Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine May 1, 2013
A recent report from Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services titled Supply Chain Innovation Driving Operational Improvements illustrates how crucial innovative supply chain tools are for corporations that want to meet performance expectations and complete complex processes. The survey polled 318 vice presidents, directors, and C-level executives who represent companies in several sectors for the report. They indicated that the next two years will see an increase in the adoption of supply chain tools to better manage business processes. While 75 percent of decision-makers said forecasting and planning tools help achieve certain goals, supply chain visibility technology that optimizes real-time data is becoming more important.

To achieve an integrated, real-time supply chain, advanced management solutions are needed as well as data analytics technology that can translate real-time reports into actionable insight to support changes or strategies moving forward. Real-time information supports decision making and enables a more flexible environment in which supply chains can respond quickly to market dynamics and consumer demand.
Intel Corp. has spent much of the last five years making improvements to its supply chain, which is one area of its business where it hopes to reduce costs, create greater business efficiency, and enhance its collaboration with customers.

It would appear from recent reports that several supply chain strategies the company has implemented were designed to deal with a build-up of inventory of the kind that occurred in the third and fourth quarters of 2012.
Packaging Digest
The global demand for food safety from consumers, governments and food retailers has put unprecedented scrutiny on the international food supply chain.

As packaging is a key component, the IFS PACsecure food safety standard for individual packaging materials is being rolled out globally as companies from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Chile and Europe are being trained and audited to its criteria.

The standard is also expected to receive recognition from the Paris-based Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) by the end of spring.
Material Handling & Logistics
Today’s unprecedented shifts in markets, demands, technologies and opportunities require companies to respond intelligently to more frequent, drastic and faster changes. With new products, customers, markets and situations, manufacturers’ strategies that worked in the past will soon be obsolete. Further, customers have now grown to expect greater responsiveness. This means conventional process structures and business strategies have become increasingly risky. Additionally, essential Continuous Process Improvement initiatives have become significantly more challenging in digging out root cause issues due to the dynamic, constantly changing and sometimes unstable underlying technology platform.
World Trade
In the day-to-day processes of business, stepping away from the press of events to entertain Big Ideas is a luxury few have time for. That’s the job of supply chain business school professors.

World Trade asked an eminent group of them to describe ‘one big trend’ impacting the supply chain.
Goff Enterprises
There are a number of risks in an increasingly global supply chain. But chief among them is the talent crisis.

It may be stating the obvious that the job skills required in today's supply-chain are far more complex than they were 10 or 25 years ago. Today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee -- one who understands finance, marketing, economics, even different languages.
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
Earlier this week, the NRF Retail’s Big Blog highlighted a few retailers who are working to find greener and more sustainable ways to run their businesses. And for retailers looking to reduce their total carbon footprint, the supply chain — a big piece of the carbon footprint pie — can’t be ignored. As Forbes recently illustrated in an article highlighting Nike, Walmart and Ikea, supply chain choices from transportation modes to packaging to carriers go a long way in reducing carbon emissions, and, not coincidentally, benefiting the bottom line.

But how do you go about calculating carbon emissions when logistics partners and multiple carriers are involved? That’s where the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program comes in.
World Trade
Unpredictable economic forces of today are impacting global businesses, ranging from macro-economic trends to technology innovations, and keeping transportation procurement practitioners on their toes. Here are some trends and tips to help transportation procurement professionals mitigate and manage some of the industry’s volatility.
Boston Review
When Jia Jingchuan, a 27-year-old electronics worker in Suzhou, China, sought compensation for the chemical poisoning he suffered at work, he appealed neither to his employer nor to his government. Instead, he addressed the global brand that purchased the product he was working on. "We hope Apple will heed to its corporate social responsibility."

In the past, his appeal would probably have fallen on deaf ears. But today, throughout the world, buyers in many industries have acknowledged a degree of responsibility for workplace conditions in supplier factories and pledged to ensure that the goods they eventually market are not made under abusive, dangerous, environmentally degrading, or otherwise unethical conditions. These businesses have committed to using private, voluntary regulation to address labor issues traditionally regulated by government or unions. And for the most part, the companies have acted on these commitments.
The first meeting for the development of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling and Logistics was held in Atlanta, GA on Tuesday, April 16th and Wednesday, April 17th. There were 37 participants meeting in a series of face-to-face full group and breakout sessions where they discussed capabilities that the industry needs to develop over the next ten years.
Material Handling & Logistics
Freight rate volatility could be mitigated by the use of derivatives and index-linked contracts, according to David Barnes, an analyst at Clarkson Securities, who spoke at last week’s Multimodal 2013 Exhibition in Birmingham, U.K. A derivative is a financial instrument that derives its value from the value of underlying entities such as an asset, index or interest rate.

"The golden egg of the transport market is a fixed price," Clarkson said. "But often neither party is willing to honor the price part of a contract because of extreme volatility."
DC Velocity
UPS Inc. and leaders of the Teamsters Union late last night reached tentative five-year labor contracts covering nearly 250,000 unionized employees at UPS and the company's less-than-truckload (LTL) unit, UPS Freight.

The tentative agreements, which still must be ratified by the rank-and-file, covers about 240,000 Teamster members working in Atlanta-based UPS' small-package operations and another 10,000 to 12,000 union workers at UPS Freight. Combined, it represents the largest collective-bargaining agreement in North America.
World Industrial Reporter
Thanks to business intelligence tools, companies are no longer awash in reams of data that they don’t know what to do with. Instead, logistics managers are using BI technologies to find real meaning in their sea of numbers—and take actions that boost supply chain efficiency and effectiveness.

The definition of business intelligence (BI) depends on who you ask.

"An umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure, tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance," says research firm Gartner.
Breaking down the silos that separate the shop floor from supply chain operations, finance, sales and service is how the best-run manufacturing companies are making analytics pay. Shop floor operations often have their own set of analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboards that get finely tuned over time to production performance. Supply chains run on an entirely different set of metrics and KPIs, often concentrating on inventory costs, pricing and sourcing strategies. The same holds true for every other department. Each has their own version of the truth.

The highest-performing manufacturers today are using analytics to break through individual department silos—each with their own version of the truth—and create a single, unified view of their business.
Supply Chain Brain
Marrying the informational and physical aspects of the supply chain translates into consumers who are able to buy a product in a store and have it delivered, buy any quantity they desire, and buy online with the option or picking up and returning to the store, all seamlessly, says Peters. "I think the retailers who get this right will be the real winners in terms of brand loyalty," he says.

Consumers are driving these changes and suppliers and retailers are busy catching up, Peters says. "Traditionally the retailers have had different models for taking and fulfilling orders and now they are seeing the need to merge the physical and operational aspects of those two models to deliver what consumers are demanding -- products anywhere, anytime at the best cost."
The Journal of Commerce
Shrinking new export orders were a prime reason for slowing manufacturing growth in China in April, according to preliminary data from HSBC.
Historically April has mostly been a month of seasonal improvement compared to March, but HSBC’s Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.5 in April from 51.6 in March.

"Both the new orders and new export orders components declined, while finished goods inventory rose," said Nomura analyst Zhiwei Zhang.
Naylor, LLC


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