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  • Reinventing the Production Scheduling Wheel

    • Jaci Souza
    • Alan H. Nall
    • Peter L. King
    September/October 2017

    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

  • Impacts of the Panama Canal Expansion on Global Supply Chains

    • Richard E. Crandall
    January/February 2017

    The Panama Canal opened in 1914 after decades of deadly struggle between humans and nature. The French first attempted to build it but gave up after eight years of torrential rains, mudslides, engineering mistakes, and mosquitoes carrying yellow fever. Americans then took over the project—first getting rid of the mosquitoes and next using state-of-the-art engineering and earth-moving equipment to finish the job. The fact that the canal operated for a century without major modification is a testament to the skill and foresight of its creators (McCullough 1978).......Read More

  • Flying Blind?

    IIOT provides supply chain guidance
    • Dave Turbide
    September/October 2016

    As I drove by my local airport the other day, a blanket of early morning fog obscured the buildings and runways from my view. Although I couldn’t see them, I could clearly hear that airport operations were underway. Jets were taxiing, taking off, and landing despite the low visibility. I am not a pilot, but I tried to imagine what it would be like flying a plane in low-visibility conditions. What a leap of faith it would require to take off and fly at hundreds of miles per hour without being able to see what’s ahead. Of course, modern planes are equipped with radar, GPS, and other sensor technologies that let the pilot perceive what the eyes cannot, even in clear weather.......Read More

  • Following the Bread Crumbs

    Traceability is key to successful recalls
    • Dave Turbide
    March/April 2016

    ​No company wants to have its products recalled. However, if a recall is necessary, the priority is to minimize the ramifications and complete it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Certain industries—such as consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, and automotive, among others—are well acquainted with the need to properly accomplish recalls. However, many other industries also are at risk, and they might not even know it.......Read More

  • RFID at Work

    Improve shop floor visibility with connected business and plant systems
    • Hesham El Deeb
    • Salwa Nassar
    • Adel Ghannam
    September/October 2015

    Pinpointing the location of products and components throughout a facility in real time is crucial for shop floor managers and their employees. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and effective enterprise resources planning (ERP) can significantly improve production control by making it possible to easily read valuable information stored on item tags.......Read More

  • Clear Systems for Asset Management

    The advantages of a visible supply chain
    • Gary A. Smith
    March/April 2015

    In the late 1960s, a toy appeared in the US market called The Visible Man. It was the model of a human with a clear shell that allowed you to observe the inner workings of the human body and the interrelationships of the skeleton, organs, and circulatory system. I remember being fascinated with how the systems of the body interacted to create a unique individual. ......Read More

  • All Geared Up

    Will your business benefit from the many uses of vertical integration?
    • Ron Emery
    September/October 2014

    In order to simplify their supply chains and reduce risk, many organizations are choosing the path of vertical integration. However, the trade-offs sometimes are substantial.......Read More

  • Boost Your Knowledge Transfer

    Managing the silo effect in your company and supply chain
    • Christopher Jablonski
    May/June 2013

    Ray Reagans, PhD, talks about how the silo effect relates to knowledge sharing and exploring the development, types, and components of business networks and how they facilitate communication. ......Read More

  • Enabling Employees to Achieve Speed and Agility

    What trusting your people really means
    • Philip E. Quigley
    March/April 2012

    How committed is your organization to speed and flexibility? Being fast and agile means listening, trusting, and enabling meaningful action. It takes a self-confident leader to really make it work—but it's well worth it. ......Read More

  • Suspicious Beginnings

    What causes mistrust in your supply chain?
    • Ron Crabtree
    May/June 2011

    In today’s constantly shifting business landscape, there exists a crisis of confidence—and trust. The number one reason trust doesn’t exist between you and your employees, customers, and partners is that you lack the motivation to build it. ......Read More

  • Visibility and Value

    Kaizen events for continuous improvement
    • Christopher Jablonski
    September/October 2011

    Kaizen is a Japanese term referring to continuous improvement that centers around the elimination of waste in production. Carolyn Sly and Mary Ann Mauldwin spoke with APICS about how kaizen events can create lasting improvements in organizations. ......Read More