Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine October 8, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Modern Materials Handling -- Across the country today, customers, suppliers, educators and students will take a moment to reflect on the value of manufacturing to the United States economy. Through a series of educational outreach programs, facility tours, and business partnerships, both leaders and newcomers will have a chance to learn about career opportunities, training and resources in domestic manufacturing.

These events and others will work to improve the public perception of manufacturing careers with an eye toward reducing the skilled labor shortage, which is just one item among a list of challenges and possibilities facing the industry.
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MHI Solutions -- Third-party logistics (3PL) providers offer their customers the opportunity to outsource some, or all, of their supply chain management functions. These might include warehousing, transportation, or even value-added services—such as goods procurement, kitting of parts or products, traceability and compliance, spare parts and production tooling supply, reverse logistics, repairs and more.
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World Trade -- There are some widely circulated myths it’s fairly harmless to believe. There are others it’s wiser to take with a grain of salt, because they’re not only inaccurate but potentially misleading.
 
In recent years, five global sourcing myths have gained significant traction — and understandably so, because they’re supported by several reputable facts or trends. Yet they also come complete with even more significant contradictory evidence, including many reasons that could have serious supply chain implications.
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Industry Week -- Global e-commerce platform Alibaba recently made headlines with its record-setting New York initial public offering (IPO), the largest ever in the United States. The company’s aggressive growth aspirations ("We want to be bigger than Walmart," said Alibaba founder Jack Ma,) are rooted in the success it has seen in its home country of China, where it is one of the biggest retail players. Alibaba is the Amazon of the Chinese marketplace without equal competition.

But how will the company fare in its expansion in the U.S.? What challenges will Alibaba face and, the question on many people’s minds, what challenges will it have in competing with existing retailers like Amazon?
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Vidir Inc.
Supply Chain Brain -- Lack of visibility into their manufacturing processes is cited as manufacturers' most prevalent issue, according to a survey by Ubisense, a provider of location intelligence solutions. The survey, conducted by SME and Manufacturing Engineering Media, says 40 percent of manufacturers have no visibility into the real-time status of their manufacturing processes.

The 2014 Smart Manufacturing Technologies Survey, which secured responses from 252 manufacturing engineers, product designers and quality management professionals, found that nearly 10 percent of factories spend half the day simply looking for equipment and products. 
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EBN -- Increasingly, the supply chain and procurement departments are turning to digital solutions, rather than traditional manual systems, to maximize results. Recent research points to a substantial potential upside.

The 2014 Project & Procurement Management Benchmark Report, sponsored by Noosh, found that online collaborative sourcing platforms, which allowed multiple bidding on a centralized platform, saved organizations an average of 20.7%, when comparing the lowest estimate with the average of all estimates. The report analyzed data from hundreds of global brands representing nearly $12 billion in project management transactions spanning marketing and print services, engineering services, major syndicated media, and enterprise shared services.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- Although lead acid batteries are the preferred power source for forklifts, we’re living in a time when alternative power sources are making forklift OEMs give those alternatives a second look. The Raymond Corporation is one of those OEMs, and its product manager of energy storage systems and emerging technologies shared his insights on electric and hybrid technologies during a panel discussion at The Battery Show held in Novi, Michigan, Sept. 16 to 18. Raymond’s Arlan Purdy addressed the topic of battery and energy storage applications for off-highway and heavy-duty electric vehicles.
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Supply Management -- In today’s business world, access to timely, accurate operational information is critical. As globalization and outsourcing extended supply chains to every corner of the world, a new class of enterprise software emerged: the business network – built from the ground up to solve problems that enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems were not meant to address. Companies have realized that they need to develop skills outside the confines of ERP and cultivate their own internal skills for supply chain leadership. As companies reassess their strategies for collaboration, continuity of supply, and competitive advantage, the role of the supply chain centre of excellence (CoE) becomes a key part of the organizational model.
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Western Pacific Storage Systems
Chainlink Research -- In most companies, supply chain finance is seen as a narrow and limited tool rather than a strategic enabler of success. As a result, a lot of unrealized value is left on the table. Whether you are in finance, supply chain, or procurement, supply chain finance has the potential to help you provide more strategic value (see sidebar, "Three Roles, Three Perspectives, Three Potentials").

In fact supply chain finance, done right, can generate strategic value throughout the P2P lifecycle, particularly in assuring continuity of supply, reducing COGS,1 meeting profitability targets, creating more sustainable supply chains, and reducing time-to-market and lead times. 
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Supply Chain Standard -- It’s easy for you or me to do something that will reduce our use of fossil fuels – the trouble is that, alone, we can only have a very limited effect.
 
In fact, a typical company only has direct control of ten per cent of the carbon emissions in its supply chain, according to the Carbon Trust, the government-funded organization tasked with helping organizations reduce their carbon footprints. Now it is developing a certification system for organizations that are looking right across their supply chains to reduce carbon emissions.
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Supply Chain Brain -- While progress is slowly being made, insufficient trade agreements exist in order to encourage and drive intra-Africa trade. As a result there tends to be a focus on doing business with regions outside of Africa, such as the United States or China, says Charles Brewer, managing director of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.
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MHI Solutions -- Piedmont Natural Gas, a natural gas utility serving customers in the Carolinas and Tennessee for more than 60 years, may seem at first blush to have little in common with Digital Lumens, a six-year-old Boston company specializing in "intelligent" computerized LED lighting systems.

Both companies, however, are among those staking positions in an alternative-energy universe that should surge as more industries embrace the task of developing environmentally friendlier, energy-efficient supply chains.
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Berner International Corporation
Business 2 Community -- Choosing a new supply chain partner can be one of the best decisions you’ll make this quarter or it could turn out to be a major headache for your organization. Supply chains all around the world are becoming swift in movement and innovation, so much so that any one company is hard-pressed to keep up with all the changes in their industry.
 
Adding a supply chain partner can give you powerful, strategic leverage to meet new trends and customer demands without making significant infrastructure investments. But, how do you choose the right partner? What hoops should you use before adding someone to the lifeblood of your organization?
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Industry Week -- With national Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) set for Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, a new survey shows that there is one group of potential employees that should not be overlooked – young women. Women in Manufacturing, (WiM), a group of nearly 500 women dedicated to attracting, retaining and advancing women in the manufacturing sector released the survey, co-produced with Plante Moran. 
 
The survey of more than 870 women -- including both experienced women currently working in manufacturing and young women who are just beginning to consider their career options -- offers several promising findings for the future of women in the manufacturing sector.
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EBN -- An army of more user-friendly robots is headed for the factory floor, but they may have to climb over cumbersome safety regulations, according to two pioneers in the field speaking at a workshop here.
 
"There’s a big market for automating small companies," said Esben Ostergaard, chief technologist at Universal Robots, a Danish company now selling as many as 150 robots a month.
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Engineering Innovation
 

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