Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine February 12, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Logistics Viewpoints
Supply Chain Visibility systems are tough to describe and even tougher to implement.

Companies with complex and multi-channel supply chains often struggle because they failed to harness the true complexity of the supply chain. Our experience shows that there are "natural laws" for a visibility system implementation success. Breaking down the solution to the core components and data sources are the keys to success.

Here are seven strategies to help make your visibility project a success.
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The Manufacturer
Supply chain is no longer an afterthought for CFOs, CEOs, investors and board members. An integrated and flexible supply chain can reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and mitigate risk. 

As the supply chain rises to be one key concern for businesses this year, GT Nexus has identified a number of trends that can be expected this year.
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The New York Times
Horrific factory tragedies often prompt powerful public calls for reform, and the Rana Plaza fire that killed more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh almost a year ago is no exception.

Bangladesh is the poster child for the global apparel industry. It is the world’s second-largest exporter of clothing after China. Its factories employ four million workers, supplying retail giants like Benetton, Walmart, J.C. Penney and H&M. About 90 percent of these workers are women, and they earn wages that are among the lowest in the developing world. Yet for them, a job in the garment industry is often the only job available and a possible step out of grinding poverty. Apparel wages in many countries, including Bangladesh, are often higher than wages in alternative employment.
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Logistics Management
Even with tangible signs of an improving economy, it still stands to reason that consumer spending-which represents roughly two-thirds of all economic activity-remains the linchpin of GDP growth, which happens to have shown decent gains over the last two reported quarters.

That said, the level of retail spending and related expectations is closely followed and analyzed by many. But perhaps the most telling is the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual economic forecast for 2014.
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Vidir Inc.
World Trade
The recent Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals annual global conference was the venue for discussion of two long-standing studies of the logistics outsourcing industry. Both the 2014 Third Party Logistics Study — The State of Logistics Outsourcing, and the 2013 3PL CEO Survey are sponsored by Penske Logistics.

The CEO survey began in 1994 and the State of Logistics Outsourcing study is in its 18th year, so both have provided their authors with a deep perspective on the evolution of logistics outsourcing. During that time, the focus has shifted as the industry and its users have matured. Having said that, much of what is a core part of outsourced logistics has remained consistent — though the complexity has certainly grown with extended supply chains.
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Industry Week 
The world markets and global supply distribution chains provide opportunities for companies to grow and prosper. Sales through the Internet allow for products to be sold and sent to almost anywhere in the world. Consumers can view and order products online at any time of the day. 

Manufacturers work to keep up with the demand and are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs through efficient manufacturing and low-cost supply of materials and components. These opportunities and markets, however, have created and encouraged the growth of counterfeit goods and the theft of companies’ intellectual property.
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Industrial Distribution
As quarterly earnings reports roll in for publicly-traded companies, it is apparent that the last quarter was not a great one for many industrial distributors despite the rise in sales which, in many cases, was due primarily to acquisitions and organic growth flat.

Yet many distributors say they’re optimistic about 2014 and expect a number of sectors to rebound, including non-residential construction, petrochemical, and oil and gas.
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Western Pacific Storage Systems
Logistics Viewpoints
Suppose you’re in logistics for an equipment manufacturer or a maintenance manager in an operating plant, and a geek in your office keeps talking about the Internet of Things (IoT). Here is why you should listen:

• The underlying technologies are available with no needed breakthroughs.

• The potential business benefits are strong. The technology could help end users improve equipment reliability and reduce spare parts inventories.
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Modern Materials Handling
When gas prices doubled between 2002 and 2005, sales of large SUVs plummeted and were replaced with the likes of the Toyota Prius. Similarly, when the Great Recession barreled through the materials handling industry, companies scrutinized cost centers once assumed to be fixed aspects of doing business and found a number of operational efficiencies. 

But even as the economy takes a turn for the better, best practices in operational sustainability are becoming ingrained in business cultures; the industry won’t be going back to the inefficient SUV approach any time soon.
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Industry Week 
Half of the human population is female. More than half of all university students in the United States are female. Around a third of all MBA students, including those concentrating on supply chain studies, are female. And yet, when SCM World did a manual count of top supply chain executives in Fortune 500 companies, we found only 22 women among 320 businesses that had a true supply chain function. The numbers tell a story of winnowing down a talent pool to the point where nearly all diversity in gender terms is gone by the time careers in supply chain reach their peak. So what?

The problem is not really about fairness, but about value—value for shareholders, customers and society as a whole that could be created with greater gender balance in the increasingly critical supply chain function across industries. Supply chain as a discipline is suddenly crystallizing out of a series of silo functions, including purchasing, manufacturing, distribution and planning.
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Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Material Handling & Logistics
Cost overruns and contractor disputes are at the heart of the delays in the Panama Canal Expansion project. There have been $1.6 billion in unexpected costs in developing a new traffic lane and a third set of locks that would double the waterway’s capacity. In the midst of cost disputes, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) sent Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC) a counterproposal that will enable the continuation of work in the new locks project.

"While we prepare to take the actions allowed within the contract to reactivate the project," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, "We remain open to the possibility of reaching an agreement and that is why we are making this effort."
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Supply Chain Brain
More than a third of manufacturing firms in the small and mid-sized business (SMB) sector expect the economy to strengthen in the coming six months, while nearly half expect it to remain the same, according to the results of the second annual Sage Manufacturing Survey announced by Sage North America. Respondents also anticipate an increase in orders, production and exports.

Small manufacturing firms are becoming more confident in the economy, with 36 percent of respondents expecting the economy to grow stronger and 48 percent expecting it to remain the same. These numbers are up from 2012, when only 27 percent anticipated an improvement and 57 percent expected no change. Sixteen percent of manufacturers surveyed expected the economy to weaken, showing no change from 2012.
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Seegrid Corporation
 

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