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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Plan Aims To Elevate Michigan As Logistics Hub

February 11, 2014 2:02 pm | by Michigan Economic Development Corporation | News | Comments

The newly established Commission for Logistics and Supply Chain Collaboration, which holds its first meeting Feb. 11, aims to develop a statewide strategy featuring a partnership between government and industry in the pursuit of raising the international profile of Michigan’s logistics capabilities.

Wholesale Evolution

February 11, 2014 9:17 am | by Ranga Bodla, Director of Industry Marketing, Manufacturing W/D | Articles | Comments

As markets evolve, distribution companies need to innovate around customers, analytics, and supply networks. To survive and thrive in the brave new world, many wholesale distribution companies need a wholesale evolution.         

Why ERP Doesn’t Work, And Steps To Fix The Problem

February 10, 2014 9:18 am | by Robert Byrne, CEO of Terra Technology | Articles | Comments

While a key enabler for the modern supply chain, ERP is often mistaken as the single universal solution to meet every need. Whether the result of over-aggressive vendors or self-imposed rationalization to justify the large investment, the outcome is the same: disappointment with supply chain functionality. 

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Oreo Maker Mondelez To Close Philly Bakery

February 7, 2014 9:49 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mondelez International Inc., the maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, said Thursday that it will close a Philadelphia bakery by 2015 as part of a plan to restructure its supply chain and save money.                

Farms In London's Underground

February 6, 2014 9:53 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

A modern farming experiment in disused London Underground tunnels grows eco-friendly food. Its backers are hoping to grow the business as well.                               

How Outsourcing Went Horribly Wrong

February 5, 2014 9:23 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Articles | Comments

There is much debate over the effectiveness of the outsourcing strategy, the affect it has had on “American” brand quality, and the affect it is having on the U.S. economy and its ability to pull out of the current recession. In some cases, it has proven to be a good move. In some cases it has proven disastrous.

MAPI: January Factory Slowdown 'Worrisome'

February 4, 2014 10:08 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

“While U.S. manufacturing continued its growth into the new year, survey data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the pace of factory activity slowed considerably. The overall Index fell by 5.2 percentage points from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, still signaling overall output advances but at a far more muted pace."

Crystal CEO: Rail Shutdown Could Cost Millions

January 30, 2014 9:57 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press | News | Comments

A slowdown in rail service is forcing American Crystal Sugar to cut back on production, something company officials said Wednesday could cost millions if the situation doesn't improve.                   

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Wind Turbine Maker To Close Pa. Plant

January 29, 2014 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gamesa USA officials said Tuesday that the closure of the 8-year-old plant was prompted by a shift in the market from Pennsylvania and the Midwest to the southwestern United States. They said the company had to alter its manufacturing and supply chain strategy to keep energy costs low and maintain a strong market presence.

How Lean Do You Really Want To Be?

January 24, 2014 9:16 am | by Tom McNamara and Erika Masillac | Articles | Comments

Just-in-time (JIT) deliveries, little to no inventory, outsourcing, sole sourcing — all of these “lean” concepts have been at the heart of operations management for years now. But more and more companies are starting to ask themselves a simple question; Just how lean do we really want to be?

U.S. Wholesale Costs Rise On Gas Prices

January 15, 2014 1:40 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures costs before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month from November. That ends three straight months of falling wholesale prices.       

Accelerating Operational Excellence: Q&A With LNS’s Mark Davidson

January 15, 2014 9:30 am | by Greg Goodwin, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

When you consider some of the challenges that manufacturers face across industries today — they’re unprecedented. The pressures of global supply and demand dynamics, supply chain complexities, disparate production locations and systems, regulations, and other factors have forced manufacturers to reevaluate operations and optimize them everywhere possible in order to remain competitive and profitable.

U.S. Import Prices Drop, Export Prices Rise In December

January 14, 2014 2:02 pm | by Bureau of Labor Statistics | News | Comments

U.S. import prices recorded no change in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following declines of 0.9 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. In December, higher fuel prices offset declining nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in December, after edging up 0.1 percent the previous month.

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Q&A: element14 And Big Distributor Trends For 2014

January 14, 2014 9:37 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

In an electronics market that has seen relatively flat performance over the last several years, there continue to be a number of areas where distributors can differentiate and find growth. One of the ongoing challenges within the market is the rapidity of demand swings, increasing frequency of orders and diminishing average order sizes.

The Evolution Of Private Equity & Why Supply Chains Take Center Stage

January 13, 2014 9:22 am | by Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International | Articles | Comments

The private equity game was once focused on buying and selling a company as quickly as possible. But the industry has evolved to focus more on engineering companies’ supply chains to build profit and value.             

Best Logistics Advice For 2014: Dump Tribal Knowledge

January 10, 2014 9:27 am | by Tim Garcia, Apptricity Founder and CEO | Articles | Comments

Here's some food for thought when it comes to evaluating and improving logistics in your enterprise: Whatever else you do in 2014, make it a priority to dump the tribal knowledge you might be using to make mission-critical decisions. Instead, substitute the facts. 

U.S. Trade Deficit Declines

January 7, 2014 9:54 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.

Intel Says Its Processors Are Now 'Conflict-Free'

January 7, 2014 9:30 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

It's the first major U.S. technology company to make such a claim about its products. It's the fruit of four years of work by the company to determine the sources of four crucial metals widely used in electronics manufacturing: tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold.

Domestic Minerals Production Could Boost Manufacturing

January 7, 2014 9:14 am | by Hal Quinn, CEO, National Mining Association (NMA) | Articles | Comments

After decades of outsourcing, the resurgence in domestic manufacturing is now America’s favorite comeback story. But one troubling trend could signal a major complication for returning manufacturers: our nation’s increasing reliance on unstable supply chains of imported minerals.

Setting the Table For Successful Supply Chain Management

January 3, 2014 9:33 am | by Michael Schmitt, Chief Marketing Officer, E2open | Articles | Comments

Over the past decade, I’ve watched as globalization, competition and digitalization have forever changed the business landscape. Throw in the fact that current, and potential, customers now have higher expectations, and more buying power, than ever before and you have very little room left for error when it comes to supply chain planning, process management and execution.

Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 3 & 4

December 18, 2013 10:30 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO & Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

IDC Manufacturing Insights provides organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon.  Today's predictions focus on your supply chain.              

One Million Electronic Components Accessible Via BOM Manager

December 16, 2013 11:49 am | by Digi-Key Corporation | News | Comments

Global electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation announced that it has surpassed one million in-stock components available for immediate shipment, accessible via the new and improved Digi-Key Bill of Materials (BOM) Manager.

Q&A: Protection Against Automotive Counterfeits

December 13, 2013 9:36 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

This month, we had the chance to speak with Mark Prokosch, Vice President at Verify Brand.  Verify, a Minneapolis-based software as a service (Saas) brand protection company, recently announced enhancements to its cloud-based platform to combat counterfeiting in automotive supply chains. 

Quantum Opens West Coast Distribution Center

December 13, 2013 9:08 am | by Quantum Storage Systems | News | Comments

Quantum Storage Systems is pleased to announce the opening of its new west coast distribution center located in Fresno, California.                                  

Survey: 80 Pct. Don't See Supply Chain As Strategy Enabler

December 11, 2013 1:30 pm | by Hitachi Consulting | News | Comments

Spanning nine European countries, Hitachi Consulting’s survey aimed to identify the extent to which supply chain management activities and priorities are aligned with a strategic transformation agenda. The survey found that over half of the respondents do not regard their business’s supply chain as a fundamental source of business value.

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