Saturday, March 31, 2007

Supply Chain Blogs Come of Age...we are getting critiqued!

This is an on-line article from Amy Roach Partridge, who is the assistant editor for She checked out the logistics blog community and critiqued her favorites...

Say what you will about blogging -- that it democratizes information dissemination, or, adversely, that it is killing well-edited, fact-checked journalism -- logistics professionals have embraced it.

Because of their low-tech, easy-to-use nature, blogs have exploded not only as forums to discuss celebrity and political goings-on, but as a resource tool for finding solutions to real business challenges.

While blogging about inventory turns and LTL shipping rates might not be a sanctioned workday activity at all companies, many logisticians use these web destinations as a way to share solutions and experiences, and spark interesting conversation about a variety of supply chain concerns.

The downside is that you can easily spend hours clicking through blogs and posting comments instead of, say, optimizing your inventory or developing a new vendor management program. The upside? You might learn something you can use to make your job easier.

Hundreds of logistics blogs are now in operation; some are quite informative, while others offer little more than a cluster of links to other web sites.

Here is an informal roundup of some logistics blogs that are worth checking out:


Blogger: Michael Stolarczyk, senior director, business development, for global 3PL Exel.

Audience: SCM professionals interested in third-party logistics and transportation.

Content: Although Exel does find its way into some articles and Stolarczyk drops a few snarky comments about his competitors, the blog is more than a promotional vehicle for Exel. Stolarczyk clearly knows his stuff, offering insightful commentary about key logistics trends and issues. While it falls a bit short of its dramatic tag line -- "insight, foresight for the dawning conceptual age in the global logistics, transportation, and supply chain markets" -- the blog is a useful tool that generates a healthy amount of user interaction.


China Logistics News

Bloggers: Writers for The China Economic Review.

Audience: Anyone interested in China's burgeoning logistics prowess.

Content: China Logistics News tracks all things China, offering information on transportation infrastructure developments, news on the Chinese economy, and updates on services available for companies importing and/or exporting from China. The site is light on user interaction, however; only a few articles inspire commentary.


Lean Blog

Blogger: Lean manufacturing consultant Mark Graban.

Audience: Devotees of lean manufacturing and supply chain philosophies.

Content: In addition to Graban's interesting posts -- which run the gamut from dispelling Dell's lean myth to analyzing Boeing's "elegantly screwed-up supply chain" -- the blog includes book reviews, podcasts, and a collection of user-contributed lean quotes, such as "If lean is common sense, it would be more common." Eight other manufacturing professionals write frequently for the site, which is updated regularly and has an active user community.


Logistics List

Blogger: Not identified on site.

Audience: Logistics professionals seeking information on how to outsource logistics capabilities.

Content: Logistics List, which debuted in September 2005, bills itself as a "comprehensive third-party logistics directory for supply chain and logistics decision-makers." In addition to 3PL-focused articles from a variety of logistics sources, the blog includes regional provider directories, a job board, and links to logistics associations and 3PL companies. The site is updated regularly, but does not include user feedback or discussion boards.


SCM Pulse

Blogger: Rick Ankrum, who has worked in procurement, supply chain management, and strategic sourcing since 1978.

Audience: General supply chain and logistics professionals, as well as procurement specialists.

Content: This blog provides a compilation of news, resources, and commentary about supply chain management and strategic sourcing, gleaned from a wide variety of web-based sources. The blog's clean, uncluttered design makes for a user-friendly experience, but the site does not have an active visitor base. It also includes links to other procurement blogs and news pages.



Blogger: Ehsan Ehsani, a technology author and SCM expert, who also contributes to several other blogs.

Audience: Tech-savvy logistics and transportation professionals.
Content: Supplychainer covers a wide range of logistics topics, with an emphasis on logistics technology news. Ehsani's point-of-view entries are particularly interesting, with recent postings covering the financial supply chain, the year's top supply chain technologies, and Wal-Mart's "RFID disruption dilemma." While the blog provides interesting user commentary and useful links to logistics information sites, it also includes a distracting number of irrelevant links.


Who Said Supply Chains Are Boring?

Blogger: Chris Sciaccia, media relations manager, integrated supply chain and logistics, for IBM.

Audience: Logisticians looking for a dose of humor with their information.

Content: This well-written blog is Sciaccia's personal crusade to convince the world that supply chains are not boring, while providing useful industry insights along the way. The blog scopes out unusual ideas -- finding logistics tie-ins in video games and hit movies, for instance -- while keeping users informed of industry developments, research, and trends. Some of Sciaccia's postings highlight IBM products or services, but he is candid about it, offering disclaimers where necessary. The site also includes book reviews, and a fun "supply chain rumor mill" news feed.

@Supply Chain Management

Blogger: Chris Abraham, supply chain management consultant.

Audience: General logistics and supply chain professionals.

Content: The newly redesigned blog provides Abraham's insightful take on news articles, trade publication features, and research reports pertaining to SCM and logistics. It also includes a comprehensive list of recommended logistics blogs and a fun map showing the location of site visitors throughout the world. (Kudos to Abraham for drawing visitors from as far away as Africa and New Zealand.) The blog is updated regularly and provides a moderate amount of user commentary.


3PL Wire

Bloggers: "Swizstick" and "Splatty," who claim 20 years of third-party logistics experience between them.

Audience: Logistics professionals seeking a resource for trends, news, and information related to third-party logistics providers.

Content: Divided into a variety of detailed sections -- including air freight, contract logistics, warehousing, and "odd news" -- the site provides commentary on industry happenings, new product and service releases, and best practices for selecting a 3PL. The site also features a weekly poll (which appears to be more sporadic than weekly), a bookstore, and guest bloggers.

What logistics blogs do you log on to every day? Have thoughts or comments about the ones mentioned here?

Okay, so she called me "snarky." I can accept that, because in my circles...this is a supreme compliment...a la the Urban Dictionary:

"Snarky (adjective) describes a witty mannerism, personality, or
behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually
accepted as a complimentary term. Snark is sometimes mistaken for a
snotty or arrogant attitude.

Thanks for the props will always have space here to air your insight and opinions as well...

However, just so you know...what I really aspire to be is...SNIDE!


Blogger Eric said...

Michael, Nice nomination though I would never trust a chick with two last names.

Snarky? What is snarky? People in the freight business dont use a word like "snarky"? What is that?


Blogger Complicated said...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
DHL Exel & Honeywell Corporation

July 27, 2007
Department 280
570 Polaris Parkway
Westerville, OH 43082
USA Telephone 614-865-8500

The Honeywell facility in Louisville Kentucky continues to be plagued with the same problems, it's managed by Exel Contract Logistics Services.

I worked there through a staffing company for Exel as a order-picker, an order-picker is rated by how many picks per hour which is much the same as a scale 1-10 (10 being the highest number of picks) some days I would be third from the top and some days I would average in the middle.

The supervisors Ken and Elmer manage the picking, packaging and shipping on first and second shifts.

This type of operation I know very well, because the company I used to work for had six wholesale tire warehouses before they sold out, the new owners didn't need the Louisville location and what I did for 26 years was work in warehouse shipping and receiving Tires, Inner Tubes (auto, truck, farm and specialty tires) and for last 20 years Inventory Control Specialist controlling all ordering from vendors and balancing inventories at Louisville, Indianapolis, Evansville, Lexington, Nashville and Knoxville locations.

The problems at this Honeywell Louisville location is on-going, Exel has permitted people that are mentally depressed and with drug related problems (buying-using-selling) to stay on as regular full-time employees which they only make the work environment there even worse.

Every day before each shift the supervisors would have a 5 to 10 minute meeting with the employees to give updates and to tell and stress to the employees about how much money everyday Exel is losing under this new agreement contract with Honeywell Corporation and that it was up to the employees to put Exel back in making profit.

Their only concern was to see how much they could get out the door per shift, regardless if it was their fault for running out of cardboard boxes or pallets to safely pick orders with.

All order-picker employees (staffing and full time) were encouraged to load down the picker forklift with flatten cardboard (to be made into boxes later) of different sizes that overhangs the sides forklift creating a driving hazard and covering up the flashing warning lights and impairing their vision.

The flatten cardboard used to make boxes of different sizes were never in complete size supply in the same places causing the order pickers to travel from one end of the building to the other or we were always running out of boxes.

There were many days we didn't have the right pallets to use on the order-picker lifts and had to use junk pallets without the cross-boards on the under-side of pallet.

Now here's my story, I'm 53 years old and in perfect health in fact better than most of the employees at the Honeywell Louisville location and I'm very lucky financially that I don't have to even work but I choose to, or I could just stay at home an enjoy life and I don't need employee benefits I'm well taken care of.

Every day I would go to work with a smile, greeting people with a good morning or I would just say hi!(I'm from the old school) I’m very courteous and very helpful.

Even though my picks per hour range from third from the top and in the middle, I always found time to help other order pickers lift heavy boxes from their pallets onto the packing lines.

I would pull the empty pallets from the retail small lines because they were big and bulky because most of the packer employees were women (remember I'm from the old school).

I would go on my breaks but never go in the break room because most of the employees were so hateful, and that it seemed that their only job was to see if they could make everybody else worse than they are and that made them happy, but there were some who were special that made me feel wanted and needed there at work.

Nancy, Valerie, Mel, Pam, Kim, Lisa, Kathy, Jerry, James, William

I was told one day that even my appearance and or me saying good mornings or just saying hi offended people and if I didn't stop I would be let go.

I went through a whole week not talking or waving at people, it was so bad I almost quit the job, but after talking with my wife about the problem because she is experienced in this manner (VP Human Resources with a Financial Corporation) and the special employees at work that also encouraged me to stay (Nancy, Valerie, Mel, Pam, Kim, Lisa, Kathy) encourage me to stay and continue being same old school self again.

A person in (hazmat packaging) is one of the people that were spreading some rumors about me.
I told her I could not be as she thought I should be and I was going to continue to say good morning, hi, help lift heavy boxes and move bulky pallets.

I finally went to the break room for the first time since I started working there, I sat down at a table where two ladies were already and all I said was hi too them and start talking to Pam that came and sat down at the same table with us.

When I came off of break a co-worker ask me to avoid this (hazmat) person, I ask her if she was telling me or asking she said she was asking and I said I would even if cost me extra time against my order-picking time.

At the end of the work shift my staffing manager told me I had harassment charge file against me and not to come in to work the next day so they could investigate the charge.

The charge was false after they did their investigation but the supervisors Ken and Elmer said my order-picks were to low.

Yet I wonder what they did to the 50 percent of order-pickers that had lower picks than me, are they still working.

August 3, 2007
I return to the staffing agency at the Honeywell facility in Louisville Kentucky that’s managed by Exel Contract Logistics Services.

To pickup my things out of the locker and to have my exit interview with the staffing agency about why Exel lets it’s employees get away with filing false harassment charges.

The staffing manager ask me to come back on Monday 6, 2007 and she would have the answer to my question.

August 6, 2007
I returned Monday 6, 2007 for my final exit interview with the staffing agency and to get the answer to my question that I asked about on Friday 3, 2007.

I was told by the staffing manager that they didn't have any answer to my question and Exel Contract Logistics Services HR person had a copy of this blog letter and would be in contact with me.

When I did a job search on while I was still waiting to hear from Exel Contract Logistics Services HR person this is what I found posted there.

Posted: 8/6/2007

Base Pay:N/A
Employee Type:Full-Time Employee
Industry:Chemical / Industrial
Manages Others:No
Job Type:Human Resources Supply / Chain Warehouse
Req'd Education:Not Specified
Req'd Experience:At least 1 year(s)
Req'd Travel:Not Specified
Relocation Covered:No


Exel is the leading Contract Logistics provider in North America with nearly 25,000 associates in over 400 sites in the United States and Canada.

With headquarters located in Columbus, Ohio, Exel has annual revenue over $3.5 billion with a customer base including some of the world’s best-known and most successful companies.

Exel's comprehensive range of innovative logistics solutions encompasses the entire supply chain from design and consulting through freight forwarding, warehousing, transportation, and distribution services to integrated information management and e-commerce support.

Exel is currently looking for a Human Resources Representative in the Louisville, KY area.

General Description:
Responsible for assisting in;Start-up facilities; shut-downs; associate relations; effective coordination of hourly and salary employment process; administration and compliance of processes, policies, procedures (governmental regulations, risk management, organizational capability, IT, finance and procurement); administration of various special projects.

Provide associate relations support and facilitate resolution to associate relation issues.

Execute effective hourly sourcing strategies by recruiting, interviewing, processing, conducting orientation and training lead associates through the "Hiring for Keeps" process and ensuring success in a new role.

Ensure all processes are executed in accordance to processes developed by the General Office (company sponsored programs) and governmental regulations (application of labor laws).

Coordinate and analyze HR data for making recommendations to management.

Provide support in addressing issues with interpreting, training, and applying company policies and programs.

Requirements Qualifications:
1-3 years in Human Resources Exel offers competitive wages, excellent affordable insurance benefits (including health, dental, vision and life), a 401K plan, profit sharing, paid vacation and holidays.

August 18, 2007
September 6, 2007
September 26, 2007
October 15, 2007
October 26, 2007

( Still waiting on DHL Exel and still not working yet. )
posted by Complicated at 9:09 AM
About Me
Name: James D. Sumner
Location: Louisville, KY, United States
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