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5 Trends Shaping the Future of Manufacturing

Emerging enterprises and CEOs thinking of starting new manufacturing or product design businesses have a number of tools including social media and digital marketing that allow them to take an idea and bring it to market faster, cheaper and with an intimate customer connection. Here are five trends that can provide a tailwind to help.

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5 Rules for Automating Your Warehouse

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.

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GE CEO Jeff Immelt on the Future of GE-and of American Manufacturing

Not long ago, materials were cheap and labor was expensive. Today, the reverse is true, which is why it makes sense to re-shore production in many sectors. But more importantly, the product is increasingly part of the process, driving more companies to embed their know-how and innovativeness with the product itself, says GE CEO Jeff Immelt. That and the prospect of cheaper energy due to the fracking revolution will boost manufacturing in America.

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Does Your Wellness Program Hurt Your Profit…and Maybe Even Your Employees?

Suppose a vendor made you this proposal: “Pay us to take your employees off the job for medical tests that the government specifically says are unnecessary, and then send them to the doctor (at your expense) even though the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) says healthy adults don’t benefit from checkups. We also want you to bribe or even fine employees to drive participation. Despite this adverse morale impact and wasted time and money, we promise you’ll reduce your healthcare spending, mostly because we’ll make up the savings numbers.” Here’s a solution.

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Lean Production’s Next Frontiers and How CEOs Can Benefit

Lean is one of the biggest management ideas of the past 50 years, says McKinsey’s Ewan Duncan and Ron Ritter in the current issue of the McKinsey Quarterly. It may have started in assembly plants and other factory settings but it has moved into services ranging from retailing and healthcare to financial services, IT, and even the public sector. How might CEOs outside of manufacturing apply some of these insights to their companies?

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Manufacturers to D.C.: Make Us a Can-Do Nation Again

Prior to the President’s State of the Union address, National Association of Manufacturer’s (NAM) chairman Doug Oberhelman (CEO of Caterpillar) and NAM president Jay Timmons posted this article on Real Clear Politics offering a challenge to our political leaders in taking steps to revive manufacturing. They cite the Skills Certification System as a critical pillar in our manufacturing economy.

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