Emulate3D Ltd.
MHI Blog -- Manufacturing and supply chain professionals gathered in record numbers in Chicago last month for ProMat 2015, the largest material handling and logistics trade expo in North America. With registrations topping 37,091 attendees, show producer MHI announces a 8.8 percent attendance jump over 2013.

The four-day event, March 23-26, covered 340,000 net square feet of exhibit space in Chicago’s McCormick Place with 802 exhibiting companies. The ProMat expo was once again collocated with Automate 2015.
 
Industry Week -- Most robots used in manufacturing consist of a large metal arm used to move heavy components on an assembly line or perform functions such as welding or parts picking. But visit the Festo booth at Hannover Messe and what you'll see seems more out of a zoo than an industrial scene.

Using nature as their inspiration, Festo engineers have developed several robots and devices that mimic the behavior of animals. For example, the company has developed BionicANTs that communicate with each other and coordinate their actions. The ants, about 5 inches long, make their own autonomous decisions but coordinate with each other to perform tasks.
 
MHI Blog -- For operations serving customers through e-commerce and omni-channel distribution, picking the right locations for warehousing comes down to a whole host of factors. Not least among them, of course, is cost.

As the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics explored in its "Low-Cost, Low-Impact Material Handling and Logistics" section (starting on page 41), "Firms (and nations) that execute logistics operations at lower cost will always enjoy a competitive advantage."
 
Strategy-Business -- Bottom Line: Large companies are recruiting an increasing number of top executives with experience in supply chain management. But the financial payoff remains elusive.

Over the past couple of decades, supply chain management has become a crucial concern for multinational firms. In our super-connected world, firms must maintain a handle on the way products, supplies, and people are zipping around the planet. Companies that streamline the links between their suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and subsidiaries can realize a distinct advantage over rivals that have not yet caught on to the importance of high-functioning logistics and purchasing departments. Indeed, recent research has identified several aspects of supply chain management that can boost firms’ bottom line.
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive -- 3D printing has played a significant role in transforming the supply chain over the past decade. Its recent sparkle in the public eye is but a glint compared to the effect the technology has behind the scenes on the production floor. It is impacting every stage of the product development lifecycle, from the product itself to packaging, presentation, delivery—you name it. In all the hype, it can be difficult to extract the substantial benefits of the technology from the dreamy, more futuristic tales. The real differences 3D printing is bringing to the supply chain lie within five key areas.
 
Modern Materials Handling -- Amid heavy investment in omni-channel capabilities among retailers and consumer goods manufacturers, only 16% of companies say they can fulfill omni-channel demand profitably, according to a new study by PwC for JDA Software.

The full report, The Omni-Channel Fulfillment Imperative, is based on a late 2014 global survey of more than 400 retail and consumer goods CEOs.
 
Forbes -- As Amazon Prime debuts its one- and two-hour delivery program in cities across the U.S., new data suggests the e-commerce giant’s annual subscription service is starting to crowd out online competitors like Walmart and Target TGT +0.12%, despite the best efforts of these big-box retailers.

Market research consultancy Millward Brown Digital analyzed the buying patterns of more than 2 million online consumers, finding that Prime membership narrows the field of retailers a shopper is willing to consider.
 
Quartz -- China, you have probably heard, has become the world’s largest economy by some measures. It’s also home to Alibaba, an e-commerce monster with annual transactions greater than those of eBay and Amazon combined. It’s certainly an attractive and growing e-commerce market—but it’s no longer the most attractive market.

The US now holds that distinction, according to the global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s biennial global e-commerce index.
 
Vidir Inc.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
EBN -- Mid-market line of business managers and their IT counterparts know that a high-functioning, flexible and agile supply chain is increasingly critical to business success. Yet many companies think holding off on supply chain improvements when planning enterprise resource management (ERP) changes or upgrades is best practice.

Today, that is no longer the case. Advances in metadata management, data integration and cloud-based applications mean all important supply chain operations upgrades can be undertaken either prior to or concurrent with an ERP upgrade.
 
Material Handling & Logistics -- The next generation to enter the workforce has been coined as "Generation Z" or "Gen Z." Gen Z refers to the group of people born after the Millennial generation. There is no agreement on the exact range of birth dates; however, according to Wikipedia, some sources start this generation at the mid- or late-1990s or from the mid-2000s to the present day. Right now, they comprise about 7% of the workforce, but by 2019 it is estimated that 30 million will be employed.

In addition, AdAge.com reports that Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S. to date: 55% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, and 4% are Asian.
 
Logistics Management -- With the months-long West Coast port labor dispute settled to a degree, it appears that the table is set for healthy annual gains at U.S-based retail container ports in April, according to the most recent edition of the Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

As West Coast ports continue to recover from a cargo backlog spurred on by nine months of negotiations and tension between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association prior to a tentative agreement that the roughly 20,000 port workers at 29 West Coast ports will vote on in May, the Port Tracker report expects volumes in April to be up 9 percent annually.
 
Engineering Innovation
Supply Chain Brain -- Rapid growth in the worldwide market for warehouse automation and control systems is being driven primarily by the global boom in e-commerce, and its profound effects on fulfillment requirements, according to an ARC Advisory Group market study.
 
MHI Blog -- The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted an exemption for Amazon to test delivery drones outdoors.

Amazon must keep flights at an altitude of no more than 400 feet and no faster than 100 miles per hour.
 
Industry Today -- A new report from the World Economic Forum identifies 31 proven practices to help companies achieve a "triple supply chain advantage" of increased revenue, a reduction in supply chain cost and added brand value. The practices also help companies shrink their carbon footprint and contribute to local development, including the health, welfare and working conditions of the communities in which they operate.
 
 

 

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