Articles

Manufacturing

Trends—June 2013

Trends—June 2013

Is American-Made on the Mend? Rumors abound that U.S. manufacturing is making a comeback. The promise of cheaper domestic energy sources—and rising labor costs elsewhere around the world—are tipping the total landed cost balance off its Far Eastern axis. Does this portend a domestic manufacturing renaissance? A recent report by AlixPartners suggests companies are open […]

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Keith Biondo

We Need Jobs…Let’s Raise Taxes?

Balancing a budget is an exercise in best judgment. Add politics to the equation, and logic flies right out the window. One example: the Minnesota legislature is finalizing its $38-billion state budget, which includes a 6.5-percent sales tax on warehouse services. A wide-ranging tax hike on warehouses will have far-reaching implications. None good. A warehouse […]

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Steve Sensing

Shoring up Sourcing Strategies

Q: What factors are driving reshoring/near-sourcing consideration? A: A balance in labor rates between China and North America is warranting a second look at sourcing and manufacturing closer to demand. Mexico may be a first choice because of its labor cost differential, but the United States, with the promise of cheaper energy, presents another opportunity. […]

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Trends—February 2013 

Trends—February 2013 

Green: The United Color of Benetton Sustainability has gained fashion appeal over the past few years. But apparel companies are growing even more sensitive to social responsibility, especially as it relates to materials procurement and use in the supply chain. Benetton Group is the latest apparel brand to join Greenpeace’s Detox Program, launched in 2011 […]

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Tom Stricker

Five Signs Your Production Logistics Needs Help

Most manufacturers experience and address common inbound logistics challenges, but one area of improvement that many overlook is the discipline of production logistics — ensuring each machine and workstation is fed with the right product in the right quantity and quality at the right time. As the crucial link that connects inbound materials to on-time […]

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J. Scot Sharland

Logistics Providers Steer Auto Industry on Road to Recovery

The automotive industry is rapidly rebounding from its recession lows as consumer demand for new vehicles grows. In response, auto manufacturers and their suppliers are quickly increasing manufacturing output. While this is great news for automakers and the overall financial health of the auto industry, there is a downside: The quick spike is severely straining […]

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Elisha Tropper

The Truth Behind “Made in the USA”

Much talk across the American political and economic landscape centers around the importance of domestic manufacturing. Yet the issue and challenges of "Made in the USA" are so poorly understood that fatalistic hand-wringing and stump speech vitriol are obfuscating its rapidly emerging potential for near-term revitalization. Revitalization implies that there has been a reduction in […]

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Keith Biondo

Who Says You Can Never Go Home?

Are we headed for a resurgence in U.S.-based manufacturing? Could be, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report that finds the United States, in some instances, holds a productivity advantage over China. If this trend is real, can business logistics practitioners help guide us to greater economic recovery by supporting growth in domestic […]

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You Have Entered the Material Transfer Zone

The loading dock has become a critical component of virtually any supply chain strategy. Mistakes in dock design and equipment choices can have costly consequences that ripple throughout the supply chain. For instance, slowdowns and product damage can very quickly multiply when overhead door openings are too small and dock levelers too narrow to provide […]

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