Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine April 17, 2013

The scope and quality of data that enterprises collect and access in their supply chains, and how they leverage that data to optimize their supply chains, differs significantly from one enterprise to the other. On a recent day, I had conversations with a few OEMs and reviewed one particular inventory report that were all insightful on this very topic.

In one of the conversations, the director of a supply chain discussed her team's ability to view component inventory across multiple contract manufacturing sites every morning, and how they took steps to re-balance it in accordance with manufacturing plans.


With OSHA still grappling with key crane issues, such as whether crane operator certification is equivalent to qualification, crane and rigging professionals can't afford to miss CRC/ICHC in Indianapolis, Ind., May 29-30.

During the jointly held Crane & Rigging Conference and Industrial Crane & Hoist Conference, some sessions will touch on big picture issues affecting safety managers, project managers, and supervisors: Technology's impact on training, OSHA enforcement trends, and leading causes of crane accidents.


Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Reverse logistics is, of necessity, an information technology-intensive business, says Steve Manning, vice president at Milpitas, Calif.-based electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Solectron and general manager of its Solectron Global Services unit. The reason? "It's all about the data," Manning says.

As the Reverse Logistics Association notes, a variety of names have been applied to reverse logistics, including aftermarket logistics, aftermarket supply chain and the reverse supply chain. Formally, the Reverse Logistics Executive Council defines its namesake process as "a specialized segment of logistics focusing on the movement and management of products and resources after the sale and after delivery to the customer."


Industry Week
I like to think of a fulfillment or distribution center (DC) as the "neck" of the supply chain. All the pieces of the supply chain that the end-customer sees, from ordering to shipment to delivery, are the "face" of the supply chain.

But the neck -- well, the neck can move the face any way it wants. Just like in your supply chains, the efficiency of a DC is often the crucial factor in determining how good (or bad) things will continue.

Goff Enterprises

Material Handling & Logistics
Social media, the public cloud infrastructure and mobile technologies are moving up the purchasing priority list for executives in transportation and logistics. According to PwC's fifth annual "Digital IQ Survey," an assessment of how well companies weave information technology into the fabric of their organization, 61% of industry respondents have a single multi-year roadmap to link IT investments to the overall business plan.

PwC's survey found that strong collaborators (those who reported high strengths of relationships between the CIO and other C-suite executives) link information technology and business strategy and aggressively invest in emerging technologies. These companies also quickly adapt to market changes to maintain a competitive advantage, the study reports.


Supply Chain Brain
Managing month-to-month changes to services and schedules is now a constant battle for container operators as they strive to keep the spot market from imploding in the current weak demand environment, according to Drewry's latest Container Forecaster report.

The industry managed the influx of new vessels pretty well in 2012, with a small reduction of 1.6 percent in operational headhaul capacity in the three main East-West trades for the full year. Greater use of slow steaming has helped, and there was an average of 10.3 vessels assigned to weekly strings in the three core East-West trades as of January 2013, up from 10.1 last October. However, by the end of April we estimate that the year-on-year capacity on three trades will have risen by nearly 1 percent. Further ahead, capacity on the headhaul will increase by 10.2 percent on Asia-North Europe and 5.5 percent on the trans-Pacific in the second quarter. With over 40 ships of at least 10,000 TEU due for delivery in 2013, carriers will find it increasingly difficult to manage capacity without upsetting the fragile supply-demand balance. Carriers are asking themselves where they can put these vessels without flooding the market.


Industry Week
"The vision thing" as George H. W. Bush once said, is important to establishing the guidelines for a Lean Supply Chain. In an IBM Global Business Services Executive Report (click here to download report), it's pointed out how Volatile global markets and customer demand Variability require better Visibility than most companies now have. By managing this process better, enterprise Value is created (that's a lot of "V's"!).

One of the key concepts behind Lean is to reduce or eliminate any activity that doesn't add value to the customer, as it is waste. In their survey of 664 Supply Chain organizations, IBM found that the increasing level of complexity of organization's Supply Chains has increased the challenges that management must face.


Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Product quality is the responsibility of all parties involved in the procurement, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of raw materials, intermediates, and final products. Ultimately, the brand owner is responsible for assuring that all parties in the supply chain fulfill their responsibilities for delivering quality goods to the customer.

In today's increasingly cutthroat global marketplace, particularly in the electronics sector, a number of trends are dramatically changing the supply base and challenging the ability of brand owners to manage their supply chains and ensure quality. Principal among these are greater reliance on component suppliers, outsourcing of subassemblies and offshore manufacturing.


Risk Insurance
Global supply-chain risk is increasing and becoming more costly to organizations. Just look at the ongoing ramifications of the horsemeat supply-chain debacle that galloped through Europe, harming the reputations and increasing the liability risks of supermarkets and frozen-food manufacturers.

According to Deloitte Consulting's 2013 Global Supply Chain Risk Survey, nearly half (48 percent) of polled executives said supply chain risk events are occurring more frequently and more than half (53 percent) said the events have become more costly over the past three years.

Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Numerous shippers and transportation executives with manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and distributors in the supply chain space confirm that they use collaboration and technology, along with shifting modes, as common solutions to moving freight through their corporate supply chains, according to NASSTRAC's "Freight Transportation 2013" report.

In its first annual study, the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC), a shipper association which provides education, advocacy and provider relations to the transportation industry, conducted this study to explore shippers' perspectives of emerging trends in freight transportation.


World Trade
An organized and automated way for managing deliveries is quickly becoming a necessity for manufacturers.

The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation is forecasting that industrial production will increase 2.2 percent in 2013, an increase from the 2 percent reported in its 2012 forecast. It expects the growth rate to increase to 3.6 percent in 2014.

"Despite some austerity measures, there are several reasons to be optimistic about continued economic growth in 2013 and 2014," said the group's chief economist Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D.


Material Handling & Logistics
A supply chain's ability to respond rapidly to demand variability, and match it with supply, will yield lower working capital requirements and stronger sales levels, according to the recent report Improving the Consumer Electronics Supply Chain: Applying Demand-Driven Practices to Reduce Lead Times.

Published by Tompkins International and One Network Enterprises, the report explains the financial benefits of using new technologies such as cloud-based networks for demand-driven supply chains. The near real-time matching of supply and demand minimizes inventory, reduces lead times and maximizes sales, the authors suggest.


Supply Chain Brain
Freight railroads are positioning themselves to meet future transportation demands in this country, including those related directly and indirectly to the expansion of the Panama Canal, Edward R. Hamberger, Association of American Railroads (AAR) president and CEO, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The expansion project is designed to double shipping capacity via the canal by 2015, and facilitate larger "post-Panamax" container ships to pass, overcoming current size constraints.


We really should stop using the term "supply chain."

"Supply" gives the impression that one company makes something, say a part, and sends it to another, where it sits, like bolts in a bin, waiting, along with many other discreet pieces, to be made into something greater.

Sounds old, doesn't it?

These days, manufacturers and suppliers are often on the same shop floor, building things together that they probably designed together. Or suppliers are taking over entire chunks of the design and manufacturing processes. They are less suppliers than collaborators.

Naylor, LLC


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