Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine June 5, 2013
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Manufacturing contracted in May as the PMI™ registered 49 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points when compared to April's reading of 50.7 percent., and the overall economy grew for the 48th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
The PMI™ registered 49 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from April's reading of 50.7 percent, indicating contraction in manufacturing for the first time since November 2012 and only the second time since July 2009, said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
Supply Chain Brain
When companies encounter a conflict between cost-efficiency and customer responsiveness, something's got to give. Marc J. Heeren, vice president of strategic sales with Damco, lays out the factors involved in striking the right balance.

The biggest challenge facing Damco’s customers today is economic in nature. "We’re just coming out of recession," Heeren says. "That puts a lot of constraints on the availability of capital." As a result, "cash remains king" for many companies that need working capital to expand or improve their operations.
Women's Wear Daily
When consumers think "fast fashion," their first thought might not be sustainable fabrics. But after years of hearing about how they are peddling "throwaway" apparel, leading retailers of low-price, trendy clothes are changing their approach. And to consumers, ecologically (and economically) balanced apparel is attractive.

The global retailer H&M is committed to using sustainable cotton; its goal is to grow its usage from 11.4% to 100% by 2020, says Catarina Midby, H&M's head of fashion and sustainability communications.
Flexible Packaging
To understand what is and will be driving change in packaging over the next half decade, it is imperative to realize where-and-how packaging is consumed and how this consumption is changing. This was the premise of a study commissioned by PRIMIR and authored by Karstedt Partners in 2012, titled "Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets and Key Applications" (2011 to 2015). The report looks at the driving issues brand owners must address in order to grow their business, and how these issues shape their decisions around packaging. 
In North America, changing demographics are causing massive shifts in how products are developed, marketed, distributed and packaged. Baby boomers, now 76 million people strong, by 2015 are projected to control 53 percent of $706 billion spent on groceries. Male boomers are now living to almost 75 years of age and female boomers are living to nearly 80.
Modern Material Handling
Manufacturing activity in May contracted for the first time since November 2012, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
The PMI, the index used by the ISM to measure manufacturing activity—at 49 in May was down 1.7 percent from April’s 50.7 and 2.3 percent below March’s 51.3. A reading of 50 or higher indicates growth is occurring, and prior to May the PMI had been over the 50 mark for the last five months. May’s PMI was 2.1 percent below the 12-month average of 51.1 and is the lowest PMI in the last 12-months.
Logistics Manager
It’s no longer just a multi-channel world. It’s now omni-channel, and to succeed in this developing environment takes technology. Johanna Parsons sizes up the requirements.
Retailing has been transformed by the internet, and the various routes to market that it represents. More sales is always good news. But processing so many types of orders is a massive task for retailers and suppliers alike, and in particular their IT systems.
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 Raymond Corporation
Material Handling & Logistics
More than 43% of respondents to an industry study indicated they have a formal process in place to design future production plants. The report, "Business Strategy: The Journey toward the People-Intensive Factory of the Future," was published by IDC Manufacturing Insights.
The authors contend that formidable challenges — from tough economics to rising market complexity — are driving a profound rethinking in the manufacturing industry.
Supply Chain Brain
"Vendor compliance" is the process of riding herd on suppliers to ensure they are living up to their contractual commitments. "Vendor management" takes the concept a step further, according to Barnes. It requires that executives become proactive in their approach to the vendor base, from the time a purchase order is created to final delivery. Visibility throughout the process is an essential tool for ensuring service quality from the start, rather than managers reacting to negative events as they happen.
Companies can reduce or eliminate chargebacks by developing tight partnerships with vendors, says Barnes. But that goal can be difficult to achieve by mid-market retailers. Most "are run by merchants, not by supply-chain or technology people." Too often, vendor management ends up being an afterthought. Companies are "more worried about what product is going to sell, not how they can trade more effectively with their partners."
Modern Material Handling
Two years ago, I attended a meeting of Hytrol distributors in Little Rock. At heart, these were conveyor and equipment guys. Yet, two of the best presentations were about warehouse and equipment control systems. It highlighted how our industry has been changing in recent years from one focused on equipment to one focused on solutions. Increasingly, software is the glue that holds systems together.
That fact was certainly in evidence at ProMat last January. There, every major systems integrator was highlighting its software capabilities. It was also underscored by Intelligrated’s purchase of Knighted, a provider of warehouse management and control software systems.
Gartner, Inc. has released the findings from its ninth annual Supply Chain Top 25. The goal of the Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative is to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts the business.
"At the heart of the Supply Chain Top 25 is the notion of demand-driven leadership," said Debra Hofman, managing vice president at Gartner. "We've been researching and writing about demand-driven practices since 2003, highlighting the journey companies are taking: from the old 'push' model of supply chain to one that integrates demand, supply and product into a value network that orchestrates a profitable response to ever-shifting changes in demand."
A new report by the American Trucking Association (ATA) titled American Trucking Trends 2013, demonstrated that trucking continues to play a dominant role in freight transportation in the United States as even more goods were delivered by truck in 2012.
"The data in Trends shows a dynamic, growing industry that is the literal lifeblood of the U.S. economy," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.
Supply Chain Brain
The drive by e-retailers to create comprehensive, end-to-end supply chain operations will trigger a new round of acquisitions in the logistics industry in 2013, says Cathy Roberson, senior analyst at research firm Transport Intelligence and author of the North American e-commerce Logistics report.
There have already been a number of e-commerce-related acquisitions over the last year as companies from all angles of the industry have sought to build out comprehensive offerings.
If the hype is true, the supply chain is on the brink of a revolution, with cloud computing improving everything from product design to vendor management inventory -- and now manufacturing, too.
A recent Forbes article lists 10 ways the cloud will shake up the manufacturing part of the chain. Here's a hat tip to the cloud-based ideas that hold promise, if manufacturers truly embrace them.
Naylor, LLC


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