Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | | MHI Solutions magazine August 14, 2013
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
The ability of companies to generate cash from operations deteriorated in 2012, as the opportunity for working capital improvement at 1000 of the largest U.S. public companies rose dramatically, topping $1 trillion for the first time, according to the 15th annual working capital survey from REL Consultancy, a division of The Hackett Group, Inc. and CFO Magazine.
The research, which examines the ability of companies to collect from customers, manage inventory, and pay suppliers, found that as revenue grew by 5 percent in 2012, profitability -- as measured by EBIT margin -- decreased. At the same time, working capital levels increased by 6 percent, to levels 25 percent higher than three years ago. Actual Days Working Capital remained flat. But cash conversion efficiency deteriorated for the second year in a row, indicating that companies are taking longer to convert sales into cash.
Industry Week
What’s the greatest risk facing multinational companies today? Global economic meltdown, natural disaster, cyber terrorism? No. While these are all significant challenges to any organization, there is one danger that trumps them all: an ineffective risk management strategy.
With the ever-growing list of potential threats facing organizations today, a robust enterprise-wide risk management strategy is essential to protect your organization and its stakeholders. Yet, according to a recent executive survey by Deloitte LLP, 45% of respondents characterize their risk management programs as "only somewhat effective" or "not effective at all."
Modern Material Handling
Companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint need to pay attention to the energy they use as well as the energy used by links in their supply chains, according to a new report.
The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, provide suggestions on why and how to reduce energy consumption in a new report, Supply Chain Energy Efficiency: Engaging Small & Medium Entities in Global Production Systems.
Supply Chain @ MIT
Remember the early days of cell phones when a new model seemed to appear every week and each one looked dramatically different? This is typical of a new product market. Initially, wildly different variants are released and tested in the market, but eventually they converge on a common core set of features. That is, a dominant design emerges from the pack that becomes the de facto standard.
Is a similar process redefining logistics in the U.S.?
In the early days of the bicycle, for example, there were many different designs from machines with no pedals to the famous Penny Farthing configuration. The basic format that we are familiar with today eventually gained the upper hand.
The Raymond Corporation
Multichannel Merchant
All retailers are expected to thank you for shopping with them. But in the new world of ecommerce, this sentiment of gratitude has taken on a more sarcastic tone. When the U.K.’s largest camera chain, Jessops, went under earlier this year, the staff at one specific store posted a sign that was both sweet and sardonic: "Thank you to all our loyal customers and to everyone else, thank you for shopping at"
There is no way around it – on this and that side of the pond, Amazon is a disruptive force that is upending both retailers and ecommerce companies. But its enormity is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Amazon’s competitive advantages. So how can you keep up with their incredible rate of innovation? It starts with your supply chain.
Manufacturers are upbeat about the United States' economic prospects for the next 12 months, despite ongoing concerns about global economic growth, legislative pressure, and lack of demand.
The attitude has notably improved compared to last year, and optimism for economic outlook among US industrial manufacturers is at its highest level in five quarters, according to the recently released PwC Manufacturing Barometer quarterly survey.
Material Handling & Logistics
Cycle counting is a process designed to replace comprehensive annual inventories with smaller counts conducted on a continuous basis throughout the year. It can be conducted while normal business operations continue, eliminating the need for an annual shutdown.
While you do need a certain level of product/process complexity or volume to make cycle counting worthwhile, companies need not be large to benefit.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Logistics complexity, in the form of fragmented channels, increased product variations, and consumer demand for customized solutions, has been increasing, according to a global study published recently by BVL International, a worldwide supply chain and logistics membership organization.
"Several trends identified in the study demonstrate that a number of major challenges lie ahead as the world becomes a more complex place in which to operate logistically," said Dr. Robert Handfield, University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management in Raleigh.
The Business Journal
In the past, businesses often had to rely on stores and catalogs to get their products in front of customers.
But businesses and consuers alike are increasingly bypassing brick-and-mortar stores altogether. Today’s customers are buying products online through websites, tablets, iPhones and other nontraditional supply chain channels. And they are not willing to wait two weeks. They want their products — and they want them now.
Vidir Inc.
Industry Week
Concepts of lean are both counterintuitive and counter-cultural. If you want to be a lean leader, you must go back to the basics and make sure you have a clear understanding of lean. Only then are you able to teach others.
Packaging World
To help preserve and enhance the shelf life of baked goods, food packaging and processing suppliers offer a variety of technologies promising better product protection. Many of these technologies will be showcased at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2013, September 23-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Along with product protection, these new technologies often provide additional product value. Such is the case for the Cryovac Multi-Seal FoldLOK reclosable packaging line (A), from Sealed Air (Booth # 1141), which recently expanded its stand-up pouch line to accommodate a wider range of food items, including baked goods such as miniature doughnuts and bite-sized cookies.
Sustainable Planet
Companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint need to pay attention to the energy they use. But at least as important – and in some cases even more so – is paying attention to the energy used by links in their supply chain.
The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, provide valuable suggestions on why and how to do so in a new report, "Supply Chain Energy Efficiency: Engaging Small & Medium Entities in Global Production Systems."
Logistics Manager
As many as 60 per cent of companies pay only marginal attention to supply chain risk reduction processes, according to a new study by the Study by the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation and PwC.
And yet, it reported that in the past 12 months more than 60 per cent of the companies surveyed said that their performance indicators had dropped by three per cent or more as a result of supply chain disruptions.
Naylor, LLC


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