by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Three strategies cold chain shippers can use to ensure strong supply chain leadership today and in the future.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4%, the supply chain field is in the same quandary that many other industries are in right now—namely, finding skilled and available talent to fill their employee pipelines.

Going a step further, identifying and cultivating individuals who can lead the supply chain of the future is even more difficult, what with the abundance of jobs and opportunities that experienced professionals literally have at their fingertips online.

“Manufacturing, retail, logistics, and a range of other companies are scrambling to find supply chain professionals amid a severe talent shortage that threatens those companies’ very livelihoods,” Margaret Harrist writes in Supply Chain Talent Shortage: What’s an Industry To Do?

“At the same time, the skills needed are changing rapidly,” Harrist continues. “The challenge for employers is to find people with the necessary technical and operational competencies, as well as the ability to lead, apply analytical thinking, and innovate.”

Three Steps to Take Right Now

Here are three strategies that cold chain shippers can use to start shoring up their supply chain leadership pipelines for the future:

  • Define your company’s mission. According to the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives—not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs. This is a major oversight for any cold chain shipper that wants to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of supply chain leadership. “To get started, define an organization or team mission that identifies the specific objectives of your vertical, then use that mission as the foundation of your succession plan,” Tisha Danehl points out in Supply Chain Quarterly. An example of a mission may be something like: “Our goal is to provide quality service to customers while using technology to be sustainable.”
  • Position supply chain as a hotbed for new technologies. According to a recent industry survey, 70% of companies said that candidates’ perception that the “profession lacks status and opportunities for career growth have a high or very high impact on employers’ ability to find, attract, and retain talented people,” Harrist writes, noting that in many cases, those perceptions sometimes are perpetuated by the employers themselves. To buck this trend, focus on how supply chain professionals use emerging technologies (i.e., the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics), and on how it “allows professionals to focus on several areas that are attractive to young people: improving environmental sustainability and increasing standards of living.”
  • Look outside of your organization’s four walls. “While it’s ideal to look internally, the truth is that sometimes you must go outside your organization to find the right person to lead your logistics or supply chain organization in the future,” Danehl suggests. “With senior leadership potentially approaching retirement, partnering with outside resources, such as a recruiting firm, can help you fill important roles.” Social media (i.e., LinkedIn and the new “Jobs on Facebook” feature), professional trade organizations, and partnerships with area educational institutions are all good resources for shippers to explore.

“By hiring talent directly out of college,” Danehl writes, “you can get an early sense of the candidates’ capabilities and build your workforce from the ground up to ensure that your future supply chain leaders have the right management skills.”

Are you interested in joining the Hanson Logistics team? We look forward to getting to know you, contact us today to learn about our current openings!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Moving a shipment across the supply chain without suffering any setbacks or temperature anomalies requires the establishment of a comprehensive logistical process to maintain the shipment integrity.

The cold supply chain, for example, is getting more and more difficult to manage as regulatory issues, carrier capacity crunches, the need for sophisticated technology platforms, and driver shortages all take a toll on a firm’s ability to make the best possible transportation decisions.

In fact, these challenges can make maintaining the in-house expertise needed to stay profitable nearly impossible. Maximizing Quality and Profits in Cold Chain Logistics, author Pat Hughes notes that the most common causes of profit loss in the cold supply chain include temperature abuse, humidification abuse, ethylene/CO2 abuse, microbial growth damage, and damage due to mishandling.

5 Key Considerations

In The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University’s Jean-Paul Rodrigue notes that the process includes several phases that range from the preparation of the shipments to final verification of the integrity of the shipment at the delivery point. Each of these can impact the supplier’s profits:

  • Shipment preparation. When a temperature sensitive product is being moved, the shipment itself should already be at the desired temperature.
  • Modal choice. “Distance between the origin and the final destination (which often includes a set of intermediary locations), the size and weight of the shipment, the required exterior temperature environment and time restrictions (perishability) of the product all affect the available transportation options”, Rodrigue points out.
  • Customs procedures. “If the freight crosses boundaries, custom procedures become critical”, Rodrigue writes, “since cold chain products tend to be time sensitive and more subject to inspection than regular freight (e.g. produce, pharmaceuticals, and biological samples).
  • The last mile. “Key considerations when arranging a final delivery concern not only the destination,” he notes, “but also the timing of the delivery so the critical labor and warehousing space is available.”
  • Integrity and quality assurance. “After the shipment has been delivered, any temperature recording devices or known temperature anomalies must be recorded and made known”, Rodrigue points out.

“The setting and operation of cold chains is dependent on the concerned supply chains since each cargo unit to be carried has different requirements in terms of demand, load integrity, and transport integrity,” Rodrigue concludes. “Because of the additional tasks involved as well as the energy required for the refrigeration unit, transportation costs for cold chain products are much higher than for regular goods.”

As one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the cold chain industry, Hanson Logistics moves millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. Leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, technology, and expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time and at rates that allow your company to exceed its own profit expectations.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Defined by Merriam-Webster as a system of government or business that has many complicated rules and ways of doing things, “bureaucracy” is often used to describe the inner workings of any organization that tends to operate with a lot of red tape, rules, policies, and decision makers. Hanson Logistics, on the other hand, has effectively bucked this trend and instead focuses on making it easy for customers of all sizes—and across numerous industries—to do business with it.

Counted among the largest refrigerated public warehouses in the country, Hanson is smaller than the conglomerates and internationally held PRWs.  Smaller companies are well known for their agility, growth potential, and ability to turn on a dime when the market calls for it, and Hanson is no exception.

Add “family-owned” to the equation and the attention to customer service, longevity, and sustainability becomes that much more focused. Rather than concentrating on what’s best for shareholders, for example, smaller firms empower their employees to make decisions instead of just deferring to corporate management. These qualities translate into less bureaucracy and more personal client and supplier relationships.

“When looking for a company to do business with, whether that’s as a supplier, a distributor, or service provider, it can be easy to go straight to the biggest names in the field,” notes Complete Biz Systems’ Size Matters: The Benefits of Doing Business with a Small Company. “However, when you look at the day-to-day reality of business, smaller companies often offer much more in return, providing you with a personal service that could suit your requirements far better than any global corporation ever could.” Just a few of those benefits include:

  • Understanding:  A small company is far more likely to recognize how your business works and what it needs to grow.
  • Accountability:  In large national or international companies, finding the person who is responsible for dealing with your query or complaint can be almost impossible.
  • Accessibility:  When contacting a small company, they’ll know exactly who you need to speak to, and if they’re not in the office, should be able to help you get in touch quickly.
  • Personal service:  Smaller operations are far more likely to take each client on individually, talking through their exact requirements and molding products and services to suit those needs. This way, you get a much more practical and targeted solution for your business needs.
  • Price:  Big businesses may be able to offer competitive prices due to the volume of business that they take on, but generally small companies will be able to offer you better deals on their products.

According to the National Research Center, other great reasons to work with small businesses include the ability to easily build relationships with owners and staff (and perhaps even feel like they’ve become part of a “family”); the opportunity to support the nation’s biggest job creators; and the fact that small business owners are generally experts in their field. This makes them better equipped to answer complex questions or provide innovative solutions for their customers.

For more information on how to leverage Hanson Logistics’ strength as a small, family-run logistics provider please visit us online at www.hansonlogistics.com.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Keep on Trucking (Even in Weather Delays)

Keep on Trucking (Even in Weather Delays)

Virtually every interstate system east of the Rockies has experienced some measure of disruption during the last month of Polar Vortex weather. From whiteout snowfall to gale force winds to fog as heavy as blanket wraps, truck drivers face an unprecedented upheaval in an already demanding occupation. Weather is an increasing threat to supply chain normality.

In a recent Fleet Owner article, the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty insurance company emphasizes that weather impacts business performance across a wide range of industries. “The weather does not have to be extreme in order to have a negative impact on cash flows; sometimes it is merely enough for it to be uncommon, unseasonal or even unexpected,” noted Karsten Berlage, global head of weather risk management at Allianz Risk Transfer (ART), one of Allianz’s specialty divisions. According to Allianz, the cost of U.S. weather-related delays for airlines and trucking companies annually amounts to $3 billion and $3.5 billion respectively. Estimates indicate 30% of U.S. gross domestic product – some $5.7 trillion – is directly or indirectly affected by weather and climate activity.

Hanson Logistics remains committed to on-time frozen food distribution across the U.S. and throughout the four seasons. With an eye on safety, we keep on trucking.