Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine January 1, 2014
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Revisit the top MHI Newswire articles of 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, MHI would like to provide the readers of the MHI Newswire a look at the most popular articles from the year. The news brief will resume publication Jan. 8, 2014

Vidir Inc.
In another sign that America is becoming more competitive in manufacturing, the U.S. is now equal to Mexico in "attractiveness" as a source for manufacturing operations and is on track to achieve cost parity with manufactured imports from China by 2015. That’s according to new research released by AlixPartners.

The report advises that before companies set up or move production they need to perform thorough, case-by-case analyses as a number of critical factors -- including product type, location, transportation and other variables -- that can greatly impact attractiveness and cost-effectiveness.
The development of the first-ever U.S. industry roadmap for material handling and logistics (MHL) was announced today. The MHL Roadmap is a broad, industry-wide effort to create a blueprint of market, technological and developmental priorities that are needed to accomplish long-term industry goals.

The MHL U.S. Roadmap effort will begin with four, two-day meetings to bring together a variety of market and technology experts in material handling and logistics from industry, universities and government.
Wal-Mart remains at the top of the STORES’ 2013 Top 100 Retailers list, raking in $328.7 billion in 201. Kroger, reporting more than $92 billion in sales in 2012, maintained the No. 2 spot for the fourth year in a row.

Costco (4), The Home Depot (5) and Safeway (9) each moved up a single spot, and McDonald’s (10) joined the top 10 list for the first time in the survey’s history, reporting more than $35.5 billion in sales in 2012.
Material handling equipment new orders grew 7.2% in 2012 and are forecasted to grow 5.0% to 6.0% in 2013 and 10.0% or more in 2014, according to the latest Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing Forecast (MHEM) released by MHI.

"As the current US economic expansion shifts from capital expenditure driven to consumer-led, we anticipate modest, positive MHEM growth for 2013. Housing, automotive rebounds and expansion in industrial, warehouse and commercial buildings (over 69% 2014 - 2018) will contribute substantially to improved MHEM growth for 2014 and beyond," says Hal Vandiver, MHI executive consultant.
Losing an employee is costly -- very costly. Yet, many organizations don't know how to ensure that its human resource assets don't just walk away.

The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 2 million people voluntarily leave their jobs each month. The Society of Human Resources Management has found that the cost of replacing an employee ranges from 50 percent of the employee's annual salary to 400 percent of their annual salary. So that employee with an annual salary of $45,000 that just gave his notice -- the cost of replacing him could be between $16,000 and $160,000. And the other employee, the one whose annual salary was $150,000 -- the cost of replacing her could range from $60,000 to $600,000. Not inexpensive.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Modern Material Handling
Chinese export growth of manufactures, which went from a very high 19% in the first quarter of 2013 before decelerating to 3% in the second quarter, raises a number of intriguing questions, according to an analysis from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

In a report on the trade figures in manufactures for the first half of 2013, Ernest Preeg, Ph.D., MAPI senior advisor for international trade and finance, notes that U.S. exports were flat in the first quarter year-over-year and grew by only 2% in the second quarter.
If you haven't yet gotten used to the idea that 3D printing is playing an important role in the supply chain, you'd better hurry up. 4D printing is about to change today's manufacturing by adding transformation capabilities to 3D-printed objects on an industrial scale.

Self-assembly, replication, self-repair, and self-adaptation will change design, and the creative process that gives life to components, giving birth to a new era in the manufacturing world. 3D printing will no longer be a component's end-of-life. On the contrary, it will be just the beginning.
The New York Times
The old textile mills here are mostly gone now. Gaffney Manufacturing, National Textiles, Cherokee — clangorous, dusty, productive engines of the Carolinas fabric trade — fell one by one to the forces of globalization. 

Just as the Carolinas benefited when manufacturing migrated first from the Cottonopolises of England to the mill towns of New England and then to here, where labor was even cheaper, they suffered in the 1990s when the textile industry mostly left the United States. 
In October of 1913, Henry Ford's entire automobile factory began building its vehicles using a continuously moving assembly line. This revolutionary step changed the manufacturing game at the time, cutting the production time for the Model T down from over 12 hours to fewer than 6 from start to finish.

Could 3-D printing, also called additive manufacturing, revolutionize the production industry to the same extent as Ford's assembly line? When Michelangelo was asked how he sculpted the famous David statue, he's reported to have simply replied, "I just chipped away everything that didn't look like David."
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. In addition, free cash flow -- which is a key indicator of the health of corporate cash flows and represents the cash companies are able to generate after laying out money to maintain or expand their asset base -- fell by 14 percent year over year, indicating poor cash flow management.
USA Today
Some of the world's largest retailers are turning their stores into mini distribution hubs to help them compete better online against Amazon.com. Instead of fulfilling Web orders from warehouses hundreds of miles from shoppers' homes, companies including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Gap are routing orders to stores nearby.
The Washington Post
A handful of smaller companies are convinced there’s a way to get products to consumers just as quickly, with greater satisfaction and at a fraction of the overall cost. The future, these companies argue, is in on-demand 3D printing.

These two ways of delivering goods couldn’t be more different. One relies on scaling and infrastructure to reduce transportation time. The other eliminates as much infrastructure as possible and instead sinks money into materials and on-site manufacturing. Yet both share a common dream: achieving a just-in-timeness never before seen in the history of commerce.
Demand for U.S. industrial distribution centers, larger than 300,000 square feet, is high and rising, according to Jones Lang LaSalle's "Big Box Velocity Index."

Improving economic conditions, the continuing growth of e-commerce and a deep bench of tenants seeking space have all created this highly competitive environment for industrial and warehousing space. As a result, there is 96.7 million square feet of industrial construction under way, with nearly half speculative, with an average building size of 360,000 square feet.
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
When it comes to lift trucks, operators want a material handling solution that's durable, robust, productive and able to handle the heavy lifting.

Enter today's material handling workhorses. Here's a rundown of newly introduced lift trucks that offer a plethora of promising features.
CNN Money
Manufacturing has an image problem," says Paul Gerbino, head of industrial-supply trade publishers ThomasNet News. "People think of it as dirty, dark, and low-paying." That stereotype is one reason why companies that make tangible products are struggling to find candidates for about 237,000 job openings. To put that figure in perspective, it's 89,000 more than the entire U.S. economy created in September.

The shortage isn't new -- demand for factory workers has been rising sharply every year since 2005 -- but it's poised to get a whole lot worse.
Seegrid Corporation


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