Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine June 19, 2013
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
In a global environment where economic growth in the developed world has slowed, there are major opportunities for manufacturers, retailers and logistics companies lie in emerging markets, according to a new briefing by Transport Intelligence (Ti). Ti, in conjunction with Agility, has researched and tracked Emerging Markets for the last four years, with a view to identifying those markets presenting the biggest opportunities for investors as well as examining the reasons behind their potential.
Emerging markets are far from being a homogeneous group of countries, and operating in this diverse set of markets requires a great deal of flexibility to adapt to the shifting dynamics.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive
The Panama Canal expansion project, set for completion in 2014, is all about the economies of scale—operational efficiency, fuel efficiency, "Super Post-Panamax" vessels as a means to cost savings and larger TEUs. It’s evident that the project will drive economical growth not only for the U.S.—as 68 percent of traffic moving through the Canal has origins in the U.S. making it a major customer for Panama—but for other Latin American countries and Africa as well. Additionally, it will have a major impact on the future of maritime and warehouse and distribution centers around the world.
Yet, a bigger question remains: is the industry ready for its opening?
Modern Materials Handling
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces the availability of a new Ladder Safety smart phone application (app). This new app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using extension ladders to check the angle the ladder is positioned at, as well as access useful tips for using extension ladders safely. The app is available for free download for both iPhone and Android devices.
Falls from ladders are a common source of preventable construction injuries.  Misjudging the ladder angle is a significant risk factor for a fall.  If the ladder is set too steep it is more likely to fall back or away during use, and if it is set too shallow then the bottom can slide out. 
If the future of supply chain lies in a globalized, networked world, then most likely, the future belongs to sourcing vendors.
The advent of the web has fundamentally transformed the supply chain like no other category of business. Sourcing vendors realized that the only way to tap into the sourcing and spending patterns that are evolving globally is to leverage cloud-based technology.
Material Handling & Logistics
Operational efficiency holds the most strategic importance for 38% of the 375 transport and logistics managers surveyed last April by Vanson Bourne, a research company. The resulting study, commissioned by Intermec, found that 77% of the organizations these managers represent, located in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand, are being expected to meet same-day delivery requirements. Most (92%) of these managers say that meeting these expectations is placing significant pressure on their businesses to adjust.
The respondents acknowledged that arming their mobile workforce with new technology could cut their pick-up times by 30% and delivery times by 29%, savings which could help boost operational efficiency levels to meet those customer demands.
Sixty-three percent of firms rank supply chain visibility as a high priority, according to a recent Aberdeen Group study titled "Supply Chain Visibility: A Critical Strategy to Optimize Cost and Service." Another 28 percent say it is a medium priority.
The study found that supply chain complexity is increasing as the number of suppliers, partners, carriers, customers, countries and logistics channels rise. Given this, top of mind with supply chain executives is the need for improved speed and accuracy. These become cost drivers, and better visibility is necessary to help manage and reduce those costs and improve operational performance.
The Raymond Corporation
Before shoppers even create their grocery lists, a network of people has managed the production, distribution and delivery of their food. From farm to fork, more efficient supply chains can make our food safer — and decrease hunger across the globe.
Aside from the customer, the food industry includes many participants — from growers and producers to manufacturers who turn foods into products, to packaging companies, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.
One year after the launch of BSR’s Center for Sustainable Procurement (CSP), our first research paper captures four main insights from projects with AT&T, Best Buy, and Dell that covered a range of product complexities and supplier relationships.
Insurance Insight
Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to control their supply chains at a time when the cost of failure is higher than ever, according to risk management association Airmic.
Firms are outsourcing not just production but also their reputation to suppliers without understanding how they operate or having adequate risk management strategies in place.
According to the latest survey by AlixPartners, LLP, the U.S. is already equal to Mexico in "attractiveness" as a place to make product that was previously sourced in China. In terms of hard numbers, it’s on track to achieve cost parity with imports from China by 2015.
The comparison, of course, is based on more than just labor rates. Despite steeply rising wages, China still easily undercuts what most American factories pay. Add in elements such as transportation, duties, order lead time and the cost of buffer stock to prevent supply gaps, and the disparity between the two sourcing options narrows greatly.
Material Handling & Logistics
Manufacturing firms are interweaving new services with product offerings to more effectively differentiate themselves, according to a new report from Oxford Economics, in cooperation with PTC. These researchers conducted a survey of more than 300 manufacturing executives during the first quarter of 2013, and found that those services focused on reducing time to market (52%), accelerating product innovation (43%) and reducing product development costs (40%) were most important. The researchers also determined, however, that in three years, accelerating product innovation will move from the second-most important value driver to the most important (50%), followed closely by reducing time to market (47%) and increasing service revenue (39%).
Over 40% of survey respondents were C-level executives, with the rest being direct reports to C-level executives. The top five job functions were supply chain/manufacturing, product/engineering, IT, strategy/corporate development, and service. Annual revenue for surveyed organizations, which were split into almost four equal parts, ranged on the low end at $250 million to over $5 billion.
Supply Chain Digital
When you think of supply chain management, social media may not be the first thing that comes to mind.
But given the fact that Facebook has over a billion active users and Twitter has over two hundred million active users, it shouldn't come as a surprise that these networks are massive enough to have a direct impact on supply chains.
True supplier collaboration can drive innovation and value, but success depends upon a foundation of trust that enables partners to effectively deal with such issues as intellectual property rights. Jon Washington, director of product sourcing and global procurement at Diebold, shares his company’s approach.
There is no magic recipe to building trust with suppliers, but it basically involves setting a tone that keeps suppliers informed about what you want to accomplish and how you plan to deliver on that, says Washington.
Manufacturing Digital
Radio-Frequency Identification chips can be either passive or active; passive ones hold data that’s permanently burned onto the chip and can’t be edited or changed in any way. Active tags are more expensive to produce, but allow data contained within to be read, written or changed; including anything from test results and product characteristics to even customer or vendor specific data.
Previously, the cost of RFID tags was a prohibitive barrier to their widespread adoption, but now chips and readers are reaching cost-effective levels. From a software perspective, some Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) such as SAP’s WM and Extended WM solutions have been capable of RFID integration for quite some time, with implementation no longer requiring a total system overhaul.
Naylor, LLC


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