Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine January 29, 2014
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Modern Materials Handling
You would think that issues like cost reductions, customer service levels and fuel prices would top the list of things that keeps distribution, transportation and supply chain managers up at night. After all, those are the items by which we are most often measured when bonuses are handed out.

But at every industry conference I have attended in the last year, the paucity of talent has been topic number one. That was true at ProMat last January, at the MHI fall meeting, and at the APICS and CSCMP annual conferences.
Like many of his cohorts attending the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oliver Niedermaier is among thousands of political and economic leaders who believe they can change the world. But Niedermaier, CEO of New York-based Tau Investment Management, is one of the few who think they can do it by tackling inefficiencies in the global supply chain. 

Niedermaier has teamed up with investor Alexander Soros— the son of billionaire financier George Soros— and the Global Emerging Markets group (GEM) to raise $1 billion in his mission to revamp the vast infrastructure that moves millions of products and materials around the world. 
Modern Materials Handling
MODEX 2014 attendees are registering in record numbers and they are ready to invest in material handling, logistics supply chain equipment and systems. A full 36% have spending plans of $1,000,000 or more over the next 18 months. An additional 30% plan to spend between $100,000 and $500,000 over the same period.

MODEX attendees are senior professionals in manufacturing and the supply chain, with 34% coming from the C-suite, 20% are SVP and VP level and 25% coming from middle management. Over 88% have buying authority with 52% buying equipment and systems for manufacturing facilities, 53% for warehouses supporting manufacturing and 68% for distribution centers. MODEX attendees primarily come to see new products and services (82%) and to network and learn (63%).
Material Handling & Logistics
Manufacturers and retailers told congress they support the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation introduced on January 9th by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (MT), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (UT) and by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (MI). 

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act would renew TPA for up to seven years, helping the U.S. accelerate and implement comprehensive trade negotiations with other countries. TPA was last renewed in 2002 and expired in 2007.
Vidir Inc.
Progressive Railroading
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Jan. 9 reintroduced the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act, which would provide funding for freight transportation and infrastructure improvements.

The Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3825) would establish the National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Improvement Program through the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The program would provide competitive grants to states and designated entities to improve the efficiency and capacity of freight networks.
Peas and carrots, strawberries and cream, risk management and supply chain management. OK, that last pair doesn't have the same ring to it, but I'm sure supply chain professionals are more than aware of the intrinsic relationship between the two.
The buzz around supply chain risk management recently is that there is "lots of talk and little action. I tend to disagree. I believe supply chain managers are constantly challenged to perform along the razor's edge. Excess inventory means a risk of obsolescence, and lean inventory introduces the risk of stockouts. Both can put a brand's reputation at risk and impact your bottom line. Almost every tactical tradeoff made on a daily basis, whether related to inventory, transportation, production, or planning, is based on constraint-based management, with a constant balancing of our appetite for risk and our tolerance to it, and with the target of optimization.’
U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in January for the first time in three months, hobbled by new orders, though a recent trend of stronger growth appeared to be intact, an industry report showed on Thursday.

Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dipped to 53.7 from December's reading of 55.0. Economists polled by Reuters expected no change.
Logistics Viewpoints
In the retail world, more sales and profits are always good things. However, when it comes to the logistical challenges of moving hundreds of branded and private-label products from hundreds of sources to hundreds of stores and fulfillment centers, more isn’t always merrier.
In fact, managing the complexities, risks and heightened expectations of a global, multi-source supply chain is akin to conducting a philharmonic orchestra. A full-size orchestra typically has more than 100 musicians. Each sees only the notes he or she plays. It’s the conductor’s job to direct the musicians and bring it all together in a seamless way.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Industry Market Trends
Today, open market conditions, a climate of international free trade, and the ever-evolving integrated global economy offer manufacturers broader access to materials as well as other dynamics of production. 

Where it used to be more advantageous for a manufacturer to make all facets of production proprietary, today’s climate makes that business model costly, impractical, and inefficient.
Trading partners and value chains working together is a great concept. It is supposed to be that way. We have been at it for over two decades. Most leaders have at least one strategy document that proclaims this to be the goal. Leaders want to connect and manage the supply chain from the customer’s customer to the supplier’s supplier. 

However, we are not making progress. It is about more than waving hands or drawing it on a flip chart. Let me use some recent research to help readers face the HARD and COLD facts. 
Logistics Manager
Half of businesses within the transport and logistics sector are planning to increase staff levels in 2014, Barclays' latest research has revealed. 

The Barclays Employers Survey 2014 questioned 684 businesses across all sectors, from small firms with a turnover of up to £5 million, to larger firms with a turnover of more than £500 million.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Packaging Digest
We're living in a time in which the ways we live and do business are changing at a remarkable speed. The world is in an Information Revolution that promises to enhance our lives and the way in which we do business as much as the Industrial Revolution did a century ago.

While it's easy to see the impact of the Information Revolution in consumer electronics and communications, every sector of our economy will transform in ways previously unimagined. U.S. manufacturing, with its tight margins and foreign competition, can benefit from these 21st century business methods to maintain a global advantage. 
Big changes are underway at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), which appears to be shifting from a single-minded focus on fighting terrorism to one that includes regulating trade.

That’s the view of Florida attorney Peter Quinter, who chairs the Customs & International Trade Law Group of GrayRobinson, P.A. He has come up with a list of 10 predictions about where CPB is headed — and, consequently, what importers and exporters need to be concerned about — in the year ahead.
Industry Week
While Lean principles have been known and applied in a variety of manufacturing processes, the applications in product development have been slower to come. Several companies have also applied Lean to office processes and done some value stream mapping to attack wastes in a few ancillary development processes such as drawing releases, change orders and prototypes and have seen some improvements. 

However, most companies are missing the great opportunities that exist to improve their product development value stream. In fact, for most products, 65-75% of the total cost of the product is determined before it even gets to the factory.
Seegrid Corporation


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