Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine March 19, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
MHI
Supply chain executives want to invest in powerful new technologies and business innovations to improve their supply chains, but are hampered by a shortage of qualified talent and never-ending pressure to cut costs, according to a new study by MHI and Deloitte Consulting LLP titled "The 2014 MHI Annual Industry Report - Innovations That Drive Supply Chains." 

Key study findings include:
 • The top two strategic priorities of executives are supply chain analytics and multichannel fulfillment.
• The two major barriers preventing innovation in the supply chain are a talent shortage and a continuing focus on cost reduction.
• Three emerging innovations are not yet top-of-mind for executives, but may be soon: sustainability, mobility/machine-to-machine technology and 3-D printing.
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Material Handling & Logistics
Walking the floor of a supply chain technology show can be daunting for a small business owner. The displays at such a show can often send a veiled message to such attendees: "Not for You." That was "Not the Case" at MODEX 2014, the supply chain and transportation show that opened Monday at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. In fact many of the solutions discussed there were developed for small companies.

Daifuku Webb was one of those large companies that learned to scale its solutions to fit the needs of emerging businesses. Sarah Carlson, marketing director for the company, told me it was their acquisition of Wynright that helped change their image from manufacturing centric to logistics and distribution—making supply chain its new focus.

"This used to be the smallest piece of our business, now it’s the biggest," Carlson said.
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Material Handling Product News
The shorter, more direct route to meeting customer demands is prevailing in global logistics, said the two executives featured in Monday morning’s keynote, "Shipping Trends for Global Supply Chains."

The session featured William L. Strang, president of the Americas Operations Group for TOTO USA, and Gil West, EVP and COO with Delta Airlines.

 Strang explained how reshoring and near shoring have shortened the supply chain and improved sustainability for TOTO, a plumbing products manufacturer with worldwide operations. Ten years ago, Strang said, TOTO North America sourced about 70% of its products from Asia, but today, 73% is made in the Americas, cutting logistics time and its carbon footprint while also avoiding trade disruption risks involved in longer in overseas routes. "We want to make sure we can mitigate those risks as much as possible," he said.
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Vidir Inc.
Modern Materials Handling
Growth will continue in the materials handling industry in 2014 and 2015, announced MHI, the sponsor of Modex, in the group’s annual State of the Industry press conference on Tuesday.

"We anticipate growth in the range of 7% to 8% in 2014, and from 9% to 10% in 2015," said George Prest, CEO of MHI. Prest tempered his comments by noting some downside risk remains for the first half of 2014, due to global economic and political uncertainty, as well as tentative U.S. consumer and investor confidence.
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Reuters
U.S. wholesale inventories rose more than expected in January, as companies built up stocks of autos and machinery, though sales posted their largest decline in nearly five years.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday wholesale inventories rose 0.6 percent to $521.2 billion after a revised 0.4 percent gain in December.

Economists polled by Reuters expected stocks of unsold goods at wholesalers to rise 0.4 percent in January.
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Logistics Viewpoints
Traditionally, we said that warehouses were operated in either a manual, semi-automated, or highly automated fashion. In a manual warehouse, pickers used carts, forklifts and other "dumb" forms of carriage to go to picking locations, gather the inventory, and deliver those goods to the shipping dock. However, forklifts are becoming intelligent. With the right kind of control system, a warehouse using forklifts becomes semi-automated.
 
Modern intelligent forklifts include diagnostics that allow the equipment to signal when it needs to be serviced, speed controls, anti-slip technology that monitors wheel spin and improve traction on slick floors, collision detection, fork speed optimization, and more.
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CoStar Group
As major retailers and e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com continue to ramp up their distribution and fulfillment networks they are expected to be joined by building materials, appliances and furniture companies expanding their capacity as housing construction resumes in a strengthening economy. As a result, demand for warehouse and other industrial properties is expected to spike in 2014, according to a forecast released this week by the NAIOP Research Foundation. 

The NAIOP study, authored by Drs. Hany Guirguis of Manhattan College and Joshua Harris of the University of Central Florida, projects that quarterly readings will fall between 60 and 65 million square feet of positive absorption through 2014. 
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Western Pacific Storage Systems
Logistics Viewpoints
The definition of transportation management systems (TMS) continues to evolve. In the early days of TMS solutions, the primary goal was to manage truck-based freight. Over time, point solutions were developed to support particular modes for particular industries such as ocean and air freight.
 
At the same time, traditional TMS providers began to incorporate basic multi-modal capabilities into "truck-centric" solutions. Migrating from a truck-centric solution to a truly multi-modal solution is no small task and many vendors have chosen to rewrite solutions or "bolt on" other point solutions to bring multi-modal capabilities into their platform.
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Supply Management
Firms in the food and drink sector are currently facing increased risks to supply chains involving microbiological safety.

According to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), more cases of salmonella, listeria and e-coli are being reported across the UK and Europe.
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EBN
The tentacles of smart technology stretch into virtually every aspect of our lives, whether it's a device that's always in your hand or software that tracks vehicles in real-time with accuracy down to the square inch.

Innovations such as voice tasking, warehouse robotics technology, microprocessors, and the talking lift truck are fundamentally changing the way business is being done. Those who stay on top of these innovations gain an invaluable lead on the competition.
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World Trade
EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is celebrating 10 years as a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest most energy-efficient way possible, saving businesses money while protecting public health and fighting climate change. Over the last 10 years, SmartWay has eliminated 51.6 million metric tons of carbon pollution, resulting in savings of more than120 million barrels of oil, and $16.8 billion in fuel costs.
 
SmartWay helps businesses move more goods more miles with lower emissions and less energy by helping accelerate the availability, adoption and market penetration of advanced fuel-efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain, while lowering costs and improving environmental performance.
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Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Forbes
FreightWatch International actively tracks and records cargo theft activity around the globe. This week I came across their publication "Supply Chain Intelligence Center: Cargo Theft USA – 2013." In addition to quite a bit of free content provided from the Intelligence Center portion of their web site, FreightWatch provides active cargo monitoring and supply chain visibility solutions.

There is some good news in the numbers, despite the fact that FreightWatch puts the US at a four – a high risk nation – on a five point scale. The number of incidents has not increased over that recorded in 2012. Violent theft in the form of hijackings remains rare, making up 1.3 percent of all thefts in 2013. "Cargo thieves in the United States largely tend to pursue loaded trailers and containers that are stationary and unattended, and in 2013 a whopping 73 percent of all thefts fell into this category."
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Supply Chain Brain
Alignment is the number one strategy to increase business value. Alignment is realized when the business strategy, functions, employees, business processes and technology are optimized for growth and profitability resulting in substantial shareholder returns. 

Procurement’s opportunity for excellence begins with alignment to the business and the broader enterprise strategy.
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Material Handling & Logistics
ompanies that sell and produce high-tech products are taking a more strategic approach to their supply chain strategy. A growing number of these firms see the value in nearshoring, the practice of bringing production closer to demand. The 2013 UPS "Change in the (Supply) Chain" study, conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights, highlighted nearshoring as one of the top supply chain trends impacting high-tech firms last year.

Companies responding to the survey cited improved customer service, better control over quality and intellectual property as well as manufacturing diversification as the top reasons to nearshore. Overall, 27% of survey respondents said they’re actively considering nearshoring, a 170% increase from 2010.
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Industry Week
Chilled by January’s severe weather, manufacturing production returned to more normal levels in February as it moved up 0.8% to 97.2. Industrial production as a whole also strengthened in February by 0.6% to 101.6% of its 2007 level, the Federal Reserve reported.

The gain in factory production in February was the largest since August 2013, the bank noted. It nearly reversed the 0.9% decline in January attributed largely to the effects of winter storms. Manufacturing output was 1.5% higher in February 2014 than in February 2013.
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Seegrid Corporation
 

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