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APICS Supply Chain Management Now

APICS Supply Chain Management Now gives exclusive commentary from APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE. This weekly e-newsletter offers insights into current events and supply chain, logistics and operations management topics and how they all relate to the APICS body of knowledge.

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  • U.S. Border Tax Creates Uncertainty

    Mar 31, 2017
    In the United States, next on the Trump administration’s legislative agenda is the budget. Republican leaders have proposed an overhaul to the U.S. tax system, and manufacturers large and small are weighing what it means for them.
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  • Circular Economics

    Mar 24, 2017
    The economy is changing rapidly, and companies that innovate have a better chance of achieving profitability and success. Last week, Fast Company published “How Netflix-ication Can Deliver A Waste-Free Circular Economy,” which highlights the shift of products to services. Think of CDs to Spotify, DVDs to Netflix, cars to Uber, and computer storage to the cloud.
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  • Selling Tea from Africa to Africans

    Mar 17, 2017
    Next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, according to the Tea Association of the USA. Another fun fact: People have been drinking tea for 5,000 years. Fast forward to today, and Kenya has become the world’s top tea-exporting nation. However, its people haven’t been able to enjoy the best of its export. Instead, they have been left with the tea dust and residue. One company, Gold Crown Beverages Ltd., is hoping to change that, The Wall Street Journal reports.
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  • Overcoming Track-and-Trace Roadblocks

    Mar 10, 2017
    Tracking and tracing products is an ongoing challenge for many supply chain professionals. Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Wal-Mart Stores, shared with The New York Times his traceability woes when monitoring product movements from farm to shelf. This task becomes especially important when identifying instigator ingredients during salmonella outbreaks, he says. To ease Yiannas’s concerns, IBM reached out to Wal-Mart Stores with an intriguing digital solution—blockchain—that could make this process much easier.
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  • Plane Manufacturers’ Supply Chain and Production Challenges

    Mar 03, 2017
    Airplane manufacturers are pushing for production increases, but their supply chains are not always meeting their marks. Last week, The Wall Street Journal published “Where Are the Toilets? Order Glut Stretches Giant Jet Makers to Limit.” According to the article, Airbus and Boeing are missing more than toilets; they need engines and seats, too, in order to deliver their completed planes to customers.
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  • Keeping Tabs on Critical Supplies

    Feb 24, 2017
    Although many industries have fully embraced the benefits of automated inventory management systems, hospitals have yet to catch up. A new report from Cardinal Health and SERMO has uncovered that 78 percent of surveyed hospitals still use manual methods of inventory management, according to RevCycle Intelligence.
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  • Going High-Tech with Wine

    Feb 17, 2017
    Wine making may be an ancient art, but many wine producers now use up-to-the-minute technology to gain competitive advantages in this profitable industry, according to a February 10 article in TechCrunch.
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  • Right Turns for Efficiency

    Feb 10, 2017
    Today when I write left and right, I’m not talking about politics. Instead, I’m talking about UPS drivers who are instructed not to turn left into oncoming traffic—or turn right in countries where people drive on the left side of the road. Last week, Quartz published an article highlighting how this approach helps UPS save 10 million gallons of gas a year.
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  • Logistics Trends and Challenges

    Feb 03, 2017
    Businesses around the world are reiterating or shifting their priorities as a result of the new US president and expected policy changes. This week, DHL, a provider of international express mail, freight transportation, e-commerce, and supply chain management services, released survey results examining US business priorities for 2017. The survey, which was conducted immediately after the November 2016 US election, was distributed to more than 100,000 DHL customers in the United States.
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  • Worker Safety and Supply Chain Audits

    Jan 27, 2017
    This week, The New York Times reported that labor activists are protesting garment factory working conditions in Bangladesh, home to suppliers that work for global brands such as H&M, Gap, Zara, and others.
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  • Shaping Up Shipping Your Goods

    Jan 20, 2017
    As we approach the end of the first month of 2017, supply chain plans for the year should be well underway. However, the consolidation of four global vessel-sharing alliances into three— expected to take effect April 1—has created some uncertainties and potential challenges for shippers and their 2017 plans.
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  • Maximizing Your Partnerships: Automakers, Suppliers, and Self-Driving Cars

    Jan 13, 2017
    At the North American International Auto Show this month in Detroit, automakers are showing the world updates to their new models while also unveiling concept cars that “stir the imagination,” writes Jim Gorzelany for Forbes. At the show, lots of people, including reporters, are investigating the future of self-driving cars.
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  • What Will 2017 Bring to Supply Chains?

    Jan 06, 2017
    Late last week, Forbes published an intriguing piece by Paul Martyn, who had asked experts for their supply chain predictions for 2017. He started his interviews with the statement: “Tell me something I don’t know.” Following are Martyn’s top 5 findings.
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  • Make Habits and Goals, Not Resolutions

    Dec 30, 2016
    Another year is almost over. As we look ahead to 2017, I’m sure many of us are compiling some personal and professional resolutions. With a full, new year ahead, you might be tempted to dream big and resolve to do something life- or career-changing. To make sure you are successful, consider taking some advice from The Daily Utah Chronicle and reframe your resolutions as goals or habits to form in the new year.
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  • A Word of Thanks

    Dec 23, 2016
    At the close of 2016, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support of and engagement with APICS. Through your efforts and feedback, we can ensure that APICS remains the premier association for supply chain management.
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  • Using Augmented Reality to Improve Supply Chains

    Dec 16, 2016
    There are television commercials airing frequently that show people using their smartphones and other accessories to experience virtual reality. The users in these commercials usually are in studios or experiencing it as a part of everyday life. However, The Wall Street Journal contends that this technology could really make an impact in the workplace, specifically on the factory floor.
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  • Using Big Data for Improved ROI

    Dec 09, 2016
    Last week, CIO made the case in “How Manufacturers Make the Most of Machine Data” that supply chain professionals should be working more closely with information technology professionals to collect and use the data machines generate.
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  • Supply Chain Risk: Cargo Theft

    Dec 02, 2016
    The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and retailers and distributors are working hard to meet customers’ needs. However, with more trucks filled with merchandise hitting the roads during the busy buying and shipping season, cargo theft is expected to “surge,” according to NBC Los Angeles.
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  • Sharing Gratitude in the Workplace

    Nov 25, 2016
    Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving in the United States. I know many of us here indulged with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie and then kicked back to enjoy some football. But of course, Thanksgiving also is a time to celebrate the gifts in our lives. Among these, many can count their family and friends, their homes, and their work.
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  • The Drive for Better Production at Tesla

    Nov 18, 2016
    Business Insider published a story this week describing how Tesla CEO Elon Musk might finally have solved his company’s production challenge. For years, Tesla’s demand has outpaced its supply because of production delays. Musk thinks the answer might be in the acquisition of automated manufacturing company Grohmann Engineering in Prüm, Germany.
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