Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine June 11, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
MHI Blog
Most businesses are at risk of supply chain fraud, primarily financial fraud perpetrated by vendors and subcontractors. Furthermore, most of the businesses lack the tools required to detect and prevent it. Deloitte recently released the results of a new study which found that less than one-third of businesses use the data analytics required to detect supply chain fraud and waste.

Some vendors and subcontractors misrepresent labor and material costs to inflate invoices while others sell fake or low-quality goods. Supply chain analytics provide a greater level of visibility and detail for reviewing and monitoring supply chains, including vendor and subcontractor activities.
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Supply Chain Digest
According to industry statics, order picking costs typically account for more than 50% of total DC operating costs. With the trend toward smaller, more frequent orders, order fulfillment costs will continue to increase. Naturally companies are concerned and searching for better management methods to combat this growing problem.

Many DC’s are considering deploying Labor Management Software (LMS) to help improve their bottom lines – especially when it comes to order picking operations. Software providers tout that implementing LMS into a DC often results in a labor productivity increase simply because employees know they are being tracked throughout the operation. But, distributors should be mindful that LMS isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. According to LMS providers, large distributors with 15 or more order pickers often benefit most from LMS.
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Forbes
Third-party logistics (3PL) providers play an essential role in hooking up shippers with the right kind of transportation service. But their numbers are shrinking.

The trend is toward fewer, larger players. A recent example was the acquisition of One Stop Logistics by Echo Global Logistics, Inc. Chicago-based Echo earned $884 million in revenue in 2013, drawing on a network of more than 26,000 transportation providers. One Stop, with $50.7 million in gross revenue last year, offers both truckload and less-than-truckload brokerage services out of offices in Northern California and Florida. Purchase price of the deal was $37.3 million.
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World Trade
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is supporting local efforts to reduce air pollution in Erie and Niagara counties in New York State by providing $246,931 to help one organization in these areas retrofit old, dirty diesel engines on 19 transit buses with less polluting models. The projects will cut emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter among other pollutants. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death.

Diesel engines often remain in use a long time. Older diesel engines that predate current and stricter air pollution standards emit large amounts of air pollutants. EPA grants like this are helping to reduce air pollution from some of the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of pollution.
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Vidir Inc.
EBN
Omnichannel sales and distribution is to the supply chain what big data is to IT -- everyone is talking about it, few have really captured its full potential.

In our most recent edition of Avnet Supply Chain Velocity, our cover story looks at omnichannel and its potential within the industrial B2B space. As I noted in the article, though omnichannel is most commonly associated with the retail B2C supply chain, I believe that in some respects, members of the electronics supply chain have been implementing a form of omnichannel since the widespread adoption of EDI in the early 1980s.

Still, while real-time, multi-channel availability exists, it is limited. As a B2B customer, you can order over the web, pick up the phone and talk to someone, or use a mobile app to pay for your purchase with a credit card. However, this capability in our industry tends to be focused on engineering or prototype builds, and servicing the design engineer with data and samples.
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Transport Topics
Intermodal rail volume for May rose 8% compared with the same time last year, the Association of American Railroads reported.

Intermodal volume rose to slightly above 1.05 million units in May, the 54st consecutive year-over-year monthly increase, AAR said.
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Modern Materials Handling
As U.S. manufacturing recorded the greatest monthly increase so far in 2014, a recent survey involving members of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) also points to an upswing in the automation industry.

According to the J.P. Morgan/CSIA System Integrator Survey, the automation industry is experiencing a "steady lift" entering the second quarter. The global survey of professionals in the automation and controls industry shows that food and beverage, chemical, and oil and gas—among the end markets served by CSIA members—are reporting increased activity.
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Industry Week
The concept of operational excellence effectively started in the manufacturing industry with concepts like Lean and Six Sigma and the Toyota Production System. The problem is that we have not made enough breakthroughs since those methodologies were created. In fact, we have become so heavily reliant upon these methodologies that we sometimes forget to use good judgment and common sense.

When we talk about manufacturing, we need to consider that technology is very important in the industry; in many cases, technology is taking over jobs that people used to perform. This trend makes managing quality even more important because we are removing the human ability to control that quality. It's no longer sufficient to create a quality review department at the end of the manufacturing line, where a team of people fixes the defects. 
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Tapeswitch Corporation
Material Handling & Logistics 
Inventory identification, tracking and management (e.g. supply chain visibility and inventory accuracy) are the core competencies that matter most in omni-channel retailing, reports Capgemini Consulting in its new study, "Are You Ready? How to Create an Always-On, Always-Open Shopping Experience." 

The report is based on in-depth interviews with major US apparel and general merchandise retailers whose companies represent nearly $500 billion in U.S. sales. It cites the role of new standards such as Electronic Product Code (EPC)-enabled Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in helping retailers improve inventory accuracy in real-time.
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Forbes
A recent report published by ARC got me thinking about the evolution in analytics I have seen over the past two decades.  I’ve covered supply chain applications in my tenure here at ARC.  These applications are of course a rich source of analytic data. But when I came into the industry reporting tools were the way in which that data was analyzed.

These reports were published on a periodic schedule and by the time they were perused, an important event that needed immediate attention may have been languishing for days. If a user wanted changes in the metrics they were looking at, IT help was required, and this never seemed to be a priority for IT.  The reports were not user friendly; users had to pour over reams of data to find nuggets of useful information.
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MHI Blog
Industrial Lift and Hoist magazine recently wrote an article on how safety concerns, the economy and an aging manufacturing and supply chain workforce are increasing the demand for workstation cranes and other ergonomic lifting equipment.

According to the article, a combination of the push for ergonomics in the U.S. manufacturing sector and the improving economy has helped to bolster demand for investment in workstation cranes and other ergonomic lifting and positioning equipment.
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Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Industry Today
Whether its wearable devices, RFID tracking or process automation, more M&D firms are regularly turning to technology to improve internal and client-facing operations. This emphasis on automating formerly manual, time-consuming processes marks a turning point in the industry, as productivity and employee efficiency reaches new heights.

As staff productivity continues to improve, industry executives’ focus will start shifting to other strategic operational decisions, namely, transportation and energy cost savings. Rather than consolidating internal operations, these companies can benefit from offsetting the expenses associated with moving products through the supply chain. 
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World Trade
The transportation and logistics industry has gone through significant changes and challenges since the 2008-2009 recession. Things are getting better, but significant market dynamics are in play that will present challenges and opportunities for small and large companies alike in the coming months and years.

In his upcoming presentation during the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association’s Annual Conference and Expo from June 8-10 in Dallas, Texas, Adrian Gonzalez of Adelante SCM, will provide insight on key trends and facts that will help attendees plan for sales and marketing success in the future. Below are a few of the key takeaways he will touch on during his presentation.
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Supply Chain Brain
Cloud technology is affecting the supply chain and logistics industry in a number of key ways, says Boike. From an operational standpoint, it’s giving birth to new processes for managing logistics and serving the end customer.

But companies have yet to fully embrace the cloud. "There’s still a fair amount of apprehension out there as to how and why it’s better," says Boike. Many remain unconvinced that the cloud can deliver the same level of reliability and security as that of on-premise software.
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Seegrid Corporation
 

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