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How to improve the health of your medical device supply chain

By Tom Pettit | 12/10/2013 | 5:10 AM

From a cost of doing business to a source of advantage

Improving patient care and outcomes while reducing costs can be a difficult balancing act. Especially if you’re in the medical device manufacturing business. You’re already wrestling with increasing margin pressures and product complexity, changing distribution networks, globalization and tough regulatory requirements. Consider these six potential remedies: 

    1. Re-engineer processes
      Consider centralizing shipment planning and execution to boost shipping efficiencies. Implement processes to manage and report on performance, and use network optimization tools to optimize your network. Use visibility tools to track products and events and consider co-locating packaging and warehousing.
    2. Step up regulatory compliance efforts
      Make sure your packaging, transportation and distribution systems meet all regulatory requirements, including FDA regulations, Good Manufacturing Practices, C-TPAT certification and international industry standards.
    3. Be ready for changing transportation and distribution requirements
      Be able to warehouse, fulfill and deliver orders across distribution, retail, end-user and primary care channels. Your warehouses should be compliant, secure and able to distribute parts, components and products wherever they’re needed.
    4. Enhance visibility
      Get the visibility you need to align inventory levels with supply and demand and stay on top of delivery status across the value chai
    5. Tune processes to adapt to product complexity
      From just-in-time manufacturing, sequencing, line-side delivery and packaging to kitting, labeling and managing recalls, a trusted 3PL can help simplify operations.
    6. Go Lean
      Leverage Lean principles and practices to enhance quality, eliminate waste, and adapt seamlessly to shifts in demand and handle multiple products and SKUs.

To learn more about how you can optimize your medical device supply chain, read our full blog post here.

Four ways to navigate your way to becoming shipper of choice.

By Tom Pettit | 12/03/2013 | 6:15 AM

With capacity at a premium, carriers are in the driver’s seat.

As much as things change in today’s transportation space, there’s one constant: the growing shortage of capacity and drivers. According to recent TransCore Freight Index data, the available load-to-truck ratios for dry vans, flatbed and temperature-controlled have reached unprecedented proportions.

With capacity at a premium and carriers becoming more selective about whose freight they’ll transport, how do you become a shipper of choice? Here are a few tips ...

What truck-load (TL) carriers look for when transporting full truck loads:

  1. Consistent year-round volume
  2. Favorable origins and destinations
  3. Compensatory fuel program
  4. Flexible, fair contracts
  5. Favorable payment terms

What less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers want when moving partial truck loads:

  1. Compensatory fuel program
  2. Compensation for idle time
  3. Flexible, fair contracts

Becoming a shipper of choice can help you secure more favorable rates …

Whether you’re shipping TL or LTL, becoming a shipper of choice helps you steer clear of paying higher rates in the spot market. The key to being selected is offering consistent volumes, fair compensation for fuel, desirable origins/destinations and flexible contracts.

Meeting all these criteria can be tough if you ship seasonal freight/products. However, you can still offer fair compensation for fuel, a flexible contracting process and pay competitive rates. Together these factors can still help you become a shipper of choice.

To learn more, read the full article here.

Can disclosure lead to a lower emissions and a smarter supply chain?

By Tom Pettit | 10/29/2013 | 9:48 AM

Five reasons why it pays to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project.

When it comes to making your supply chain more efficient, there are all kinds of benefits. Cost savings. Quality enhancements. Productivity improvements. And another, often overlooked benefit: a greener supply chain. Why? Because more efficient use of resources reduces energy consumption and boosts emissions performance. If you’re looking to get on the road to a smaller carbon footprint, The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is a great place to start.

Here are five things to know about participation:

1. What is the CDP?
It’s an independent, not-for-profit organization that helps thousands of organizations around the world measure, disclose, manage and share information about greenhouse gas emissions, water management and carbon strategies.

2. How will I be scored?
You’re measured in terms of these key points: how you measure emissions, the completeness of your information, the depth of information you provide on how climate change issues challenge your business and if your data is verified by a third party.

3. Why does it matter?
The production and transport of raw materials and finished goods are significant sources of carbon emissions. Not measuring carbon impacts can result in higher energy bills, turn away customers/prospects and negatively impact your brand.  

4. Benefits of participating
Benefits include transparency to stakeholders, improved efficiencies, insights into your company’s climate change risks/opportunities and lower costs.

5. How do I get started?
Register with the CDP, gather information and complete the CDP online questionnaire. To learn how the Carbon Disclosure Project can help you reduce emissions and drive efficiency, read the full blog post here.

Looking to boost fuel economy and cut supply chain emissions? Five key facts about the SmartWay program.

By Tom Pettit | 09/30/2013 | 1:07 PM
One of the smartest ways to improve fuel efficiency and shrink your fleet's carbon footprint? The SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an EPA program that reduces transportation emissions by incenting participating companies to improve supply chain fuel efficiency.

Here are five key facts about fuel emissions, efficiency and SmartWay.

1. The Freight Industry's Impact on Emissions
In 2012, the transportation industry generated 22 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, second only to the electricity sector. Freight trucks and trains consume 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year, producing more than 350 million metric tons of C02

2. Fuel Emissions: Why They Matter
From a business perspective, more businesses use environmental policies/protocols to screen suppliers, which makes SmartWay a competitive differentiator.

3. The SmartWay Transport Partnership: What it Is
A collaboration between the EPA and freight industry, SmartWay helps partners boost energy efficiency, save money, reduce GHG emissions, and improve air quality.

4. How to become a SmartWay Transport Partner
Currently, five categories of businesses can become SmartWay partners. Call SmartWay at 734.214.4767 or email smartway_transport@epa.gov to get started.

5. What if my business isn't eligible? Are there other options?
You can turn freight activities over to a SmartWay dedicated fleet or third-party logistics provider. By working with a SmartWay partner, you know your goods are transported in an environmentally responsible, fuel-efficient manner.

Could SmartWay help you reduce fuel emissions and improve fuel economy?

Learn more by reading our full post here. Or, read Ryder's Corporate Sustainability Report, now.

Want to Fuel a Smarter Oil & Gas Supply Chain?

By Tom Pettit | 07/31/2013 | 12:14 PM

Five keys to unlocking supply chain management success.

If you’re in the oil & gas business, the shale revolution presents exciting opportunities – and unique logistics challenges. Rigs must be transported to and from sites. Natural gas must be moved to refineries and to market. Pipes, compressors, pumps, sand and millions of gallons of water must be trucked in. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Managing a natural gas supply chain? Consider these keys to success:

  1. Be able to navigate the terrain: transporting large, unwieldy equipment and materials without an established infrastructure requires:
    - Custom-fit fleets with specialized vehicles
    - Trained personnel, including drivers who can operate specialized vehicles
    - Ability to safely transport large, non-conventional freight
  2. Keep costs under control: consider using a dedicated fleet to minimize equipment investments. A transportation management system can help improve load efficiency, streamline operations and reduce costs.
  3. Get the timing, sequence and scheduling right: when wells sit idle, losses result. Engineer your supply chain for precise timing, sequence and scheduling to reduce/eliminate delays.
  4. Use IT systems & tools to automate manual processes: examples include a Control Tower, transportation management solution and systems/tools that track and coordinate fleet movements/inventory.
  5. Make informed decisions: Capture, analyze and standardize data around quantities, transport times, conditions, capacity and inventories to make smart decisions.

Looking to drive efficiency through every stage of your supply chain? Learn more by reading the full article here.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Tom Pettit

Tom Pettit

Thomas F. Pettit is Ryder Supply Chain Solutions' Senior Vice President and General Manager. In this role, Mr. Pettit is responsible for leading the operations of Ryder's supply chain industry groups, including Automotive & Industrial, Hi-Tech/Electronics, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Retail.

Mr. Pettit brings to Ryder outstanding experience from a 20-year career in operations and supply chain management. Prior to Ryder, Pettit served as Vice President of Global Operations and Supply Chain for Pentair, Ltd. as well as Vice President, Finance and Operational Transformations for ADC Telecommunications, Inc.

Mr. Pettit holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York and an MBA in Finance from the University of Hawaii.



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