As the business environment becomes increasingly competitive, companies continuously look for ways to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Adopting integrated logistics policies is a method that many companies have used to improve their competitive edge. Companies have implemented an integrative philosophy known as supply chain management (SCM), which minimizes inventory, by reducing uncertainty, and increases customer service and competitiveness. It has become important to understand how to successfully manage a supply chain to realize these benefits. As SCM becomes more visible, new demands will be placed on everyone in the supply chain, particularly small and rural companies to implement these strategies. This report presents the results from expert interviews with Minneapolis/St. Paul companies and North Dakota manufacturing companies. The Minneapolis expert interviews helped to identify the minimal logistical capabilities a supplier must have in order to do business with the Minneapolis companies. Ten firms with membership in the Council of Logistics Management participated in these interviews. The North Dakota expert interviews identified the capabilities of small and rural manufacturers to apply logistical practices to their companies. These companies were chosen on the basis that they were likely to have business partnerships with the Minneapolis companies or to compete in similar markets. Companies adopt a SCM philosophy to achieve the following three strategic goals: 1) reduce inventory levels, 2) increase customer service, and 3) build a competitive advantage. To reach these goals, three operational strategies companies can implement include 1) information technology, 2) core carriers, and 3) third party logistics. "Leading edge" companies focus on the strategic goals of SCM while small, rural companies focus on the day-to-day operational activities. The different focus by each set of companies could cause some difficulties when trying to do business with each other.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 88 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00748693
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC Report No. 98-71
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 8 1998 12:00AM