Logistics Can Shine in Lean Times

In the depths of the 1982 recession, I joined The Hudson’s Bay Company in an entry level logistics role. It was actually quite disturbing as the quarterly reports continued to roll out with headlines like “Bay Bleeds $ 300 million” and other similarly ominous tones making me wonder what kind of firm I was working for and what the future held.

Fortunately, the type of difficulties the firm faced in those recessionary days forced it to take a hard look at the way things were done and in many ways re-invent major parts of the business including logistics. Although sometimes a painfully slow and difficult process it often takes major threats to the business to start on the long road to positive logistics and supply chain change.

But the benefits of doing so can be enormous and operating cost reductions of $25 to $30 million a year were achieved in this case positioning HBC for survival while competitors like Eatons fell by the wayside. Unfortunately, based on recent results HBC may soon be facing a similar effort in their long and storied history and will hopefully rise to meet this challenge once again.

To assist you in bringing logistics to the forefront during this current recesssion we have organized the following articles and sources for logistics cost reduction. And if you have other logistics cost savings ideas and suggestions, please add them to this thread on the Logistics and Supply Chain Forum.

Jeff Ashcroft


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Ashcroft Communications International Ltd.

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