Project #71757 - transportation and logistics

 

4x100 word responses to 4 forums

Part I

 

Transportation and logistics management policy from local, state, and, federal have a tremendous impact in transportation. Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) have enacted many rules and regulations that may keep the environment as well as workers and residents safe however may cause delay and cost to companies. Many aspects of business operations affect human health and the environment in countless ways and may be regulated. Other regulations provides compliance information for individuals or companies that move hazardous waste from one site to another by road, rail, water, or air. An example would be set routes for vehicles transporting hazardous material. In almost all cities in the United States, vehicles are prohibited to drive in main roads through the city. They are re-routed to by-pass the city as a safety precaution but at the same time may not be the most direct route for the driver to take. 

 

Most laws or regulations are enacted to mainly protect the surroundings however these rules may be costly to the logistics piece. An example is when a couple of states, which started in Connecticut, banned the use of Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). This prohibition is in the federal rule to prevent the effect called commingling, which would result in a more volatile fuel when the two fuel types are mixed- than either of the fuels separately. Both ethanol blended VOC-controlled reformulated gasoline (RFG) and non-ethanol blended VOC-controlled RFG alone can meet the pollution reduction requirements of the RFG program- it is the mixture of the two blends that causes the problem. This restriction pertains to any person who sells gasoline at a service station, who delivers gasoline to a service station, or any person further up the gasoline distribution chain.

 

References

 

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2015, May 19). Retrieved from United States Environmental Protection Agency: VOC-controlled

 

 

 

Part II

 

This week’s forum goes hand in hand with my research topic.  After terrorist attacks began to threaten national safety and security (more specifically, September 11th, 2001) there were many new regulations and policies put into place when it came to logistics and transportation.  A perfect example of this would be the U.S. border crossings.  Before September 11th, 2001, motor carriers could process through border security with less of a delay, and less variability (Davis, 2013).  After September 11th, the United States government tightened border security and began to do thorough checks on each and every vehicle coming in the United States.  Because of the new regulations, motor carriers face the challenges of long lines, delays, and uncertainty on the length of time it will take to get across the border.  This may not seem like a huge issue, until you consider the goods and materials the truck is carrying and the customer receiving them.  Delays at the border cause a chain reaction of challenges down the line.  Imagine a supplier that does not get their materials in time and causes a hold up in manufacturing, and then the chain reaction continues through the supply chain leaving the end consumer with limited quantities or no products to purchase. 

 

 

 

While these delays are damaging, our country does need tight border security to prevent any acts of terrorism or illegal substances from destroying our nation.  On the other hand, I do believe that there should be some solutions to assist in processing trucks that are carrying products across the border to get them through at a much faster rate to keep their time schedule.  Much like the airports today, they are allowing frequent fliers the ability to take advantage of the TSA Pre-check program.  This allows passengers to have background checks accomplished and are able to process through security at a faster rate than passengers that only travel once or twice a year.  In this case of motor carriers and their vehicles, if the company and driver are able to pre-qualify for a program or get into a separate line for vehicles that travel the route often, it could allow the vehicle to be checked at a much faster rate and be on their way (compared to waiting in a line for hours at a time).  This was only one solution that I could think of, does anyone else have any other solutions that could assist the long wait times at borders that motor carriers experience?

 

References:

 

Davis, Robert. (2013). Commercial Vehicle Travel Time and Delay at U.S. Border Crossings. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_news/travel_time/travel_time_delay.htm

 

 

 

Part III

 

Since no one supply chain company can conduct all aspects of the supply chain well enough on their own, it’s to their advantage to have collaborations. According to Poirier, Quinn, and Swink (2009), the key to improving your business performance is to work with key business partners (p 100). Those partners need to be on the sheet of music as your company and you as theirs. Two professors Pisano and Verganti have came up with four modes for which group collaboration decisions are made (Poirier, Quinn, and Swink, 2009).

 

 

 

   1. Elite circle: This where the main company picks which companies, and which problem to address. This gives them the power to choose the solution also.

 

  2. Innovation mall: This is a collaborative effort when it comes to the solution. One company states the problem, however all companies involved can provide solutions, which the one company will pick what’s best.

 

 

 

   3. Innovation community: Any company within the collaboration can throw out a problem, offer a solution, and chose which to use.

 

   4. Consortium: This is a tight knit collaboration club, where problems, solutions, and processes are jointly worked out.

 

Here is a question for you: If you are an automaker and wanted to get a better bulk parts price (air bags for example) would you collaborate with another automaker? If so, which of the four modes would you use to work this collaboration? If not, why?

 

I remember a couple years ago where a couple of automakers had recalls for an airbag from the same airbag manufacture.

 

References

 

 

 

Poirier, Charles C., Quinn, Francis, and Swink, Morgan.(2009). Diagnosing Greatness : Ten Traits of the Best Supply Chains. Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA: J. Ross Publishing Inc., ProQuest ebrary.

 

Part IV

 

Strategic sourcing is an institutional procurement process that continuously improves and re-evaluates the purchasing activities of a company. The first thing that must be done is identify the suppliers. In order to be effective with strategic sourcing there must me a consistent search for quality materials and the lowest price.  It is imperative to keep up with the logistical requirements that may make one supplier more valuable than another.  Depending on the time of year it may be in your best interest to use one supplier rather the other.  This keeps a reliable flow of product throughout the different weather conditions.   The other consideration when selecting a supplier is competitive opportunity.  Using a specific supplier that has a positive brand image with your consumers can create an excellent product differentiation opportunity, potentially leading the consumer to prefer your product over others (Strategic Sourcing 2015).  Using a competitive edge to draw in more costumers makes more money.

 

 

 

When you have identified you suppliers your next step is to nurture a positive long-term connection. This can be achieved by simply working closely working with your suppliers.  With a long term relationship your suppliers will realize a steady income from you. In turn this will force them to become better at meeting cost while becoming more efficient.  You have to continuously improve by expanding your knowledge in the industry. Keeping up to date will help you understand, plan and implement a solid strategic sourcing strategy overall reducing cost and bringing in profit.  Effective strategic sourcing can make a tremendous positive difference to the supply chain of companies of all sizes (Strategic Sourcing 2015). What must you do remain competitive and relevant in today’s markets?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

 

 

Why Companies Should Consider Strategic Sourcing| MSU. (n.d.). Retrieved May 19, 2015, from http://www.michiganstateuniversityonline.com/resources/supply-chain/why-companies-should-consider-strategic-sourcing/#.VVtJcjYw-Rs 

 

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