Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine September 17, 2014
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
MHI Blog
Meeting the demands of omnichannel fulfillment poses a definite challenge to retailers’ existing supply chains. Traditionally, retailers have used separate distribution facilities to meet the needs of different sales channels. According to a recent article in the Journal of Commerce, omnichannel has created a new supply chain paradigm that will "dominate omnicommerce, and eventually nearly all businesses.
Industry Week
In their Harvard Business Review article "Restoring American Competitiveness," Harvard Business School professors Willy Shih and Gary Pisano argued that restoring the ability of enterprises to develop and manufacture high-tech products in America will be important in restoring our country’s competitiveness. However, in a recent interview professor Shih graded the nation’s effort to drive a manufacturing renaissance a "C-." So how can we move the needle? By leveraging advances in connectivity and computing, we can drive new levels of data-driven insights—something we call the "intelligent enterprise."

Technology and innovation both play a critical role in creating a vibrant U.S. manufacturing environment, resulting in better products and more efficient processes. The industry appears to agree. 
Truck News
Canada and the US have agreed to co-operate more closely on a number of transportation issues and harmonize more safety and security regulations. 

The consensus to work together was formalized by the Canada-United States Regulatory Co-operation Council and given the name of the Joint Forward Plan August 2014. It is a follow-up to an earlier program begun in 2011 that saw the two nations join together on 29 cross-border initiatives. 
Supply Management
Some 42 per cent of logistics operators believe they will use unmanned drones to ship cargo in the future and most believe it will be within 15 years, according to a survey.

The research was carried out by the National Aeronautical Centre (NAC), which said rising fuel prices and predicted growth in international freight volumes made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) more attractive, as they are expected to have lower fuel requirements than conventional aircraft. The survey also found more than a third of freight forwarders believed they would be using UAVs. 
Vidir Inc.
An exhaustive study of major fleets concluded fuel costs were reduced an annual $7,200 per truck through fuel-efficient products and practices.
The non-profit North American Council for Freight Efficiency researched use of 66 technologies and practices by CR England (No. 17 in the CCJ Top 250), Challenger Motor Freight (No. 79), Con-way Truckload (No. 5), Frito Lay, Paper Transport (No. 238), Ryder (No. 30), Schneider (No. 7), Werner (No. 10), Bison Transport (No. 68) and United Parcel Service (No. 1). Fifteen percent of the trucks in the study pulled refrigerated trailers.
MHI Blog
U.S. News & World Report just released the new 30th edition of its college rankings.
Automation may be the single most important issue for distributors across the country as they tackle the escalating costs associated with multi-channel distribution.
A few years ago, analysts predicted that the new realities of multi-channel distribution were bound to trigger increased levels of automation in distribution centers across the country. They were right. In fact, automation has become the "do or die" feature of the quest to effectively manage a growing number of orders coming in from a growing number of sales channels.
MHI Blog
Social media can be a powerful tool when looking for employment. If used correctly, the result of developing a professional online presence can result in increased employment opportunities, thought leadership and even entrepreneurial opportunities. Here is how to ensure you are setting the right impression.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Material Handling & Logistics
Summer vacations are over, the kids are back in school, and after a brief pickup in conditions for shippers, things are about to get uncomfortable again, based on the latest Shippers Conditions Index analysis conducted by transportation forecasting firm FTR. Capacity has been tight for several years now, so the modest improvement shippers saw in June—with the index moving from -7.5 to -6.5—still saw conditions deeply in the negative zone. Any reading below zero indicates a less-than-ideal environment for shippers, so it’s safe to say that "less-than-ideal" has become the New Normal.

This modest improvement may be short-lived, though, since FTR is forecasting that the index will fall back again in July and remain around -7.5—or lower—for the rest of the year.
Channel News Asia
E-commerce is changing the logistics landscape in Singapore, as new players enter the market to better cater to the changing profiles of both consumers and retailers.

Traditional business-to-business logistics involves the shipment of orders to a centralised distribution centre, before they are delivered to the storefront. But in recent years, the e-commerce 'business-to-consumer' model has emerged, and this requires a different set of systems and mindsets.
Risk Management
Something’s rotten in the global supply chain—figuratively and literally, as Shanghai’s Dragon TV revealed in July about a major supplier of meat for the iconic restaurant brands KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s. In recent years various supply chains brought to market, through respected public companies, adulterated products such as drug-infused toxic chickens and horsemeat posing as beef, as well as dangerous products such as salmonella-laced peanut butter and melamine-fortified pet food.

In addition to the restaurant, food retail and agribusiness sectors, problems originating in their supply chains have adversely affected the automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical and toy sectors. GM, for example, is now dealing with what appears to be a 10-year long supply chain problem that compromised product safety. 
Supply Chain Brain
Despite the vital role that technology plays in helping companies manage the complexity and volatility in global operations, only 48 percent of the more than 1,000 global companies surveyed for an Accenture study use technology extensively in their emerging market supply chains.

Furthermore, 45 percent of the companies from 10 industry sectors sampled for the study, "Supply Chain Success Factors in Emerging Markets," make only moderate use of technology, automating some essential activities but supporting them with manual processes.
Berner International Corporation
Modern Materials Handling
Let’s be honest: materials handling, logistics and the broader world of supply chain management has not always been the career of choice for the cool kids.  And yet, attracting the energy, ideas and talent of the best and brightest millennials is key to our industry’s future. In fact, at Gartner’s supply chain conference last May, Linda Topping, Colgate Palmolive’s chief procurement officer, described how her company is rethinking its culture to attract the best and brightest to Colgate.

There’s evidence that the cool factor is starting to change. Last year, the Wall Street Journal dubbed supply chain management "the hot new MBA." 
Multichannel Merchant 
This summer UPS announced plans to join FedEx in expanding dimensional weight pricing for all ground shipments in the U.S. Industry estimates predict that roughly one-third of shipments will be impacted by this change. .
Historically, shipment prices for ground packages have been based on weight. However, with the new pricing model, prices will be based on package size. The new model favors small, dense packages over the larger, light packages that have become the norm for shipping online orders.
World Trade
Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of retailers expect a significant increase (5 percent or more) in year-over-year sales during the 2014 holiday season, while another 70 percent are predicting sales will be on par with the 2013 season. That’s according to the eighth annual retail seasonal hiring survey by global management consultancy Hay Group, which polled retailers collectively representing more than one million employees and nearly $183 billion in revenues last year. 

The cautious optimism around sales is reflected in companies’ seasonal hiring plans. While most retailers (70 percent) plan to hire staff at 2013 levels, the emphasis has shifted from seasonal to permanent workers, with 24 percent of companies planning to hire more permanent staff in 2014, compared to just 13 percent last season.
Engineering Innovation


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