Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine November 20, 2013
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Modern Materials Management
In the materials handling industry, we’ve been talking about machines talking to systems – better known as telematics – for some time. The modern lift truck, for instance, is outfitted with a ton of sensors that collect and communicate operational data from the truck to other systems and people. 

As distribution centers become more automated and order fulfillment requirements become more complex, conveyors, sorters, automated storage systems and automatic vehicles are talking to one another as well as the warehouse control and management systems.
Most revolutionary inventions come from years of grueling research and hours in a lab, but not the bar code. N. Joseph Woodland was sitting on a beach drawing lines in the sand with his finger.

Woodland left a historic legacy in his wake when he passed away on December 8, 2012 at the age of 91. His death came 65 years he ran his finger through the sand and saw lines of varying widths that might have a use other than for his own amusement.
Supply Chain Management Review
Improved economic fundamentals will drive an acceleration in 2014 growth, said IHS Global Insight economists. In November’s "flash forecast," supply chain managers were told to prepare for a surge in the demand cycle.

So far this month, there have been two positive surprises in the newly released economic data, said Chief US Economist Doug Handler.
Vidir Inc.
Control Design
Manufacturers today want innovative machines that easily integrate into their plant-wide infrastructure. As a result, equipment and machine OEMs are responding with smart machines that seamlessly connect the factory floor with the enterprise.

By using a single control and information platform, these machines can demonstrate an unsurpassed level of intelligence along with the ability to consume and generate information automatically, adapt to new situations and give industrial OEMs the remote access and insight they to both satisfy these customer demands and analyze the operational data that let's them build better, more responsive machines.
Multichannel Merchant
While for many the holidays end once the clock strikes midnight on January 2, for retailers, the work has only just begun. After all the presents have been unwrapped, retailers must prepare for the onslaught of holiday gift returns.

According to Forbes, US consumers are expected to spend $602 billion this holiday season. It is also predicted that this years’ holiday returns will reach around 10 percent of overall sales. With over $60 million of merchandise headed back where it started, smart retailers know they need a reverse logistics plan to protect their bottom line and minimize waste.
Material Handling & Logistics
Consumers consider shipping options—including free shipping—to be an important factor in their overall shopping experience, according to 80 percent of those responding to a recent survey commissioned by Pitney Bowes Inc. The survey polled consumers on attitudes toward shipping through all channels, including in store, online, catalog, and phone (See other results by clicking on the infographic thumbnail below).

"Shipping has become a considerable factor in consumers’ buying choices," said Jim Hendrickson, vice president and general manager of shipping solutions, Pitney Bowes. "In fact, there’s now a blurred line between the decision on a shipping method and the selection of a product when it comes to the overall buying decision."
Storefront Backtalk
Amazon’s announcement of Sunday delivery this week effectively turned the traditional e-commerce world upside down. It truly is a game-changer, not only for online retailers but also for brick-and-mortar stores that are battling for their share of sales this holiday season.

Amazon and the United States Postal Service (USPS) said that New York and Los Angeles customers using Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping service can now receive packages on Sunday. Next, Amazon will roll out the service to other major cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix, in 2014.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Green Biz
Executives around the world today are challenged by a seemingly continual onslaught of change that must be managed, whether it's driven by fluctuations in foreign currency, a natural disaster or political instability. While such change makes business outcomes less predictable, it also can create unexpected opportunities.  

Consequently, many companies question the resilience of their supply chain. They also fear that their supply chains lack the flexibility that is needed to withstand this ongoing volatility and uncertainty. Are they agile enough to scale up and down to accommodate shifting customer demand? Many fear the answer is "no."  
Beverage Industry
American retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. has made millions by allowing children to create their new best friend in-store. However, the fun, frivolity of kids "stuffing" their fuzzy companions sometimes can result in toys that are busting at the seams. 

Luckily, this type of problem can easily be fixed with a needle and thread. But in a beverage warehouse, a facility that’s busting at the seams with SKUs needs more than amateur sewing knowledge to solve its problems.
What do companies like Amazon.com, Costco, and Kraft have in common with Avnet? According to Gartner, these companies are among the world's supply chain leaders.

Gartner's ninth annual Supply Chain Top 25 Ranking and its Next 25 (registration required) recognized 50 companies across industry sectors for their supply chain best-practices. The market research firm evaluated more than 250 companies using a combination of financial metrics and voting by industry supply chain experts and Gartner analysts.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Packaging Digest
The pharmaceutical and biotech companies that sponsor adaptive trials work in compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements to identify criteria for each study. As studies evolve, patients with particular characteristics are removed, while others are added. Many of the drugs in these trials are being used for the first time ever, so change is a continual part of the process, which usually requires large amounts of excess inventory.

According to CSM's director of operations Bob Albanese, a highly flexible, on-demand packaging and labeling process is the only way to support these kinds of adaptive trials. "Because in many cases we are shipping out the first batch of a new drug that's ever been produced, we have to plan for a variety of change-requests to the dosages and combinations that we prepare for each patient," Albanese says. 
Fleet Owner
An increase in truck related highway fatalities recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012 versus 2011 is firing renewed debate regarding the industry’s safety profile.

NHTSA reported a 3.7% increase in overall large-truck fatalities, which includes: an 8.9% increase in fatalities among truck occupants; a 4.8% increase in fatalities among occupants of other vehicles; and an 11% decrease in fatalities among individuals who were not in a vehicle. Overall, fatalities involving large trucks represented 4% of all highway deaths in 2012, up from 3% in 2011.
Material Handling & Logistics
E-commerce is driving a good percentage of the demand for distribution center infrastructure. Other recent logistics statistics point to a brighter economic picture.

Economy watchers and supply chain executives can take heart from a U.S. Census report that nationally, about 96.7 million square feet of distribution space is currently under construction. About half of this space is speculative, with an average building size of 360,000 square feet. Furthermore, 12% of that current total and about 30% of the demand for big boxes is related to e-commerce. 
Naylor, LLC


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