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Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine February 4, 2015
 
MHI Blog -- Material handling equipment new orders grew 8.1% in 2014 and are forecasted to grow 9% for 2015 and and 7% in 2016, according to the latest Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing Forecast (MHEM) released by MHI.

"We expect economic fundamentals to favorably support material handling equipment manufacturing expansion through 2015 and 2016," says Hal Vandiver, MHI executive consultant.
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Modern Materials Handling -- While sequential growth did not materialize to begin the year, manufacturing activity still remained in growth mode over all in January, according to the January edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

ISM said that economic activity in the manufacturing sector has grown for 20 straight months, while the overall economy has shown growth for 70 months straight.
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EBN -- Cutting waste by reducing inventory is not always the most cost-effective strategy.

Although the lean revolution has hit manufacturing, many organizations, especially retailers and wholesalers, have yet to apply lean principals. And even among those who do dabble in lean, the focus tends to be on suppliers upstream rather than adding value to the end customer.
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Green Biz -- Climate change warnings keep growing more dire, and the world's business leaders now even cite water crises and extreme weather as top economic risks. And yet the supply chains leading to many of the world's biggest companies reflect only middling attention to these issues.

That's the conclusion of a new report by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, and Accenture Strategy, which was informed by responses from 3,396 supply chain companies that sell goods or services to 66 of the world’s largest multinational corporations.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- Suppliers in U.S. Brazil, China and India are more vulnerable to climate risks than those in Europe and Japan, according to a new study by CDP and Accenture.
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Fleet Owner -- Will the costs of autonomous commercial vehicle (ACV) technology in the trucking industry overshadow the benefits? Or will it prove to be the other way around, with fuel savings, driver lifestyle enhancement, and safety improvements outweighing the price tag of ACVs?

Global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan delved into those questions in a new study entitled The Strategic Outlook of Autonomous Heavy-Duty Trucks and found that some "price-sensitive" markets may be slow to adopt such technology, whereas in others – notably the long-haul trucking sector – may experience at minimum a return on investment (ROI) period of three years. 
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Manufacturing Business Technology -- Managing extended sales channels — the distributors and resellers who deliver products to end customers — has been a largely intuitive process, relying on ‘hip pocket’ estimates, lacking in visibility and accountability, and too often isolated from central enterprise supply chain planning. 
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SupplyChainBrain -- The emergence of Big Data poses significant challenges to retail supply chains. But it also offers the opportunity to gain new insights into customer demand. Annibal Sodero, assistant professor at the Walton College of Business University of Arkansas, explains.

The management of big data is "the next frontier in retail," says Sodero. "It is the platform that will bring product to consumers whenever and wherever they want." Companies are looking to engage in gathering, storage, analysis and decision-making based on large data sets in near-real time. But they face at least four distinct challenges in coping with the wave of data: volume, velocity, variety and veracity.
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SCDigest -- Last week, SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore highlighted supply chain predictions for 2014 from a number of supply chain gurus. This week, here are the full text predictions from pundits Gene Tyndall, Mike Regan, George Stalk, Marc Wulfraat, David Schneider, and Chris Gopal. 
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Logistics Viewpoints -- Why should a supply chain executive care about Bitcoin, a platform for processing financial transactions?  Increasingly, large firms have executives with titles like "Procure to Pay Process Owner" or "VP of Order to Cash Processes."  Similarly, the large ERP companies are increasingly thinking in terms of these kinds of holistic processes when they add functionality to their platforms.

An article in the Wall Street Journal on Bitcoin made the point that Bitcoin, or a digital currency built on similar principles, "could slash trillions in financial fees."
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Argus Leader -- An Obama administration effort to boost the safety of tank cars used to transport crude and other materials by train could disrupt the country’s already congested rail network if an unrealistic proposal is allowed to go forward, the head of the powerful Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said Wednesday. 
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Apparel -- In order to move forward, retailers are finding it increasingly necessary to look backward. Having strategic vision in retail typically involves looking ahead and beyond the current state, but when it comes to the retail supply chain, clear vision often involves looking back — all the way back. 

Companies that can anticipate and react to consumer desires the quickest along the supply chain — and do so seamlessly across channels — can win the loyalty of increasingly fickle and demanding customers. Most retailers, however, examine only the final links in the chain (from their DCs to stores to consumers) and thus are missing opportunities to gain clarity and agility earlier on.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- A number of factors have converged to send oil prices plummeting to bargain basement levels hovering around $45 to $50 per barrel, but this decline won't last forever, according to a report from the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.

In Oil Demand: The Other Side of the Equation, Donald A. Norman, Ph.D., director of economic studies, says that the road to the current low prices is unsustainable because world oil consumption will continue growing, even if at a slower pace than in the past.
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MHI Blog -- Collaborating with supply chain partners on sustainability initiatives can improve outcomes, including financial return and reduce a firm’s environmental footprint, according to a recent report by CDP and Accenture titled Supply Chain Sustainability Revealed: A Country Comparison. 

The company responses to this year’s supply chain program paint a picture of the climate resilience of supply chains at the national level – and allows those countries to be compared with each other. 
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EBN -- Roughly seven months into the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports slowdown with, unfortunately, no end in sight, and manufacturers in just about every industry, from electronics to home goods, are feeling the pain.

Case in point: furniture manufacturer AICO. One week prior to trade show in Las Vegas, and more than three-quarters of the company's furniture samples remain on boats in the harbor waiting to dock and unload.
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American Shipper -- DHL tests wearable technology warehousing with Ricoh. DHL has carried out a pilot project testing smart glasses and augmented reality in a warehouse in the Netherlands.

The global integrator and third party logistics services provider partnered with wearable computing solutions company Ubimax and DHL’s customer Ricoh to implement 'vision picking' in warehousing operations. 
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