IDII Software Newsletter
September 3rd, 2008 - Volume 9 Number 6
For PROFESSIONALS in Software for Warehousing, Logistics, and Supply Chain.
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Big Brother at the Border - On USA Citizens

We are now seeing the realization of Geoge Orwell's Big Brother, where the US government can mandate detailed investigations and surveillance without a warrant, at the US border, without cause and without a warrant. We are deviating from our normal supply chain software focus, to give a heads up to international travelers coming into the US, including US citizens.

Whether you travel with a laptop, desktop, USB ram stick, or portable hard drive - you might not get back into the USA, when returning through customs, unless you permit the US government to electronically examine the contents. This requires giving passwords to the authorities on secured drives/files. This is basically a "random" screening impacting a small percentage that crosses the border, but it is highly intrustive and highly interupts the computer being analyzed (it will be sent back to you eventually). We need to realize that everyone does not want "anyone" including government employees and contractors, looking at intellectual property and confidential business agreements that most business have on their computers. These employees and contractors could become a source of leaked information.

David Jonas of "The Transnational" wrote "Airport Laptop Seizures Debated in Washington" in July 2008. He states "International travelers entering the United States face potential inspection and seizure of their laptops and other electronic devices, and copying of the electronic files they contain as part of the country's border security. Upheld in April by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit federal appeals court decision, such activity by border patrol agents has drawn criticism -and was the subject of a U.S. Senate hearing last month." He goes on in this article to share...

"At the Senate hearing, ACTE executive director Susan Gurley said, "The warrantless and unanticipated seizure of one's mobile office ... can immediately deprive an executive or company of the very data--and revenue--a business trip was intended to create. As a businessperson returning to the U.S., you may find yourself effectively locked out of your office indefinitely. (via a laptop seized for examination) "

Do read the entire article as pointers are given. One solution is to keep business documents on the corporate server and just access them via the laptop. Other ideas are in this excellent article. Last minute updates to documents? If new documents are on the laptop - burn a backup CD/DVD copy - prior to customs. In this manner, you could work off of your backup media, if the laptop is seized.

Have We Arrived In Big Brother Mode?

Wikipedia article says that "In October 2006, the book The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived listed Big Brother as #2." Wow, number 2! See for the full article.


Develop a strategy on what files are needed on a laptop. Use secured webspace or corporate server to store confidential data and try to eliminate all client confidential data (consultants and lawyers) on electronic devices. As law abiding individuals, we have nothing to fear, and are willing to work with all levels of government. We just do not want our business data leaked or reviewed needlessly, without a warrant and without a probable cause. Plan ahead and plan wisely!

Philip Obal, Consultant



Supply Chain Books - Over 30 topics .that span Warehouse Management or Inventory Management or Facility Planning & Layout or Software & Technology or RFID or WMS or MRP or Metrics-KPIs-Dashboards or Labor Management or Global Procurement and more!


Selecting Warehouse Software from WMS and ERP Providers - Best Warehouse Management System book to guide you through the process NEW "Selecting Warehouse Software from WMS and ERP Providers - Expanded Edition" New content in all areas plus new detailed implementation chapter. 205 pages. $125 USD.

New White Papers   - White Paper Index -Suggest A White Paper

Seven Key Considerations When Selecting A Labor Management System by Kurt Salmon Associates - Excellent - See BOOKS on LMS
Top 10 Reasons Why Labor Management Systems Fail by Kurt Salamon Associates - Excellent - See BOOKS on LMS
Meaningful Labor Management Metrics from WERC - Good - See BOOKS on LMS

NEW! Fun Or Inspiring

Annoying and Very Funny Mom Phrases! Humorus and True!
Funny Have a Laugh!

Technology & Software Product News

3PL Central Announces New Features for Cold Storage and Public Warehouses Handling Food Products strong> 3PL Central announced support for Variable Unit of Measure SKUs via its flagship 3PL WMS offering, 3PL Warehouse Manager. Accurate inventorying of Variable Units of Measure, often called "catch weight," is critical to cold storage facilities and public warehouses handling products with inconsistent product weight configurations. This dual inventory measurement is typically found when managing food and food-related ingredients, as well as components materials, such as textiles, metals, and chemicals. As with all 3PL Warehouse Manager features, this new Variable Unit of Measure enhancement was initiated and developed in response to the expressed needs of current 3PL Central customers. The new capability supports a variety of configurations - and can capture primary and variable units throughout the warehouse's workflow, including during receipt, order allocation and upon shipment - ensuring total accuracy and visibility.

Cadre Technologies announces latest version of the Cadence warehouse management system, version 3.0. Cadence 3.0 includes savvy technology features that increase warehouse productivity.

§ Supports catch weight operations in receiving, picking and inventory transactions.
§ Lets warehouse workers build user-defined product “density codes” that can be used for assisting pickers in building pallets for shipping.
§ Features bar-coded date information capture, allowing for application of date rules based on shipping destination.
§ Includes substantial Web Access enhancements including work-flow approvals, order file attachments and new ordering options for third-party logistics providers.
§ Includes enhancements to its Cadence Mobile Logistics (CML) tool with additional features supporting the picking process, including unit of measure conversion.
§ Includes integration to Pro Track, an advanced labor management system using the data captured via Cadence Mobile Logistics.

Prophesy Transportation Solutions has partnered with Nationlink Wireless to service customers’ software and product-related cellular needs. Prophesy publishes a popular GPS Tracking and integrated Mobile Communications solution for trucking operations; known in the industry as “Prophesy Mobile Comm” (click here for more info). Nationlink Wireless works to outfit Prophesy Mobile Comm customers with the cellular phones, accessories and data plans needed to run the solution at optimum levels. In addition, Nationlink provides preferred services such as free bill auditing and analysis, a repair and exchange program, and periodic online training courses. These exclusive services are available now and are provided at no additional cost to Prophesy Mobile Comm customers.

Prophesy Dispatch with Interface to Peachtree Accounting 2009 is now available. Building upon the success of the company’s existing interface with Peachtree, Prophesy has added superior functionality between the two programs, as well as additional upgrades that tie into enhancements within the core DispatchSeries solution. …the 2009 interface works with the newly added Revenue Settlement module in Prophesy Dispatch, allowing users to work with deductions, expenses, and a customizable settlement report for drivers. “It is our goal in the development of any Prophesy product to shape the end result based on active user feedback”, said Prophesy President Edward J. Forman. “Our Dispatch with Peachtree Interface solution is a shining example of this process in action. Input from Peachtree users allowed our development team to add intuitive features to the program which follow the workflow of the average Peachtree user.”

RedPrairie announced that they have created a next generation employee self-service application. This new browser-independent application will allow employers to more effectively communicate with their employees. As part of the RedPrairie Workforce Management solution, the enhanced employee self-service capability provides employees with the ability to confirm their work schedules, check hours worked, submit time off requests, and receive other job-related information with a secure, easy-to-use web portal interface. With this solution, employees can also access work schedules through a WAP-enabled (Wireless Application Protocol) device, such as a mobile phone or PDA. The enhanced employee self-service capabilities are available in the current release of RedPrairie Workforce Management.

RedPrairie WMS integrates Build-To-Order features in new release. Current version supports in-line sequencing and work order processing for seamless production and logistics. The new WMS additions will allow several work orders to be allocated, scheduled and system-directed across multiple work stations. Labor standards, so successful in improving distribution workforce performance, have also been extended to the production line. These enhancements will improve the efficiency, control and visibility of production work order processing.

“For manufacturers, supply chain management starts with the raw materials and components they receive from suppliers and continues all the way to the customer, sometimes extending to vendor-managed inventory at the customer site,” comments Tom Kozenski, RedPrairie vice president product strategy, “Manufacturers view this as one multi-step process which they want to support with a single integrated approach. Through this new release, manufacturers for the first time have an integrated solution across these domains.”

RedPrairie’s Build-To-Order solution provides in-sequence parts and component delivery to production lines, error proofing and traceability, shop floor integration with material handling equipment, and outbound delivery sequencing. This reduces lead times and inventory costs, improves on-time delivery, and enhances lean manufacturing efforts. The new release also adds to the WMS’s vendor-managed inventory capabilities, improving visibility and control over inventory hand-off from supplier to customer. The new updates include support for the roll third party logistics providers often play in the process, tracking supplier information down to the item level, offering time-appropriate ownership transfer, and rules-based allocation algorithms by supplier.

SPS Commerce and 7Hills unveiled B2B integration or EDI from SPS Commerce with proven logistics management capabilities from 7Hills, both delivered in a SaaS or on-demand model to eliminate the need for on-site software, hardware, and expertise. Mid-sized businesses increasingly need to meet performance, visibility, and compliance standards previously achieved only by large suppliers, distributors, and logistics providers. This SaaS solution enables SMBs to meet these same needs more rapidly and cost-effectively, enabling them to better compete and deliver improved customer service. 7Hills and SPS Commerce are also partners with SaaS or on-demand, integrated business management software leader, NetSuite.

TIBCO Software announced that CargoSmart Limited (logistics Software solution provider) has successfully deployed TIBCO SOA infrastructure software. This implementation is the first in the industry to provide customers with advanced visibility and collaboration solutions, including Exception Management and Milestone Assignments, with the TIBCO SOA infrastructure.

Transportation | Warehouse Optimization (TWO) developed AutoSPA (Automatic Ship Point Assignment). The new software is designed to replace fixed-assignment logic in many ERP systems that assign the customer to just one distribution point. AutoSPA optimizes the selection of the ship point based on the cost for that particular order and constraints such as inventory availability, lead-time and site capability.

“We saw a huge potential for savings for our customers,” said Tom Moore, a principal at Transportation | Warehouse Optimization. “On average, we expect a two to five percent savings generated by AutoSPA. That is a substantial reduction in the delivered cost.”

AutoSPA automatically determines the least-expense, capacity-constrained origin point for each shipment by costing every possible alternative including production costs as well as transfer and customer freight. AutoSPA can also use total net margin to determine the best ship point. For example, although vigilant people on the order desk can capture the obvious opportunities like the Chicago distribution center shipping to a customer in Detroit when all product on the order is made near the distribution center in Buffalo, NY, they are likely to miss other more subtle opportunities. AutoSPA won’t! AutoSPA will determine that if product facing its last-ship date is available from the St. Louis distribution center, the order should be shipped from there rather than from Chicago. Or AutoSPA can determine the subtle difference in total delivered cost among a number of potential ship points for a mixed load containing many items made in different locations.

“AutoSPA is like doing a network study on each shipment,” Moore said. “If a location can only handle 20 shipments in a day, AutoSPA ensures they are the best 20 shipments it can make. We are in the process of certifying this software with SAP so integration with that leading application should be relatively seamless. Later this year, SAP customers will be able to easily reduce their supply chain costs substantially.”

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Scripture to Ponder - List of Scriptures to Ponder from prior issues.

"The poor man uses entreaties, but the rich answers roughly." - Proverbs 18:23

Famous Quotes to Ponder - List of Quotes to Ponder from prior issues.

"Dreaming in public is an important part of our job description, as science writers, but there are bad dreams as well as good dreams. We're dreamers, you see, but we're also realists, of a sort. "- William Gibson

Websites To Check Out

Just Released! Google Chrome is a FREE and VERY FAST browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. See to download or learn more..

Android: the first complete, open, and FREE mobile platform. The Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies, is developing Android: the first complete, open, and free mobile platform. To help developers get started developing new applications, we're offering an early look at the Android Software Development Kit. See

Job Search Websites - see

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