Randall Manufacturing
MHI Blog -- The 2015 Chief Supply Chain Officer Strategy Report explores the next generation of supply chain management, taking the responses of global senior supply chain executives to form a benchmark for future strategy.
Industry Week -- The manufacturing industry is looking at shortfall of more than 2 million workers over the next decade, according to new reports from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

The shortage is led by the expected retirement of nearly 3 million Baby Boomers and fewer young people who see the industry as a career destination. A study survey showed while nine in 10 Americans believe manufacturing is essential to the U.S. economy, only one in three parents would encourage their kids to pursue a career in the industry.
Modern Materials Handling -- Your ProMat 2015 registration not only gives you access to the 325,000 square feet of exhibits, educational sessions and keynotes in McCormick Place South, it also grants you access to Automate 2015 located directly across the Grand Concourse hallway in McCormick Place North.
ZD Net -- Last week the Federal Aviation Administration published its rules and regulations for the oversight of drone usage within the United States. Many will and have argued that these rules are too restrictive for companies such as Amazon or Google to truly take advantage of the technology.
Reuters -- A Chinese government push to promote e-commerce has created a host of online retail rivals for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Amazon.com Inc catering to shoppers' fears about the quality and safety of local everyday goods.

Logistics firms have been encouraged by tax-relief programs and other policies that gained traction last year. Several, including SF Express and state-owned Sinotrans, have jumped into a field dominated by JD.com Inc, Alibaba's biggest rival, which boasts 118 warehouses and thousands of delivery stations.
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
EBN -- Automobiles no longer resemble the mechanical beasts they once were. In fact, they are more similar to today’s smartphone. Cars are increasingly combining the best in transportation, communications, and entertainment systems into a single platform. The once mechanical control systems like braking and steering are now electronically controlled, the infotainment systems rival that of high-end home theater systems, and the vehicles are being connected to the cloud for communications and a plethora of new functions that can both assist or even pilot the vehicle without human intervention. Entities ranging from DARPA to Google to Mercedes are rapidly pushing to remake cars of the future. The result will be vehicles that are more fuel efficient, safer, and technically advanced.

However, driving a smartphone gives rise other issues — safety, security, reliability, and ownership costs.
Quartz -- With so much attention being paid to the development of self-driving cars (including whether Apple is getting into the game), little notice has been given to the prospect of self-driving leviathans of the highway—the long-haul truck. Industry watchers and tech fanboys are salivating at the potential of making their commutes or jumping between meetings in autonomous people-movers, yet, in terms of near-term impact, the self-driving semi could make a bigger splash given the trucking industry contributed $642 billion to the US economy last year.
CBS News -- Macy's (M), the largest department store chain, announced plans today to expand its successful test market of same-day delivery, which Web-based rivals such as Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) are also providing. Macy's declined to provide any details, and investors were more focused on the mixed earnings report the retailer also announced today, pushing the stock down more than 3 percent.

The Macy's same-day delivery service began in eight major metropolitan areas in September and in four others under its Bloomingdale's brand. However, analysts point out that implementing same-day deliveries won't be cheap. Amazon reportedly has spent billions adding some 50 new warehouses over the past few years.
Supply Management -- As growth projections for UK economy in 2015 increase from 2.5 to 2.7 per cent, businesses must be sure to consider salient internal factors when evaluating confidence, rather than relying solely on macroeconomic growth indicators.

In a climate where the supply chain industry is increasingly volatile, there are a number of considerations that firms must make when planning activity for the year ahead.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
EBN -- There are few industries more volatile than consumer electronics, where demand can go through the roof overnight when a product or a new version of a product is released. When the consumer market is North America and a majority of the manufacturing is occurring in Asia, companies are placed into positions where they have to consider air cargo over slower moving ocean freight so they can get goods to market in time.
Chain Store Age -- For all the advancements in retail in recent years, the tools and processes supporting the global supply chain remain outdated. According to the results of a new JDA study, "JDA Vision 2015 Supply Chain Market Study," 58% of retailer and manufacturer respondents named "integration of a best-in-class S&OP (sales & operation planning) process" as a strategic priority for the next 12 months, while 46% of respondents reported that their strategic priorities included "increasing agility in production planning processes."

When asked about their priorities for optimizing inventory management, the top two responses were "improving service levels" (named as a top-three priority by 93%) and "moving inventory closer to demand" (88%). However, organizations lack a clear way to measure and improve effectiveness in this area; respondents provided at least 25 different metrics they apply to measure inventory management performance.
Wired -- Online retailers have consistently shown that consumers are willing to pay a certain premium for convenience. The latest phase in this progression involves a growing trend for home delivery. Online retailers are disrupting the traditional retailing giants by giving consumers the convenience of never having to leave their homes.

When online retail was first introduced, consumers loved the convenience of not having to shop around a store for their orders. Now with same-day delivery, one-touch payment, and apps that offer the services of personal shoppers, more online retailers are using the convenience of quick home deliveries to further disrupt the brick-and-mortar shopping industry.
Material Handling & Logistics -- Today’s supply chains are in a state of transformation. The emergence of the connected or digital consumer is leading companies to place increased pressure on suppliers by demanding greater customization of products, swift delivery of goods and an experience that is smooth and seamless. As a result, supply chain operations are being placed at the heart of delivering a superior customer experience.

To successfully facilitate changing consumer demand, it is becoming increasingly important to have end-to-end visibility of shipments across a supply chain. Businesses need to be able to collect information about the physical location of shipments from the point of manufacture, across the distribution network and on to the point of delivery, so that they can quickly fulfill orders with greater accuracy and efficiency.
Engineering Innovation
CFO -- As CFOs, we wear a lot of hats. We oversee the treasury, monitor our markets and position our companies for the future. Let me suggest another hat we should be wearing: that of the champion of supply chain resilience.

This role entails taking a hard look at the vulnerabilities many companies have lurking in their supply chains. Manufacturers retain supply chain partners all over the world to take advantage of affordable labor, key customer clusters, and access to raw materials. This globalization, however, has made the typical company’s supply chain more complex and distributed than ever, leading to potentially greater vulnerabilities.
MHI Blog -- MHI will preview its 2015 Annual Industry Report-Supply Chain Innovation: Making the Impossible Possible during the March 25 Keynote at ProMat 2015.

During the keynote Scott Sopher, the principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Supply Chain practice will join George W. Prest, CEO of MHI to present the findings of the 2015 report that details the eight innovations and five supply chain realities that are impacting and transforming supply chains.
Modern Materials Handling -- Lower oil prices at the gas pump and elsewhere mean more purchasing power for U.S. consumers and provide a relatively positive near-term economic outlook, according to a new report.

The MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, has released its quarterly economic forecast, predicting that inflation-adjusted gross domestic product will expand 3.0% in 2015, up from 2.8% in the November 2014 report, and 2.7% in 2016, a decrease from 3.0% in the previous forecast.



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