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.
Services Menu
Sharing the Load, Collaborative Transportation
Rate and Wrong, Consumption Based Fuel Surcharge
Finding The Win Win Deal, Freight Negotiations
Fuelling Your Supply Chain, Inbound Freight Programs
Green Your Logistics, Reducing Emissions
Out Of The Woods, Lean Logistics
Putting Out the Call, Request for Proposals
Affordable Supply Chain Technology, Transportion Management Systems

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.
On top of this less-than-efficient system, the cost of moving goods across Canada is bound to increase. Fuel prices will inevitably rise. Driver shortages due to an aging population, attrition, and a lack of new entrants is already occurring. When the economy picks up we're going to feel these pressures even more acutely.
One solution to optimize productivity is collaborative transportation management (CTM) in which the traditional one-to-one relationship between a shipper and receiver, is replaced by a more efficient many-to-many approach. Shippers, receivers, carriers, and third-party logistics companies can gain tremendous efficiencies through cooperative forecasting, order consolidation, optimizing asset utilization, sharing routes, and streamlining carrier payment.
Pooling resources improves the supply chain, reduces mileage, eliminates unnecessary trips, and increases load factors - all of which reduces costs. At the same time, energy consumption is substantially reduced, resulting in huge benefits to the environment in the form of reduced carbon expenditure, pollution, and congestion.
Need an example of where this is already working? The Canadian Pharmaceutical Distribution Network involves 21 manufacturers who distribute their products to hospitals across Canada through a sophisticated collaboration system. Hospitals order and receive the products they need from multiple suppliers through a single order system managed by a third party.
In order for CTM to work, some key interactions need to develop between consignors, carriers, and consignees, as well as any intermediaries that are involved in managing the process. Collaboration eliminates inefficiencies and improves supply chain performances for all, but a degree of transparency is absolutely critical.
CTM is not a new concept but it has not been widely adopted. Senior decision makers are too caught up in gaining competitive advantage, focusing on marketing and sales, to set up a collaborative system that will benefit them in the long term. When orders need to be delivered they not to think about the bigger picture. Typically they can't see past individual corporate objectives.
That's why logisticians really have to drive CTM. Their involvement ensures that key operations and procedures will be analyzed for hidden efficiencies. Information sharing between organizations is critical and must be conducted with absolute honesty and openness - without crossing legal boundaries, of course. The process will require continual monitoring by committed champions who will solve problems jointly, rather than individually. The technology employed must not only be effective but must allow seamless information interchange. The billing process must be simple, with costing methods that ensure all participants pay their fair share. And most importantly, tangible benefits must be realized by all parties.
Change management is going to be critical here, as companies negotiate roadblocks and move from single-minded self interest (with the associated attitudes and practices) to a more cooperative approach.
So how can all of this be accomplished? Again, logistics will have to lead the way, organizing from within, meeting with company stakeholders, educating them on the threats on the horizon and the potential benefits of collaboration. Analysis will be helpful - particularly of the current ordering process, size, and cycle, and the efficiency of the shipping and receiving functions. And a list needs to be generated of companies that would provide synergy in collaboration. For this it's always good to reach outside your organization, gleaning what you can from discussions at industry functions. Networking is excellent way to discuss collaboration with like-minded colleagues. Search the internet for buying groups coordinating on potential logistics efficiencies.
Third-party logistics providers who have embraced collaboration are in a great position to educate manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, shippers, and receivers on the advantages of CTM. They can also get the ball rolling, providing essential services and distributing the savings.
Collaborated distribution is an opportunity whose time has come. We will all win with cost reductions and a better environment.

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%.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Ontario Division
210 Main Street, P.O. Box 159
Erin, ON N0B 1T0
Telephone: (519) 833-0820
Quebec Division
18 Quarry Point Road
Hudson, QC J0P 1H0
Telephone: (514) 213-5321
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