All around us we keep hearing about disruptive technologies being developed. These are game changers that interrupt business as usual and force people and companies to adapt to a new environment.
For example, there are driverless cars being tested in Japan that could seriously change the revenue sources as well as the long-held policies of insurance companies, police forces, public utilities, and parking lots, just to name a few.
And then there’s 3D printing, which has the potential to change not only consumer manufacturing operations but home construction, food production, and many other industries.
What about inventory management? What disruptive technology is in the works to shake things up in this important area of running a business?
Here are a few developments that fit the bill by making advanced inventory management tools available to more companies and also making them easier to use: Continue reading
The U.S. economy is holding steady and jobs still haven’t fully recovered from the recession several years ago, but that hasn’t stopped the manufacturing industry from having a great year in 2013. The future looks even brighter for it, too.
Here are 10 positive signs that should give us hope about the health of the U.S. manufacturing industry, as a whole, from Business Insider and Bloomberg: Continue reading
The Christmas season is the biggest time of the year for sales across the country. But on the flipside it also leads to the biggest returns of the year as people face buyer’s remorse, incorrect sizes, lack of funds, or other problems and decide to send merchandise back where it came from.
It’s a scary (and poorly reported) fact that one-third of all products sold online are returned. In the virtual world where people can’t try on clothes or make sure they like all the features on pieces of hardware before purchasing them, you’ve got to expect that mistakes will be made and people will need to return items from time to time.
But one-third still seems pretty extreme. There are some cases where people habitually take advantage of lenient return policies to try out expensive products they have no intention of keeping. Businesses need to balance the legitimate need customers have to return products with the potential abuse that can come from being too open.
How can you minimize returns and keep your customers happy? Here are five ideas, which are primarily aimed at ecommerce retailers: Continue reading
A little over a decade ago, inventory management software was just starting to reach small and midsize businesses. It’s been an uphill battle, but many SMBs are now convinced that automating their inventory management processes is the best way to save money and compete with large companies. Continue reading
Somewhere between The Matrix and The Jetsons is the future of robotic technology. As the prices of robotic equipment, maintenance, and implementation go down, the technology will be implemented more and more in manufacturing and other industries.
Jobs that can be automated most likely will be eventually. Rote, low-skill tasks are the first that are being automated. For example, Amazon invested heavily in warehouse management robots to cut down on labor expenses and improve its efficiency in fulfilling orders. Continue reading
I recently watched a video about Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) that made me laugh, and, believe me, it’s not very often that a description of MRP makes me laugh. I thought manufacturing and inventory management were supposed to be dry, boring topics. Not so, according to the makers of this video.
They took the tune from the “ABC” song by the Jackson 5 and wrote their own lyrics to explain the following topics in a creative and fun way: Continue reading
It’s time to get rid of the outmoded concept of manufacturing as a rigid industry and embrace the flexibility that is driving modern manufacturing. Here are four ways you can start: Continue reading
In the next five years, the manufacturing landscape could completely change, according to Deloitte’s 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index.
Most of the highest-producing members of the European Union are also expected to drop significantly in their ability to compete with other nations. These include Germany, Britain, France, and Italy. The United States may also fall, unless it takes certain steps to maintain its edge in several areas.
What is driving these changes in the manufacturing industry? Here are several of them: Continue reading
By James Shores
A recent Forbes article by Joel Kotkin provides a concise analysis of Manufacturing growth across the United States, highlighting strong uptrends specific to varying regions. From the Great Lakes to Seattle, Houston, Nashville, even Salt Lake City, the resurgence of manufacturing jobs and businesses appears to share several common ties. Continue reading