Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine March 7, 2013
The development of the first-ever U.S. industry roadmap for material handling and logistics (MHL) was announced today. The MHL Roadmap is a broad, industry-wide effort to create a blueprint of market, technological and developmental priorities that are needed to accomplish long-term industry goals.

The MHL U.S. Roadmap effort will begin with four, two-day meetings to bring together a variety of market and technology experts in material handling and logistics from industry, universities and government.
Industry Week
A wave of change in business strategy is quietly transforming U.S. manufacturing. Just a few years after the deepest recession in a generation forced many companies to slash costs and outsource production, the focus in many companies has shifted back to growth. For manufacturers, this means finding ways to ramp up production in an environment where every dollar counts.

Growth doesn’t come easy in a sluggish economy. It is especially difficult in a time of major change in purchasing patterns, driven by technology, consumer demand and the retail industry. Consumers have learned to expect variety in products increasingly tailored to them – creating tremendous complexity for traditional supply chains and for operations in general. Every company, even those which haven’t invested heavily in R&D in the past, is feeling the pressure for novelty.
With all of the up-and-coming new talent to the field of supply chain, there has been a lot of discussion around how to integrate the newcomers into a multi-generational work environment.

In addition to that, we need to address the technology, communication, and social styles that come to bear, crossing over the generations. Let's complicate things more, and add the complexity of a global supply chain, demanding consumers and fierce competition between countries and companies.

As a consequence of all the above, I propose that there is a gap between supply-chain analytics and supply-chain practices.
Dayton Daily News
Visit the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason and you will find a robot that dispenses frozen yogurt just the way you like it.

Automation technology also allows machines to answer company telephones, make bank transactions, balance account ledgers, book travel and obtain tickets, check out retail purchases and read utility meters — all tasks previously performed by humans.

Robots and artificial intelligence are rapidly moving beyond the factory floor to new roles in service industries, which account for four out of five U.S. jobs. Many agricultural and manufacturing workers already have been replaced by machines that work faster and more efficiently, and other occupations, including some white-collar jobs, will soon follow, experts said.
As the need for flexibility and adaptability throughout the supply chain continues to grow, a shift to robotics will comprise one of the biggest changes in material handling, says C. Dwight Klappich, vice president of research at information technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.

"The industry is getting to the point where people will be replaced with robots," he predicts. "Not for every process, but for the types of work humans are unwilling to do for eight hours a day, five days a week."
Goff Enterprises
Supply Chain Management Review
Today’s rapidly changing customer needs, global demand, and shortening product life cycles are making forecasting and inventory management more and more difficult. Organizational conflicts often arise across the enterprise with regards to who is accountable for inventory costs and responsible for inventory strategies, policies, and procedures.

Addressing inventory challenges within functional silos is too reactionary and prevents the organization from actively addressing the root causes. Inventory issues should not be solved as a cost problem, but as an enterprise wide solution that positions the company to effectively meet customer needs and provide returns to shareholders.
Inbound Logistics
Managing food safety can be difficult in the best of conditions. From the field to the retailer, food comes in contact with soil, water, pallets, vehicles and a variety of other materials – any of which can introduce human pathogens into the food chain. Meat, seafood, poultry, and fresh fruits and vegetables are the highest-risk products, in part due to their water content. Sampling each item of produce, meat, or seafood for bacteria as it moves through the supply chain is impractical, but by more carefully managing sanitation and processes, shippers can reduce the risk of food-borne diseases and easily identify at-risk products.

Proper temperature management throughout the supply chain can play a key role in helping to reduce or prevent the growth of human pathogens, because pathogen growth accelerates at higher temperatures. For example, organisms like e. Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella have the highest growth rates at temperatures in the 86 to 104 °F range, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Growth of these organisms is minimized at the lower end of the temperature spectrum, or just above freezing.
The Indianapolis Star
Truck driving can be a tough job. The pay isn’t always great, drivers are away from their families for extended periods of time and they may have to wait days in some cities to pick up the next load.

But amid a nationwide shortage of drivers, trucking companies are trying to make it a more appealing job. Some companies are boosting truckers’ pay through signing bonuses or wage increases. Others are helping to pay the cost of driver training.
Material Handling & Logistics
A sustainable, long-term recovery in the global economy would result from an agreement among World Trade Organization (WTO) members on trade facilitation, according to the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG).

GACAG’s position is that, at a minimum, a WTO trade facilitation agreement should require customs authorities to provide online information about customs practices, including regulations and whenever possible to do so both in the national language(s) and in English. It also wants to see customs administrations provide binding advance rulings and independent, administrative reviews and appeals as part of more transparent, paperless and regularly modernized procedures.
Packaging World
Online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds in every retail category from household goods and mass merchandise to clothing and electronics, at the expense of the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.

In late 2012, Canadian branding and design firm Shikatani Lacroix released results of a survey it conducted with research firm Hotspex to understand the breadth of this change in shopping behavior and its impact on the retail industry. For consumer packaged goods companies, the challenge is to optimize both online and in-store sales opportunities. And in this new environment, where value and price rule, packaging innovation will play an even greater role.
Despite sustained industry efforts throughout 2012, the goal of accelerating inventory velocity remains elusive for the global outsourced manufacturing business, contributing to the sluggish growth outlook for the first half of 2013.

To be sure, the new year has delivered some reasons for optimism, with improvements in select macroeconomic data such as a boost in China's gross domestic product, rising purchasing indexes and stimulus-led growth in major markets like Japan. Nonetheless, IHS believes the outsourced manufacturing industry is likely to experience tepid growth for the first six months of this year, based on current estimates of a 4.5 percent expansion to yield revenue just slightly north of $400 billion.
Supply Chain Digest
What companies have the top top supply chains in the retail sector among grocery chains, mass merchandisers, drug and club stores?

Well as usual, the analysts at Kantar Retail once again tried to answer that question at the end of 2012, picking up the work in the annual PoweRankings report that was started many years ago by Cannondale Associates, which Kantar acquired a few years ago.
Naylor, LLC
Supply Chain Brain
The current state of forecasting methods is based on rear-view mirror-history approaches. Most of the market has these types of solutions. But companies know that if they could have more predictive and real-time data they can improve their forecast accuracy or even make strategic adjustment to the business to avoid downsides. Methods are evolving to address better forecasting.

The easiest way to illustrate this evolution is by way of a driving analogy: Consider the three points of visibility – the rear-view mirror; your high-beam lights, and your low-beam lights – to help navigate your business.
Material Handling & Logistics
Inefficient or poorly-managed logistics operations increase overhead and reduce customer satisfaction, posing a significant threat to a manufacturer's profitability.

Technologies can lend an almost scientific approach to logistics operations planning. With that in mind, let's look at just one area in which technology is making an impact—inventory tracking and handling.
Logistics Management
On the heels of six consecutive weekly increases, diesel prices saw a decline for the week of March 4, according to data released by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The average price per gallon fell 2.9 cents to $4.13 per gallon, following last week’s 0.2 cent uptick to $4.159 per gallon, which marked the highest point for diesel prices since hitting $4.207 per gallon the week of August 18, 2008. The preceding week’s tally of $4.157 from the week of February 18 was the previous high point, topping the then-recent high of $4.116 from the week of October 22.
Supply Chain Digest
Non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) are similar to traditional freight forwarders, but with some important differences, mostly in terms of taking more responsibility than a traditional freight forwarder can.

Often referred to as "shipless shipping lines," an NVOCC acts almost like a common carrier, with the exception that an NVOCC does not actually operate the vessel it uses to move the container. Instead, the NVOCC brokers space on existing container ships and, using the aggregate volume from all its clients, negotiates discount rates that in many cases will allow the NVOCC to offer lower rates to shippers than those offered by the vessel operator themselves.
Naylor, LLC


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