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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Do your eyes glaze over whenever you hear certain words and phrases that have long passed their sell-by date?
queried CEOs and its general readers for buzzwords they would like to ban. We invite Briefing readers to volunteer their own.
America’s manufacturing comeback is in full swing – depending where you are. Some state governments are aggressively pursuing job creators, others are trimming efforts due to fiscal problems and still others have never effectively competed. Here’s the latest roundup.
When asked to describe the impact on the economy of modernizing factories with advanced technology and automation, nearly two-thirds of Americans told pollsters that it either made no difference or actually hurt the economy, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal Economics Bureau Chief, Timothy Aeppel. The percentage who thought it was bad—37 percent of the total—rose with lower household income and among those with lower education. But even among the well-educated and better-off, there was a surprising degree of rage against the machines. 31 percent of those with incomes over $100,000 said modernizing factories hurt the economy, while a quarter of college graduates felt that way.
87% of manufacturers agree that government regulations are increasingly stringent. 90% of manufacturers are convinced that innovation is becoming more important. 75% of manufacturers think that consumers are more concerned about the ethical and fair treatment of workers at all levels of the supply chain. 42% of consumers strongly believe that manufacturers need to improve product quality. These are among the key findings of a recent Underwriters Laboratories annual study of manufacturers and consumers.