Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine May 15, 2013
Global manufacturers are putting their supply chains at the center of their business strategies to serve as the foundation for operational efficiency and collaborative innovation, according to KPMG's 4th annual Global Manufacturing Outlook - Competitive Advantage - Enhancing Supply Chain Networks for Efficiency and Innovation.
However, many manufacturing executives (49 percent globally; 54 percent U.S.) admit that their companies currently do not have visibility of their supply chain beyond Tier 1 suppliers. Moreover, only 9 percent say they have complete visibility of their supply chains. That number is even lower among U.S. executives, with only 7 percent claiming complete supplier visibility.

Industry Week
Knowing that a supply chain disruption can cause revenue leakage and market share loss, supply chain managers have tweaked every angle and measured every corner to speed delivery and improve production. As supply chains become more complex and pressures increase, supply chain managers need to ensure that they have the right information to compete. The customer perspective has come to the forefront as an important element that has been missing.

In the past managers sought to understand customers using focus groups and marketing studies, but social analytics has emerged as a new and powerful tool. Social analytics has begun to revolutionize the actionable information available to the decision makers charged with supply chain management. Major League Baseball (MLB) can provide insights for supply chain managers to learn about the impact of social analytics.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
When it comes to lift trucks, operators want a material handling solution that's durable, robust, productive and able to handle the heavy lifting.

Enter today's material handling workhorses. Here's a rundown of newly introduced lift trucks that offer a plethora of promising features.

Industry Week
At Air Products & Chemicals Inc., about 150 skilled-labor jobs are open and unfilled at any given time in the United States. The positions run the gamut from welders and instrument electrical technicians who work with sophisticated controls to diesel mechanics, pipe fitters and mechanical engineering technicians.

Those unfilled positions represent 38% of the roughly 400 skilled-worker positions Air Products attempts to hire each year for its U.S. workforce, which numbers about 7,500.

Material Handling & Logistics
Imported merchandise has considerably lowered the price of consumer goods for American families while creating millions of jobs for American workers, according to a new study commissioned by the National Retail Federation and other trade associations.

The "Imports Work for America" study states that imports support more than 16 million American jobs, or 9 percent of U.S. employment. A large number of these import-related jobs are union jobs, and many are held by minorities and women. Included are 1.8 million retail jobs, or 10 percent of direct retail employment.
Goff Enterprises

Food Safety Magazine
Withdrawals, rejections and recalls cost the food industry $7 billion dollars annually - and the majority of these costs aren't just from "worst case" recall scenarios where people fall ill and lawsuits occur. A large portion of this cost is created by internal re-working, commodity loss, inventory replacement, removing goods from shelves, lost sales and public relations/customer confidence repair.

These losses - and any associated liabilities - are spread across all participants in a particular goods' supply chain, including suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retail/services sellers, third party labs and auditors.

US legislation has compelled a stepped-up interest in preventing counterfeit electronic parts from slipping into the supply chain. It has also raised more questions than it has answered. For many dealing with the enormous task of tracking, reporting, and resolving issues associated with potential counterfeit parts, there is a collective hope that 2013 will bring clearer guidance on what needs to be done by whom and when.

Conversations today are already moving away from "What does the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) mean?" to "How is my company going to be impacted, and what am I doing about it?" This mental shift brings with it another set of challenges requiring increased collaboration, communication, trust, and thought leadership throughout the electronics industry, several industry watchers noted. A tall order, some acknowledged, because of the deep-rooted stigma and heightened concern about potential liability related to discovering counterfeits anywhere in a part's chain of custody.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
Allied Development Corp., Minneapolis, released a study that says 2012 industry sales totaled $9.8 billion for packaging that food processors use for products that are sold to foodservice outlets.

The study, "U.S. Foodservice Packaging 2013-2017," does not include packaging that is sold directly to foodservice outlets, such as clamshells for fast food hamburgers or for leftovers or trays and lids for takeout food. The study also projects that sales of foodservice packaging items within the United States will reach $11.5 billion by 2017.

A recent Deloitte study titled Resilience and Growth through Supply Chain Collaboration reports that organizations that engaged with suppliers at any tier were 38 percent more likely to achieve or surpass their expectations and have their initiatives result in cost reduction. The study surveyed roughly 1,000 supply chain executives.

According to the report, stakeholders are becoming more vocal on environmental and social issues originating in the supply chain. Critical resources are becoming scarce. Commodity prices are increasingly volatile. The combination of these factors is creating an atmosphere that rewards companies who proactively and effectively collaborate with supply chain partners.

Manufacturing Business Technology
Call it the Logistics Cloud.

It's cloud-computing technology for logistics service providers, or LSPs, and it's a huge universe that encompasses every industry. It's computing that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet and employs a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data rather than a local server.

It's flexible: A user can obtain as much service as needed at any given time. It's sold on demand, usually by the hour or minute. It's fully managed by the cloud provider. It can be a public cloud, which sells services to anyone on the Internet such as Amazon Web Services. Or a private cloud, a proprietary network or a data center that supplies hosted services to a limited number of customers.

Material Handling & Logistics
We ran an article recently about the prospect of using video games to attract young talent to come and work in warehousing and distribution. Rich Sherman, supply chain expert with Trissential, a management consultancy, asked, "What if instead of playing ‘Call of Duty,' my labor force played ‘Called to the Warehouse?' What if instead of navigating through buildings and hallways in the game, they navigated remotely through the warehouse and aisles?"

When we published that I had no idea how close Rich was to the real world. Turns out, a Cummins engine plant in Jamestown, NY is using a virtual reality training program for forklift operators. The program's developer, Tactus Technologies, hopes its product will reduce work-related injuries and deaths associated with forklift operation.

DC Velocity
Driven by dreams of improving inventory accuracy at the store, more and more large retailers are experimenting with item-level RFID tagging: Macy's, Marks & Spencer, Bloomingdale's, Walmart ... the list goes on.

In many cases, those experiments have produced impressive results. Because RFID tags can be scanned more quickly than bar codes, they give retailers a much more accurate picture of what the store has in stock and where it is. This makes it easier for a sales associate to quickly find the size 8 tall boot-cut jeans a customer is looking for - and reduces the chance the customer will leave the store empty-handed. Some experts say item-level tagging can lead to a sales lift in the low double-digits for the affected items. "It's proven to be a strong business case," says Mark Wheeler, director of industry solutions at Motorola Solutions, which provides tags, readers, and antennas for the RFID market.

You know the saying: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

The natural disasters that buffeted the supply chain in 2011 are now history, albeit recent history. In March of that year, a massive earthquake, subsequent tsunami, and consequent nuclear disaster in northern Japan severely disrupted both the electronics and automotive supply chains. Then, in the fall, monsoons led to severe flooding in Thailand, swamping hundreds of factories, including several that made critical hard-disk-drive components.

The big question two years later: Has the industry learned its lessons? Would similar disasters today have such dramatic impacts? The year 2012 was mild, with a lower than usual number of dramatic weather events (with the notable exception of Superstorm Sandy in the United States), so it's easy to become complacent. But that's dangerous, if studies of climate change that claim increasing numbers and magnitude of violent weather events are accurate.

Logistics Manager
Measures put in place by the logistics sector for the London 2012 Olympics, including night-time deliveries, could increase road safety and benefit the environment, if adopted permanently, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has said.

The measures included more night-time deliveries, consolidation of loads onto fewer vehicles and improved levels of communications between local authorities, operators, customers and employees.
Naylor, LLC


We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
Your email will be kept private and confidential.