Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine January 8, 2014
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
A new MIT study on supply-chain risk shows no correlation between the total amount a manufacturer spends with a supplier and the profit loss it would incur if that supply were suddenly interrupted. This counterintuitive finding defies a basic business tenet that equates the greatest supply-chain risk with suppliers of highest annual expenditure.

When applied to Ford Motor Company’s supply chain, the quantitative analysis by Professor David Simchi-Levi of MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems Division shows that the supply firms whose disruption would inflict the greatest blow to Ford’s profits are those that provide the manufacturer with relatively low-cost components.
Modern Materials Handling
More than one-third of U.S. businesses will move goods and services work back to the United States in the next 12 months, according to the results of the Grant Thornton Realities of Reshoring survey.

The numbers imply that as much as 5% of overall U.S. procurement may come back to the United States.
Material Handling & Logistics
The latter half of 2013 saw unusually strong spot truckload rates, according to DAT Trendlines, a composite of the DAT network of load boards. This surprised DAT senior rate analyst Mark Montague.

"Van rates rose in July instead of dropping, as is typical for the season," he noted. "Even as freight volume finally tapered off after Thanksgiving, rates remained high. During Christmas week, van rates rose even further. The national average hit a peak of $1.95 per mile in the last full week of the year. I don't think I've ever seen that before, and I've been a transportation pricing analyst for decades."
Many organizations manage supplier risk by identifying alternate suppliers for when a severe problem arises. However, there are other supplier risk concerns that can affect corporate brands and that companies should also manage for risk.

The list of considerations is long: the ability of suppliers to protect your confidential information, the second tier of suppliers (your suppliers' suppliers) about whom you might know very little, and supplier employment and sustainability practices that can harm your brand. Every organization needs to reduce risk and mitigate proactively against these threats.
Vidir Inc.
Business 2 Community
Many of the same New Year’s resolutions we make about ourselves each year can also be applied to our manufacturing businesses. Resolving to improve operations in the same way we want to improve ourselves can provide a good guide to follow for the coming year. Like personal resolutions, operational goals aren’t always easy to stick with, but they can improve your bottom line and your day-to-day activities.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common New Year’s resolutions and explore how they can best benefit your manufacturing operations and your supply chain.
U.S. manufacturing ended the year on a high note, growing in December at its fastest pace in 11 months, while the rate of job growth was the swiftest since March, an industry report showed on Thursday.

Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 55.0 last month, beating November's 54.7 reading and an initial December estimate of 54.4. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Refrigerated Transporter
In preparation for 2014, Freightgate announced five trends in the logistics and supply chain industry that will make companies more competitive and affect how they manage their supply chains.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Food & Beverage Packaging
Demand for converted flexible packaging is projected to increase 3.8% annually to $18.2 billion in 2015.  Gains will be similar to the pace of the 2005-2010 period based on the well-established presence of pouches in a number of food and nonfood markets coupled with overall deceleration in raw material price growth.  

Converted flexible packaging’s source reduction capabilities will be increasingly advantageous in light of initiatives by major retailers and packaged goods firms to evaluate their packaging in terms of eco-friendliness and cost reduction.  These and other trends are presented in Converted Flexible Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Fleet Owner
Some interesting trends are taking shape as we begin yet another New Year, with an uptick in global manufacturing a decidedly nice one to kick things off with.

Then there’s the noted improvement in the consumer confidence captured by the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index. After decreasing last November to 72, that index rebounded in December to 78.1.
Industry Week 
During the Great Recession, operations executives learned to do more with less -- far more with far less. Positions were redefined, tasks were consolidated and organizational learning was improved. In general, those who survived -- and more importantly, thrived -- during the upturn learned to better manage and improve processes. As a result, there is a new trend to consolidate operations, thus further extracting profitability from improved efficiencies.

As operations executives look to consolidate operations, they must consider a multitude of factors. Usually these decisions include at least two facilities and the selection of the best for consolidation, but sometimes an additional choice is added: geography that is not currently occupied by any of the company’s facilities.
This article describes the impact of the "sequester" and budget showdowns on ports and port security, and also gives a preview of the House-Senate Conference on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).  On the one hand, ports and port security have been severely hampered by the ongoing budget battles, as has the rest of the U.S. Government and economy.  

On the other hand, Congress appears to be on the brink of reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act for the first time in six years.  This law will authorize increased use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) on port dredging and maintenance projects allowing a number of major ports to attract more business as a result of deeper harbors, and the accommodation of the anticipated post-Panamax vessels. 
Asia's manufacturing sector ended 2013 on a strong note, with expansion hitting multi-year highs in export-driven Japan and Taiwan, but signs of moderation in China raises concerns about the outlook for the new year.

Both official and private measures of manufacturing activity in China fell in December, reinforcing views the world's second-largest economy lost some steam in the final quarter of 2013.
Fast Company
Two Cooper Union undergrads constructed a box that's less wasteful, easier to pack, easier to open, and good looking, too.

While some companies, like Ecovative, are tooling around with highly sustainable alternatives to shipping products around the world, two undergrads have just reinvented the humble cardboard container itself to be more efficient.
Seegrid Corporation


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