Logistics Panel Discussion – 9 Key Tactics

Is your company experiencing rising logistics costs? Below we share nine tactics companies are implementing today to address the prospect of increased distribution expenses.

Per Forbes earlier this year, The 2019 State of Logistics report overall US logistics costs rose 11.4% to reach $1.64 trillion, or 8% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Last week, The Milwaukee Logistics Council and APICS Milwaukee co-hosted a Logistics Panel dinner and discussion to review the top trends influencing US logistics. The panel included logistic experts Ben Hartford, Sr. Equity Research Analyst – Transportation & Logistics from RW Baird, Kurt Baumann, Vice President of Consulting Services, Armstrong & Associates, Inc. and Steve Silvis, Solutions Engineering, 3PLR Logistics Consulting.

Pictured on the right, Ben Hartford kicked off the discussion by sharing key economic data trends impacting overall transportation efforts in the US.

Next Kurt Baumann shared key logistic trends and optimization strategies.

He provided the following nine tactics companies are doing today to address the prospect of increasing distribution costs.

9 Tactics to Address Increasing Logistics Costs:

  1. Expanding use of carrier volume agreements and contracted rates to stabilize availability
  2. Effort toward Shipper Choice programs to improve carrier relations and support their efficiency
  3. Deployment of shipment and carrier sensing technologies to improve visibility and utilization
  4. Expansion of last-mile delivery capabilities and networks, especially to support eCommerce
  5. Migration to lower-cost distribution locations, balancing the increased cost of transportation
  6. Continuing trend among shippers to outsource logistics to 3PLs
  7. Investment in business intelligence applications and technology to integrate data from disparate sources
  8. AI and machine-learning technology to improve decision analysis and labor efficiencies
  9. Increased use of optimization techniques for logistics sourcing and network design

Kurt suggested that smart companies will anticipate the need to drive efficiencies and mitigate rising costs. Lastly, the group heard from Steve Silvis on leveraging data to optimize your supply chain network.

At APICS Milwaukee we support logistics and supply chain professionals with local networking and educational opportunities to stay up to date with the latest trends.  We are excited to host upcoming instructor-led training courses in March 2020 for APICS CLTD 2.0 Learning System that will expand participants’ global logistics knowledge with updated content to ensure logistics, transportation and distribution professionals have the knowledge they need to succeed in the global marketplace.

2020 CLTD 2.0 Enhancements Include:

  1. 9 new case studies (1-per module)
  2. Updates to the online menu to assist students such as downloadable e-Pub files for note taking, exam prep video series, in-product calculator, instructor-led slides and more
  3. Moving from 8 to 9 modules, splitting the CLTD 1.0 Inventory and Warehousing into individual modules
  4. Progress check questions moved into online quizzes
  5. 2 physical printed books

Sign up today on our website for our expert instructor-led class starting on March 11, 2020, Wednesdays (5-9) – 10 Sessions. Cost: $1,750 Member/$1,995 Non Member.  Learn more…


APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 450 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities.  APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – click here to join today

Looking for more information on how APICS Milwaukee can help you in your career and current supply chain trends, visit our website at: https://apicsmilw.org.

Breakfast Roundtable Talk: 5 Tips to “Managing Up”

Image by jamesoladujoye from Pixabay

Are you having challenges with your manager? Could you use some help on how best to approach them?

Per a recent article in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), managing up is, “an ability that can shape your career more than almost any other—but many employees don’t know how to do it.”

The APICS Milwaukee Breakfast Roundtable covered this topic this past week. The definition of managing up per Justin Reynolds, “refers to doing whatever you can to make your boss’s job easier by essentially managing your manager”

Below are five tips that were shared by the group on how best to “manage up.”

  1. It is important to have clear expectations from the start. This should be done in the interview process if possible so that each person can decide if it will be a good fit or not
  2. A good manager should be able to have an open and honest dialog with their direct reports. Being able to take some constructive criticism will help each party get what they need from the other person
  3. Knowing your manager on a personal level and not just a professional level is important and a key way to break down barriers. Managers might have a lot going on in their personal lives which may explain poor management behavior such as a lack of communication or focus. Getting to know your manager in this way might help explain why they may not be the most engaged manager. This will also help guide direct reports as to where they can help their manager pick up the slack.
  4. Learning how to identify different personality styles by using tools such as the Disc Analysis will help employees manage their manager with a better understanding of preferences. For example, a manager who falls into the “C” category is probably very data-driven and wants exact numbers. They don’t like soft metrics. Conversely, a manager with the personality style of an “I” is ok with roundabout numbers and probably doesn’t want to know too much detailed data.
  5. It is up to you to figure out how to manage up and how to influence your manager. It is not something that someone else will do for you.

Overall, as was suggested by the WSJ, managing up effectively can greatly shape your career. We hope the above tips will help you in your interactions with your manager!

We are done with our breakfast roundtables now until January. Wishing everyone a happy holiday season and a happy new year! Looking forward to helping you grow in your career in 2020!


APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 450 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities.  APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – click here to join today

Looking for more information on how APICS Milwaukee can help you in your career and current supply chain trends, visit our website at: https://apicsmilw.org.

Trends in Logistics

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

Is your company planning for a digital transformation in 2020?

According to LogisticsManagement, Simon Ellis, program vice president, Global Supply Chain Strategies at IDC Consulting stated, “Digital transformation is now the overriding priority for most manufacturers and retailers, with the adoption of digital technologies aimed to improving efficiency and effectiveness in the shorter term while providing the opportunity to either disrupt their market segment or be resilient to others that may try."

IDC recently published its 2020 supply chain and logistics predictions. We’ve shared below those with an impact over next 36 months.

  1. By the end of 2020, half of all large manufacturers will have automated supplier and spend data analysis, resulting in a 15% procurement productivity gain;
  2. By the end of 2021, half of all manufacturing supply chains will have invested in supply chain resiliency and artificial intelligence, resulting in productivity improvements of 15%;
  3. By 2022, firms will dedicate 35% of their logistics business process outsourcing services budget to process automation, focusing on order, inventory, and shipment tracking;
  4. By 2022, the number of companies offering flexible warehousing options will have increased by 50%, which can help address seasonal demand challenges and lower fixed overhead costs by over 20%;

At APICS Milwaukee we support logistics and supply chain professionals with local networking and educational opportunities to stay up to date with the latest trends.

On December 10th we are proud to co-host a Logistics Panel Discussion and Dinner with the Milwaukee Logistics Council. The Panel members will include the following logistics experts:


APICS Milwaukee Chapter is also excited to host upcoming instructor-led training courses in March 2020 for APICS CLTD 2.0 Learning System that will expand participants global logistics knowledge with updated content to ensure logistics, transportation and distribution professionals have the knowledge they need to succeed in the global marketplace.

2020 CLTD 2.0 Enhancements Include:

  • 9 new case studies (1-per module)
  • Updates to the online menu to assist students such as downloadable e-Pub files for note taking, exam prep video series, in-product calculator, instructor-led slides and more
  • Moving from 8 to 9 modules, splitting the CLTD 1.0 Inventory and Warehousing into individual modules
  • Progress check questions moved into online quizzes
  • 2 physical printed books

Sign up today on our website for our expert instructor-led class starting on March 11, 2020, Wednesdays (5-9) – 10 Sessions. Cost: $1,750 Member/$1,995 Non Member Learn more…

APICS Milwaukee is the premier professional association for supply chain management, helping approximately 450 members representing over 180 Milwaukee area companies with educational and networking opportunities.  APICS Milwaukee chapter members receive discounts on all certification programs – click here to join today

Looking for more information on how APICS Milwaukee can help you in your career and current supply chain trends, visit our website at: https://apicsmilw.org.

Roundtable Highlights: Effective Communication - Dealing with Emotion

Have you ever had a disagreement with someone and felt as if you weren’t able to get your point across?

Poor communication is a common cause of conflict in the workplace. Communication starts with listening. When a tree gets struck by lightning in the uninhabited forest, is there sound? Communication without listening works similarly. It's just noise.

Communication can be more than words. The clothes that you wear, the expression on your face, the way you carry yourself when you walk all are forms of communication.

When talking or writing, sometimes you have to recalibrate to avoid a negative situation. We discussed the following tips to be an effective communicator:

  1. Be aware of your audience.
  2. Watch reactions from listeners.
  3. Look for common ground.
  4. Data helps clean up discussion.

EDUCauseReview recently shared an article on Leveraging Emotional Intelligence in Communication and in the excerpt below state that having empathy towards others can have a tremendous impact on how we communicate in all situations.

“Empathy requires first of all that we comprehend the circumstances of someone else and second that we understand the feelings that those circumstances may provoke in that person.

For example, your supervisor might seem upset with you for no reason. Think about what they might be dealing with. Consider any situations that may be affecting their emotions and how that might in turn affect what they say to you. In the same vein, managers and leaders who are high in empathy skills are able to pick up emotional cues. They can appreciate not only what a person is saying but also why they are saying it.

Learn to engage others—even in difficult situations—by asking empathetic questions such as these:

"Can you say more about that?"

"Really? That's interesting. Can you be more specific?"

"I wasn't aware of that. Tell me more."

"I'm curious about that…let's discuss this in more depth."

"Can you tell me if I understand you correctly? Here is what I heard you say…"

"How do you feel about that? What are some of your concerns?"

Finally, the roundtable discussed suggested tools that can help provide structure and clear communications including the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating Systems) and "Traction Tools for EOS". 

Overall the breakfast roundtable provides a wonderful venue to review today’s top business challenges with peers.

In December we will have two Breakfast Roundtables per below:

  1. 12/4 Roundtable will be on the topic of Sustainability with special guest speaker, Randy Bertram, Director Sustainability and Operational Excellence Services and Sr. Consultant with WMEP.
  2. 12/11 Roundtable we will share best practices how best to "MANAGE UP" when it comes to your boss.

We hope to see you at a future roundtable always posted on our website at:  https://apicsmilw.org/Breakf ast_Roundtables.

8 Tips to Minimize Impact of New Trade Tariffs

Image by hectorgalarza from Pixabay

Are you concerned about trade uncertainties? Are you looking for ways to minimize the impact of the new trade tariffs on your supply chain?

Per the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Q3 Outlook Survey, “Trade uncertainties were the second most mentioned concern facing manufacturers, with 63.4 percent of those completing the survey reporting it as the top company issue.”

Trade tariffs certainly impact global supply chains. APICS Milwaukee hosted an event last week addressing the new trade tariffs.

Tom Degnan, Director of Global Transportation and Customs Compliance at WernerCo, shared the following advice on ways to mitigate the impact of tariffs on supply chains.

  1. First Sale: Reduces the dutiable value of the transaction by using the manufacturer’s cost for import valuation declaration with Customs. Process by which the manufacturer’s product valuation (first sale) is used for Customs value purposes versus the middleman/vendor (second sale) product valuation.
  2. Alternative Valuation/Duty Drawback: Alternative valuation establishes lowest level valuation for Customs entries. Duty Drawback elements include imported material has duty paid upon import, material is incorporated into a product that is exported and the duty paid on the imported material can be recovered from Customs (applies to 232 & 301 tariffs)
  3. Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)/Bonded Warehouses: FTZs allow materials to be suspended from entering USA commerce until departing from FTZ into USA. In effect material never entered USA commerce. FTZs allow materials to flow through USA via bonded carriers without duties being paid (e.g. Import into LA, shipped to Chicago, exported to Europe). FTZ set up requires Customs approval and bond to be established.
  4. Supply Chain Change:  Evaluate global sourcing options for suppliers and countries. Review is alternative materials can be used. For Section 232, try to source from excluded countries and for Section 301 try to source from alternative countries. Consider assembly or manufacturing in alternative countries.
  5. Origin Planning: Confirm Country of Origin (CofO) is not reflecting the country where products are shipping from and confirm with suppliers the products CofO.
  6. Supplier Negotiations: Pursue having suppliers absorb tariffs for continued purchases or negotiate lower pricing to share tariff impact.
  7. Tariff Classification/Exclusions: Audit and verify the HTS product code application. Both Section 232 & 301 have an exclusion process for avoiding tariffs.
  8. Customer Pricing: Determine if market will support absorbing all or a percent of imposed duty or apply surcharges for tariffs as temporary line items. 
 

Special thanks to Bentley World-Packaging for hosting the event and providing a tour of their expansive facilities!

Bentley World-Packaging based in Milwaukee is one of the nation’s largest industrial aftermarket and commercial parts distribution partners.

They are uniquely able to handle and manage BIG. Big parts, big volumes, big requirements.

They also offer export packing that helps reduce shipping costs by utilizing a proprietary software that ensures optimal container loading and space maximization.

At APICS Milwaukee, we are proud to serve supply chain professionals in the Milwaukee area and host events on today’s most relevant topics.

We hope you can join us next month on December 10th for a Logistics Panel Discussion and dinner in conjunction with the Logistics Council.

We are also excited to announce new certification classes and Supply Chain Workshop series starting in February 2020. Check out our website Education page for more info on these offerings to help you and your company!