Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine December 24, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
MHI Blog -- Self-driving vehicles are set to change logistics, according to a new report by DHL titled "Self-Driving Vehicles in Logistics." The report highlights key elements and potential of autonomous technologies.

The report contains various best-practice applications from different industries and also examines concrete use cases of self-driving vehicles across the entire logistics value chain.
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The Washington Post -- When Daphne Carmeli launched Deliv in 2012, her pitch for a same-day delivery service didn’t often get the warmest reception. "The stupidest idea ever," she was told. 

"Remember Webvan?" they’d say. "Remember Kozmo?"

In Silicon Valley, the spectacular flameouts of those dot-com-boom delivery services are deeply entrenched lore. And as a veteran of the Bay Area start-up community, Carmeli remembers them well. But they don’t scare her. And that’s because Carmeli believes this time — this moment, this era — is different.
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Information Age -- Once reserved for use in the military, unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), or drones, seem destined for the commercial marketplace. Ear-marked as a centre for drone technology research and development, the UK could reap significant economic benefits from such innovation. However, for UAVs to be produced and sold successfully, firms must establish a supply chain and workforce with the correct capabilities.

The practical potential of drones is well documented ranging from Amazon pledging to use UAVs to deliver goods, to other applications including film, 3D mapping and surveillance.
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Linked In -- The promise of sustainability has long since moved beyond superficial, feel-good measures that temporarily bolster companies’ images. Companies that have more fully embraced its core principles are discovering opportunities to cultivate public favor, generate additional revenue from new products and services, reduce costs, and ward off a variety of long-term ills.

In particular, they are learning that achieving true sustainability is the result of making their supply chains more sustainable. A full half of a product’s value, and often as much as much as 70 percent, is derived from suppliers.
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EBN -- There's an app for that. That's long been the joke amongst smartphone toting consumers. More and more, the same can be said for supply chain management and logistics tasks.

Embracing mobility promises to increase visibility and responsiveness in the supply chain when properly leveraged. For these reasons, businesses are more and more interested in embracing mobile applications. In this year's North American Mobile Enterprise Applications report, Frost & Sullivan reported that companies reporting the use of at least one mobile worker application rose from 73% in 2013 to 82% this year. "Currently, 49 percent of businesses across North America adopt between one and ten applications, indicating a significant acceptance of these solutions," the report said.
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Vidir Inc.
Reuters -- It took China's biggest retail chain Suning all last year to generate sales of about $17 billion. Last month, e-commerce giant Alibaba saw sales worth more than half that amount pass through its Tmall website in just one day.

Big retailers like Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd and foreign rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Best Buy Co Inc are struggling to attract customers to their traditional stores in China, where online shopping is booming.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- While manufacturers had a strong 2014 and predict sales will grow 4.5% over the next four months, they are still frustrated with Washington.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers released on Dec. 8., 72.7% of respondents said that the United States was on the wrong track, with just 9.1% feeling we are headed in the right direction.
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Greener Package -- Packaging—irrespective of industry sector—continues to undergo an array of important changes that brands and senior-level executives must be attuned to in 2015.

There are five major trends that will continue to deeply impact packaging and its associated industries in 2015: the growing importance of sustainability; the demand for supply chain transparency; the rise of new barrier/coating packaging technologies; continued emphasis on lightweight packaging; and the importance of delivering frustration-free packaging.
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MHI Blog -- Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers is now available from the Ergonomic Assist Systems and Equipment (EASE) Council of MHI. Designed for retailers and safety experts, this NIOSH booklet has a goal to prevent MMH (manual material handling) injuries in grocery stores.

MMH injuries, also called overexertion injuries, account for 60% of the injuries and lost work in select retail businesses. This 23-page booklet has 13 unique illustrations showing employees in a grocery store using various mechanical assist devices. This booklet was inspired by the Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling, which also available here on the EASE website.
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Modern Materials Handling -- Retail sales data for the month of November showed both sequential and annual gains, according to data issued by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Commerce reported that November retail sales at $449.3 billion were up 0.7 percent compared to October and up 5.1 percent compared to November 2013, and total retail sales from September through November are up 4.7 percent annually.
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Western Pacific Storage Systems
Forbes -- Over a decade ago, trade journals were talking about smart grocery carts. These grocery carts would have a computer attached to it that could assist consumers in shopping by providing coupons, the location of an item the shopper wants to buy, and even an accelerated check out process if the shopper scanned the items into the cart. Meanwhile, the smart cart would allow the retailer to generate detailed data on their shoppers buying behavior, details of how customers moved through the store, and other useful information that could be used to increase store sales.
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Supply Chain Brain -- You've heard of the Internet of Things. Now get ready for the Internet of Everything – a term coined by Cisco Systems. Chad Jones, vice president of IoT strategy with LogMeIn, explains just what the IoE is, and how it differs from previous connectivity environments.

The Internet of Things offers the ability to take sensors and make them addressable over the internet, says Jones. The technology represents a marked evolution of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which in the past has proved to be highly monolithic and expensive. IoT technology drives down costs significantly.
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EBN -- As 2014 comes to a close and another new year begins, it makes sense to ask a simple question: How will next year be different from this one? One change could involve fostering a stronger spirit for supply chain innovation.

Things such as big-data analysis, a wide array of open online courses at top universities, a growing awareness of and emphasis on reverse and frugal innovation, and the conversation around net neutrality all present new opportunities for supply chain professionals and the departments they oversee.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- A recent study of consumer products companies that have adapted omnichannel strategies to reach customers, found that 86% of respondents agree that omnichannel has meant that consumer expectations of the organization have increased.

The SAP survey also found that 86% agree that the benefits of investing in an omnichannel approach to consumer sales clearly outweigh the challenges.

However, only 16% of businesses say that they are currently meeting all business and analysis needs for consumer experience via multi-channel.
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Forbes -- It is a common place of supply chain management that we should build our supply chains backwards from the customer. So customer-centric metrics are critical. So it is with great interest when I attended the American Supply Chain & Logistics Summit last week, and heard two different speakers, from two different organizations, mention a customer-centric metric I had never heard of – the Net Promoter Score.
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Engineering Innovation
 

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