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SReport of the Panel on the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Services Industry The Panel on Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Services Industry was made up of six members, including three members from NAB (two from academia and one from industry), two other members from academia, and one from industry. Three of the panel members were also members of the parent committee. The panel was asked to assess the contributions of academic research to integrated logistics services and associated activities, technologies, and methodologies that cut across the many components of the transportation, distribution, and logistics (TDL) services industries. The panel reviewed the literature, developed several case studies, and sent a questionnaire to selected individuals, primarily university- based researchers, with special knowledge of the TDL industry (Addendum). The questionnaire was followed by two roundtables attended by panel members and 12 senior individuals in the TDL services industries (see Addendum). During the past two decades, deregulation of transportation and rapid advances in computing and communications technologies have resulted in a surge of innova- tion in logistics and accelerated the pace of change in the broader TDL industries. In manufacturing, reducing inventories and work-in-process through just-in-time deliveries, "pull" systems of supply-chain management, and other technologies and management practices depend on integrated-logistics services, which combine materials management and physical distribution. Logistics has emerged as a dis- tinct function in many companies and as a distinct service performed by integrated- logistics service providers. Over time, the users of integrated-logistics services have become more demanding, and, in response, providers have become more sophisticated. Their use of technology and their need for knowledgeable workers have created interest in and opportunities for academic research. 145
146 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE DEFINITION OF THE INDUSTRY Transportation, distnbution, and logistics services affect every facet of economic life in the United States. In 2000, the United States spent about $1.006 trillion to move freight. Trucking accounted for $481 billion, or about 48 percent of the total. Rail- roads came in second, accounting for $36 billion, and international, inland, and coastal water transportation was next at $26 billion (Delaney and Wilson, 2001~. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), transportation and inventory costs have been declining since 1981, when total logistics costs in the United States, including inventory carrying costs, transportation, and administrative costs, totaled almost 17 percent of GDP. In 2000, the total was 10.1 percent (Delaney and Wilson, 2001~. By far the most important reason for the decline has been deregulation in the rail and trucking industnes, but other factors such as de-unionization, advances in technology, and improved management practices have also contributed (Berman and Monaco, 2001~. Competition in transportation has not only created new incentives for service providers to reduce costs and improve the quality of service, but has also stimulated innovation in the types of services they provide. At the same time, compe- tition in the retail and manufacturing sectors has forced service providers to reduce costs, ensure faster inventory turns, reduce the amount of work-in-process to a mini- mum, and operate in close coordination with suppliers. All of these measures have been enabled by improvements in integrated logistics. Figure 5-1 shows the changes in inventory, transportation, and administrative costs in the last 20 years. 10 9 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 - o 1 ~ ~ ~ · GDP $ trillion (left scale) · Logistics percentage of GDP (right scale) Total U.S. logistics costs $ trillion (left scale) - 20 - 18 - 16 - 14 12 10 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 - o FIGURE 5-1 The cost of logistics in relation to GDP. Source: Cass Information Sys- tems, 1999.
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 147 INTEGRATED LOGISTICS: A COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATOR Because of the many changes in technology and management practices in the TDL services industry, especially since deregulation, the panel decided to focus on integrated logistics (also known as supply-chain management) and associated activities, technologies, and methodologies that cut across the TDL services in- dustry. Integrated logistics is becoming an increasingly important source of com- petition in all parts of the TDL services sector, as well as in other sectors of the economy and the national security establishment. Two big changes laid the foundation for integrated-logistics services: (1) the automation of transactions enabled by advances in information technology; and (2) the deregulation of transportation. Deregulation has led to dramatically more complex logistics decisions in many industries and a proliferation of transporta- tion service providers, which has encouraged innovation in service delivery and provided businesses with many more choices. Advances in information technol- ogy have enabled businesses to accumulate vast amounts of data on every aspect of their supply chains, from production to delivery. Efficient integration of sup- ply, production, and delivery schedules with suppliers and customers requires the effective management of these data. Supply-chain activities can be categorized into three major areas: (1) the acquisition of materials and supplies; (2) the manufacturing process; and (3) the distribution of products. Supply-chain management is the integration of the flow of materials, documents, information, and finances to optimize individual ship- ments. Managing the supply chain requires the integration of some parts of the supply chain that were previously regarded as separate. Integrated logistics includes the planning, implementation, and control of the flow and storage of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods, services, related information, and payments among suppliers and consumers from the production of raw materials to the final recycling or disposal of finished goods. The logistics value chain has three major elements: · the supply chain (the physical components, including manufacturing plants, warehouses, vehicles, and transportation infrastructure) · logistics business practices (practices and processes associated with the flow of goods, information, and payments through supply chains) information and decision technologies (computer-related technologies used to design, plan, and operate supply chains, including the monitoring of the status of materials, parts, and finished products in the supply chain and communications among supply-chain elements) . In a well integrated logistics value chain, all supply-chain elements are optimized with regard to both service and cost. Integrated-logistics technologies can change a "producer-push" system to a "customer-pull" system, in which inventory decisions are based on what customers are actually buying. In
148 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE manufacturing, this change has been driven by intense competition and the necessity of eliminating waste in the production process in the form of raw materials, work in process, and inventories of finished goods. In retailing, simi- lar pressures to reduce costs, coupled with the growing purchasing power of large retail chains, have led to new ways of doing business. Today, large retail chains choose suppliers based on how well they can match product flow to actual customer demand. In a survey of major global corporations in 1999, more than 90 percent rated effective supply-chain management as a critical success factor, up from 25 percent in the early l990s (Deloitte Consulting, 1999a). This change reflects the continuing concentration by businesses on core competencies; increased outsourcing of noncore production, distribution, and other functions; continued emphasis on cost reduction; and product proliferation in the consumer products, food, electronics, and other industries. Integrated-logistics services enable companies to manage the supply chain to meet their cost and flexibility goals. In the past 15 years, integrated logistics has evolved into a new discipline. Most competitive manufacturing and service companies have installed informa- tion systems capable of acquiring large quantities of timely, accurate data regard- ing major business functions throughout their internal and external supply chains. Advanced planning and optimization (APO) software can respond to the needs of a range of manufacturing systems (Thomas, 1998~. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which automates transactions and connects vital business sys- tems (e.g., manufacturing, human resources, financial, and other information/ data systems), is also widely used. Industries are attempting to develop optimiza- tion and decision-making capabilities that can translate the information generated by these systems into higher productivity and profits. The fruits of academic research have already had a large impact in this area, and they are expected to have a significant impact on the development and application of new decision technologies in support of integrated logistics. Technology Drivers Technological, organizational, and contextual changes have significantly in- fluenced performance in integrated-logistics services in the past 10 to 15 years. Significant technological innovations have been focused on applications of infor- mation technology: hardware that automatically captures data, satellite tracking systems, and navigation systems information systems, such as manufacturing resource planning and ERP software, electronic data interchange between firms in the value chain, and database management software decision technology
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 149 Other innovations include improved transportation, container, and warehouse equipment and improved human-machine interfaces. Contextual changes, which have been both drivers and enablers of change, include: deregulation; the global- ization of markets; the emergence of integrated supply chains, just-in-time deliv- ery, and reductions in lot sizes in manufacturing; satellite communication sys- tems; electronic commerce; increased competition; and other general technological advances. The technological foundations of integrated logistics rest primarily on operations research, automated data-capture technologies, and com- munications/networking technologies. Software providers and third-party logis- tics providers have been the main drivers of advanced technology development, diffusion, and use in integrated logistics. Software Providers Software companies have performed most logistics-related research and de- velopment (R&D) (mostly development) in the past 10 years. In manufacturing and logistics, companies such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and Baan have developed a suite of ERP modules for planning production, taking orders, and delivering products. The modules address the following functions: · production planning (performs capacity planning and creates a daily pro- duction schedule for a company's manufacturing plants) · materials management (controls purchasing of the raw materials needed to build products and manages inventory stocks) · order entry and processing (automates the data entry process of customer orders and keeps track of the status of orders) · warehouse management (maintains records of warehoused goods and pro- cesses the movement of products through warehouses) · transportation management (arranges, schedules, and monitors the delivery of products to customers via trucks, trains, and other modes of transportation) · project management (monitors costs and work schedules on a project-by- project basis) After nearly a decade of rapid growth and continuous expansion and inno- vation in product offerings, the ERP market has begun to weaken. The cost and complexity of ERP have created opportunities for other vendors to emerge. By focusing on narrower functionality than ERP and solutions customized by in- dustry, firms such as i2 Technologies and Siebel Systems have rapidly in- creased their presence in supply-chain and customer management systems (also known as APO solutions systems). For instance, total revenue for Siebel Sys- tems grew from $391.5 million in 1998 to more than $2 billion in 2001 (Siebel Systems, 2002~.
150 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE The emergence of the Internet as a business communication tool has at- tracted the interest of leading manufacturing, retail, consumer products, and other firms. Despite the benefits of ERP in generating operational improvements, com- panies continue to feel that their procurement systems face serious challenges and are looking for improvements through business-to-business electronic commerce. In a 1998 survey by Deloitte Consulting, companies reported that 80 percent of their strategic objectives for electronic commerce centered on supply chain and procurement processes. Early on, Ariba and CommerceOne were leaders in elec- tronic procurement, but the large ERP vendors have invested heavily in adding electronic commerce functionality that can be integrated with ERP systems. A1- though it is still too early to determine which approach or which vendors will succeed, it is clear that large, global firms will invest heavily in online procure- ment systems (Deloitte Consulting, l999b). Third-Party Logistics Providers The number of third-party logistics providers has increased significantly in the past decade. Third-party providers are companies hired to perform logistics tasks that were previously performed in house. There are several reasons compa- nies decide to outsource planning-intensive functions: · the explosion of new services in the deregulated transportation pro- vider network · opportunities provided by new information systems with increasingly so- phisticated procedures and automation systems · the availability of more alternatives · the volatility of demand · the rationalization of assets to minimize required investment and maxi mize return · the focus on core competencies . Most frequently cited benefits of outsourcing logistics services include (Logistics Best Practices Group, 1997~: · lower costs · the ability to focus on core businesses · greater flexibility · improved expertise/marketing knowledge · improved customer service The third-party provider industry has grown significantly in size and scope in the past decade. Revenues grew from $10 billion in 1992 to $56.4 billion in 2000 and were projected to grow 15 percent annually through 2003 (Delaney and
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 151 Wilson, 2001~. A survey in 1991 of the use of third-party provider services by manufacturers showed that 31 percent of respondents used them; by 1996, 58 percent used them, including about half of the Fortune 500 companies (Logis- tics Best Practices Group, 1997~. Another survey of corporate logistics managers revealed that the outsourcing of the total supply chain to a third-party provider cut logistics costs by more than 20 percent in the first year (Masters and La Londe, 1998~. The most frequently used services are warehouse management, logistics information services, shipment consolidation, rate negotiation, fleet management/operations, carrier selection, and product returns (Lieb and Randall, 1996~. Information technology, sensor technologies, and communication tech- nologies are essential to all of them. The hardware and communications technologies that capture the data needed to implement sophisticated ERP and APO software are still relatively new re- sources among integrated-logistics providers. Despite rapid growth in the indus- try, a significant learning process is under way as industry leaders learn how to use these tools for competitive advantage, and laggards recognize the inevitabil- ity of more technology-intensive business. Among industry leaders, the focus is on the acquisition of information and the effective use of data. Bar coding pro- vides specific identifiers for items being shipped; wireless communications and, increasingly, global positioning systems provide real-time data on vehicle loca- tions. Effective management of these data provides timely information on the location and progress of shipments, which has greatly improved customer ser- vice. Perhaps more important, the data can greatly improve efficiency by en- abling shippers to match vehicles with excess capacity to nearby shipments headed in the same direction. In the trucking industry, advances in route-planning software have enabled companies to maximize load levels and meet customer expectations (Nagarajan et al., 1999~. The Internet is providing a medium for accelerating and increasing the extent of these changes. In business-to-business electronic commerce, the Internet could lead to even tighter integration of supply chains, and all of the logistics software companies are making their products Internet enabled. As the volume of elec- tronic commerce increases, there is general agreement in the industry that logis- tics could mean the difference between success and failure. Some of the leading users of integrated logistics (e.g., Cisco Systems and Dell Computer) use the Internet to share information on production schedules, sales, customer orders, stocks, and other critical production data with their suppliers. For instance, as soon as a customer places an order on Dell's web site identifying the specific features being purchased, the order is placed on Dell's production schedule where suppliers can see it and produce the necessary parts. Integrated logistics ensure that the parts arrive at the production line and that inventory for both Dell and its suppliers is at a minimum. The savings have been so large that manufacturers in other industries, from consumer products to automobiles, are exploring ways to apply the Dell model to their supply-chain management.
152 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE As Dell has shown, logistics has become a key determinant of success in business-to-consumer electronic commerce. Even if Internet-based retail has little effect on the volume of goods shipped, it will vastly multiply destinations (e.g., individual residences) and raise customer expectations. The result is much more complex logistical systems and an urgency to use technology to manage this complexity profitably. The full implications of the Internet for supply-chain man- agement and the business-to-customer interface are just emerging. Information shared among suppliers is replacing physical inventories as the need for produc- tion buffers diminishes. However, different industries will embrace this change at different rates based on a number of factors, such as the number of suppliers and historic relationships in the production chain (Cairncross, 2000~. INNOVATION SYSTEM Except for software companies and some airlines, very few logistics compa- nies conduct R&D. A few of the leading integrated-logistics service providers conduct a limited amount of internal research and sponsor research at universi- ties. These firms include Schneider National (trucking), United Parcel Service and Federal Express (delivery services), CSX and Union Pacific (railroads), and Sabre/AMR (until 2000) and several major airlines, such as United and USAir (air transport). A few major industrial firms (e.g., Ford, Raytheon, Lucent Tech- nologies, and Procter & Gamble) sponsor research at universities. General Mo- tors, through its Enterprise Laboratory, also supports logistics research. As lead- ers in their fields, these and other firms play a critical role in the diffusion of advanced logistics technologies. Most innovations in integrated logistics have come from academic research in transportation/logistics research centers affiliated with university engineering and business schools and from applied research and product development by software companies. Relevant research has also been conducted at national laboratories and transportation centers associated with state departments of transportation. The academic disciplines involved in research on integrated logistics include applied mathematics, computer science and engineering, industrial engineering, operations research, software engineering, materials science, social and behav- ioral sciences (human factors), and business and management sciences. Aca- demic research on large-scale optimization models, decomposition methods, in- teger programming, and network optimization has been extremely valuable to the integrated-logistics industry. Academic research on the phenomenon of elec- tronic commerce, in terms of business models and pricing models, has been crucial to the growth and success of electronic commerce. Economics research on the structure of the industry and its economies of scale were crucial to the debates about deregulation. Business schools involved in logistics research and training tend to focus on the "softer" side of logistics (e.g., management and organization) in contrast to research on software, which is associated with engineering schools.
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 153 Transportation research institutes with federal, state, and industry support have been established at some universities to serve as intermediaries between academia and industry and to translate research results to industry. These insti- tutes function primarily as conduits between the academic community and trans- portation practitioners, adapting technology and research results to meet practi- tioners' needs and giving them a voice in setting research agendas. Most transportation research centers focus almost exclusively on the movement of people; only a few (e.g., Logistics Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technol- ogy, the Center for Transportation Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Tech- nology [MIT], Stanford University's Global Supply Chain Management Forum, and Princeton University's Computational and Stochastic Transportation Logis- tics Engineering [CASTLE] Laboratory) are doing a significant volume of work related to moving freight (see Box 5-1~.
154 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE A unique academic transportation research center is the Trucking Industry Program (TIP), first established in 1995 at the University of Michigan by a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the center was relocated to the Geor- gia Institute of Technology in 2002.i TIP contributes to the understanding of the trucking industry through a multidisciplinary approach involving faculty and students from several U.S. universities, including Georgia Tech, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Duke Uni- versity. TIP is the only academic program in the United States engaged in com- prehensive research on issues associated with labor, the firm, and operations and technology in the trucking industry. TIP is widely known for conducting the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of truckers at truck stops across the United States. The driver survey, which was conducted between August 1997 and Janu- ary 1999, has substantially improved our understanding of drivers' work hours and is often cited for presenting the first accurate portrait of truck drivers, their quality of life, and their views of the industry. Many academic centers require that member companies fund relevant re- search, provide access to real-world data, and provide sites for implementation. In some cases, access to research results is restricted to member companies, which tend to be the leaders among integrated-logistics service providers and users. At Georgia Tech, member firms pay $50,000 annually to participate, and individual companies are actively involved in research with academic faculty and students. Student/faculty teams work on problems defined by one or more com- panies, and research results are disseminated actively among members. At Stanford, member firms pay $25,000 to support academic research as part of an industrial consortium. Members benefit from networking and from student/ faculty teams working on problems of interest to all participants. At MIT, firms pay $20,000 to share research findings and network but are not directly involved in research. In addition to research, university transportation research centers also pro- vide executive courses, seminars, and symposia to inform industry of state-of- the-art academic research and new logistics technologies and to inform faculty members of the real problems in industries. For example, affiliate companies of the MIT Center for Transportation Studies come to MIT seven or eight times a year to review the status of academic research. CONTRIBUTIONS AND IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH Basic research, some of it done in the 1950s with no logistics applications in mind, has had the greatest impact on integrated logistics. Linear programming and integer programming have both made major contributions to methodology (see Box 5-2~. Major technological contributions emerged from research on com- puter science/artificial intelligence, specifically constraint-directed search and its relatives.2
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 155 Applied research has also been important to integrated logistics, especially in the areas of large-scale optimization modeling, decomposition methods, network optimization, and other areas of operations research. For example, research at MIT on models for shippers in the logistics industry includes transportation/ inventory trade-offs and motor-carrier bidding optimization. Software for rout- ing, production scheduling, and distribution management are examples of high-
156 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE impact technologies adopted by industry that were developed by university re- search teams. Academic research on the development of decision support tools, which require a thorough knowledge of available tools and a thorough knowledge of the industry, has been less transferable. On the one hand, most practitioners cannot explain problems or devise innovative solutions because they are not aware of the available technologies. On the other hand, most researchers are not sufficiently aware of the subtleties of real-world industry problems. University-Industry Interaction Modes of interaction between universities and private firms are not industry- specific. Academic research in the TDL industry is disseminated to industry primarily through graduating students entering the workforce who apply what they have learned at the university. Most successful employers recognize this vector of knowledge transfer and try to maximize the expertise of new hires by providing opportunities for them to contribute to changes in company practices. Other modes of interaction are also important. Member firms in university research centers have a financial stake in the research and an effective interface with researchers. Industry-sponsored research, the commitment by one or a small number of companies to support a specific project, is also an effective method of generating research that benefits industry. Companies are likely to adopt the research results of projects they have helped develop and funded (or partly funded). Consulting arrangements for faculty are another method of moving research results into the field. Although the relationship between consulting and technol- ogy transfer is not well documented, faculty consulting provides an obvious mechanism for generating new practices in industry. It also provides faculty with much needed exposure to industry problems, which has enormous benefits in shifting research from interesting but theoretical subjects to useful and applicable subjects. In logistics, academic consulting has often been a precursor, as well as a complement, to academically originated software start-up companies. For in- stance, start-up companies (predominantly software companies) in decision tech- nology, founded by professors and based on their academic research and consult- ing, have made significant contributions to innovation in integrated logistics. The special role of spin-off companies is described below, and an example is given in Box 5-3. Presentations at conferences with extensive industry participation, such as the conferences sponsored by the major operations-research/logistics- management professional societies (e.g., Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, the Council on Logistics Management, the International Society of Logistics), and other organizations are also an important vector for communicating academic research results to industry.
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 157 As professional education in logistics management, in the form of short courses, increases, it could encourage the use of, and demand for, new logistics tools. The technology transfer via these courses is generally minimal. They ex- pose practitioners to new technologies and ideas but generally provide little information on how to use them effectively. All of these mechanisms of knowledge transfer show that closer ties between companies and universities are necessary for industry to reap the maximum ben- efit from academic research. Programs like MIT' s Corporate Affiliates Program and Georgia Tech's Leaders in Logistics are reasonably good avenues of knowl- edge transfer because they provide for continuity of participation and a long-term learning process for faculty as well as industry. The panel believes that many faculty members focus on solving nonexistent problems, not because they are poor researchers, but because they do not understand the real-world problems faced by industry. This problem can usually be overcome if faculty members are given sufficient opportunities to interact with industry. Spin-off Companies The creation of new companies based on research results is an important mechanism for commercializing academic research results and increasing their
158 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE impact on industry. The case studies prepared for this report describe companies started by university professors; these are primarily software companies for imple- menting products or services developed through research and consulting.3 One of the case histories is summarized in Box 5-4. In the field of integrated logistics, most start-up companies involve deci- sion support systems (routing and scheduling), optimization software, traffic network analysis, third-party logistics companies, and consulting services. Georgia Tech's Logistics Institute, MIT's Center for Transportation Studies,
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 159 and Princeton's CASTLE Laboratory have served as incubators/support net- works for start-up founders, who received feedback from other university re- searchers and/or companies working on real-world logistics issues and prob- lems (see Box 5-5~. Once a new company is created, graduate students are usually hired to pursue further development of software products. Based on the accumulated knowledge, problem-solving skills, and expertise of professors and students, the software is tailored to solve a customer's problems. Consider- ing the success of many of these start-up companies, the impact on industry of academic research commercialized in this manner has been substantial. In many cases, larger companies eventually acquire the start-up companies, thus provid- ing more resources for continued product development and more exten- sive marketing.
160 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE Sources of Funding Both industry and government provide funding for academic research in logistics, although federal funding for basic research has decreased recently. The U.S. Department of Defense has historically supported most of the basic research relevant to integrated logistics; as defense budgets have decreased, these funds have become increasingly difficult to obtain. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funds a considerable amount of applied re- search in logistics, directs most of its funding to consulting firms and very little to academia. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which is a member organiza- tion of university logistics centers, such as the Logistics Institute at the Univer- sity of Arkansas, provides limited funding for academic research, as does the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). For example, the FAA funds the Na- tional Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research at the University of California at Berkeley and MIT. Historically, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded research relevant to logistics in mathematics and industrial engineering, but logistics- related research has not been a priority. In 2001, however, NSF created the Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution (CELDi), a multiuniversity, multidisciplinary industry/university cooperative research center based at the University of Arkansas, University of Oklahoma, University of Louisville, and Oklahoma State University. Research is driven by, and sponsored by, member organizations, which include manufacturing, maintenance, distribution, transpor- tation, information technology, and consulting companies. CELDi emerged in 2001 from the Material Handling Research Center (founded in 1982) and the Logistics Institute at the University of Arkansas (established in 1994) to provide integrated solutions to logistics problems through research using modeling, analy- sis, and intelligent systems technologies. Perhaps the most significant source of federal funding in TDL research comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through its University Trans- portation Centers (UTC) Program. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (P.L. 105-178) of 1998 authorized up to $194.8 million for grants to establish and operate as many as 33 UTCs throughout the United States. In addition to emphasizing the educational role of universities, the program funds basic and applied research to advance the body of knowledge in transportation. All UTCs are required to match federal funds dollar for dollar; state departments of transportation typically provide the match. Some UTC focus areas are listed below: · intelligent transportation systems · advanced technologies in transportation operations and management · advanced infrastructure and transportation · advanced transportation simulation · advanced transportation technology
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 161 Industry funding of TDL research is limited and concentrated in a handful of the biggest logistics research centers. Projects funded by industry, which can be either proprietary or generic (i.e., results can be published), cover a wide range of topics, from the movement and tracking of material in a factory to the distribution of finished goods to global markets to the scheduling of aircraft and crews for airlines. (The case studies provide some insight into the commercial applications of logistics technologies and research conducted to refine solutions to commer- cial problems.) Impediments Although the contribution of academic research to the emergence of sophis- ticated integrated logistics management and optimization tools has been signifi- cant, and the resulting decreases in operating costs and improvements in effi- ciency have been high, very little public or private funding is available for fundamental research in logistics. A critical mass of funding tends to be concen- trated in academic logistics institutes where member companies help to define and then participate in research projects. However, industry participation some- times creates tensions between academic researchers and industry managers who may have conflicting objectives for collaborative projects. Industry wants timely solutions to practical problems, while academics want to conduct valid, prefer- ably "novel," research with publishable results. For instance, stable, easy-to-use logistics software tools may be a high priority for industry sponsors but may be less appealing to researchers than refining and perfecting existing tools or devel- oping new tools. An infrastructure for logistics research has not been fully developed. Diag- nostic tools for the complex software used in logistics applications have only recently emerged. Because there are no common data sets, data must be gathered from industry for each project. If the data are considered proprietary, a company may refuse to provide them. Libraries of test data sets on small mathematical problems have been developed, but not on large problems of logistics. As a result, researchers often do not have access to data, and certainly not consistent data, on which to base experiments. Areas for Future Research In general, the TDL industry is becoming more sophisticated. Continued progress in the implementation of ERP and related software tools and the devel- opment of a stronger information technology infrastructure will result in the accumulation of better and more extensive data, which, in turn, will enable the development and implementation of more sophisticated decision-support tools, which are likely to be developed through academic research. Universities might also assume a larger role in the training/retraining of technically sophisticated logistics managers in the use of new tools.
162 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE Academic research might have a larger impact in the area of linkages be- tween manufacturing and transportation, especially as companies continue to try to reduce inventories, transport costs, and time through integrated supply-chain management. Another fruitful area for research would be the development and use of optimization procedures for the macrolevel coordination of the supply chain, such as the allocation and scheduling of activities among plants, ware- houses, and transportation channels. For example, a production schedule that would mean low manufacturing costs might increase transportation costs. Be- cause these costs are incurred (and measured) by different departments, manufac- turers may not take transport costs into consideration in their planning. As long as companies had buffers (time and/or inventory) to decouple these processes, this was not much of a problem, but it will certainly become a major problem soon. Forecasting transportation demand is becoming increasingly important, and ca- pacity planning by carriers will have to be even more rigorous to account for uncertainties/variabilities in demand. University research could play a larger role in other areas, such as the inte- gration of planning and operations, the development of information technology to support order placement, the development of information technology to support the coordination and scheduling of the movement of goods, and consumer re- search. For instance, with the availability of real-time information (e.g., current inventory levels at retail stores; current traffic information), models of sequential decision making under uncertainty may become a basis for logistics tools in the future. Research in these areas would be "engineering research" (i.e., research focused on bringing technologies to bear on industry problems for which few principles or laws exist). Transportation and logistics security has become a critical issue that will also pose important research questions in the future: for example, how to improve the security of systems while continuing to improve, or at least maintain, their efficiency. FINDINGS Finding 5-1. The contributions of academic research to integrated logistics have been significant in areas of basic research as well as in the development and application of specific software technologies. However, academic research on logistics and technologies has had a moderate impact on the transportation, distri- bution, and logistics industry overall. Except for the involvement of member companies in academic logistics- research institutes, no institutionalized methods of technology transfer from uni- versities to the TDL industry have been established. Most high-impact academic research in operations and decision-support sciences can be attributed to faculty members who either translated their research findings into software commercial- ized through a start-up company or who were closely involved with a specific
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 163 company in the industry. For the latter route to be effective, the host company must be sophisticated enough to be receptive to innovative research, and the researcher must be familiar with the specific needs of the company. Industries that have been most influenced by academic research are airlines, manufacturers that operate private truck fleets, less-than-truckload and truckload motor carriers, and software companies. Without a strong tie to industry, academic research tends to be disconnected to the needs of industry. The academic imperative that researchers publish their work often creates barriers to their addressing real industrial needs using real industrial data. Research problems that could lead to publishable results may be far too complex for companies to benefit from the results. For these reasons, the commercialization of results through start-up companies may continue to be the most effective pathway for academic research to affect industry performance. Finding 5-2. Federal funding agencies have not recognized logistics as a sepa- rate intellectual discipline and thus have not funded long-range, potentially high- impact academic research in the field. The DOT, primarily through the University Transportation Centers Program, funds some research relevant to logistics. NSF provides some funds for programs that bring industry and academia together in the logistics area (e.g., CELDi, the multiuniversity industry-university cooperative research center formed in 2001~. In addition, NSF has launched a modest initiative, Exploratory Research on Engi- neering in the Transport Industries, that specifically addresses logistics and supply-chain management. Although some NSF-funded research has benefited airlines that contributed matching funds, NSF's funding for research in logistics has been minimal. In the past DOD (particularly the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research) funded logistics as a discipline, but the funds are now focused more on mathematics research. DARPA has an extensive applied research program in logistics, but funding has been directed mostly toward consulting companies rather than universities. Finding 5-3. The two most influential factors on the industry are (1) the explo- sive growth of information technology and complementary disciplines and (2) deregulation of the freight industries. Finding 5-4. Most companies are still in the process of adopting and implement- ing information systems and acquiring data from the new systems. The next wave of innovation will be to apply the data to optimization models to support decision-making capabilities. Decision-support software can be divided into two categories: (1) the automation of transactions to increase productivity and improve quality, and, in the process, create and collect data; and (2) the optimization of management decisions based on these data. Most companies have been in the
164 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE information-acquisition stage for some time and have accumulated large quantities of accurate, real-time data. Optimization and decision-making sup- port tools could be used to translate these data into information that could lead to higher profits and competitive advantage. Finding 5-5. Except for airlines, few companies in the TDL industry conduct their own research, and those that do are primarily interested in development rather than research. Airlines have not only invested in their own research, but have also demon- strated their support for academic research by funding research projects and participating in logistics-research institutes. Most other TDL firms have not yet realized the value of R&D for increasing efficiency and establishing a com- petitive advantage. These companies have a long history of adopting low- technology, manual-intensive business models. Even the competitive demands of the industry have not yet created a significant demand for research. Most research, therefore, has influenced them through software developments, either by existing software firms or new start-up companies. Finding 5-6. Providers of logistics software are undergoing rapid consolidation. Consolidation in the logistics software industry has narrowed the range of industry-research interfaces resulting in fewer spin-off companies. Consolida- tions may eventually create economic units large enough to support more basic research. Finding 5-7. The lack of industry demand for research and research-based innovations has made it difficult for academic researchers to identify useful, high-priority problems. The absence of organized interactions between academia and industry re- flects the general lack of an organized innovation system in the logistics industry. Most academic researchers have little incentive to work with industry or to un- derstand industry issues. Because NSF and other funding agencies do not recog- nize logistics as a discipline, academics are reluctant to go into the field. The lack of interest on the part of industry, particularly the lack of corporate R&D depart- ments to provide an interface with researchers, reinforces this reluctance. Finding 5-8. Research important to industry requires researchers who under- stand the industry and the subtleties of the problems industry faces. The experience of company-supported logistics institutes has demonstrated the importance of having a critical mass of academic researchers who thoroughly understand both the problems industry faces and the academic methodologies needed to solve them. Although these research subjects meet rigorous academic criteria and address the real needs of industry, much more work will have to be done to encourage industry interest in academic research.
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 165 Finding 5-9. Transportation-research institutes have the potential to improve industry-university interaction significantly. MIT's Center for Transportation Research, Georgia Tech's Logistics Institute, Stanford's Global Supply Chain Management Forum, and Princeton's CASTLE Laboratory have shown that they can improve the transfer of information between academia and industry. Historically, these four centers have accounted for most industry-related logistics research in academia; all four rely on industry participation and funding. With NSF support, CELDi continues this model, requiring industry participation but in a multiuniversity context. The effectiveness of these institutes is a function of their critical mass of academic researchers who can interact effectively with industry. The continuity of industry participation in research, outreach, network- ing, and continuing education has initiated a two-way learning process. RECOMMENDATIONS The flow of people between academic research and industry must be greatly increased. The panel recommends that the following steps be taken to further this end. Recommendation 5-1. Academia should develop better curricula and programs in logistics to attract student, faculty, and industry interest. This will require changes in the incentive and reward systems to encourage qualified researchers to work in the field. Recommendation 5-2. Industry should establish sabbaticals in industry, full- time or part-time teaching by industry practitioners in universities, and other programs that would promote university-industry interactions. NOTES 1TIP moved in 2002 when the director, Dr. Chelsea C. White, joined the faculty of the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 2Constraint-directed search is one of a class of constraint-satisfaction problems in artificial intel- ligence in which knowledge is expressed declaratively as a collection of explicit, categorical con- straints over a set of possibilities. 3Companies profiled include LogiCorp, Inc., PTCG, Inc., CAPS Logistics, CPLEX Optimization, Inc., AD OPT Technologies, Inc., Transport Dynamics, Inc., STS, and Cambridge Systematics, Inc. REFERENCES Belman, D., and K. Monaco. 2001. The effects of deregulation, de-unionization, technology and human capital on the work and work lives of truck drivers. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 54(2A): 502-524.
166 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE Cairncross, F. 2000. Inside the machine: a survey of e-management. The Economist, Supplement 357(8196): 5-40. Cass Information Systems. 1999. Wall Street's View of Logistics. Annual Session of the Council of Logistics Management, Toronto, Ontario, October 18, 1999. Delaney, R., and R. Wilson. 2001. Managing Logistics in a Perfect Storm. 12th Annual State of Logistics Report. Washington, D.C.: Cass Information Systems. Deloitte Consulting. 1999a. Energizing the Supply Chain: Trends and Issues in Supply Chain Man- agement. New York: Deloitte Consulting. Deloitte Consulting. l999b. Leveraging the e-Business Marketplace. New York: Deloitte Con- sulting. Lieb, R.C., and H. Randall. 1996. A Comparison of the Use of Third-Party Logistics Services by Large American Manufacturers, 1991, 1994, 1995, and 1996. Lexington, Mass.: Mercer Man- agement Consulting. Logistics Best Practices Group. 1997. Survey on Logistics Outsourcing Practices. College Park, Md.: University of Maryland Press. Masters, J., and B. La Londe. 1998. The 1997 Ohio State University Survey of Career Patterns in Logistics. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press. Nagarajan, A., J.L. Bander, and C.C. White III. 1999. Trucking. Pp. 123-153 in U.S. Industry in 2000: Studies in Competitive Performance. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Siebel Systems, Inc. 2002. Annual Report 2002. Available online at: http://www.siebel.com/ common/includes/pdif rame.shtm.?pdfurl=/downloads/about/pdf/siebel_2002_annualrpt.pdf. Thomas, J. 1998. The Quest Continues. Logistics Management and Distribution Report 37(8): 39-41.
167 ADDENDUM Questionnaire The following questionnaire was sent to selected individuals, primarily uni- versity-based researchers, with special knowledge of the transportation, distribu- tion, and logistics industry. Included among the questionnaire respondents were a senior executive at the Sabre Group and professors with expertise in operations research, applied mathematics, industrial engineering, transportation research, and integrated logistics from Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Univer- sity of Maryland, and Universite de Montreal. IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE 1. Briefly describe research carried out in your university that has had an impact on integrated chain logistics within the transportation, distribution, and logistics services (TDL) industry.) If possible, please provide information about the nature of specific research contributions; the level of faculty, student, and industrial researcher involvement; the research time frame; sources and level of funding; how research results were transferred (specific steps) to the industry, and whether the research had implications for companies and industries beyond the specific company or industry involved. 2. Please describe briefly any other academic research they you believe has had a notable impact on the TDLS industry. (See suggested issues/items in subtext to question #1.) 3. Overall, would you describe the impact of academic research on industrial performance in the TDLS industry as (circle one): 1. very large 2. large 3. medium 4. small 5. very small/non-existent IThe NAE panel defines the TDLS industry as encompassing all businesses involved in the transportation and storage of goods and the movement of people. Its constituent parts include: carri- ers, third party logistics firms, management consulting firms, terminal and distribution firms, ware- housing companies, shipping companies, software providers, and major customers/retailers. The focus of the NAE panel study, however, is on the contributions of academic research to integrated chain logistics and associated activities, technologies, and methodologies that cut across the TDLS industry's many constituent parts.
168 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE 4. Briefly describe significant emerging trends or developments in the TDLS industry in which university research could or should play a larger role. 5. What are the most important actions universities could take to enhance the contributions of academic research to performance in the industry? 6. What are the most important actions companies could take to enhance the contributions of academic research to performance in the industry? 7. What are the most important actions government could take to enhance the contributions of academic research to performance in the industry? 8. What is your estimate of total annual research dollars spent at your institution on academic research related to the TDLS industry? What shares of the total would you estimate are funded by government, industry, or other sources? 9. Other comments?
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 169 Industrial Roundiable Agendas and Participant Lists INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE LOGISTICS, TRANSPORTATION, AND DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION October 12, 1998 Radisson Hotel, Maingate Anaheim Anaheim, California Roundtable Agenda 6:00 Welcome Chris Lofgren, Schneider National, Inc. Introduction Don Ratli~ Georgia Institute of Technology 6:10 Roundtable Participants Self-introduction; major technology needs and trends in the workplace 7:10 Group Discussion Decision Support Systems: current andfuture trends and needs 8:00 Session Wrap-Up and Adjourn Chris Lofgren Participants Industry Experts Chair: Chris Lofgren, Chief Technical Officer, Schneider National, Inc. Christopher Caplice, Senior Consultant, The Sabre Group Virginia Carmon, Senior Manager, KPMG Peat Marwick LLP Bernard Hale, Senior Vice President Customer Support, DSC Logistics Thomas Sanderson, President, Sabre Decision Technologies Jay Mabe, Associate Partner, Andersen Consulting John Coyle, Kimberly Clark Corporation NAE Panel Members: H. Donald Ratliff, Regents Professor and UPS Professor of Logistics and Director, Logistics Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology
170 THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH ON INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE Cynthia Barnhart, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robert E. Bixby, Professor, Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University NAE Staff Diane Alberts, NAE Fellow, Program Office Proctor Reid, Associate Director, Program Office Nathan Kahl, Project Assistant, Program Office CHALLENGES AND TRENDS IN THE LOGISTICS, TRANSPORTATION AND DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION October 13, 1998 Radisson Hotel, Maingate Anaheim Anaheim, California Roundtable Agenda Welcome and Opening Remarks Professor H. Don Ratliff (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Professor Cynthia Barnhart (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Self-introduction of Roundtable Participants: Describe your job and three major challenges that you currently face. Specific questions to focus your thoughts: What are your thoughts on the changing nature of the logistics business? 2. What are the current and future technology needs of your business? 3. Name the most important technological innovation in your business in the recent past? 4. Do you interact with / turn to colleagues at universities to help meet your business challenges? If so, how? If not, why not? 5. What is an important emerging trend in the LTD industry? 6. What are your human capital needs? What are challenges? List of Participants Industry Experts: Don Schneider (chair), President, Schneider National, Inc. Doug Duszynski, Director of Transportation, The Quaker Oats Company
TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION, AND LOGISTICS SERVICES INDUSTRY 171 Wayne Power, Director, Global Logistics, Owens Corning Vince Chiodo, Director of Supply Chain Management, CHEP USA Hank Dehne, Manager of Logistics Distribution & Planning, General Mills NAE Panel Members: H. Donald Ratliff, Regents Professor and UPS Professor of Logistics and Director, Logistics Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology Cynthia Barnhart, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robert E. Bixby, Professor, Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University NAE Program Office Staff: Proctor Reid, Associate Director Diane Alberts, NAE J. Herbert Holloman Fellow Nathan Kahl, Project Assistant