Randall Manufacturing
MHI Blog -- For warehouse and distribution facilities, no serious conversation on the subject of inventory management can be broached without talking about improving storage capabilities and the necessary products to achieve business goals – be they racking, shelving, ASRS systems, or even carousels.

Service levels and lead times are just a few of the important metrics impacted by those supply chain and inventory-management decisions, so it behooves management to take a very serious look at how decisions like purchasing storage, laying it out, and deciding whether or not to automate it, will impact those metrics.
 
The Wall Street Journal -- When 30-minute drone delivery isn’t fast enough, Amazon.com AMZN -2.08% will send in its 3D-printing trucks.

That’s the ambitious vision laid out in several patent applications from the e-commerce giant. Amazon wrote that it hopes to create a system for printing three-dimensional goods on-demand, even from inside delivery trucks, to get them to customers faster.

As sketched out by the patent applications, customers could order, say, replacement parts for their car through the Amazon website and have them delivered in time for a road trip that day. Another plus: Amazon could guarantee to have the products available, without having to stock the inventory.
 
Modern Materials Handling -- The year 2015 marks a major milestone for the industry, MHI is celebrating its 70th anniversary at ProMat 2015, held March 23-26, 2015. MHI’s staff and Board of Governors will hold a celebration on Wednesday, March 25 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom (Room S100) of McCormick Place South. Tickets are $50 per guest, pre-paid at ProMat Attendee Registration on Level 3 of McCormick Place. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI).
 
Material Handling & Logistics -- The interdependence among the economies of the United States, Canada and Mexico reflect in how closely their markets are trending, with key sectors like e-commerce, manufacturing, technology and energy fueling progress across the board, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s newly released 2015-2017 Industrial Real Estate Forecast.

"Strengthening fundamentals throughout North America support a positive forecast for the next three years," said Maria T. Sicola, who heads the commercial real estate services firm’s Research for the Americas group. "We expect economic conditions to drive further improvement and growth in the industrial real estate sector."
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
Manufacturing Business Technology -- Whether budget, competing IT priorities or required time away from day-to-day operations stand in the way, the resources required to get your supply chain project implemented can be scarce. Ensuring that your project is aligned with high-priority corporate initiatives can help. When you can demonstrate that your supply chain improvement project supports or drives forward a corporate initiative, it becomes much easier to secure the broader based support and resources needed for implementation. Let’s look at some common initiatives your supply chain can support.
 
EBN -- Increasingly, end customers judge providers of electronics products based upon how much they can choose how and when they receive the goods they buy. Smart OEMs are looking at the best ways to maximize experience with this "last mile" to gain consumer loyalty.

"Last mile has become a phenomenon particular in the consumer electronics marketplace," Chris Jones, executive vice president, marketing and services, Descartes, a global provider of a software-as-service solution for deliver, told EBN in an interview. "Consumers more and more want to know when they are going to get their goods. In some cases, they are even willing to pay a premium delivery prices for the option."
 
DC Velocity -- Inventory accuracy has always been critical to the smooth operation of a distribution center. Without reliable and up-to-date information, DCs face significant hurdles in their quest to fill orders swiftly and accurately, or achieve much success with their demand planning.

Lately, however, inventory accuracy has been receiving even more attention than usual. Both the move toward omnichannel retailing and an upsurge in regulations mandating that companies be able to track and trace their products (particularly in the food and drug industries) have raised the stakes where inventory accuracy is concerned. Sound real-time inventory data are also necessary for the effective functioning of programs like Lean or Just-in-Time production and for meeting ever-mounting demands to ship product faster. "It all puts a premium on inventory accuracy and inventory control practices," says Mark Wheeler, director of supply chain solutions for the mobile technology company Zebra Technologies.
 
The 21st Century Supply Chain -- I suspect that few folks in the supply chain management world would argue with the fact that supply chain management is risky business.

The reality is that risk comes in many forms (including anticipated risk, uncontrollable risk and unanticipated risk). It’s constantly changing. And the amount of risk being faced by supply chain professionals has been on the rise for the past 20 years.
 
Scandit
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Supply Chain Management -- As a society, we take for granted our ability to order a Netflix DVD today and have it delivered tomorrow. We have come to expect berries from Chile in January, and Alaskan salmon on demand. And FedEx is so ubiquitous it has gone from being a noun to a verb. We are deep in supply chains, even if we don’t always know it.

The supply chain industry is more integral to our lives today than it ever has been, and yet it is threatened by a growing shortage of trained supply chain and logistics professionals to manage and lead the industry. It is a disaster waiting to happen.
 
MHI Blog -- The positive outlook for the North American industrial market continues, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2015-2017 Industrial Real Estate Forecast. Key sectors like e-commerce, manufacturing, technology and energy are fueling progress across the board.

According to Maria T. Sicola, who heads the commercial real estate services firm’s Research for the Americas group, strengthening fundamentals throughout North America support a positive forecast for the next three years.
 
Forbes -- US Retailer Target announced a series of big strategic moves on Tuesday all meant to arrest its competitive decline. I like Target but worry the plans may be too late and not targeted precisely enough at operational challenges arising from today’s digital consumer.

There is also an eerie similarity between what Tesco has experienced in the UK and what Target is going through now – an endless game of competitive whack-a-mole between discounters, specialty retailers and pure e-commerce.
 
Supply Chain Brain -- Online shoppers around the world want the ability to search and shop on multiple channels and devices, expect to see alternate delivery and payment options, and when it comes to shipping and returns, "free" is a driving factor to complete the sale.

Those are among the findings in the second UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Global Study revealing emerging trends from the leading e-commerce markets in Asia, Brazil, Europe, Mexico and the U.S.
 
Engineering Innovation
Seattle PI -- The Senate on Monday approved a $15 billion transportation revenue package that includes an incremental gas tax increase of 11.7 cents over the next three years.

The chamber passed the revenue bill on a 27-22 bipartisan vote and negotiations with the House will begin. They also passed a spending bill that designates the money to specific projects.
 
EBN – We can all imagine drones moving boxes in the distribution center. However, there are a couple of reasons that make it difficult to move boxes today. That being said, another scenario offers even a more compelling advantage: inventory control.

Of course, a few technological hurdles need to be overcome for this idea to be really feasible. Today, the payload for a drone is limited. To increase the payload, the drones need more motors and propellers, which increases the size of the drone significantly.
 
Supply Chain Brain -- With a tentative agreement in place between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), the 7-month-long West Coast port crisis has come to an end. What comes next is the final body count - what percentage of GDP shrank because of the slowdown? What was the impact on the trade deficit? Who got hit hardest, and just how hard? Then what? There may be a collective sigh of relief in the air, but can things really go back to normal? Should they?
 
 

 

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