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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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  • Preparing for the New Age of Cyberrisk

    Aug 18, 2017
    Malware has crippled banks, railway systems and power companies, but the Associated Press (AP) reported last week that manufacturers increasingly are the victims of cyberattacks too.
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  • Building Sophisticated Supply Chains in India

    Aug 11, 2017
    In my discussions and travels, I often meet engineers who have become supply chain professionals. To me, that makes a lot of sense. I think engineers, like supply chain experts, seek to make sense out of what appears chaotic and complex. Ask anybody with global experience, and they will tell you that supply chains and manufacturing
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  • The Next Frontier for Robots: Picking

    Aug 04, 2017
    Warehouse automation systems have been around for a long time, but one task has eluded robots: picking. But that is about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that robot developers, spurred by the growth in e-commerce, are working on robot systems that can retrieve items off the shelves and pack them for shipping.
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  • Bringing Innovation into Big Business

    Jul 28, 2017
    Innovation has been a buzz word in business for at least the last decade. Yet large companies still struggle to capture new ideas like those presented by startups and entrepreneurs. In the latest issue of Harvard Business Review, Bharat Kapoor, Kevin Nolan and Natarajan Venkatakrishnan outline how GE is aiming to seize some innovation magic through FirstBuild.
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  • Australia’s Fragile Energy Supply and Demand

    Jul 21, 2017
    Australia is the second-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world. However, in spite of its natural resource volume, the country is experiencing its own energy crisis, including frequent blackouts and a lack of domestic reserves. Last week, The Wall Street Journal described the country’s challenges in “How Energy-Rich Australia Exported Its Way into an Energy Crisis.”
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  • Food Brands Fighting to Find Winning Market-Share Formulas

    Jul 14, 2017
    It used to be that if you looked in any American pantry, you saw some quintessential items, such as Kellogg’s cereal, Campbell’s soup and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Now, if you open that door, you likely will see healthier, more natural alternatives and less-expensive store brands. Last week, The Wall Street Journal laid out the challenges being faced by big food brands in “So Long, Hamburger Helper: America’s Venerable Food Brands are Struggling.”
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  • Global Companies, Local Thinking

    Jul 07, 2017
    In today’s increasingly connected world, it almost seems that international trade could not be easier. Companies around the globe can conduct business via the internet, and transportation and logistics professionals ensure that products reach customers in an efficient and timely manner. However, some experts are saying that the modern market actually is not trending toward globalization but instead toward localization.
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  • Amazon Robots Set to Transform Whole Foods’ Warehouses

    Jun 30, 2017
    Since Amazon announced its intention to buy Whole Foods Market on June 16, news outlets have been exploring all the ways this combination of companies will influence online retailing and grocery strategies. This week, Bloomberg highlighted how Amazon may transform Whole Foods warehouses with its robots.
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  • Alphabet Soup: TCO, ROI and YOU

    Jun 23, 2017
    Supply chain professionals know how to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO), but now other leaders and decision makers are starting to pay closer attention. This week, Huffington Post featured “Manufacturers are Taking Aim at ‘Total Cost’ With On-Demand Manufacturing,” by Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Pronto Labs.
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  • Adopting Artificial Intelligence: Make Sure You Are Ready with Analytics

    Jun 16, 2017
    When reading all the latest business journals and even Supply Chain Management Now, you likely have heard about the wonders of artificial intelligence (AI). Like an infomercial, experts quoted in articles tout the cutting-edge solutions and business-transforming properties of AI. However, in a June 7 article in Harvard Business Review, Nick Harrison and Deborah O’Neill warn against adopting AI if you haven’t yet mastered analytics.
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  • Securing Supplies is No Game for Nintendo

    Jun 09, 2017
    In today’s competitive tech world, the fight is not only for customers but for parts as well. Last week, The Wall Street Journal outlined how Nintendo is competing with companies that make mobile phones, computer servers and other tech products to get the components it needs for its new Switch gaming machine.
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  • Discovering the Keys to Successful Supplier Partnerships

    Jun 02, 2017
    When the economy is tight, business leaders seek to cut costs. However, taking a more holistic approach to business-to-business (B2B) supplier relationships could add value and save more money in the end. Recently, Gallup explored the top three characteristics of successful B2B supplier relationships.
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  • When Innovation Goes Bad

    May 26, 2017
    In this fast-paced, technologically advanced world, there’s no such thing as excessive innovation — right? In the May/June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review, Martin Mocker and Jeanne W. Ross suggest that too much innovation creates too many product lines, systems and complexities. This combination leads to diminished revenues and higher expenses.
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  • GE’s Big Investment: Digital Factories

    May 19, 2017
    What does the digital factory of the future look like? GE is working to build one version of it today by investing in digital technology to transform its factories, generate new revenue and increase profits, Reuters’ Alwyn Scott reports. GE has spent $4 billion developing digital products, which range from tiny sensors in jet engines to augmented reality and software that can process large volumes of data.
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  • Extra Alcohol Means Extra Hassle for Canadian Gin Recall

    May 12, 2017
    In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is almost a month away, and some true believers out there espouse the upcoming season as the perfect time for gin and tonics—that refreshing, botanical and slightly fizzy cocktail. Right now in Canada, those cocktails or anything made with Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin have the potential for an extra kick no matter what the season. Provincial authorities have issued a recall for bottles that could contain 77 percent alcohol instead of the usual 40 percent
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  • Supply Chain Tips for Small Businesses

    May 05, 2017
    Last week, The Telegraph highlighted examples of supply chain strategies for small businesses that are ready to grow. “Suppliers can make or break a smaller business, especially when it’s scaling up,” Lucy Douglas writes. “Securing sufficient product or service to support expansion is a minimum requirement for growth.”
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  • Tesla Attempts to Transform Car Manufacturing

    Apr 28, 2017
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk is working to revolutionize the way cars are manufactured.
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  • Women in Manufacturing and Supply Chain

    Apr 21, 2017
    This week, we celebrate APICS’s third year as a cosponsor of the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards, which recognize women in manufacturing who exemplify leadership within their companies. Last night, during an inspiring reception and gala, 100 honorees and 30 emerging leaders were recognized as the best-of-the-best women in manufacturing. Supply chain was well represented in those ranks, with 12 APICS members among those acknowledged.
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  • Uberizing the Manufacturing Industry

    Apr 14, 2017
    Companies within the service industry are changing the concept of ownership and the ways consumers access goods and services — from movies and TV shows to places to stay and means of transportation. Now this trend is making its way into the manufacturing industry to connect small businesses in need of prototypes and products to manufacturers with idle machines.
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  • Truck Drivers (Still) Wanted

    Apr 07, 2017
    Anywhere you look, automation is taking the place of workers—from grocery stores and the bank to factory floors. Autonomous vehicles might appear to be on the cusp of taking truck drivers off the road, but researchers at the Brookings Institution contend that statistics do not support that reasoning, according to their March 21 article “Automated Trucking’s Rapid Rise Overlooks the Need for Skilled Labor.”
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