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MHI Blog — Supply chain is the ''it'' degree of the moment."



That's according to Dana Stiffler, Gartner's vice president of supply chain research.



She spends her time looking at how supply professionals are being developed and, just as importantly, how the field is evolving even as you read this. And while supply chains have been in place just short of forever, the formal profession is only 25 to 30-years-old. So how does Stiffler know that supply chain is the "it" degree of today? She has a couple of metrics.
 
Fast Company — Google's Project Wing is the code name for the company's drone delivery service it hopes to launch in 2017. The company first publicly announced Project Wing in a YouTube video back in 2014, but since then has been keeping mum about how this service will work. Now a new patent filing from the company reveals how part of Project Wing deliveries could deliver your packages.
 
Reuters — New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods in December recorded their biggest drop in 16 months as lower oil prices and a strong dollar pressured factories, the latest indication that economic growth braked sharply at the end of 2015. 



Despite the slowdown in growth, which was acknowledged by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, the labor market remains on solid ground. 
 
The Guardian — Unlike most big companies, Amazon has never published a sustainability report. Recent hires suggest that may be about to change - but will the retailer play ball? Amazon has a reputation for forward thinking, but when it comes to sustainability, the company has often fallen behind the times. For years, it has weathered criticism over its worker treatment, recycling and other sustainability metrics.
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
Multichannel Merchant — From November to December, retail stores and websites were flooded with shoppers looking to buy the perfect items for everyone on their holiday shopping list. Long lines at checkout, slow websites and delivery moguls like UPS and FedEx struggling to keep up with shipments reflected the strain involved in helping everyone have a successful holiday.



But now comes a different kind of retail mayhem: Returns season. From the day after Christmas and throughout January, retailers can anticipate that about 1 in 3 holiday gift recipients will return an item, either due to wrong size, wrong color, wrong style, damaged or simply unwanted.
 
As part of MHI view's ongoing video program, this new episode focuses on: Automated Storage Retrieval Systems.

Learn how automated storage retrieval systems (ASRS) are facilitating faster pick times and tighter inventory storage in warehouses. 

 
 
 
Industryweek — There's a rumor going around, centered in Germany, that we're now in our fourth Industrial Revolution. According to this rumor (in which I believe): 1. The first Industrial Revolution started in England in the 18th century. Think: mechanical looms. 2. The second centered on electrically-powered mass production, near the start of the 20th century. Think: Henry Ford and assembly lines.
 
Bloomberg — Manufacturing in the U.S. shrank in January for a fourth consecutive month as businesses cut staffing plans. Growth resumed in new orders and production, indicating some stabilization in the industry.
 
Western Pacific Storage Solutions, Inc.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
The Wall Street Journal — Amazon.com Inc.'s biggest quarterly profit and Wall Street's swift punishment for missing expectations overshadowed a trend that is worth keeping an eye on. Shipping expenses rose again in the fourth quarter, and by a wider margin than m any analysts expected. Overall shipping costs jumped 37% to $4.17 billion, while the cost as a percentage of sales rose to 12.5% from 10.9% a year earlier.
 
 
   
Modern Materials Handling — Barcoding, Inc., a leader in supply chain efficiency, accuracy, and connectivity, predicts the continued growth of the radio frequency identification (RFID) market in 2016. With increased standards, lower system costs, greater solution reliability and higher adoption rates, RFID is poised for an explosive year, according to Barcoding experts.
 
Supplychain247 — Connected networks of factory hardware are already enhancing process transparency and enabling previously untapped analytics in several plants, and wearable technologies have the opportunity to further improve operational efficiencies. 
 
Industryweek — The calculated risks for Enrico included the initial jump into Universal Robots, a Danish company established more than a decade ago at Syddansk Universitet in Odense, back when its workshop was still 400 square feet of academic office space, and then planning for growth so aggressive that sales would double every year.
 
Engineering Innovation
Infor Global Solution
MHI’s new Career Forum  enables manufacturing and supply chain professionals to view current job postings of MHI member companies. Go to http://www.mhi.org/careers to find the perfect opportunity for you.
 
 
   
Supplychain247 — John Edmonds at Freightos, a logistics startup bringing international freight online for forwarders, shippers and oversized e-commerce, provides 10 controversial freight predictions for 2016 that goes against the grain of many industry givens. 
 
 
   
Industryweek — Uber Free Marketeers usually decry the need for any governmental involvement in the economy. After reading this column, make up your own minds about whether government-sponsored economic development can be a good thing or not. The "pilot" detailed in the last column includes the following stakeholders: DOD OEA was the primary funder of the Next Gen Lean Supply Chain Pilot.
 
 
   
Supplychain247 — If your supply chain underutilizes intermodal rail - a transportation solution that offers cost savings and diversifies your access to capacity solutions - then your company could be paying the costs of a sub-optimized freight network. By 24/7 Staff Highway to Intermodal Rail (H2R) Conversions Deliver Bottom Line CSX Transportation has found that 96% of shippers have sub-optimized freight in their network.
 
 
   
Supplychain247 — Operational excellence, particularly in the areas of technological adoption and cost realignment, will be central to the goal of executing through disruption. 
 
Kinetic Technologies,Inc.
 

 

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