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June 2009 Newsletter

June 2009 Newsletter

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SCM Forecasts Best Practices Improvement Six-Sigma Approach

AMR Research predicts that the supply chain management (SCM) technology market will grow from $6.5 billion in 2007 to roughly $9.2 billion in 2012. A likely impetus for this forecasted growth, explains AMR, is that "the economic challenges of the coming years will offer greater opportunity for supply chain technology adoption." These economic challenges include high inflation, rising commodity prices, threats to brand security, sustainability as a component of corporate decision making, and cash preservation. An intelligent accommodation for these challenges will be to greatly increase IT expenditures over the coming years. These recessionary months during the global economy's fallowness provide an ideal opportunity for IT development and growth. Furthermore, an overall commitment to best practices and excellence in service delivery is wise at this time.

The following two articles address "Best Practices" and "the Six-Sigma Approach" to process improvement in 3PL companies. Each is essential to the enhancement and expansion of companies' mission statements and visions.

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What's New

Did you know that we offer a host of services not always associated with the typical 3PL provider? As an example, we can provide you with claims filing services for all of your in and outbound shipments. In an economic environment where lean and mean is the order of the day, perhaps we can help you with services that don't fit easily within your current areas of expertise or overhead structure. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you think outside the box.

In a systematized, professional effort to facilitate best practices in 3PL companies, the following eleven steps are recommended:

1.    Name the problem.
2.    Develop performance rubrics.
3.    Measure performance levels.
4.    Benchmark performance.
5.    Identify a relevant improvement strategy.
6.    Learn implementation approaches/skills.
7.    Locate best practices' professionals for
8.    Research further information.
9.    Implement a best practices approach.
10.  Review.
11.  Measure, applying the same set of rubrics
       as above.

Best practices are attained when each member of management acquires three equally weighted behaviors:

•   Improve your own performance;
•   Improve the performance of your colleagues
    and staff; and
•   Improve all of your organization's
    business processes through rubrics and

σ, the lower case Greek letter sigma, is the symbol used to represent the standard deviation of a statistical population. The term Six-Sigma derives from the notion that if one has six standard deviations between the mean of a process and the nearest specification limit, there will be virtually no items that fail to meet the specification. The term Six-Sigma also refers to a five-stage approach to improvement of a problem and to elimination of waste in any environment, including those within 3PL companies: DMAIC. Define→ Measure→Analyze→Improve→ Control. These five stages are designed to drive process improvement toward a Six-Sigma level of capability and achievement.

Message from ACME's CEO

I've been speaking with many long time friends and associates not only in the logistics industry but in any host of different industries. Most everyone is understandably preoccupied with the economy and their respective abilities to cope with today's challenges. All businesses must meet and exceed the needs of their customers and still remain profitable while doing so. This is not a new concept nor is it one that has ever been easily accomplished. The reality of today's world economy has placed new and intensive demands on virtually every industry. Though the specific challenges may look different than those of the 80's or 90's, the one thing that isn't different is the way in which we must meet those challenges. Customer service will remain our number one focus. Supporting our operations with competent user friendly systems will be paramount. Flexibility is more than a buzz word - it's a mandate if we are to excite our customers with exceptional results. We intend to continue exciting our customers as we have since 1947. If you are a current Acme customer, please don't hesitate to let us know how we can further help you to meet and exceed your needs. If you're a future Acme customer, we welcome the opportunity to earn your business.


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