Randall Manufacturing
Modern Materials Handling -- At 10 a.m., John Paxton, president of MHI, welcomed attendees and exhibitors to ProMat 2015. Co-located with Automate 2015 at McCormick Place South in Chicago, ProMat is set to hit new records this year, according to Paxton, both in terms of numbers of exhibitors (800+) and of attendees (35,000+).

"This year’s show will encompass all of the products, solutions and systems needed to drive manufacturing and supply chain optimization," said Paxton. Combined, the two show floors will take up 400,000 square feet of space dedicated to helping organizations improve the productivity of their manufacturing and supply chain operations.
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MIT Technology Review -- Google, Amazon, and DHL are working on drones that could someday deliver packages straight to your doorstep. Unfortunately, most drones would struggle to carry something as heavy as a textbook more than a dozen kilometers on battery power.

A new hybrid gas-electric aircraft could make drone delivery more practical. Developed by a startup called Top Flight Technologies, the six-rotor drone can fly for more than two-and-a-half hours—or 160 kilometers—carrying a payload weighing nine kilograms.
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Bloomberg -- European warehouses attracted record investment last year as Internet retail growth boosted demand for storage space close to the homes of online shoppers.

Investment climbed by 28 percent to 21.7 billion euros ($22.9 billion), according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Anticipation of a prolonged rise in Internet retail has sparked competition for assets, causing average yields to narrow to 7.8 percent last year from 8.9 percent in 2013, according to broker DTZ Holdings Plc. Average yields for the best offices in Europe stand at about 5 percent.
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Progressive Railroading -- U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) yesterday introduced a bill that would reform and reauthorize the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

The proposed Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 808) would reform the STB and "streamline" its procedures, according to a press release issued by Thune's office. The STB has federal regulatory jurisdiction over certain economic issues for freight railroads, including the rates they charge shippers.
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Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.
Fleet Owner -- As both Democrat and Republican members of Congress continue to work on crafting a surface transportation bill – which will either be another short-term funding extension or more permanent multi-year legislation – those dealing with the daily grind down in the supply chain trenches believe such efforts at the federal level need to be more tightly focused on the infrastructure and workforce needs of the freight world.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- President Obama will be in Ohio today to talk about his administration’s "Supply Chain Innovation." "Strengthening America’s supply chains and the small manufacturers at their core is essential to the long-term competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers both large and small," according to new strategy by the Department of Commerce entitled "Supply Chain Innovation: Strengthening America’s Small Manufacturers."

Manufacturers spend on average 60% of the price of their final product on purchased inputs, so "differences in the quality and nimbleness of their supply chains can make or break a manufacturer’s ability to compete," the report explains.
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Supply Chain Digest -- The retail sector today faces a range of problems. Many companies suffer from insufficient and/or manually intensive global trade compliance processes; lack of visibility into and responsiveness of their global supply chains; speed to market pressures; high, volatile raw materials prices; and immature and inefficient omni-channel fulfillment processes.

Below are some ways companies in the retail sector can improve efficiencies, lower costs, increase agility and lower supply chain risks.
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Refrigerated & Frozen Foods -- One cannot understate the scale and impact of the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project. When completed and operational in 2016, it will add a deeper and wider third lane and a new system of locks to accommodate new massive vessels.

Developments surrounding this project are of great interest to companies involved in the cold chain. Many handle products that that are shipped in refrigerated containers on vessels navigating the Panama Canal.
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Western Pacific Storage Solutions, Inc.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Environmental Leader -- There’s no question that a productive warehouse is a profitable warehouse. When it comes to maintaining your competitive edge, delivering quality work efficiently usually means greater return on investment. For starters, here are 3 great ways to help you to scale the wall of productivity and profit.
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Supply Chain Brain -- Mobility is a hot topic these days. Regardless of industry or profession, a mobile application or ecosystem is in development to serve it. The supply chain is no different. In fact, given its very manual and distributed nature, the supply chain is better suited to mobile application deployment than most business processes. For distribution and fulfillment services, where most of the activities take place away from the desktop, the extension of business processes to mobile applications just makes sense.

Most CEOs today are looking to the supply chain for competitive advantage (think Amazon's drones), so the time is right for supply chain managers to begin the process of introducing mobile into their processes.
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EBN -- Especially in the electronics industry, businesses have become infinitely more dynamic and competitive in the past decade. Technology has shattered the barriers to competition so that smaller, more nimble firms can now compete in same market as large multinational organizations.

Emulating the success of others can be done more rapidly than ever before. Even the smallest firm can now source cheaply from overseas, replicating bestselling products quickly. The cloud and software as a service offerings allow these competitor firms to leverage a suite of tools and processes previously only available to the largest organizations.
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Supply Management -- In my previous life I used to co-chair a collaborative group of international airport operators interested in energy and carbon. My co-chair was a hyperactive New Yorker called Bill Fife. A lovely guy and full of energy, despite not being in the first flush of youth. I used to wind him up about the US and UK being two countries divided by a common language. In one of his presentations he talked animatedly (he has no other way of talking) about "doing the whole enchilada".

So, what does the whole enchilada look like for delivering sustainability through supply chains and are we doing it?
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Engineering Innovation
Manufacturing Business Technology -- Manufacturers have certainly started 2015 off right — the U.S. manufacturing industry added over 20,000 jobs in January. This, combined with an overall jump in U.S. hiring and a dip in gasoline prices, has resulted in factories keeping busy in 2015. For manufacturers, this means competition will rise, providing opportunities for manufacturers to invest in their businesses and standout within the industry. Now is the time for manufacturers to consider revamping how they track supply chain networks. Here are the top three reasons why.
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Apparel -- A third (35 percent) of businesses in the manufacturing industry are extremely concerned about potential supply chain disruption according to research released by BSI, the business standards company and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI).

More than three quarters of manufacturing firms (77 percent) report increasing supply chain complexity as the fastest growing risk in business continuity, with malicious attacks via the internet (68 percent) and increased regulatory scrutiny (58 percent) taking second and third place.
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Supply Management -- Changes to the supply chain could save millions in food waste by increasing the life of products, according to a study.

WRAP estimated an increase of one day on product life across a range of foods could prevent around 250,000 tons of food waste each year.
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