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APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers his viewpoint on supply chain and the latest APICS news.
Letters to the readers of APICS magazine from Senior Managing Editor Elizabeth Rennie and other members of the editorial staff
The official APICS blog features insights, analyses and ideas from experts and APICS leaders to help advance supply chains.
Each week, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers insights into global news and shares his exclusive commentary connecting current events with supply chain topics.
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APICS research cuts through the clutter and brings you critical ideas and innovations in supply chain management, best practices, how-to steps, and practical advice that give you and your organization a competitive advantage.
“Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon” is an industry-focused initiative with research and educational components. The research was conducted by Michigan State University in conjunction with APICS.
Transportation Journal is an APICS academic journal devoted to presenting new knowledge about the supply chain, logistics and transportation fields.
APICS, through a partnership with The Manufacturing Institute, explores how manufacturing and supply chain can attract, retain and advance women.
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Robots are tools, but some must be looked at from the perspective of labor. Just as pickers a in a fulfillment center wouldn’t be expected to operate without alignment between their role and the operational IT systems, the same is true for certain robots — especially autonomous mobile robots. It is highly recommended to devise a plan for integration to maximize the benefit.......Read More
Gemba is a Japanese word meaning the place where value is created. In construction, it would be the job site. Gemba walks involve getting out of one's chair to watch a process, talking with operators and asking open-ended questions in order to better comprehend the nature of the value being created.......Read More
Robots have made it possible to get work done even more efficiently and by providing information about their operations. It has often seemed that designers were trying to build automated systems to replace workers completely. But recently, there has been a significant shift toward building robots that can work in harmony with humans.......Read More
There is no doubt that 3D printing is transforming supply chain management. In fact, additive manufacturing has the potential to influence the global marketplace at a level equivalent to the harnessing of steam power, the assembly line or robotic production automation.......Read More
Digital twins enable manufacturers to build virtual replicas of systems, processes and products from design and development to the end of their life cycles.......Read More
Proterra Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of zero emission heavy duty vehicles, which are in high demand. With the goal of 100 percent customer satisfac tion, delivery dates can be rigid and aggressive, leaving little room for inefficient flow of product through its assembly processes.......Read More
Creating optimum flow is one of the core principles of lean philosophy. Effective flow enables companies to deliver products and services in a shorter period of time, have significantly less work in process (WIP), and be more flexible and adaptable with changes in customer specifications. There are two types of flow: pull and push.......Read More
For decades, product design, production, sale and use have followed the take, make and dispose industrial model. The manufacturing company takes natural and synthetic resources; converts them to a product; and then sells the item to a consumer, who ultimately uses and then disposes of it. In this model, products are designed to be sold at a low price, are not intended to have long lives and are difficult to service. This means that, when a product breaks, the consumer’s best — and sometimes only — option is to throw it away and buy a new one. The problem is that products that follow this model are quickly using up natural resources and polluting the environment with all types of waste.......Read More
The face of manufacturing has evolved over the course of centuries from the days of handmade goods to the adoption of water- and steam-powered machines, the invention of mass production, the introduction of electronic automation, and now beyond. Companies that have not kept up with these industry transitions throughout the years often have been forced to close their doors. The ones that evolve survive and thrive. ......Read More
For centuries, goods including food, clothing, houses and weaponry were manufactured by hand or with the help of work animals. By the beginning of the 19th century, though, manufacturing began to change dramatically with the introduction of Industry 1.0, and operations rapidly developed from there. Here is an overview of that evolution.......Read More
For supply chains to be fully effective, manufacturing links must be stable, predictable, agile and responsive. One way to accomplish these goals is with product wheels. These scheduling tools organize the variety of products made on any asset in order to optimize campaign lengths and sequences and therefore improve throughput and customer fill rate while reducing cost and inventory.......Read More
Because the fashion industry has evolved this far throughout the course of centuries, there’s no doubt that it will continue to evolve in the years to come. There are countless variations of the potential fashion industries of the future. Here are just a few.......Read More
Apparel supply chains used to be known for producing high-fashion designs with slow response times. Designers and retailers forecast demand a year in advance and tailored their releases by season. As consumer trends have swung toward demanding low prices and fast response times, the apparel industry has shifted dramatically. Today, many businesses are trying to satisfy consumers who expect the products they want to be available right now. And for the most part, companies are succeeding in this endeavor. ......Read More
The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC) recently adopted a less-is-more approach to performance improvement. This organization provides depot maintenance, engineering support and software development for major weapon systems. The facility’s team supports peacetime maintenance requirements, wartime emergency demands, aircraft battle damage repair and ready maintenance of critical items.......Read More
Twenty years ago, large numbers of North American businesses began offshoring in order to reduce their manufacturing costs. Access to cheap labor was compelling, and these companies moved some, if not all, of their facilities to other countries either through wholly owned operations, partnerships with local entities, or independent suppliers.......Read More
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
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 steel industry encompasses both the producers that melt and form steel and the processors that add value by conditioning steel for downstream customers. As a result, trends and shifts in the steel industry significantly influence material costs for automotive, construction, consumer appliance, energy, heavy machinery, and many other sectors.......Read More
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
A few weeks ago, one of my students gave me a copy of an article from The Guardian titled “Mercedes-Benz Swaps Robots for People on Its Assembly Lines.” The story makes the point that the automotive manufacturer has a huge number of options on its cars, including heated or cooled cup holders and four different types of tire-valve caps.......Read More
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