Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine October 1, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Logistics Management -- The relationships between third-party logistics (3PL) service providers and shippers are seeing ongoing developments due in large part to the continuing emergence and sophistication of omni-channel retailing. 

That was one of the key findings of The 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released by consultancy Capgemini Group, Penn State University, and Korn/Ferry International, a global talent advisory firm. The study was sponsored by Penske Logistics.
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CFO -- For many companies, 2015 is looking rosy. The overall economy is finally accelerating out of the worst recession since the 1930s, helped in no small part by construction as the Construction Backlog Indicator (published by Associated Builders and Contractors) reached an all-time high in June.

But the recent rise in consumer spending has fueled inflation speculation, foreshadowing an inventory carrying cost upswing in the form of rising short-term borrowing rates. Couple that with a truck driver shortage and the resulting upward pressure on freight rates, 2015 may challenge CFOs of product-based companies to guide financial policy through turbulent waters.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- Strong leadership is essential to developing and sustaining a culture of quality, but a new research study from ASQ and Forbes Insights finds that only 60% say their management supports the quality vision and values unequivocally.

 The research — "Culture of Quality: Accelerating Growth and Performance in the Enterprise" — explores organizations’ support of quality and the key components of a successful culture of quality. More than 2,000 senior executives and quality professionals worldwide were surveyed to gauge their organizations’ quality culture.
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Bloomberg Businessweek -- Amazon (AMZN) cleared $25.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. A lot of Christmas wishes were no doubt fulfilled, but that holiday season is likely going to be remembered more for the packages that didn’t ship on time. A surge of demand combined with some inclement weather to overwhelm the operations of Amazon’s largest shipping partner, UPS (UPS), and some customers didn’t receive their gifts by the holiday. It was the cardinal sin of online retailing, and the two companies had to offer apologies and refund shipping fees for disappointed customers.

Now the country’s largest online retailer seems determined not to let the same thing happen again.
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Vidir Inc.
EBN -- For all of you mid-level supply chain managers with cross-functional expertise, there is some good news: The market can't get enough of you.

The supply chain talent shortage has been called a "perfect storm." Few topics are shrouded in such doom and gloom. Every report cites doomsday statistics of the impending crisis when, by 2025, 60 million baby boomers will exit the workforce, leaving a gigantic gap, since there are only 40 million new bodies to take their place.
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Chain Store Age -- Last year, 37.3% of traditional "Black Friday" consumers began shopping between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Shopper traffic over the two-day Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday period at retail outlets totaled more than 1.07 billion store visits. Sales during the two-day period were $12.3 billion, and online sales grew an explosive 18.5%.
 
After seeing the financial benefits of opening earlier, more retailers are expected to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump on their holiday sales. This year, forecasters expect sales over the two-day period to grow 3.9% over last year
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Material Handling & Logistics -- Prices of paper and packaging products are on an upward trend as input costs rise for upstream suppliers and consumer shopping trends drive demand for shipping materials and services, according to a report from IBISWorld. The report anticipates that rising prices for wood pulp and paper will flow on to a number of paper-based packaging products and services.

The rising price of paper, a key input in manufacturing corrugated boxes, will force operators to increase box prices to maintain profit margins. With growing overall demand for corrugated boxes stemming from consumers and businesses alike, suppliers will be able to raise prices without risking drops in demand.
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Retail Info System News -- As retailers begin to embrace the customer-centric philosophy the supply chain needs to evolve to keep up with the pace of change. RIS News' recently released "Making the Shift to a Customer-Driven Supply Chain" highlights five things retailers can do to optimize their supply chains for the new retail reality.    

The full report is available for free download here, but a sneak peak of the first of five tips follows.
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Western Pacific Storage Systems
Industry Week -- Yes, brittle. Manufacturers and retailers have trimmed their supply chains to save money and engineered them within an inch of their lives to deliver just-in-time performance. This has made supply chains wonderfully efficient, yet woefully vulnerable—like an Indy Car without spare tires in the pit.

A fire, a storm, bankruptcy, or coup at a supplier’s location can suddenly crack a brittle supply chain and leave an otherwise high-performing company in pieces. The wounded firm becomes prey to competitors who've taken pains to make themselves resilient.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- As companies get better at reducing inventory and adopting just-in-time delivery practices, global supply chains are beginning to look more and more like liabilities. That was the conclusion of an article published nearly three years ago (Bloomberg Businessweek, February 2012).

To the manufacturing professional, such handwringing is nothing new. For years now, supply chain experts have been debating the challenges that are inherent in managing increasingly complicated supply chains — and mitigating the risks that come with them.
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Modern Materials Handling -- Optimism in the form of increasing profits was a key takeaway in the Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) CEOs, released earlier this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Now in its 21st year, the survey was conducted by Dr. Robert Lieb, professor of Supply Chain Management at Northeastern University, and sponsored by Penske Logistics. It is based on feedback from 27 3PL CEOs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, with cumulative revenues in 2013 at roughly $46 billion.
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World Trade -- While numerous retailers have collected years of customer data, only 9 percent are leveraging the information in a structured, usable way, according to HRC Advisory (HRC), a strategic retail advisory firm and unit of Hilco Global. 

The finding was revealed today as part of HRC’s latest retail industry study, which found that outdated organizational structures and processes, non-integrated IT platforms and a lack of a clear roadmap are major barriers preventing customer data in enabling a retailer’s omni-channel efforts. 
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Berner International Corporation
Supply Chain Brain -- While the concept behind the "Internet of Things" has been around for about two decades, NEST, the web-enabled thermostat company recently purchased by Google, has popularized the concept. Today, a data-driven infrastructure of internet-connected devices that control utilities, guide our retail shopping experiences, and monitor our health is far from science fiction.
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Apparel -- A hot topic among retailers, customers and logistics professionals alike for years, omnichannel fulfillment is finally here. Whether shopping in person, buying online and picking up in store, or having merchandise sent directly to them, customers expect access to the same inventory.

Smart apparel retailers can blend the "I want it now" tug from customers with their own "I want inventory reduced from this particular store" perspectives to create win-win situations that move products efficiently along every sales channel. 
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Packaging World -- The total flexible packaging industry is estimated to be about $27.2 billion in annual sales for 2013. This includes packaging for retail and institutional food and non-food (including medical and pharmaceutical), industrial materials, shrink and stretch films, retail shopping bags, and consumer storage bags, as well as wraps and trash bags.

That’s according to the Flexible Packaging Assn.’s "2014 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report," (pwgo.to/1071), which provides industry converters, suppliers, investors, and analysts with insight into the performance (growth, revenue/volume expectations, profitability, capital spending) of the U.S. flexible packaging industry over the past year.
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Engineering Innovation
 

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