Tag Archive: automation

Manufacturing is HOT

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In the last week, not only have there been several articles about the positive strides manufacturing is making but it also has come up in several presentations we have attended such as the Inland Empire Economic Forecast. Here is a compilation of just a few of the HOT topics and trends.
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Is Supply Chain Top of Mind for Your Business?

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Earlier this week, I spoke on a panel at a ProVisors (a top notch group of trusted advisers) event about supply chain and its impact on the Southern California and Inland Empire economy. The event prompted me to think about whether we are keeping supply chain top of mind (from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing operations – insourced, outsourced or both – to your customers’ customers, inclusive of transportation and logistics networks, IT etc.). It will have a dramatic impact on your business success, and, in Southern California’s case, the economy. For example, is the Amazon Effect (the notion of 24/7,…
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Technology – Should We Take It or Leave It?

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Technology is a hot topic. Artificial intelligence. Autonomous vehicles. 3D printers and additive manufacturing. Business intelligence. We can’t stop talking about it. Many times, these topics are somewhat like fads. Even though there are benefits, we can get carried away and not even pay attention to whether we are gaining value. Thus, we should take a step back and ask a few questions: 1. Do we need the technology or is it just cool? 2. What value does the technology provide? Does it yield a return on investment? What is that return on investment? 3. What is most valued by…
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Robots & Demographics

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According to Industry Week and Moody’s Investor Service, there could be a significant upside to robots with the near-term demographic time bomb in Japan and Germany. Certainly, work will need to continue to get done; however, as more and more workers retire, that could become a challenge. Thus, robots might have another advantage in addition to automation – as the percentage of workers over 65 is expected to soar in both Japan and Germany, robots might substitute for labor. Also, both countries are early robot adopters. Time is ripe for robots. What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?…
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Are Robots Good or Bad?

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According to the Material Handling & Logistics, robots are slashing U.S. wages and worsening pay inequality. That is certainly a provocative statement! According to new research by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo, one additional robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio from 0.18 percentage points to 0.34 percentage points and slashes wages from 0.25% to 0.5%. Regardless of the exact figures, it is certainly accurate that robots will replace certain types of jobs. Is this good or bad? It is for you to decide based on your circumstances. Technology and automation can keep you competitive and “save” higher…
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The L.A. Times & Automation

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I toured the Los Angeles Times last week and was impressed with the automation. Although newspapers seems like an old business, it was impressive in pure size and volume with minimal people. The business sprawls 2400 acres and is run with 200 people. There were robots to move huge rolls of paper through the facility. There was automated equipment that brought the papers from the machine to the next room over where it was compiled into stacks. We were fortunate to go inside a paper machine and see just how fast the paper ran by (although the example below was…
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Manufacturers Upbeat but Worry About Skills Gap

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According to Industry Week, the Fed’s survey of the economy expressed optimism; however, it also noted that labor markets are tightening. Since I’m also embarking on refreshing my 2013 Skills Gap research report, thus far, I’ve noted the same concerns for high-skilled positions. I hear far less conversation about lower-skilled positions when it comes to availability (instead I hear about minimum wage concerns); however, the vast majority of my clients require higher-skilled positions. In these cases, it is not always easy — or even attainable — to find the resources needed on a timely basis. What are you doing to get…
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Technologies Transforming Supply Chains

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Modern marvels and new information technologies are transforming supply chains. Automation, robots, AI (artificial intelligence), 3D Printing, Bitcoin technology and the IoT (internet of things) are changing the way we look at supply chains. Are you thinking about any of these technologies down-the-line? Or are you thinking about the impacts of your competitors pursuing them? You should! We partner with clients to keep them at the forefront of these information technologies. At the core, we partner with executives to help them select the optimal ERP system to support their business objectives. Certainly, automation has always been a hot topic. Recently,…
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Serving up an ACE in Your ERP Selection and Design

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Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners? They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How? Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and…
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Interested in Growth? Beef Up Systems & Project Management

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Companies are in growth. Every single client is growing – many quite dramatically while others a bit slower, yet growth just the same. Although rapid growth is exciting, it can also be challenging. Systems can provide the perfect tool to leverage for success – and project management is your ticket to ensure success. Growth can be challenging for companies both large and small. Whether the client is still relatively small and concerned with cash flow or whether they are much larger and trying to purchase buildings and machines, growth will bring growing pains. Customers do not care what you have…
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