Early ‘Internet of Things’ Pilots Proved Supply Chain Benefits of RFID Pallets

RFIDpalletTwo early pilots were facilitated by Supply Chain Network and carried out in 2003 and 2006 with both representing successful demonstrations of the potential supply chain benefits available through ‘Internet of Things’ implementations.

Key to both of these pilots were RFID enabled pallets and the first project was the SCN Grocery Pilot which was carried out utilizing RFID at the pallet level for automated Distribution Centre (DC) receiving.

For the second pilot in the Office Products Industry, a combination of both pallet level and case level RFID was utilized to deliver significant results for both automated Distribution Centre Receiving and automated Direct to Store Delivery receiving.

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Reaching the Supply Chain Sustainability Tipping Point


Since the 1990’s I’ve been writing about sustainability, cap & trade and carbon footprints mainly in the realm of logistics and supply chain as that’s where I live.

Supply chains are incredibly important in this context as roughly 75% of most company’s carbon footprint emanates from their supply chain.

My mantra throughout this time has been ‘when not if’ these measures will be enacted and today I have to say we’re rapidly approaching the tipping point for supply chain sustainability.

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Could a New Pallet Be the Starting Point for More Sustainable Supply Chains?


A bold statement perhaps, but one borne out of long standing frustration with the slow if not stagnant forward movement towards implementing more sustainable supply chains.

In 1985 I established my first retail store cardboard recycling initiative which not only was good for the environment, but was also a financially lucrative initiative saving the Hudson’s Bay Company $100’s of thousands of dollars annually at that time.

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Green Logistics Buildings and Operations Resources

Although the majority of a company’s supply chain footprint comes from transportation, it’s also important to look at your buildings, their energy consumption and their operating equipment to make them as energy efficient as possible.

A number of articles from Supply Chain Network may assist you in learning more about a number of factors you can influence in the initial design, location and building standards (ie; LEED) for any new or retrofit logistics facility you may be contemplating.

Here is a link to our Buildings & Operations page as well as to our related blogpost category.

California Passes Cap & Trade Program: Look for Major Supply Chain Impacts

From California Environmental Protection Agency: “The formal Cap-and-Trade rulemaking began with the release of the Staff Report: Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR). The ISOR and formal rulemaking materials are available on the cap-and-trade rulemaking web page. The Board Hearing on this item was held on December 16, 2010. At the hearing, the Board approved Resolution 10-42 directing several modifications to the regulation as written. As a result, on July 25, 2011, the first Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Availability of Additional Documents (First 15-Day Change Notice) was issued. The public comment period for the 1st 15-Day Change Notice ended August 11, 2011.

On September 12, 2011, staff proposed additional modifications to the regulatory text in the Second Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Additional Documents and Information (Second 15-Day Change Notice). These modifications addressed comments ARB staff received in the first 15-day Change Notice and are the result of additional staff analysis and stakeholder engagement. The public comment period for the 2nd 15-Day Change Notice ended September 27, 2011.

On October 20, 2011, the Board adopted the final cap-and-trade regulation. As part of finalizing the regulation, the Board considered the related environmental analysis (i.e. functional equivalent document) and written responses to environmental comments. The Board also approved the adaptive management plan. The final regulation must be filed with the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) by October 28, 2011.

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ScottsMiracle-Gro Improves Distribution System in Sustainability and Customer Service

A new 100,000-sq. ft. warehouse will be added to The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s operation in Lebanon, Conn. to service the Company’s home center retail customers in northeastern U.S. By installing a warehouse in this region, the Company expects to improve its environmental footprint by reducing the number of miles traveled within its distribution network while also reducing costs and improving its customer service levels.

The warehouse is part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s high-service distribution model that the Company began implementing across the U.S. in 2009. Construction of the warehouse is scheduled to be completed in early 2012. The Company currently employs 40 associates in Lebanon, a number that is expected to increase modestly with the warehouse addition.

“We are excited to extend our improved distribution model to the Northeast because it will provide quicker service to our large retailers and benefit consumers in this key market,” said Dave Swihart, senior vice president, Global Supply Chain, ScottsMiracle-Gro.

“In our operations, we are striving to reduce our environmental footprint, and this distribution model is a significant contributor to that objective. This effort reinforces our belief that we can simultaneously grow our business in a way that supports our commitment to becoming a more sustainable company,” Swihart stated.

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Can Modern Transport Airships Change the World?

Over the last couple of years my interest and excitment around the concept of reviving and renewing airship transport technology of the blimp or zeppelin variety has been growing steadily. Today I’m now utterly convinced these massive dinosaurs of the sky from the early 1900s actually have the potential to re-emerge and change our world for the better. Can Modern Transport Airships Change the World?

Herman E. Daly: A Steady-State Economy

From SDC(UK): The Earth as a whole is approximately a steady state. Neither the surface nor the mass of the earth is growing or shrinking; the inflow of radiant energy to the Earth is equal to the outflow; and material imports from space are roughly equal to exports (both negligible). None of this
means that the earth is static—a great deal of qualitative change can happen inside a steady state, and certainly has happened on Earth. The most important change in recent times has been the enormous growth of one subsystem of the Earth, namely the economy, relative to the total
system, the ecosphere.

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Environment Will Drive Major Logistics Real Estate Shift

One can’t turn around today without seeing the growing impact rising environmental consciousness is having on both consumer choices and by extension business practices. As companies become more environmentally astute, either through brute force of customer will or in combination with the leadership of key employees, all aspects of the business will be driven to reduce carbon outputs.

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Carbon Footprint is All About Supply Chain!

Join us on Wednesday June 25th at 10:00am eastern for our second SCN Supply Chain Network Webinar “Carbon Footprint is All About Supply Chain!” when Fraser Ironside of Barloworld Optimus will join us to present some background information and demonstrate some effective tools for incorporating carbon into your supply chain modeling functions. Companies exploring calculation of their company’s carbon footprint will rapidly realize that the supply chain generates roughly 75% of the total so it’s important to be able to flexibly and rapidly model a variety of supply chain network scenarios and simultaneously have the carbon output provided. Click here to register today for this important webinar and remember registration is limited to the first 1,000 who sign up!