Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine March 12, 2014
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Material Handling & Logistics
MODEX 2014 is one of those events where even the keynote speakers want to network with both the exhibitors and attendees. In addition to the latest material handling and logistics technologies, among the more than 800 exhibits will be displays and discussions about supply chain management. 

Show floor seminars will address the latest trends in logistics, including same-hour order fulfillment, supply chain modeling, scalable software and preparing your supply chain for e-commerce.
Supply Chain Digital
In our new world of distributed supply chains –  where companies rely on a wide network of suppliers, contractors, outsourced manufacturers and logistics providers – visibility is critical to long-term success. After all, you can’t manage, much less profitably manage, what you can’t see. 
The best supply chains in the world recognize that supply chain visibility means a lot more than simply sharing forecast information with top-tier suppliers. In fact truly strategic supply chain visibility works on multiple levels to reliably counteract the effects of demand volatility by extending cross-network transparency with prescriptive analytics and algorithm-based decision support.
China’s exports fell the most since the global financial crisis, dealing another blow to confidence as Communist Party leaders meeting in Beijing assess the risk from the nation’s first onshore bond default. 

Shipments abroad dropped 18.1 percent from a year earlier, the customs administration said in Beijing yesterday, trailing the median estimate for a 7.5 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey of 45 economists. Reports today showed inflation eased to a 13-month low in February and producer prices fell for a 24th month. 
Vidir Inc.
Welcome to 2014: the year of social accountability for global supply chains. So says AsiaInspection, a provider of factory inspection, quality control and product-testing services for consumer goods and food importers.

Last year was "a tipping point" for the implementation of social programs in overseas plants by major consumer brands, according to Sébastien Breteau, founder and chief executive officer of AsiaInspection. Prior to that, his clients were reluctant to commit large sums of money for the creation and enforcement of programs to audit factory working conditions.
Logistics Viewpoints
If your firm uses a legacy telematics system to manage its fleet, it may be time to consider a more modern and economical alternative.  ARC’s research on the fleet telematics market shows that legacy telematics systems relying upon proprietary hardware are quickly being displaced by modern systems that leverage cellular networks, open systems, and common mobile devices.
Telematics solutions provide fleet managers with the ability to remotely monitor the location, status, health, and activity of vehicles and to conduct ongoing two-way communications with the drivers.   Traditional fleet telematics solutions include fixed in-cab displays, proprietary on-board computers, and satellite communications between vehicles and the back office.
Spend Matters
The situation in Ukraine and Crimea looks bleak, to put it lightly. We’ve been watching the discussions and negotiations unfold among the numerous parties involved, which include not only the interim Ukrainian government, the recently declared independent government in Crimea, and Russia, but also the EU, NATO, and the US. And we think the continued instability and potential military conflict is enough to upset the procurement, commodity management and supply risk applecart with implications for pricing, availability, lead times across a broad range of commodities, parts, components and finished products—with the impact going far beyond Eastern Europe.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Modern Materials Handling
On Wednesday, March 19 at Modex 2014, students of engineering, technology, manufacturing, operations, supply chain and logistics will experience first-hand the latest technologies and solutions as they tour the Modex show floor as part of the Material Handling & Logistics Classroom Day. Accompanied by professors, the students are from four-year higher education programs.

The program is in its 11th year explained Carmen Murphy, education coordinator for show sponsor MHI. The event is put together by MHI’s College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) in conjunction with the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA).
Make the supply chain efficient and great things will happen. It is the conventional wisdom. However, if you say to a supply chain leader that the most efficient supply chain is not the most effective, they would cry foul. It would be likened to blasphemy. The belief that the efficient organization is the most effective defies conventional wisdom. It lies deep in the veins of the supply chain leader. It is just assumed.

After three years of research on how supply chain performance drives corporate performance, let me just state for the record that I firmly believe that the most efficient supply chain is not effective. To make the argument, let’s start with history. Technology was an enabler. Computing power and connectivity made increased productivity possible. Over the course of the last decade, the average company invested 1.7% of revenue on information technology. As shown in the table, the impact was a dramatic improvement in productivity—as measured by revenue per employee—in all manufacturing industries.
When asked why he robbed banks, Slick Willy answered, "Because that’s where the money is!" Where's the money in your company? Capital for new projects is a real challenge, with an appropriation process that is complex, political and arduous, commanding the attention and scrutiny of the executive committee. 

Yet, planners and schedulers armed with custom spreadsheets routinely make million-dollar working capital decisions every day!
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Material Handling & Logistics
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) received a green light to find ways to improve U.S. port infrastructure with the release of President Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2015 (FY15). It includes $4.561 billion in gross discretionary funding for USACE’s Civil Works program which is dedicated to commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, and aquatic ecosystem restoration.

"This is a performance-based budget that funds the construction of projects that provide the greatest returns on the Nation's Civil Works investments for the economy, environment and public safety," said Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
Chief Executive
Warehouse management is one of the last frontiers of productivity improvement for most manufacturers and distributors. Writing in both Manufacturing Business Technology and Food Manufacturing, Dan Labell, president and owner of Westfalia Technologies., a provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses and distribution centers, offers five simple principles for evaluating and automating one’s warehouse management system. 
World Trade
The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2013, leading to speculation that 2014 could see the strongest growth since the end of the current recession. Supporting that, a report by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) says manufacturing revenues are expected to increase 4.4 percent in 2014 and non-manufacturing revenues by 3.6 percent.
Respondents to surveys that make up part of the ISM report cited some challenges, however. Nearly a third (32 percent) pointed to challenges in obtaining domestic sales growth, and 18 percent see similar challenges in growing international sales. Overall, the ISM report concluded, "Expectations are for a continuation of the economic recovery that began in mid-2009."
Seegrid Corporation


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