Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine December 18, 2013
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Logistics Management
Holiday spending spurred increased retail sales activity for the month of November, according to data released by the National Retail Federation and the United States Department of Commerce earlier today.

Commerce reported that November retail sales at $432.3 billion were up 0.7 percent compared to October and up 4.7 percent compared to November 2012. Total retail sales from September through November are up 4.1 percent annually.
Industry Week 
Halloween may be past, but it’s still a scary time for manufacturers. You wouldn’t know it from the data. North American factories are winning back business from China as the rise of additive manufacturing via 3D printing takes hold on a broader scale.

In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s index rose to 56.4 from 56.2 the month prior. New orders rose slightly while, as a group, factories added jobs. Canadian producers saw similar gains as the RBC Purchasing Managers Index rose to 55.6 -- the highest ranking since April 2011.

So what’s the problem? An influx of orders is bound to stretch capacity at some point, which could fool factory managers into making the sorts of mistakes that forced some to close their doors during tougher times.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Chief financial officers (CFOs) know that supply chain performance has a direct impact on the bottom line. From balancing supply with demand to managing availability of inventory to managing a global distribution network, even the slightest miscalculation or interruption can be the deciding factor in announcing a profitable or unprofitable quarter.

Supply chain management, and specifically, supply chain risk management, is a strategic imperative for CFOs due to new and complex challenges in today’s global marketplace. 
Fleet News
The majority (80%) of supply chain managers do not see their supply chain as an enabler of business strategies within their organization, according to a recent survey.

The survey, which spanned nine European countries, found that just over half (55%) of the respondents do not regard their business’s supply chain as a fundamental source of business value and competitive advantage and almost a third (29%) see it as purely an operational function.
Vidir Inc.
Packaging World
From one perspective, it’s all about energy. Where are the sources of energy waste that can be eliminated from the system? Because sustainability is still not a primary driver for many brands, suppliers have to push hard to promote options that are both better for the environment and better for the bottom line. 

One positive that offers some hope is that consumers seem to appreciate sustainability gains such as lightweighting and recycled content, and brands can build sustainability into their core values. Here are some more tips on how to start thinking about more efficient systems. 
The impressive growth of online retailing has created an enormous logistics issue. Those last 10 miles from the depot to the customer are a nightmare -- returned packages, no one home, theft, and misdelivery -- never mind the cost of moving products from point A to point B.

Amazon is trying out pickup points at corner shops in Britain and at 7-Eleven stores in the US. Walmart is toying with co-opting customers to make deliveries, and an awful lot of white vans are hitting the streets to make the holidays happier right now.

Still, endpoint delivery is out of sync with how we live and work.
Environmental Leader
Trusting your partners, treating other businesses how you would wish to be treated and extending participation beyond the first tier of suppliers are just three of the five key steps to building a sustainable trading partner network, according to supply chain software company E2open president and CEO, Mark Woodward.

As business sectors compartmentalize and an increasing part of any businesses services, such as logistics or manufacturing, are outsourced, it is becoming harder for companies to keep control of the activities in their supply chains. But by embracing five key ideas, it can be possible to have a successful, scalable and sustainable business network that achieves profit for all, Woodward writes on Supply-Demand Executive.
Material Handling & Logistics
More sophisticated cyber intruders are bypassing the defenses of retail and consumer (R&C) organizations and accessing sensitive data. These attackers are increasingly coming through the supply chain, according to "The Global State of Information Security Survey 2014," a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc).  

R&C respondents report a 30% jump in detected incidents over the last year, however the number of respondents who do not know the frequency of incidents continues to climb—it’s now at 19%. The report’s authors cite the growing cost and complexity of responding to incidents. They state that average financial losses as a result of security incidents increased 46% last year.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of $4 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from marine and inland water ports, many of which are in areas that face environmental justice challenges. 

"Ports are essential to the nation’s economy and transportation infrastructure, but they also are home to some of the nation’s toughest environmental challenges," said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. "These grants will help port authorities to provide immediate emissions reductions that will benefit those who work and live in port-side communities."
The holidays bring a surge of work for the e-commerce distribution center (DC). How do these operations flex to meet that surge? To answer that question I talked to Maria Haggerty, the founder and owner of Dotcom Distribution, and Bruce Welty, the CEO at Quiet Logistics. Both companies are third party logistics firms that specialize in e-commerce fulfillment.

Dotcom Distribution has a more traditional e-commerce fulfillment flow where for most of the year they use RF guns and their process involves picking multiple orders simultaneously to a cart. Quiet Logistics has gained a fair amount of fame, including being briefly featured in a 60 Minutes piece on robots, for their use of Kiva bots to support goods to man operations.
Supply Chain Brain
Business leaders around the world feel least prepared to execute on strategies for driving growth - among them, large-scale transformation, open innovation, digital channels, and talent management - according to a global survey released today by The Boston Consulting Group.

More than 1,000 senior executives across varying regions and sectors assessed how important 15 business challenges are for their companies and how prepared they feel their companies are to address those challenges. BCG conducted the survey as part of the firm's 50th anniversary Game Changing program, a year-long effort to highlight the most pressing issues facing business leaders.
Building a strong supplier quality management strategy isn't only advisable, it's requisite in today's global economy. And market leaders are turning it into a competitive advantage

Building a product isn't the same as it was 10 years ago and it won't be the same 10 years from now. Today's fast-paced business world is evolving at a rate such that market leaders have no choice but to continually adapt to emerging strategies in order to gain an edge over the competition. As relationships with global partners become more of a necessity as well as a focal point in business, the need for adaption is undoubtedly a top-of-mind issue for those responsible for supply chain management.
Material Handling & Logistics
All too often people fail to understand this fundamental point:  a metrics program is not the same as a performance management program. Metrics are a necessary and irreplaceable element in performance management, but as a stand-alone initiative they are inadequate. The challenge facing business managers is in taking metrics to the next level, and creating a viable performance management process grounded in fact.

No two successful performance management programs are the same, but all successful performance management programs share common principles.  To help shed light on what separates a good company from a great company, let's consider a framework. Think of a "foundation" supporting the "building blocks" of a successful performance management program. 
Seegrid Corporation


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