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Most Recent Articles

They Won a Nobel Prize for Choosing Lithium, And Now You Benefit Too.

Yesterday morning we woke up to see a familiar name in the news as John B. Goodenough was announced by the Nobel Prize Committee, along with two others, as the recipients for this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry. We’ve written about John in earlier posts (See “A Week For Gratitude”) and can say we’re thrilled to see the recognition he, M. Stanley Whittington and Yoshino Akira received for the work they did over two decades in three countries that led to what one committee member referred to as “a highly charged story with tremendous potential”!

Topics: News Trends Lithium Iron Phosphate Lithium Power

Trends in Fleet Management You Should Know

As a major pillar of the distribution industry, shippers and logistics service providers are a critical element of any business’ customer satisfaction goals. But as a facility manager or a business that relies on a shipping partner to help you meet your service goals, how much information do you share between you in order to ensure you can make the relationship as productive as possible? A recent industry survey by Descartes Systems Group, a solutions provider for fleet management operations, provides some useful insights.

Topics: Trends Planning Shipping

The Rapid Ascent of Holograms in Manufacturing

There are a lot of innovations in manufacturing getting press in recent years, but most of them relate to the improvement of productivity through process improvement – continuous improvement, supply chain management, culture and developing talent. But there is one radically innovative technology that is flying under the radar but is already poised to bring the sci-fi future into today’s factories.

Topics: Technology Manufacturing Trends

Investing in Staff Retention Takes Many Forms – Including Big Ass Fans

(Or, we just wanted  to use the word “Big Ass” in a serious business article.)

While we’ve seen the topic of staff retention in warehouses and manufacturing plants  come up more frequently than ever, most of the discussion until now has been focused on compensation and skill training. While there are legitimate needs to address stagnant pay, lack of career paths and insufficient training, in many cases retention is much more about creating a great work environment.

Topics: ROI Trends Process Improvement Staffing

5 Ways to Improve Warehouse Worker Retention

Despite low unemployment and a long-term economic growth streak with record profits now approaching a full decade, distribution centers and warehouses have continued to experience trouble retaining skilled or experienced staff. The problem lies more in how management values the contribution of their people in those facilities – which also makes it somewhat easier to resolve. Today we look into the problem with the help of some great research from ProLogistix through the WERC organization.

Topics: Distribution Center Trends Warehouse

5 Trends Manufacturing Leaders Shouldn't Ignore

What new technologies change the way products are made and delivered? How does the increase in urban populations affect manufacturing trends? What does the growing global economy mean for manufacturing leaders?

Manufacturers and logistics companies must keep current with the changes in their industry if they want their businesses to survive. Here are 5 trends that manufacturing leaders can’t afford to ignore.

Topics: Manufacturing Trends

The Revenue of the US's Biggest Brands

Last month,  offered five business predictions for 2016 in Forbes. Since he begins with "this coming year may be the most challenging since 2008 to 2010", this sets off warning bells in the minds of many. Michael Evans prediction begins with "2016 holds a lot of challenges for business growth and expansion, and smart CEOs and investors should position themselves for a highly volatile year".: Does this language cause you to pause?

Topics: Infographic Trends Economy Predictions

Five New Trends in Lean Manufacturing You Will Want to Know About

While it’s important for lean consultants to stay on top of current trends in lean manufacturing, it is difficult to keep up with advances in technology and new opportunities. Here are five new trends in lean manufacturing we believe you will want to know about:

Get the free "NEW TRENDS IN LEAN MANUFACTURING THAT
WILL IMPACT THE FUTURE" White Paper Here.

1. Strength-Based Lean Thinking

Most applications of lean thinking begin with an assumption that there is a theoretical “perfect state” for each organizational process and that the current state deviates from the perfect state due to inefficiencies and waste.

The strength-based approach to lean has a different focus. Instead of focusing on what is not working and inefficient, it teaches how to identify what is already working efficiently and generates value in existing processes and systems (this is called “strength focus”).

The strength-based approach to lean is more natural to work with and more sustainable in the long term.

Leveraging current or past knowledge, and accessing experiences and successes from within the system, are great resources for the next generation of improvement initiatives. They also provide motivation for everyone to face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Topics: Lean Manufacturing Trends IoT Green Manufacturing

Trends in Manufacturing

Keeping up with the news, here are a few highlights of trends in U.S. manufacturing.


source: tradingeconomics.com

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index fell to 53.5 in January from 55.1 in December. That is the third straight drop and lowest since January 2014. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion. Article

Economists weren't overly concerned by the report. Most said it is consistent with steady growth in the first quarter.

"This decline is no reason to panic," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients. The report probably reflects the impact of the stronger dollar on large U.S. manufacturers that export many of their goods, he said. It does not capture the services firms, like retailers, that are benefiting from cheaper gas, which has lifted Americans' spending power, Ashworth added.

Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM's manufacturing survey committee, said that cheaper oil is benefiting many manufacturers by cutting their energy costs. Article

The stronger dollar also lowers U.S. multinational corporations’ abroad profits. Last week, Procter Gamble, DuPont and Caterpillar all pronounced their gain took a strike from a clever dollar.

The abroad misunderstanding dampened a U.S. economy in a final 3 months of final year. Exports rose during a slowest gait given a commencement of a year. Meanwhile, imports, that turn cheaper when a dollar rises, jumped. The wider trade opening shaved enlargement by a commission point. 

Topics: Manufacturing Trends