Supply Chain Supply Chain
Supply Chain
Supply Chain
Supply Chain
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Introducing Aptitude4 Inc.

Aptitude4 a company that understands your supply chain, especially in today's economic environment. We provide solutions to solve challenges and improve your bottom line. Our consulting team members have many years of experience with the core competency and knowledge to help with supply chain strategy, leadership, process improvement and cost reduction. We are a solution provider with excellent project management skills that can help your company's competitive advantage.
   
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Services Menu
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Sharing the Load, Collaborative Transportation
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Rate and Wrong, Consumption Based Fuel Surcharge
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Finding The Win Win Deal, Freight Negotiations
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Fuelling Your Supply Chain, Inbound Freight Programs
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Green Your Logistics, Reducing Emissions
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Out Of The Woods, Lean Logistics
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Putting Out the Call, Request for Proposals
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Affordable Supply Chain Technology, Transportion Management Systems
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Sharing the Load

Collaborative Transportation

With today's focus on reducing costs and protecting the environment, the time for collaborative transportation management may be here.
Canada, the second largest country in the world - about 5,000 km from Vancouver to Conception Bay - is one of the most challenging, high-cost countries in which to distribute goods.
Forty-two percent of the population inhabit five urban areas where manufacturing and distribution facilities face common transportation challenges. Meanwhile, disproportionate shares of transportation resources are required to service the balance of the population, scattered over 10 million square kilometers. The situation dictates a high use of less-than-truckload delivery, and all-too-frequently, pick-up and delivery trucks simply aren't full.
 
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Rate and Wrong

Consumption Based Fuel Surcharge

Fuel needs to be a flow-through consumption-based charge - a system that would fair for everyone.
Fuel costs are the largest ongoing financial concern for both carriers and shippers. Fluctuating fuel costs create challenges for companies to remain on budget, which ultimately impacts bottom lines.
The current recession has tempered the volatility we've seen creating chaos in previous years. Rack fuel prices this year have been trending between $0.692/litre and $0.792/litre, according to Freight Carriers Association (FCA) data. The truckload rate for fuel surcharges ranges from 16% to a recent high of 21.4%. Compare this to July 2008 when fuel peaked at a rack price of $1.33/litre with the truckloads surcharged at 49.9%.
 
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Finding The Win Win Deal

Freight Negotiations

Freight negotiations don't need to be like poker games, where only one side can win the pot.
Negotiation is something logistics professionals will be called upon to conduct many times throughout their careers. It comes with the territory. Successful negotiation is essential in business - especially when the economy is struggling. Everyone strives for the best value and the lowest costs when obtaining the best service possible.
Unfortunately, however, when it comes to freight negotiations, many companies specialize in the "win-lose" approach - a positional or distributive negotiation whereby one party's gain is another party's loss.
 
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Fuelling Your Supply Chain

Inbound Freight Programs

When purchasing and transportation come together they are not only helping to improve operations, they are also contributing to the bottom line.
One of the hottest trends in business by large corporations is Inbound Freight Programs. Most perceive this program as a means to reduce costs by capturing the transportation component included in the line item price by receiving a discount or refund from the vendor which creates a revenue stream. The revenue stream is then applied to the costs of transportation for the goods which returns a margin due to their buying power with their carrier(s) of choice. At Aptitude4 our perception of an "Inbound Freight Program" has more opportunities then the transportation savings.
 
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Green Your Logistics

Reducing Emissions

GHG emission reductions must be tackled the same way you achieve safety in the workplace. You need to implement a strategic plan and stick to it.
10 ways to reduce your environmental footprint and improve profitability.
Many companies talk about reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but too often there's a large gap between words and action. Most companies seem to be holding off on taking any real steps to reduce their environmental footprint because they believe the investment cost is too high.
Leading companies, on the other hand, are way ahead of the curve. They know that being proactive on the environment provides risk mitigation benefits. Why? Because they see that government legislation may soon be brought in to regulate CO2 emissions. They understand that external shocks such as wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and pandemic outbreaks can have enormous impacts on supply chains and energy supply. They recognize that oil prices can only move upward. They believe that good corporate citizenship attracts investors and employees. And they see environment sensitivity as a way to differentiate themselves.
GHG emission reductions must be tackled the same way you achieve safety in the workplace. You need to implement a strategic plan and stick to it.
Greening a company requires commitment and support from the leadership team. Businesses need champions to lead their environmental initiatives. and logisticians may be the best people for the job. Not only are they involved in sourcing, but they make the critical transportation decisions that will contribute to the greening of the company.
Here are just some of the considerations they have to weigh:
1) Sourcing well - preferably as close as possible to the customer. We consistently examine the trade-off between cost of goods and transportation. However minimizing long-term costs may require us to consider other factors. What about flexibility - the ability to react quickly to market changes? What about consumer preferences? Ultimately if off-shore sourcing is the best option, the most energy-efficient transportation will be necessary. That might mean ocean freight rather than air freight - and this will require a thorough understanding of lead time.
2) Making domestic transportation decisions with a clear understanding of the benefits of rail versus truck, and what intermodal shipping makes most sense for the company. And, once again, this means understanding lead time and communicating time constraints to the customer.
3) Finding environmental programs like Fleet Smart/Smartway which certify leading edge trucking companies. Leading shippers are now incorporating this requirement into the Request for Proposals.
4) Sourcing energy-efficient equipment and a transportation management system that will optimize fleet routing and scheduling. Driver training will also have a huge impact in reducing GHG emissions. According to Claude Robert of Robert Transport, there's a 35% reduction in the fuel consumption by the best drivers, compared to the worst.
5) Eliminating idling trucks at the shipping dock. Monitoring of idling engines can be done while checking that the wheels are chocked.
6) Using electric forklifts to load vehicles rather than propane or diesel.
7) Taking advantage of collaborative transportation. As discussed in this column last year, cooperation with other companies, even competing ones, needs to gain greater acceptance as a means to cut costs. It benefits everyone.
8) Converting large trucks to natural gas. Yes, capital costs are higher but, in the long run, there are tremendous fuel savings to be enjoyed while reducing harmful emissions.
9) Reducing packaging wherever possible. You'll increase the density of your shipments, put more product on the vehicle, and reduce freight rates.
10) Reducing paper flow. Embrace the electronic transfer of information. It reduces costs both in supplies and labour.
These are just a few ways that logisticians can green the supply chain. Most important is to take a baseline of where you are today and track your progress. I'm sure you'll find that environmentally friendly business practices definitely improve profitability.
Remember, as PricewaterhouseCoopers points out in its Transportation & Logistics, 2030 study, "He who focuses on carbon footprinting is stepping on the right foot."
  
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Out Of The Woods

Lean Logistics

Lean logistics will help any company - during hard times and hay-days alike.
Recent business reports indicate that the recession is over. This may be the case for some leading companies, but not all. Many businesses are still just barely holding their own. Others are in obvious distress. They'd take great exception to overstated optimism.
The true sign that we've come out of the recession is when businesses begin adding full-time jobs again. This will restore consumer confidence and spending. But even then, we will have to continue applying lean principles to our logistics operations.
 
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Putting Out the Call

Request for Proposals

Requests for proposals and quotations show suppliers that you're organized, impartial. and growing.
Generally speaking, logisticians at small- to mid-size logistics firms make too little use of standard Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Requests for Quotations (RFQs).
Both are important parts of the logistics buying process, allowing potential suppliers to join the competition to provide a business with goods or services. The issuer makes available the specifications and requirements to several candidates, and then waits for the competitive responses to be submitted.
 
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Affordable Supply Chain Technology

Transportion Management Systems

Transportation Management Systems (TMS) over the internet allows any company, regardless of size, to obtain the benefits of a good transportation management system.
Not long ago the high cost of Transportation Management Systems meant they were used almost exclusively by large shippers and carriers.
Well, things have certainly changed - especially with the advent of "software as a service" or SaaS as it is commonly called.
 
   
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210 Main Street, P.O. Box 159
Erin, ON N0B 1T0
Telephone: (519) 833-0820
 
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18 Quarry Point Road
Hudson, QC J0P 1H0
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