Module 4 – Case
Technology and Logistics/Logistics Design Alternatives
For this case you should really try to have some fun with the readings and additional research to discuss all the wonderful progress going on with respect to technology advances and how they improve the efficiency of global logistics. After you have read all the background articles and other more up-to-date references, write a 6-7 page paper discussing the following:
Part 1: How can technology improve the management of global logistics? Be specific with examples.
Part 2: How important is intermodal transportation with respect to global logistics? How do supply chains get more complicated when firms are doing business across borders versus domestically?
Research the topic with information from the background readings as well as any other resources you find on your own. The paper should be 6-7 pages in length and have a cover sheet and a reference page. Clarity of presentation is important, as well as your ability to cover the topic in a succinct, organized manner with research to back up your points. Use at least 3 different sources of information and annotate your sources of information appropriately on your references page and within the text as necessary. You will be assessed on how well you develop this case and demonstrate your understanding of the tremendous impact that technology has on supply chain efficiency. Submit your assignment for grading by the end of this module.
Albright, B. (2002). New technology reads ‘hidden’ bar codes. Frontline Solutions, 3(12), 47-49. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from ProQuest. (ProQuest doc ID 217769256 )
Abstract: New methods of reading bar codes through paint and other materials – developed by researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center – could help solve the problems that some companies face when marked items and parts are covered with paint and other coatings. That ability to read hidden bar codes (and other marks) is particularly critical in industries such as automotive, aerospace and defense, which are initiating direct-part marking programs in order to improve inventory management and to aid in recalls when defects are discovered. The NASA technology effort, now known as the Read Through Paint Project, grew out of NASA’s efforts to develop a better way to mark and track parts during the 1980s and 1990s. Researchers came up with five methods of reading hidden codes – magneto-optic, ultrasound, infrared imaging, capacitance and radar – but are initially focusing their efforts on magneto-optic and ultrasound.
Here is an article that discusses wireless technology and how it is being used in logistics:
Harder, P. (2011). A guide to wireless technologies. ASHRAE Journal, 53(2), 44-48. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from ProQuest (ProQuest doc ID 887994734)
Abstract: The article offers information on the benefits of using a wireless building automation system (BAS). It mentions that it minimizes tenant disruption and consumes fewer raw materials. It affirms that wireless systems are also ideal for niche building applications where hardwiring is physically challenging and have built-in signal strength indicators that help during the wireless installation phase.
Here is a good article that gives you an idea of how wireless technology is benefiting the trucking industry:
McCarthy, J. (2002). The wireless road taken. InfoWorld, 24(47), 38-40. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from EBSCO–Business Source Complete. (EBSCO Accession Number 8557785)
Abstract: Leading IT executives in the trucking and delivery industry are pushing a new wireless strategy as they equip their drivers and vehicles with a range of devices to refine their delivery management systems and drive profits. The affordable costs of implementing wireless systems, from GPS-loaded sensors to robust information input devices that can integrate with logistics planning back at headquarters, has made technology for trucking an area of growth and innovation. IT executives at companies with scores of daily pickup and delivery tasks are implementing new wireless devices that give their drivers much more leeway to make decisions and disseminate information during their schedules. As a result, the companies are seeing significant improvements in the efficiency of their logistics management systems.
This article should be particularly helpful for the case assignment:
Cross, C. S., (2007, April). Everything but the kitchen. Industrial Engineer, 39(4), 32-38. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from EBSCO. (EBSCO Accession Number 24655526)
Abstract: Bob Howard, VP of operations, US Foodservice distribution center in Topeka, KN, uses knowledge akin to that of a food scientist to marshal his staff. He retains more information in a day than most graduates do of a full college course. For an entire month last year, the US experienced the spinach scare, instigated by an E. coli outbreak connected to bags of the leafy green vegetable. All of the US Foodservice’s in-house supply was put on hold and segregated, says Howard. Once the in-house supply was accounted for and isolated from other produce, Howard’s recall team sprang to the task of tracking all the packaged spinach and ready meals that contained the potentially dangerous portions. Meanwhile, Howard notes that use of a new voice-directed handling technology at the Topeka branch has improved staff morale because components are lighter than other types of wearable computers, and the supervisory tracking components nudge employees to be more time-sensitive, diligent, and mindful of their progress.
The following information is intended to give you a good idea of some of the changes taking place in global logistics planning and the facilities required.
Read the following article concerning some of the things taking place on the borders of the US with regards to logistics:
Atkinson, W. (2002). Border activities get a boost since NAFTA. Logistics Management, 41(11), 62-65. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from ProQuest. (ProQuest doc ID 197199104)
Abstract: There has always been trade between the US and its next-door neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came along in 1992, though, trade volumes between the three NAFTA countries have soared. With increased trade comes increased demand for services such as freight transportation, warehousing, customs brokerage, freight forwarding, and assembly. Many of these services are located along the borders, saving time and cutting costs for all parties in the supply chain. This article looks at some of those border services and their benefits for shippers.
This article should be very useful for the case assignment:
Blaszak, M. W. (2003). The 21st century freight yard: BNSF’s Logistics Park near Chicago. Trains,63(1), 18-20. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from EBSCO. (EBSCO Accession Number 8923244)
Abstract: Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s new intermodal terminal, Logistics Park-Chicago, combines intermodal, vehicle and carload services with transloading and warehousing. The facility is 1.5 miles long and a mile wide, encompassing 380 acres.
Anonymous. (1999). The importance of aviation and intermodal transportation issues in site selection. Medical Device & Diagnostics Industry Magazine. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from http://www.mddionline.com/article/importance-aviation-and-intermodal-transportation-issues-site-selection