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  • The Unique U-Shaped Effect of Automation on Today’s Labor

    • Dave Turbide
    March/April 2017
    Automation continues to be a very significant factor in the loss of manufacturing jobs. Ever-increasing productivity is a two-edged sword as fewer workers are needed to produce more goods. ......Read More
  • Data-Driven Site Selection

    • Xiao You
    • Shawn Tay
    January/February 2017
    Because the world is always changing, the general rules and systems relating to various manufacturing locations also are constantly in flux. In this uncertain environment, the decision of where to establish production sites must be supported with as much up-to-date and accurate analysis as possible. This helps ensure that the ultimate location choice is the wisest one possible given the best available information.......Read More
  • The New “Have It Your Way”

    Can a more personalized customer experience make your company king?
    • Philip E. Quigley
    September/October 2016
    My last couple of semesters teaching at California State University, Fullerton were very interesting, to say the least. During class discussions, it became quite clear to me that young people are putting some very specific demands on today’s companies. Put simply, they want products the way they want them. Said another way, they want to customize products and services to meet their specific desires and needs—and they want their items immediately and at a reasonable price.......Read More
  • An SPC Lesson from the NFL?

    Middle-ground strategies keep products within control limits
    • Dave Turbide
    January/February 2016
    ​Near the end of the 2014–2015 National Football League (NFL) playoff series, the New England Patriots were accused of using under-inflated footballs to gain an advantage in the semi-final game. The controversy was quickly labeled “Deflategate” by the news media, and the team and its quarter back, Tom Brady, were punished.......Read More
  • Part Number Overload

    APICS principles help control the chaos
    • Elizabeth Rennie
    September/October 2015
    Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) is one of five Lockheed Martin business areas. The professionals at MFC design, develop, manufacture, and support advanced combat, missile, rocket, manned, and unmanned systems for NASA, the US Air Force, the US Army, the US Marine Corps, the US Navy, and numerous foreign allies. MFC also provides a wide range of products and services to the global civil nuclear power industry and military green power initiatives. ......Read More
  • Engineering Better Methods

    Break down silos and find the root causes of delays
    • Ron Crabtree
    September/October 2014
    Consider the late release of engineering to production. This often is the result of a perfect storm of issues. The primary culprit is severely compressed production cycles. ......Read More
  • The Next Wave of Sourcing

    Responding to the limitations of offshoring
    • Richard E. Crandall
    May/June 2014
    “Best,” “in,” “near,” “next,” “off,” “on,” “out,” “re,” “right,” and “smart.” What do these terms have in common? They are all modern prefixes that can be applied to “shoring.”......Read More
  • Wrestling with Pull Techniques

    Incorporating lean methodology doesn’t have to be a tug-of-war
    • Dave Turbide
    May/June 2014
    Why wouldn’t every manufacturer want to operate in a pull environment? The answer is simple: Pull only operates effectively under certain conditions. When they are not present, pull is not a viable strategy. However, operations managers still can incorporate lean ideas and tools to improve production—in fact, many have successfully changed their operating conditions to be more in line with lean methodologies. ......Read More
  • Redefining Supply Chain Environments with Pack to Order

    • Rameshwar Dubey
    • V.G. Venkatesh
    Traditionally, the four production focuses have been make to stock, make to order, assemble to order, and engineer to order (also known as design to order). However, in recent years, production environments have evolved along with the complexities of today’s supply chain, with product handling concepts and frameworks likewise evolving. ......Read More
  • Perfecting Supply Chain Flow

    • Kevin Duggan
    Increasingly, companies are striving to achieve operational excellence—not just in manufacturing, but in all areas of business. One component of operational excellence in manufacturing is designing an effective flow with the ability to visually distinguish normal from abnormal flow. ......Read More
  • Designing Product Families

    The supply chain professional’s role in modular platform systems
    • Jonathan Thatcher
    July/August 2013
    Moving to a modular platform tests an organization’s alignment of strategy to tactics. How you and your department communicate challenges and address them early on are important success factors.......Read More
  • Experience Counts

    Learning curves lead to production know-how and savings
    • Alex J. Shrom
    May/June 2013
    Experience curves can project improvement forward to predict product costs for both annual and multi-year planning. They are surprisingly easy to create in a simple spreadsheet. ......Read More
  • The Who’s Who of New Product Development

    Making sure your team members are on task
    • Philip E. Quigley
    March/April 2013
    New product launches are critical to the success of a company—and a major challenge. Nothing is easy, and there is no place to hide when things go wrong. ......Read More
  • Going Where the Action Is

    The trends and outlooks of production and services sourcing
    • Christopher Jablonski
    March/April 2013
    Karthik Natarajan of Mahindra Satyam speaks with APICS magazine about the current state and future prospects of emerging markets, as well as the influences and consequences surrouding the choice of manufacturing operations location. ......Read More
  • The Makings of a Great Master Production Schedule

    • Jeremy Sauer
    The master production schedule is the cornerstone for synchronization, drives resource requirements, aligns production goals, and authorizes both purchasing and manufacturing to supply components to the finished schedule at the right time. ......Read More
  • Lessons from the Toyota Production System

    Exploring the advantages and challenges of lean
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    January/February 2013
    The Toyota Production System started as a simple edict to eliminate waste, then morphed first into a Just-in-Time philosophy and, later, lean manufacturing. ......Read More
  • The Jury Is In

    What the smartphone patent battle means for today’s supply chain leaders
    • Philip E. Quigley
    September/October 2012
    A decision in the Apple v. Samsung patent case has been announced, and most see it as a decisive victory for Apple. There is now a lot of debate on what the consequences will be for companies and consumers alike.......Read More
  • Feedback from the Field

    A key success factor in new product development
    • Philip E. Quigley
    November/December 2011
    Information and feedback on products should be collected from all personnel and customers. The challenge is making sure the data are fresh and are gathered in a cost-effective manner.......Read More
  • Lessons Learned: Expediting Is Easy, Accountability Is Difficult

    • Randall Schaefer
    Expediting is necessary when schedule changes cannot be accommodated by tools used to organize production. Production managers must determine whether the cause of an expedite action is external or internal and track and attack the likely causes. ......Read More
  • Modeling Sustainable Manufacturing

    • Elizabeth Rennie
    It's a classic business dilemma: Rapidly growing revenue with steeply declining margins. The lessons in Hershman and Hammer’s Faster, Cheaper, Better on how the right metrics shape behavior are far-reaching and can be applied at any business. ......Read More