Randall Manufacturing
Refrigerated and Frozen Foods -- On the heels of ProMat 2015, innovations like predictive analytics, 3D printing and wearable technologies are changing the supply chain landscape, according to a study conducted by MHI, the Charlotte, N.C.-based host of the ProMat show, and Deloitte Consulting, LLP, Chicago. In fact, on average, companies surveyed expect to invest heavily in new supply chain technologies over the next two years, with the top 17% spending over $10 million.

According to the 2015 MHI Annual Industry Report titled "Supply Chain Innovation — Making the Impossible Possible," firms should embrace this transformation and focus on investing in new technologies to help compete and thrive as their supply chains continue to face constant pressure to do more with less.
 
Business Because -- The global supply chain has become an increasing focus at companies across sectors as innovative technologies have evolved the supply chain landscape.

But an ageing workforce and a shortage of talent are stifling implementations of innovations like predictive analytics, 3D printing and wearable technologies.

There is a "workforce crisis" and a lack of adequate talent, according to a new survey of more than 400 supply chain executives by professional services firm Deloitte and MHI, the international trade association. Business schools report intensified demand for supply chain managers.
 
Property Casualty 360 -- Modern manufacturing is no longer as simple as Henry Ford’s first moving assembly line in 1913. In 2015, multiple lines are often running at the same time, with parts attached by robotic arms.

Here are five supply chain risk factors that rely on the "human element." What other, similar risks can you identify in your organization?
 
Modern Materials Handling -- Initially focused on the transportation component of the supply chain, the modern day 3PL offers a range of services to support warehousing and distribution.
 
The New York Times -- It didn't take long for Canada’s transport minister to exploit the promotional possibilities of Amazon testing its drone delivery service in the country — testing that the company confirmed on Monday.

"In terms of Amazon and companies like that, Canada Post, whoever wants to utilize this technology in their day-to-day businesses, I’d encourage them to talk to Transport Canada," said the minister, Lisa Raitt, referring to the government department she leads. "We have a wealth of experience and we certainly want to keep up with the times."
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
The Washington Post -- The Obama administration sent Congress a $478 billion bill Monday that would provide the federal share of transportation funding for the next six years, the first legislation out of the gate in a year that is likely to produce a competition among three bills.

The White House bill is the least likely of the three to make it back to the president’s desk for his signature, and with the days dwindling to a May 31 deadline, so is the chance that any bill will be passed in time to provide state planners with stability at the onset of the highway construction season.
 
EBN -- Supply chains are increasingly feeling pressure to improve their efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, and profitability to create a more agile supply chain. Increasing fast-paced global competition, as well as the need to automate processes and information flow, are spurring the adoption of mobile technology that automates business processes.

According to a Ventana Research paper (PDF), the need for faster information and just-in-time processes that leads to automating business processes using mobile technology improves both manufacturing and customer service.
 
Supply & Demand Chain Executive -- For warehouses, productivity is everything. Seconds of increased productivity per worker per day lead to minutes and even hours of potential savings over the course of a month, and days over the course of a year. As technology advances, many organizations are looking for ways to keep up, but can be stifled by the prospect of adjusting their systems and workflows, which require a large investment to create and implement.

The thought of introducing a new technology can be disconcerting. Voice-guided solutions in particular can seem intimidating at first glance. There are a number of reasons why they make sense, but the biggest reason we see organizations add voice solutions is the significant increase in productivity.
 
Supply Management -- Shipping losses worldwide have declined by 50 per cent over the past decade, but 75 ships were lost in 2014, according to a study.

A report published by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) found more than a third of 2014’s total losses took place in two maritime regions: South China, Indo China, Indonesia and the Philippines, with 17 ships lost; and Japan, Korea and North China, with 12 ships lost.
 
Engineering Innovation
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
CNBC -- Even as online shopping sales continue to grow, more e-commerce players are proving that the physical space should not be ignored.

Google recently opened its first-ever shop in London to sell Android phones, Chromebook laptops and other gadgets. Meanwhile, Amazon is reportedly exploring a new kind of retail vision to sell products in a brick-and-mortar setting.
 
The Wall Street Journal -- An effective supply chain risk assessment can help break down organizational silos and set management and the board of directors on a more strategic path to preventing disruption and avoiding risks. The assessment process, like a supply chain, touches nearly every part of an organization, from R&D, product development, and demand and supply planning to manufacturing, delivery of goods and customer returns. The scope and dynamic nature of supply chains have made risk assessment a crucial component of enterprise risk management.
 
Multichannel Merchant -- Several reports have confirmed that Amazon will shutter its Webstore service by July 2016. Amazon has notified its online retailers that are using the ecommerce platform on their own sites of the shutdown, according to SmartBusinessTrends.com.

Amazon Webstore, geared towards small business e-retailers, was launched in May 2010.
 
The Guardian -- Amazon is testing its drone delivery service at a secret site in Canada, following repeated warnings by the e-commerce giant that it would go outside the US to bypass what it sees as the US federal government’s lethargic approach to the new technology.

The largest internet retailer in the world is keeping the location of its new test site closely guarded. What can be revealed is that the company’s formidable team of roboticists, software engineers, aeronautics experts and pioneers in remote sensing – including a former Nasa astronaut and the designer of the wingtip of the Boeing 787 – are now operating in British Columbia.
 
Engineering Innovation
EBN -- Last month, workers returned to work in the wake of shutdowns caused by labor disputes across the various West Coast port locations. While good news for the electronics industry, these events don't begin to address the larger issues in these ports.

"We need bigger ports and then we need labor and machinery to handle ships that are dropping off 25% more cargo than before," Tony McGee, CEO of HNM Global Logistics told EBN in an interview. "Even if you have the strike managed, you still have a lack of equipment and personnel to unload and get containers out."
 
Supply Chain Brain -- Promotions are often implemented as successful marketing tactics to assist in attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, testing new product concepts and quickly reacting to changing consumer demands. Not only do they provide brand recognition, but they also give marketers, product developers and sales people an additional avenue for creativity. While specialty products and limited-time offers can build brand revenue, implementing promotions isn't as easy as one might think when factoring in supply chain management requirements such as fulfillment and distribution.
 
Material Handling & Logistics -- The broad sense of optimism by U.S. manufacturers about overall economic conditions and improvements in global demand was offset by concerns about pricing and margins and the potential impact of currency on international revenues.

The Q1 2015 Manufacturing Barometer, released by PwC US on April 7, showed that optimism regarding the prospects of the U.S. economy during the next 12 months increased among U.S. industrial manufacturers to 76% during the first quarter of 2015, up from 68% in the previous quarter and 71%t in the first quarter of 2014. The level of optimism reported was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2005.
 
Green Biz -- When you hear about skills shortages and talent gaps, the discussion tends to surround STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — professions. However, a new concern also is breaking through.

Supply chain management has become a far more complex and skill-demanding ordeal for businesses in a wealth of industries operating in virtually every location around the globe. This has been driven by the fact that commodities markets, global trade and regional economic conditions have been volatile at best, and show no signs of simplifying or stabilizing anytime soon, meaning that managers of the supply chain have a lot more variables to worry about today than in the past.
 
 

 

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