 2003 hearing
The use of RFID technology has engendered considerable controversy and even product boycotts by consumer privacy advocates such as Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre of CASPIAN who refer to RFID tags as "spychips". The four main privacy concerns regarding RFID are:
* The purchaser of an item will not necessarily be aware of the presence of the tag or be able to remove it
* The tag can be read at a distance without the knowledge of the individual
* If a tagged item is paid for by credit card or in conjunction with use of a loyalty card, then it would be possible to tie the unique ID of that item to the identity of the purchaser
* The EPCglobal system of tags create globally unique serial numbers for all products.
Most concerns revolve around the fact that RFID tags affixed to products remain functional even after the products have been purchased and taken home and thus can be used for surveillance and other purposes unrelated to their supply chain inventory functions. 
Another privacy issue is due to RFID's support for a singulation (anti-collision) protocol. This is the means by which a reader enumerates all the tags responding to it without them mutually interfering. The structure of some collision-resolution (Medium Access Control) protocols is such that all but the last bit of each tag's serial number can be deduced by passively eavesdropping on just the reader's part of the protocol. Because of this, whenever the relevant types of RFID tags are near to readers, the distance at which a tag's signal can be eavesdropped is irrelevant; what counts is the distance at which the much more powerful reader can be received. Just how far this can be depends on the type of the reader, but in the extreme case some readers have a maximum power output of 4 W, enabling signals to be received from tens of kilometres away. However, more recent UHF tags employing the EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) protocol, which is a slotted-Aloha scheme in which the reader never transmits the tag identifying information, are not subject to this particular attack.
A number of products are available on the market in the US that will allow a concerned carrier of RFID-enabled cards or passports to shield their data. Simply wrapping an RFID card in aluminum foil, essentially creating a Faraday cage, is claimed to make transmission more difficult, yet not be completely effective at preventing it.
Shielding is again a function of the frequency being used. Low-frequency tags, like those used in implantable devices for humans and pets, are relatively resistant to shielding, though thick metal foil will prevent most reads. High frequency tags (13.56 MHz -- smart cards and access badges) are more sensitive to shielding and are difficult to read when within a few centimetres of a metal surface. UHF tags (pallets and cartons) are very difficult to read when placed within a few millimetres of a metal surface, although their read range is actually increased when they are spaced 2-4 cm from a metal due to positive reinforcement of the reflected wave and the incident wave at the tag. UHF tags can be successfully shielded from most reads by being placed within an anti-static plastic bag.
DHL New Handheld Scanners to Enhance Shipment Visibility for DHL Customers
DHL, the world�s leading express delivery and logistics company, announced it is adopting the latest �new generation� scanning technology, deploying a single system across the entire DHL US network to provide enhanced shipment visibility for DHL customers. The new scanning devices, used to capture shipment information by couriers and other operations personnel and utilizing a Wi-Fi (wireless local area network connectivity) communications system, will be deployed nationwide by third quarter 2007.
The �new generation� technology will provide immediate visibility and real-time tracking for customers, and increase the speed in which personnel can process shipments at both customer locations and DHL facilities, providing timely, accurate, and up-to-the-minute status of packages.
�The adoption of this new technology will allow us to provide enhanced service, and yield greater efficiencies,� said Jose Eiras, Chief Information Officer for DHL Express USA. �Leveraging the latest technology platforms to best-serve our customers is a key element in delivering a superior customer experience.�
Unlike many systems used throughout the transportation industry, the DHL wireless scanners leverage the latest GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) technologies, which will enable DHL to transmit customer shipment information automatically � from pickup to final delivery � without the need to wait and place a device within a transmission cradle. The information will be immediately fed into DHL back-end systems, providing instant visibility to customers looking for shipment status through calls to customer service, the DHL web site, or DHL shipping systems.
The new handheld (Motorola HC 700) system will provide the same functionality as current DHL scanning devices -- such as electronic signature capture, barcode scanning, and instant communication links to dispatchers � but has expandable memory to allow for future applications such as image-capturing to ensure DHL continues to be responsive to customer needs.
In addition, the new DHL scanning technology is RFID-ready (Radio Frequency Identification), affording DHL the ability to integrate the new technology with future RFID products already in development. DHL is committed to bringing the benefits of RFID to the U.S. market and worldwide, and has taken a leadership position to support further development and international standardization of RFID technology. RFID is used to read and store data without the need for contact or direct line of sight and promises improvements in supply chain management for industries worldwide.
DHL will be integrating its Microsoft Windows-based courier application within the Motorola HC 700 device. Over 20,000 of the new scanners will be placed into operation throughout the DHL US network over the next 9 months.
DHL Express International Americas also announced the implementation of the wireless technology to be used throughout Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, with plans for completion by the second quarter of 2007.
At DHL, Customer Service is back in shipping. Our mission is to provide the most flexible, personable and enjoyable experience in the shipping industry for our customers. DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specializing in providing innovative and customized solutions from a single source. DHL offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport, and contract logistic solutions as well as international mail services, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. DHL's international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide with over 285,000 employees dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers' expectations. www.dhl.com
Hong Kong - Kerry Logistics and TALKE Logistic Services have signed a joint venture agreement to provide a full range of specialist chemical logistics services throughout mainland China.
The deal will see Kerry Logistics expertise and network in the China market combine with TALKEs specialist chemical industry knowledge to deliver world class logistics services.
“We are convinced Kerry-TALKE will provide a powerful combination of local experience and specialist chemical logistics know how for the benefit of our clients in this fast developing market, said Vincent Wong, Joint Managing Director, Kerry Logistics.
Kerry Logistics in China provides a range of logistics services including freight forwarding, express parcel delivery, contract logistics, warehousing and distribution. The company offers Pan China solutions to customers in 1,100 cities with 4,000 staff in 120 offices.
TALKE Logistic Services, headquartered near Cologne in Germany, is one of the leading chemical logistics service providers in Europe. The TALKE group employs 1,600 people in 23 locations across Europe, the Gulf States and China and has been providing logistics services to major global chemical production manufactures for the last 60 years.
Joining forces with Kerry Logistics in China gives us an ideal platform to further implement our strategy of international development with strong local partners, said Richard Heath, Chief Business Development Officer of TALKE Logistic Services.
SOURCE: Kerry Logistics and TALKE Logistic Services