Judging from initial reactions from top trade groups, manufacturers are of two minds concerning the President’s proposed budget. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) scorns the tax increases saying it blocks growth, but likes some of the other provisions. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), on the other hand, sees the prospect for wider tax reform and some benefits to manufacturers in proposals for infrastructure spending.
Landing the Tesla “gigafactory” will be an economic-development bonanza for one of the four states in the running. But beyond the borders of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or Nevada, the complex also could provide a huge innovation boost for the stubborn problem of increasing battery life in electric cars and unleash spinoff advancements in other electricity-related industries.
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.
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.
Manufacturing CEOs in the South and elsewhere heaved a sigh of relief after Volkswagen workers in Tennessee rejected United Auto Workers union representation. This isn’t the end of unionization attempts at transplants or suppliers.
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.
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?