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Title:Evaluation of Strategic Logistics of Rural Firms
Authors:Mark Lofgren and Mark Berwick
University:North Dakota State University
Publication Date:Oct 2005
Report #:MPC-05-177
Project #:MPC-238
TRID #:01010907
Keywords:agricultural industry, benefit cost analysis, businesses, case studies, competition, economic efficiency, evaluation, industries, logistics, retail trade, rural areas, strategic planning, supply chain management
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications



Logistics strategies and practices are essential elements for improving a company's competitiveness in domestic or global markets. Firms expanding into domestic and global markets from the Midwestern and Plains states need to employ efficient strategic logistics practices to compete. Identifying the competitive forces that affect a firm's supply chain management practices is essential for understanding each firm's competitive position and provides a basis by which a firm can develop an overall competitive position.

This study focused on identifying current logistics practices in North Dakota and Minnesota firms and determining their participation in strategic logistics concepts. Logistics practices in North Dakota rural firms were compared to the practices of leading-edge Minnesota firms. The project goals were to: 1) analyze the supply chain management strategies of firms within North Dakota and Minnesota to determine if they employ a strategic logistics philosophy; and 2) establish a case study(s) to determine the cost/benefits of employing the logistics strategies and determine a method of measuring the efficiency gains achieved by participating firms.

Firms selected for this study included retailers, manufacturers, and agricultural processors. Five companies from each state were selected. North Dakota firms consisted of those with revenues between $4 million and $50 million. Minnesota firms consisted of those with revenues between $600 million and $6 billion. A site visit was granted by one North Dakota company, which offered insight on how the company has increased operating efficiencies through lean principle workshops. A case study was then developed to discuss cost measurement and savings as the result of the company's implementation of lean principles. The insights gained through this study are valuable in understanding the strategic logistics activities in North Dakota and Minnesota firms.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050