Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine August 7, 2013
 
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Bloomberg
Manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace in more than two years, sparked by surges in orders and production that signal companies are growing more optimistic about the U.S. economy’s prospects.
 
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index jumped to 55.4, exceeding the highest projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from 50.9 in the prior month, according to the Tempe, Arizona-based group. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. A separate report showed first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to the lowest in five years.
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Modern Materials Handling
With an investment in reusable transport packaging—such as plastic trays, containers and pallets—comes the added challenge of keeping track of it all. Even within a closed-loop system (with products or components shipped in returnable packaging from a supplier to a manufacturer, or from a distribution center to a retailer and sent back empty), assets can disappear.
 
To help users better manage their returnable investment, Rehrig Pacific (rehrigpacific.com) has expanded its asset management service offerings.
"We offer everything from behavioral usage training—teaching the associates and truck drivers who handle packaging about its value to the bottom line—to attaching modern sensing technologies for hands-free management," explains Kaley Parkinson, the company’s national sales manager of supply chain technology services.
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Material Handling & Logistics
Domestic container volume continued its steady performance in the second quarter of 2013 with 9 percent year-over-year gains, largely attributable to a strong big box segment, with total intermodal traffic rising by 2.4 percent for the quarter, according to Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics published by IANA.
 
International volume was unable to build on its solid Q1 growth, falling 1.3 percent in Q2 after posting 3 percent gains in Q1. This decline can be attributed to surprisingly weak shipments in June, with loads falling 6 percent from a year ago. It is unclear if the June trail off is an indicator of more to come or if the 6 percent dip is an outlier.
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Healthcare Packaging
To state the obvious, contract packaging is rapidly evolving. The core outsourced-packaging function is easily understood, but the form and function of the contract packaging organization is a moving target. Decades ago, a co-packer was defined by the machines the company had on the floor.
 
Packaging-specific services remain a much needed, much in-demand core competency. Consumers want the benefits of the latest primary containers, pouches, blisters, pillows, stick packs, and/or the latest secondary innovations in POP, club packs, multi-packs and the like.
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Brand Packaging
Talking to packaging industry professionals about the benefits of digital prepress technology is a bit like the parable of The Blind Men and the Elephant, where the blind men were asked to describe an elephant after they all had examined different body parts. The technology changes so quickly and offers so many advantages that grasping its scope is difficult for any but those who are the most technically astute.
 
Large corporations employ experts to derive the maximum benefit from such technology, while smaller brands may only be able to profit from it on a limited basis.
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The Raymond Corporation
The New York Times
More than two years after Congress passed a landmark law meant to prevent the importation of contaminated food that sickens Americans, the Food and Drug Administration proposed rules on Friday that for the first time put the main onus on companies to police the food they import.
 
Major food importers and consumer advocates generally praised the new rules, but the advocates also said they worried the rules might give the companies too much discretion about whether to conduct on-site inspections of the places where the food is grown and processed. They said such inspections must be mandated.
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EBN
As global supply chains become more complex and yet more critical to the success of companies, the importance of and demand for supply chain managers is rising. And finding qualified candidates may be like finding a needle in a haystack.
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, corporations are scrambling to hire supply chain experts and many universities are introducing new programs to meet that demand. These include undergraduate majors and specialized MBA degrees. In addition, universities and other institutions are starting or considering online courses, including MOOCs, to train new talent or further develop mid-level managers.
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Digital Supply Chain
Cloud technology unleashes the demand-driven Holy Grail
A true demand driven supply chain (DDSC) has always been the holy grail of operations managers around the world.
 
Even when forecasts are finely tuned, an unexpected spike, or drop, in demand can wreak havoc on production schedules, leading to problems such as stock-outs and lost sales; inventory pileups, markdowns, and write-offs; poor capacity utilization; and declining service.
 
Today, these margin-sappers are increasingly avoidable thanks to recent advances in technology, like cloud computing, which can finally make the DDSC a reality.
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Industry Week
Now is the summer of our discontent, at least when it comes to transportation management. While the amount of freight hauled in June 2013 was virtually the same as that in May (only a barely visible uptick in June of 0.09%), freight expenditures were up 3.4%, based on analysis conducted by Cass Information Systems Inc.
 
"The upward drift in expenditures has more to do with heavier loadings and the commodity mix than an upward trend in rates," explains transportation analyst Rosalyn Wilson of Delcan Corp. "Most carriers in all sectors have reported strong downward pressure on rates, and competition in the intermodal arena remains strong."
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Vidir Inc.
Manufacturing Business Technology
Warehouses represent a mission-critical link in the supply chain, and it’s vital that organizations maintain a structured, error-free environment as efficiently as possible.
 
As founder and CEO of a company that specializes in delivering transparency in warehouse management for organizations around the world, Tim Garcia has compiled a list of the five most common warehouse problems, all of which can be easily eliminated through automation.
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Modern Materials Handling
Sovena USA, a Rome, N.Y., bottler and distributor of imported olive oils, recently discovered its growth was exceeding the space available in its 185,000-square-foot facility. Unable to stage orders and forced to bulk store product, Sovena faced a decision to either expand the company’s current space or use the existing warehouse more efficiently. By deploying new very narrow aisle (VNA) racking (Frazier Industrial, frazier.com) and a fleet of VNA lift trucks (The Raymond Corp., raymondcorp.com) the company was able to double storage locations in the same footprint.
 
In 2008, Sovena had a record year, outselling the forecast by 20%, and 2009 was following the same pattern. As a result of this growth, operators were forced to bulk store product and double stack skids, which led to product damage.
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Business 2 Community
Supply chain risk? ‘Mitigate it’ is the knee-jerk reaction of many organizations. However, there’s more to mitigation than meets the eye. In theory, the logic of not incurring mitigation costs that are greater than the losses associated with the risk is obvious to most people.
 
In practice, each enterprise needs to assess its own particular situation and risks to produce a risk mitigation strategy that makes sense in that context.
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Global Purchasing
Partnership, transparency and visibility are key words in today’s global business world as manufacturing companies seek to forge even closer relationships with their suppliers. Collaboration has long been the mantra of distributors as they seek to become indispensable parts of their customers’ operations, but a new report on the state of manufacturing points to a heightened spirit of partnership across the supply chain today as manufacturing organizations dig deeper into their supplier relationships for innovation, ideas and long-term planning. The change may signal a new wave of cooperation that will bring businesses closer together even as they reach further around the world to accomplish their goals.
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Co Star
Rents in a handful of top warehouse distribution markets posted year-over-year rent gains of 5% or more in the second quarter, virtually unheard of in the staid property sector more accustomed to 1.3% annual rental rate growth.
 
For the U.S. warehouse market as a whole, the average asking net rent rose to $4.75 per square foot, a 2.1% increase from one year ago. The upward trend in rents was boosted by 37.3 million square feet of positive net absorption during the quarter, the second largest quarterly absorption since the recovery started, and reflected continued steady demand from warehouse-distribution tenants at a time when very little new space is being added by developers.
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Naylor, LLC
 

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