Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine July 17, 2013
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $430.06 million in May, according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, was up 13.6% from April but down 7.6% when compared with the total of $465.38 million reported for May 2012. With a year-to-date total of $2,085.14 million, 2013 is down 6.9% compared with 2012.
These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program.
U.S. vessel imports have declined almost 3 percent from May to June. Imports are also 1.6 percent below TEUs (twenty foot containers) seen in June of 2012. This year, U.S. ocean imports had a steady increase of 1 percent compared to the volume seen in 2012, but with the low June numbers that percentage has changed. Zepol has found that in the first six months of this year, compared to January through June of 2012, import volume is virtually stagnant. In fact, 2013 is down 0.3 percent, if you want to be picky.
"The month-to-month dips and jumps seen from imports in 2013 have averaged out to be pretty average indeed," says Zepol CEO Paul Rasmussen. "The first half of the year posted container volume to match that of 2012. Although, 2013 still has the potential to rise above in July and August, which are the busiest months for U.S. imports."
The successful reverse logistics process that works domestically may not translate if you try to take it international. When you cross borders, especially international borders, there are a host of issues and risks, which you need to consider and mitigate.
Imagine the scenario: You have done a fantastic job servicing the domestic reverse logistics needs of your multinational client. Your process is bullet proof, your service levels exceed benchmarks, and you are in the black. Impressed, your client asks you to take on their EU business. All you need to do is port over your process flows... right? Not so fast.
Supply and Demand Chain Executive
Despite the technology-savvy industry professionals who turn to social platforms for industry news updates or global engagement, the majority of executives and businesses in supply chain have yet to either adopt or find a social media strategy that works for them. And for those business to business (B2B) leaders who do see the benefits and continue their search for the right "social" fit, many come up empty-handed because traditional social media networks—such as Facebook or Twitter—are not built specifically for B2B but rather the business to consumer (B2C) space.
B2B companies will never be able realize the full benefits of social technology until one primary B2B network rises as "the place" for B2B interaction and engagement. For a network to become the destination for communication between buyers and sellers, it must key in on the aspects that bring businesses in supply chain together; provide all players with one network for communication that benefit each of their businesses; and to streamline processes to meet the common goal.
Material Handling & Logistics
This country’s most recent logistics numbers (from the Logistics Market Snapshot, courtesy of the Georgia Center of Innovation) show rising demand for truck drivers while consumer confidence reached the highest level in five years.
Industry Week
Though its impact is still modest, according to Jones Land LaSalle EMEA Research, 3-D printing has the potential to totally transform manufacturing – and supply chains – as we know them.
In coming years, additive manufacturing will create a demand for smaller, localized manufacturing environments capable of custom production, shortened lead time and drastic cuts in transportation costs and overall carbon footbrings.
The Raymond Corporation
Eighty-six percent of Domestic Fortune 500 companies use 3PLs for logistics and supply chain functions according to a new report just issued by Armstrong & Associates. The report "Trends in 3PL/Customer Relationships - 2013."
According to the report, General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and Wal-Mart each use 50 or more 3PLs. The report also quantifies the Global Fortune 500 3PL market at $250.2 billion, a 67% increase since 2005. Within the Global 500, "Technological" industry 3PL customers spent $66.8 billion with 3PLs in 2012 and are on track to spend $71.1 billion in 2013. The compound annual growth rate for Technological 3PL revenues was 9.3% from 2005 to 2012. "Electronics, Electrical Equipment" companies led all Technological industry sub segments with over $25.7 billion in 2012 3PL spend.
Packaging Digest
Ban this, ban that...it seems plastics continue to take the brunt of recent activism to eliminate certain types of end-use applications from the planet. Bans seem to gain momentum when there is no viable existing solution that addresses what the advisories are attempting to eliminate.
One could present a case that many of these bans would not occur if viable solutions existed. For example, the problem that initiated bans on plastic bottles would probably go away if recycle drop-off containers were present everywhere to more easily facilitate their recovery and collection, if the local recycle infrastructure would and could accept all plastic containers, if economically viable markets existed for recycled plastics and if consumers were not totally confused on the simple steps of how and what to recycle.
Consumer Goods Technology
At the end of the day, manufacturing a consumer product comes down to selling, servicing and delivering. What product? How many units? Shipped by when? Which customers? On which terms? These are the kinds of questions that producers of consumer goods are generally expected to address on a more or less real-time basis. 
Coming up with the right answers to these questions – as well as a host of other concerns related to price, promotions, cost, demand and other factors – means having access to the right information. That requires the right data, but it is not sufficient for increased sales and better performance. To be really effective, decision-makers in strategic planning, finance, product development, manufacturing, marketing and supply chain want access to the same high-quality data, presented in consistent, easily comprehensible formats. Making that possible depends on how data is organized and whether it is accessible to an enterprise.
Material Handling & Logistics
Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase a modest 1.1 percent in July over the same month last year but a slow summer should be followed by significant increases as retailers head into the holiday season this fall, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
"With the economy recovering slowly, retailers have been cautious with imports this summer but it’s clear that they expect an upturn later in the year," said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. "Import numbers have been close to flat since spring, but we expect to see stronger increases this fall."
Long-awaited trade talks between the Unites States and European Union started last week, but a black cloud hanging over them could be a warning sign for supply chain professionals.
Several news sources, including Reuters, have reported that European leaders are coming to the table looking for assurances that alleged US spying on EU diplomats and institutions will stop -- or at least that the extent of data gathering will be clarified. It's uncertain how the allegations raised recently by Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency's activity will affect the talks, but the issue is worth watching.
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.
Supply-chain talent is another area of concern. Heeren says the industry is growing increasingly more complex, with an explosion of SKUs and sales channels. At the same time, shippers and service providers are coping with constant shifts in ocean-carrier capacity, along with unpredictable demand on the buyer’s end.
Naylor, LLC


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