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As knowledge about blockchain has grown, so have expectations for its ability to solve many of the transparency and security issues for today’s supply chains. But are those expectations realistic?

Preparing to Automate: Evaluate Your Operations First
Westfalia Technologies
As more manufacturers and distributors explore automation, many are considering automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) to enhance their production and distribution warehouse operations. However, a pre-implementation evaluation of your operations should be conducted first to help steer your company in the right direction for long-term success. Westfalia’s whitepaper “Preparing to Automate: How to Evaluate Your Operations Prior to Implementing an AS/RS” will guide you on the path to success.
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MHI Updates
  
Technology is disrupting supply chains and early adopters are successfully combining NextGen innovations to improve speed and agility and increase efficiency and visibility. These trends and technologies are having a dramatic business impact on supply chains, their security and the people who run them. They are also creating increased pressure on supply chain teams to get their arms around this new paradigm.
ProMat 2017 is a Trade Show Executives Fastest 50 honoree. Winners are selected based on percentage of growth in each of the following categories: net square feet, number of exhibiting companies, and number of attendees. ProMat 2017 was named to the net square feet and exhibiting companies lists and also won a Grand Award for attendance growth.
   
J-tec Industries
      
FOX IV Technologies, Inc.
   
Innovation. Quality. Service
The Raymond Corporation
It takes a lot to be a global leader. It takes a proud history of engineering material handling solutions that lead the way in innovation. It takes skilled and talented people committed to constant improvement. It requires a level of service that offers end-to-end solutions that anticipate customers’ needs.
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Technology and Innovation
  
It’s generally understood that the digital, "NextGen" supply chain will be the predominant way of operating in coming years. Still up for debate, however, is when that expectation will finally become reality. Among those barriers is the challenge of establishing a business case for disruptive technologies, including estimating the full benefits and costs involved. The result, all too often, is underinvestment and limited action.
The Conveyor and Sortation Systems (CSS) industry group of MHI recently released "Introduction to Conveyors and Sortation Systems." This handbook provides an overview of the different types of conveyors and sortation systems to give an introduction into different applications, advantages, and disadvantages of conveyor and sortation systems.
To ensure the safe design, manufacture and installation of cantilevered rack systems RMI released a standard, ANSI MH16.3-2016, Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Cantilevered Storage Racks, in 2016. As with every rack system, to ensure the safe design, manufacture and installation of cantilevered rack, it is critical to engage a professional engineer with experience in racking to evaluate a variety of factors, including: installation site, soils, anchoring, load type to be stored, handling equipment, and more.
   
Berner International Corporation
      
Lean Factory America, LLC
   
Education & Professional Development
The 2018 MHI Executive Summit and Annual Conference will focus on the NextGen technology, leading trends and enterprise-level best practices explored in the 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report. The Summit and Conference, being held October 14-17 in Orlando, will feature presentations geared to helping businesses take proactive steps geared toward continued competitive growth.
Supply Chain Trends
  
Today’s digital, interconnected world demands that supply chains also serve as a connected, coordinated information ecosystem that delivers maximum flexibility, visibility and transparency—regardless of the manpower available.
Restaurants often have leftover food, but don’t have the resources to figure out how to donate it, so it just goes to waste. Goodr does the work for them by redirecting surplus food from businesses to nonprofits that can share it with those who need it the most. Every transaction step is logged in the Goodr app through blockchain, making it secure and transparent.
   
L-S Industries
      
HMS Industrial Networks
   
Sustainability
Sustainability is a term we often hear in business. We hear many times how a certain practice or implementation is sustainable. Yet sustainability can be so much more. If we take a holistic approach, many break down sustainability into three equal parts: People, Planet, Profit. This is often called the Triple Bottom Line (TBL).
With new environmental guidelines on the horizon, many firms are trying to find new ways to streamline their supply chain processes and reduce waste. This new MHI view video discusses this topic and the new corporate social responsibility that business owners are facing.
Workforce
The "e" in e-commerce could stand for "explosion" these days, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. And as online orders continue to pour in, fulfillment centers are facing a workforce shortage. As Baby Boomers age out, attracting top talent these days is about positivity when it comes to management and perks.
For material handling and logistics operations with high turn over and seasonal fluctuations in business, training employees can be a significant time investment. Technologies such as virtual reality and smart glasses can be used to reduce that training time.
To keep workers safe when picking items stored at levels above the facility floor—such as in pick modules or on shelving within rack supported platforms—guidelines are offered in RMI’s "ANSI MH16.1-2012: Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks," section 8.4, "Pick Modules and Rack Supported Platforms." The documentation focuses on common-sense safety features and best practices, including ongoing training, to minimize the risk of worker injury as they go about their assigned tasks.
Global Trade
Supply chain professionals should take immediate action, if you haven’t already, to secure new suppliers and to do strategic planning using multiple "what-if" supply and cost scenarios. Your focus should be on developing alternative and flexible supply chains that can be adjusted with speed.