Randall Manufacturing
MHI Blog -- There is so much to do and see in the Windy City. What a great place for ProMat, the largest expo for supply chain professionals in North America, March 23-26 at McCormick Place!

ProMat will be the highlight of my trip, and Chicago will be icing on the cake! Here are my top 6 must do/must see while at ProMat!
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JOC.com -- The number of job openings in the U.S. transportation and warehousing industries increased 23 percent year-over-year in January, but businesses in those industries lost more workers than they hired that month, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although the recent spike in separations is most likely seasonal in nature, the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey underscores increased demand for transportation and warehousing workers and rising labor and transportation cost pressures faced by shippers.
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Supply Management -- Typhoons accounted for two of the five worst disruptions to supply chains in 2014, according to research.

Analysis by supply chain risk technology provider Resilinc, which receives notifications of disruptions generated by its monitoring service and the data it holds on more than 40,000 suppliers, found that Typhoon Halong, which hit south east Asia in August last year, affected business revenues by more than $10 billion.
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Modern Materials Handling -- Due to the popularity of smart phones and tablets—and in an effort to minimize the show’s environmental impact—MHI no longer publishes a ProMat Show Directory. Instead, the official ProMat app is available for free at both Android and Apple app stores. Downloading information is at promatshow.com/app.

The app offers an interactive map, exhibitor search, educational sessions search and information about the four keynotes. Attendees can also access their personalized agenda using the mobile app. Registration for events related to ProMat that require separate fees (such as such as MHI’s 70th Anniversary celebration on Wednesday) is only available at ProMat Attendee Registration on Level 3 of McCormick Place—not through the app.
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Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
EBN -- The term lean supply chain has been bandied about the electronics industry for years. Today, we thought we'd drill down a bit on the concept stays more than just a buzzword.

At the most basic level, the lean supply chain leverages a team-based approach to continuous improvement. The focus is on eliminated activities that don't add value, as well as anything that might be defined as "waste" from the customer perspective.
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SupplyChainBrain -- From humble beginnings at the machine control layer, warehouse systems have matured and expanded to allow visibility and control over what is happening at the machine, parcel, associate and order/wave level. When combined with data from wearables and other Internet of Things technologies, warehouse control software will drive new opportunities for distribution efficiency.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- Import cargo volumes at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to rise an unusually high 16.9% this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the Global Port Tracker report compiled by the National Retail Federation and consulting firm Hackett Associates.

"The contract talks are over, but the tentative agreement still has to be ratified and it’s going to take months to get back to normal on the West Coast," says Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
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Supply Chain Digital -- Doing business abroad definitely has its benefits, but it’s also risky business as the global supply chain can bring on a slew of unique disruptions, political unrest being a top concern right now for international retailers.

Bangladesh, whose apparel industry accounts for 80 percent of the country’s total exports, just started breathing easy after dealing with the aftermath of a 2013 factory fire. Unfortunately, now a period of intense political unrest is causing major disruptions in raw material supply. The garment industry is experiencing big losses due to a decline in orders from international retailers, order cancellations, soaring air freight charges, production shortfalls and higher transportation costs.
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Western Pacific Storage Solutions, Inc.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Modern Materials Handling -- A wide-ranging survey published by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, in partnership with Sourcing Journal, provides a detailed analysis on global trade patterns and trends focused on various segments of global trade.

Entitled the "State of Trade Survey," data and feedback was based on responses from 350 global trade professionals.
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Supply Management -- Cities in Asia are the most exposed to natural disasters threatening global supply chains, according to research.

The strategic markets of the Philippines, China, Japan and Bangladesh have more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to natural hazards, highlighting the potential risks to foreign business, supply chains and economic output in Asia from extreme weather events and seismic disasters, according to research from global risk analytics company, Verisk Maplecroft.
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Ad Age -- Millennial influence within b-to-b buying decision groups is growing rapidly, according to a new study by Google and the research house Millward Brown Digital.

According to the study, 46% of potential buyers researching b-to-b products are millennials today, up from 27% in 2012. They're now the biggest generational group researching b-to-b products for potential purchase. "We saw a big shift in a two-year time span in the number of millennials that are in the b-to-b purchase path," said Mike Miller, Google's director of business and industrial markets.
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Fleet Owner -- With the fall of diesel prices last year and the current love-affair with natural gas to power commercial trucks, many people have wondered whether that darling from just a few short years ago – the hybrid truck – still has a place in the future of transportation. Glenn Ellis, vice president of marketing, dealer operations and product planning for Hino Trucks, is a firm believer that hybrids do have a place.

Ellis gave a presentation on the cabover market, particularly hybrid models in Hino’s lineup, during the recent Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, held in conjunction with the NTEA’s Work Truck Show.
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Engineering Innovation
MHI Blog -- When I first started at Caster Concepts, I was unlucky enough to score one of the "old" office chairs. By old, I don’t necessarily mean it was something that was uncovered during an archeology expedition – it was clean and comfortable, but of a sufficient vintage that it didn’t have many of the benefits of ergonomic chairs that we see today.

Recently, my new ergonomic office chair arrived – and at first blush, I didn’t think it was a big deal – I simply rolled it into position and nestled into it. But as soon as I got the chair adjusted to my comfort, I began to feel the difference.

The key lesson is how a dedicated approach to the improvement of ergonomics in the workplace can have significant benefits for both employer and employee. Let’s explore five such areas where ergonomic enhancements can achieve measurable results.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is developing an automated travel advisor that could ultimately function as a type of robot dispatcher that helps truck drivers avoid disruptions and choose the optimum routes to their destinations.

The lab already has several applications including hybrid car navigation and controlling autonomous underwater vehicles.
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EBN -- Go cloud-based or go home.

That seems to be the mantra as the global technology giants continue to invest heavily in cloud computing, egged on by Chinese players such as Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. The Chinese e-commerce company announced as recently as last week that it is launching its first international venture - a cloud computing hub in Silicon Valley, proving yet again the fierce competition for market shares is stiffening both globally and on the home turf.
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