Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine February 11, 2015
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
MHI Blog -- A recent pilot project in the Netherlands by DHL and Ricoh has successfully tested smart glasses and augmented reality in a warehouse. The technology was used to implement ‘vision picking’ in warehousing operations.

Workers were guided through the warehouse by graphics displayed on the smart glass to speed up the picking process and reduce errors. The pilot proved that augmented reality offers added value to logistics and resulted in a 25 percent efficiency increase during the picking process.
BloombergBusiness -- Manufacturers and retailers are stockpiling goods and taking steps to bypass West Coast ports amid a labor dispute that the facilities’ operators say threatens a shutdown disrupting more than 40 percent of U.S. trade. 

Cargo piling up amid stalled talks with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union pushed the 29 ports to the brink of a "coast-wide meltdown," said James McKenna, president of the Pacific Maritime Association, the trade group of shippers and terminal operators. ILWU President Robert McEllrath said management was responsible for the congestion crisis and that the parties are close to a settlement. 
Supply Chain Digital -- For years retailers have relied on Radio Frequency (RF) EAS labels to help decrease shrinkage and ensure merchandise is available for customers to purchase. However, with increased competitors and greater pressures from consumers, retailers are seeking ways to further streamline operations and optimize their inventory.

As a result, major retailers are now looking to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to improve visibility from the point of manufacture, throughout the supply chain and crucially in-store from the back room to the shop floor, all the way to the exit door.
Modern Materials Handling -- President Barack Obama’s announcement on December 17, 2014 that the icy relations between the U.S. and Cuba may begin to thaw was met with surprise and mixed reactions. What, many asked, will the future hold for tourism, a potential new economic paradigm, and manufacturing?

Cuba’s Moment, a report from the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, concludes that a strong manufacturing sector is unlikely to develop without aggressive action on a number of fronts, including domestic investment, inward investment, trade, workforce development, and access to capital markets.
Vidir Inc.
Manufacturing Business Technology -- Manufacturing is an industry typified by countless unique processes and workflows. Because of this, assessing overall performance and efficiency is a complex task. When looking specifically at the supply chain, companies make large investments in equipment and people to ensure flawless execution and are constantly looking for ways to evaluate the success of operation.

Measuring the overall performance of your supply chain can be boiled down to a few key questions. Is the supply chain acquiring the things your organization needs? Is it providing customers with the things they need? And is it doing it all in the right time and for the right price? There are four crucial KPIs that can be assessed to check the health of a supply chain.
The Journal of Commerce -- As negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers drag on, the impact of U.S. West Coast port congestion is rippling far beyond just U.S. supply chains and hampering shippers from Canada to Japan.

But despite the delays, affected countries — including Mexico, Japan and China — haven’t yet publicly put pressure on the Obama administration to help resolve the standoff between the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association. Aside from the Japanese government in December expressing concern to the U.S. government regarding delays of U.S. forage exports, there have been scarce signs of foreign ministries working diplomatic back channels.
Supply Management -- When it comes to internet of things (IoT) in the supply chain, the potential is huge. We’re already seeing a move from concept to reality, and when it comes to manufacturing there is one key focus – streamlining operations – both through cost reduction and operational efficiency.
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods -- There is a growing consumer trend for fresher products and fresher ingredients. In fact, a study from global management consulting firm ATKearney, Chicago, found that over the last five years, fresh prepared foods are a $26 billion market. Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) like Chipotle and AuBon Pain have built their brands around fresher ingredients, with other QSRs moving toward freshly prepared food offerings to cater to consumers seeking healthier alternatives.
Western Pacific Storage Systems
Internet Retailer -- Weekend sales were generally down this weekend for web merchants in affected areas of the Midwest and Northeast, MarketLive says. But some retailers are finding ways to warm up sales when a blizzard hits.

Wintry weather from Nebraska to New England forced some online retailers to cancel deliveries and close warehouses again this weekend, following similar weather-related disruptions last week. But the big snowstorms have not been bad news for all web merchants.
Harvard Business Review -- In 2010, I wrote an HBR article predicting increased interest in supply-chain transparency: firms needed to develop strategies for knowing and explaining where stuff comes from. Since then the idea of product provenance has steadily crept up the corporate agenda and is now a compulsory issue for boards and governments. 

McDonald’s woes offers three lessons for others about supply-chain transparency.
The City Wire -- There have been few major changes in the physical retail supply chain that has served big box retailers for more than three decades. But as more consumers shift to online shopping and the "omnichannel" retail model becomes the norm, experts say the old supply chain model is beginning to see fundamental changes.

E-commerce sales are growing at a healthy clip and are expected to account for more than 10% of total retail sales by 2016. As much as 60% of all retail sales originate online even though they may be completed at a brick-and-mortar retail store.
Maritime Executive -- European container ports are unlikely to be able to maintain the strong growth rates of the past three decades, Fitch Ratings says. Combined with the trend for ever-larger ships making fewer unloading stops, this makes risks highest for small- and medium-sized ports. These could be drawn into a price war in times of falling volumes, or could miss out on cargo even if they invest to accommodate larger ships. These risks are already factored in to our ratings in the sector.

Since 1985 European container ports have averaged 6.5% annual growth in container throughput, or three to four times GDP growth, but this has been driven by trends that are unlikely to continue.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
MHI Blog -- Ryder recently announced that its fleet of natural gas vehicles surpassed 30 million miles. The fleet consists of liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas tractors serving customers in California, New York, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana, as well as in Canada.

Since deploying its natural gas vehicle program in 2011, Ryder has replaced approximately 4.6 million gallons of diesel fuel with lower emission domestically produced natural gas.
Supply Chain Digital -- Inflexibility is the bane of an efficient supply chain. Ironically, the problem is often rooted in supply chain software that years ago was billed as delivering the flexibility that companies needed for fast and adaptable inventory and supplier management, distribution, sales, purchasing and manufacturing.

Manufacturers and distributors have indeed gained important flexibility over the past two decades with implementations of ERP and other supply chain applications and the adoption of Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, Kanban and other approaches. But the ideal of flexibility is a moving target. As time passes, they’re facing new challenges that their on premise software systems are ill equipped to handle.
Supply Chain Brain -- A steep rise in vessel orders risks bringing the recent bonanza in oil tanker shipping to an abrupt end, according to the latest edition of the Tanker Forecaster, published by shipping consultancy Drewry.

Following recent modest growth, the oil tanker fleet is expected to reach new heights by 2016, climbing to 371 million dwt, according to Drewry estimates. In 2014 fleet growth was flat, inching up just 0.6 percent as deliveries slumped 38 percent to 9.1 million dwt and demolitions remained high. But capacity expansion is gathering momentum and is expected to reach annual growth of over 4 percent in 2016, on the back of brisk vessel ordering which reached 22 million dwt last year.
Forbes -- With a blizzard on one end of his trip and the effects of a two-year (and counting) drought awaiting him on the other, author and green business strategist Andrew Winston got a firsthand look at the extreme weather battering the US this January while traveling from his East Coast home to the drought-ravaged West Coast to deliver a keynote address at the Oracle Value Chain Summit in San Jose. The extreme weather only underscored his message to supply chain managers: To succeed in an increasingly unpredictable world, executives must create resilient and responsible supply chains.
Engineering Innovation


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