Module 2 - Background

Distribution Systems

The following information will give you a good background on the importance of having an effective and efficient transportation and distribution system in your logistics plan. Please review the information presented below to assist you with the assignments. Be sure to surf the internet for some additional information on supply chain design to support your specific case and SLP papers.

Let’s begin by reading the article below for a review of different transportation and distribution systems:

Trunick, P. (2002). Drawing rings around your largest market. Transportation & Distribution, 43(11), 36-41.

Next, for a look at how one company saved money on the distribution of their product take a look at this article.

Coia, A. (2002). A new flow. Frontline Solutions, 3(13), 30-32.

Abstract: In the highly competitive semiconductor industry, cost-conscious manufacturers must closely examine their supply chains in order to determine where the inefficiencies they need to address may be. In the past two years, National Semiconductor Corp., a manufacturer of digital technology, has done just that, achieving a global logistics cost savings of between 10% and 15% since the opening of its Global Distribution Center (GDC) in Singapore. The result is an outsourced distribution center, operated by the UPS Logistics Group, that provides a variety of services including receiving and storing inventory, picking, packing and shipping to customer specifications, kitting and outbound transportation. The newly optimized system employs one-third fewer employees than the system previously used and gives National Semiconductor greater flexibility in choice of transportation carriers.

This article is used in the case study assignment:

DeWitt, T., Giunipero, L. C., & Melton, H. L., (2006). Clusters and supply chain management: the Amish experience. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 36(4).

Abstract: Purpose - To demonstrate the linkage between Porter's cluster theory and supply chain management, and provide evidence of their potential joint positive impact on competitiveness and firm performance. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines the linkage between cluster theory and supply chain management using data from a case study of the Amish furniture industry in Homes County, Ohio, USA. Findings - Using the Amish furniture industry and a representative furniture firm as examples, the paper shows the positive impact of operating within an integrated supply chain in a geographically concentrated cluster. Research limitations/implications - Use of a single case study approach limits the generalizability of the findings; the paper recommends further study of linkages in other industries and locations. Practical implications - The study suggests that firms build competitive advantage by initially focusing primarily on local resources when selecting supply chain partners, rather than looking only for low cost advantage through distant sourcing. Originality/value - This paper adds to the literature on business linkages by proposing an expanded definition of clusters as geographical concentrations of competing supply networks.