Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine April 30, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Reuters 
A new ranking of the competitiveness of the world's top 25 exporting countries says the United States is once again a "rising star" of global manufacturing thanks to falling domestic natural gas prices, rising worker productivity and a lack of upward wage pressure.

The report, released on Friday by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG,) found that while China remains the world's No. 1 country in terms of manufacturing competitiveness, its position is "under pressure" as a result of rising labor and transportation costs and lagging productivity growth.
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World Trade
Threats to supply chain security are constantly evolving, and BSI recorded a number of important changes to the threat landscape facing supply chains around the world in 2013. With a few notable exceptions, the countries BSI rated High or Severe for cargo theft continued to see significant losses and violent cargo theft incidents, specifically in Italy, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. BSI also noted a number of important shifts in the tactics used to smuggle illegal drugs and other contraband via introduction into cargo shipments, as well as several entirely new global trafficking flows. 

Trade interruption incidents such as strikes, protests, and adverse weather events significantly impacted regional and global trade in 2013 and exceeded a quarter trillion dollars globally. Supply chain terrorism continued to plague a number of countries, particularly Colombia, India, the Philippines, and several nations in Africa and the Middle East.
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MHI Blog
New supply chain configurations and technological advances in fulfillment are influencing not only building size requirements, but also the location and build-out of the facilities, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield.
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Inside Counsel
Supply chain management is a vital component of minimizing a company’s risk of fraud, bribery, and corruption, and new tools can help organizations looking to limit their exposure to these risks as modern technology worms its way into even the oldest of businesses.

Big data is still a point of intrigue for many businesses looking to take advantage of digital analysis to create more efficient and foolproof operations in their supply chains, but data analytics tools should be far from enigmatic for supply chain managers. Bloomberg suggests that data analytics tools and big data are two elements that can help businesses identify problem areas within a supply chain before those areas actually do damage. 
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Vidir Inc.
EBN
Though 3D printing is winning attention among designers and manufacturers alike, you have to wonder what the environmental implications might be.
 
Hold on. I know what you're going to say. The buzz around 3D printing points to all sorts of "Oh, happy day" scenarios.

As IBM said in a Global Business Services report last summer, 3D or additive manufacturing is likely to reduce material waste, lower transportation costs, and pave the way for a trifold win for the electronics industry: more efficient design, lighter products, and shorter product design cycles.
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Material Handling & Logistics
Direct Store Delivery (DSD) can result in millions of dollars in savings by improving the way products are ordered, sold, delivered and merchandised, according to a new report from Honeywell.  The report, which contains feedback from 350 C-level consumer goods executives and directors from around the world, found that 49 percent of organizations surveyed feel increased transportation costs have severely impacted profit margins in the past 12 months. 

But those organizations that have carried out process evaluations (known as process re-engineering) in the past year to improve their DSD processes have cut, or expect to cut, costs on average by $734,000 annually. 
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Manufacturing Business Technology 
The high-tech warehouse is taking shape as organizations seek to get ahead of the material handling systems challenges of the 21st Century supply chain. A big component of that formation is automation, but it has to be more strategic than just throwing machines at a problem.

Nearly three in four managers rank distribution center (DC) automation as the No. 1 way to increase productivity, according to a survey by Intermec Technologies. Customer demands to move more product faster through more channels combined with a shrinking labor pool have driven organizations to automate processes in their DCs.
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Bloomberg
Orders poured into American factories in March, putting manufacturing at the center of a projected rebound in economic growth during the second quarter. 

Bookings for durable goods, those meant to last at least three years, increased 2.6 percent, the biggest gain since November, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The advance was broad-based, with makers of computers, machinery and metals among those benefiting. 
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Tapeswitch Corporation
The New York Times
A day after Canada issued stringent new rules for the transportation of oil by rail, federal regulators in the United States said on Thursday that they would push forward their own tank standards next week, potentially resolving a critical safety issue that has been mired in regulatory limbo for years.

The Transportation Department said its proposed rules would include "options for enhancing tank car standards," said Kevin Thompson, a spokesman. 
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Logistics Viewpoints
In the trucking business, market volatility is part of the terrain.  But in recent years, fluctuations in supply and demand seem to have become more erratic.  So how can shippers use transportation management system (TMS) technology to help deal with these market swings?
 
A number of forces, both manmade and natural, feed the market’s ups and downs. As Jason Craig relates in his Transportfolio blog post Turning of the Screw: The Pressure Supply Chains are Under, these stresses and strains have been building up for some time. 
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Modern Materials Handling
What do you do if you’re a plastics manufacturer and your parent company in the soft drink and beer industries is in need of a better plastic crate and pallet?

If you’re PTM (click on the top to translate into English), whose parent company FEMSA bottles Coca-Cola and Heineken in Latin America, you design the better product. In this case, a plastic crate that is wear-friendly to plastic soft drink bottles and a structural foam plastic pallet that is good for up to 100 trips, according to testing conducted at Virginia Tech’s Center For Unit Load design. The crates and pallet are currently being used by FEMSA in its Coca-Cola operations in Mexico; Heineken recently placed a significant order to convert from wood to plastic pallets in 6 plants.
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SupplyChainBrain
Less automated "standard" material handling solutions are perfect for new or smaller companies that do not require highly automated DCs. Klaus Wurm, vice president and managing director of Schaefer Systems, discusses the benefits of integrating standard elements to help such companies get their products to market quickly without big investments or lengthy implementations.

"A lot of start-up companies have a great product and a presence on the internet, but they are not Amazon," says Wurm. Schaefer helps such companies put together traditional material handling equipment to form a complete system that can handle complex picking challenges, he says. 
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Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Modern Materials Handling
From cost center to growth center. Get insightful opinions on changes in the marketplace from this survey of warehouse personnel.

Motorola Solutions examined the current warehousing marketplace in the 2018 Warehouse Vision Report, based on research conducted in 2013.
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Paper Age
The corrugated segment of the packaging industry is growing rapidly. Demand for corrugated packaging material is expected to increase by an average of more than 4% annually over the next five years, and will amount to almost 115 million tonnes of converted material worth an estimated $176 billion by 2019. 

There are a number of issues driving the growing demand for corrugated packaging materials. In this new and exclusive bulletin, Smithers Pira examines the top four trends in the corrugated packaging sector. 
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EBN
Supply chain professionals likely don't recognize the names BlueKai or Silverpop. These companies built their technology to assist online marketing and advertising services. 

Earlier this year, Oracle acquired BlueKai, which manages data for online marketing services. Similarly in early April, IBM said it would acquire Silverpop, which offers a suite of cloud-based marketing services. These companies were built from the ground up to manage online data and services. Both have technology to create a major advantage for the electronics manufacturing supply chain. 
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Industry Week 
A young colleague I had once mentored telephoned me one day to tell me about a job he had just landed with a high-tech company. In his description of the company he told me that their internal slogan was, "We always hit our numbers." He asked me what I thought of this. Hmmm.
 
Managers in most companies are given numeric performance goals—their numbers—by which they will be personally measured. These numbers are set with the thought they will be leading indicators of company financial performance. So, the thinking goes, if managers can hit their numbers a company should thrive.
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The Scotsman
Better logistics and supply chain management is vital for business success, but too few businesses are grasping the opportunities available. Customers are deserting high streets, businesses do not have resilient processes able to cope with events such as extreme weather, and the environmental and financial costs of transport are far too high. We need all organizations from large government agencies to small businesses managing their logistics and transport better.

Month after month retail sales figures highlight the inexorable rise in the use of e-commerce where we consumers continue to drive business change through our shopping preferences. We can be in no doubt that we are engaged in a supply chain revolution and it is the consumers who are driving the change whilst many businesses strive to play catch up. 
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Seegrid Corporation
 

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