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Innovation and Global Trends

  • Rising Upward

    Optimism Powers SAP's Bill McDermott
    • Karen Huelsman
    May/June 2016

    Bill McDermott, the CEO at software giant SAP, has always thought big. As a high schooler, he seized the opportunity to buy a deli in his Long Island, New York, neighborhood. Aided by the encouragement of his family and his natural tenacity, he grew the business while finishing high school and college. ......Read More

  • An Emerging Economy

    Manufacturers and suppliers look beyond China to Vietnam
    • Julien Brun
    March/April 2016

    ​Vietnam’s young and relatively inexpensive workforce, stable political structure, and long coastline with several deep ports make it an attractive location for manufacturers and suppliers. Rather than venturing farther into China, businesses are noticing that Vietnam offers cost controls, risk diversification, and access to new markets. ......Read More

  • On-the-Mark Innovations

    RFID targets superior work-in-process, inventory, and quality controls
    • Elizabeth Rennie
    January/February 2016

    At American Woodmark Corporation, kitchen and bathroom cabinets are built to order using more than 500 product lines and while holding no finished goods inventory. The build process on an individual project starts only when an order is placed and processed, and each kitchen or bathroom cabinet is manufactured in sequence for delivery to the customer’s home. ......Read More

  • Starting Small

    Nanotechnology holds big possibilities
    • Richard E. Crandall
    January/February 2016

    ​How many millions, perhaps trillions, of nanoparticles did you eat for breakfast? Are those electrons, photons, protons, and other bits of nanomatter still bumping around in your digestive system? Don’t worry; this happens every day without you even giving it a thought. Although most of you may not be worried about nanomatter and nanotechnology, physicists, chemists, biomedical scientists, engineers of all types, and others are working to make yet another disruptive technology more mainstream.......Read More

  • Cutting Ties

    Is it time to rethink our reliance on the internet?
    • Philip E. Quigley
    November/December 2015

    Recently, my students and I have been discussing the Sony hacker attack. I asked them to research the timeline of events, their effects, and how to prevent future incidents at Sony and other companies. Like most people their age, my students are locked co their smartphones and laptops and totally “wired in.” The first fact that struck them 'vas the slash-and-burn nature of the assault. The perpetrators were clearly interested in total destruction and embarrassment-and they achieved both goals, with a full half of the company's network annihilated. ......Read More

  • Mass Customization Reconsidered

    Are today’s groundbreaking technologies now making it possible?
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    September/October 2015

    Those of us in supply chain and operations management recognize the challenges and opportunities that significantly influence how companies choose to respond to customer demand. Could it be that technological advances—3D printing, for example—now are making it possible to seriously consider mass customization?......Read More

  • The Insomnia Question

    New research reveals what keeps supply chain managers up at night
    • Patricia J. Daugherty
    • David Closs
    September/October 2015

    The Beyond the Horizon research project investigates current supply chain practices and identifies what assets and tactics supply chain executives think will be required to compete. During the more than 50 in-depth interviews with hundreds of executives, one key discussion topic was what keeps them awake at night. ......Read More

  • A Welcome Interruption?

    Big companies still testing the waters of disruptive innovation
    • Richard E. Crandall
    September/October 2015

    When was the last time you used a pay phone? For that matter, when was the last time you even saw one? Public telephones are a thing of the past. Most people have a smartphone, which also acts as a camera, calendar, alarm clock, navigation system, and a host of other gadgets.......Read More

  • Job Ready

    Productivity and customization top robot résumés
    • Ingrid Ostby
    September/October 2015

    Although robotic technology has existed for decades, its true business value still is emerging. And that value has little to do with completely replacing human workers. ......Read More

  • The New Product Challenge

    Tactics for surviving the next decade of innovation
    • Philip E. Quigley
    July/August 2015

    Recently, I’ve been struck by the number of companies publicly discussing their aggressive new product development plans. General Motors has announced that its Cadillac branch will introduce about one new automobile per year for the next decade. Ford intends to rebuild its Lincoln division with a series of new cars.......Read More

  • Reshaping an Industry

    Tectonic shifts in supply chain and operations management
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    January/February 2015

    Are we supply chain and operations management professionals experiencing a tectonic shift in how we execute our responsibilities? Will our approach to tackling challenges soon become obsolete?......Read More

  • Peril and Prospect

    Examining the effect of plastics in the supply chain
    • Antonio Galvao
    September/October 2014

    Each year, more than 280 million metric tons of plastic are produced globally. This reflects a dramatic increase in production since the beginning of the last century, when this versatile material was first introduced.......Read More

  • The Connected Reality

    Exploring the internet of things and its supply chain prospects
    • Richard E. Crandall
    September/October 2014

    There are about seven billion humans living today, and about one-third use the internet. However, the number of consumer products and devices in use is even greater. What if all these products, or even just a piece of them, were connected to the internet? That’s a lot of data.......Read More

  • Insights from Industry Visionaries

    One-on-One with the APICS 2014 general session speakers
    • Elizabeth Rennie
    July/August 2014

    Peter Thum is the founder and former president of Ethos Water, a company that gets clean water and sanitation services to families in developing countries. Mike Walsh is the CEO of consumer innovation lab Tomorrow and author of Futuretainment. ......Read More

  • New Dimensions

    How 3D printing may change the scope of industry
    • David Robb
    • Julie Kim
    July/August 2014

    It was only a few years ago that we heard the term “3D printing” for the very first time. The idea that an object could literally be printed into existence seemed far-fetched to say the least—much like something out of a science fiction movie. Skip ahead to today, and 3D printing has become a common topic of conversation, with the business implications of this controversial manufacturing tool suggestive of a significant and global impact.......Read More

  • Ground Control

    Uncovering the imminent applications of drone technology
    • Richard E. Crandall
    July/August 2014

    Drone aircraft have been used by the military for several years to provide reconnaissance in rugged terrain and as weapons to strike specific targets. However, many organizations now are hoping to develop drone technology for business and humanitarian purposes.......Read More

  • A Philosophy of Successful Solutions

    Creating a culture of performance
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    May/June 2014

    There are three broad management approaches that companies use to respond to today’s increasingly challenging global supply chains: continuous improvement efforts; real-time information technology solutions; and enhanced collaboration, both on the front and back ends of the supply chain.......Read More

  • How to Disrupt a Business

    And like the results
    • Christopher Jablonski
    September/October 2013

    Jeremy Gutsche is founder of the crowdsourced trends website and author of the award-winning Exploiting Chaos. Here, Gutsche speaks on developing an opportunity-based culture, managing the effects of disruptive innovation, and focusing on your customer. ......Read More

  • New Strategies, New Possibilities

    Succeeding in India’s supply chain
    • Jennifer Proctor
    July/August 2013

    For almost 10 years, Drive India Enterprise Solutions Limited (DIESL), a TATA Enterprise, has helped company decision makers answer tough questions about operating in India. Here, DIESL Chief Financial Officer Behram Sabawala, talks about quality and strategic success. ......Read More

  • Memories and Dreams

    Are you behind or ahead of the changing competitive landscape?
    • John P. Collins
    May/June 2013

    The world has became smaller as the price of transportation, then communication, fell dramatically. Likewise, the competitive landscape—particularly with regard to operational capabilities—continues to change incredibly fast. ......Read More

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