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Southern California Supply Chain Summit Touts Impressive Facts

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According to the Southern California Logistics & Supply Chain Summit featuring executives from Amazon, UPS, the California Trucking Association and more, supply chain has a dramatic impact on the Southern California economy and the world. For example, UPS is the 9th largest airline, has 100,000 trucks, and delivers a mind-boggling 19 million packages a day. Amazon has added 8 million square feet in California in the last 5 years, and every 1 million in square feet turns into 3 million square feet of supporting buildings. Amazon is investing in robotics, solar panels, drones and more. The LA and Long Beach…
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APICS-IE Spring Symposium Panel to Discuss Disruptive Innovations in Logistics

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The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS, the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, will be hosting a meeting on global supply chain trends and strategies at its Disruptive Innovations in Logistics Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium on May 6, in Corona, CA. Expert panelists include Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, Director of the METRANS; Mark Hirzel, Customs Broker for A.N. Deringer, Inc.; Lupe Valdez, Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad; Heidi Chance, Division Manager at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA; and, Steven C. Finley, Vice President of Re-Transportation at Kuehne + Nagel Co. Attendees will gain insight into…
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Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?

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Employee engagement was a hot topic during the “Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage” panel at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum. Did you know that one of the most recent Gallup studies found that 67% of people are not engaged in the workplace? How horrifying is that? Worse yet, what makes up the 67%? 51% are not engaged but 16% are actively disengaged. What? Can you imagine the obstacles to overcome to be successful in an environment where 16% of your team is working against you? What can we do about employee engagement? 1. Involvement– Involve your people in their work. It sounds obvious…
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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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What’s Important in Technology?

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It is quite telling that every executive panelist on the “Professional Pathways in Supply Chain” panel at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum (Walt Disney Company, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and LMA Consulting Group) had a significant focus on technology. Supply chain and technology go hand-in-hand. Thus, what should we be thinking about when it comes to technology? Although many technology topics arose, let’s focus in on three of the ones that pop to mind first: 1. Business intelligence– Every panelist agreed on the importance of business intelligence. In essence, how do you leverage data to see trends, make decisions, etc.? For example, Intelligent…
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Collaborating on Economic Forecasts

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I met with the Claremont McKenna team that puts together the Inland Empire economic forecast last week. They are well known in the Inland Empire for being on the forefront of the economics forecast and finding ways to bring unique insights into the process. Therefore, they were interested in what I see in terms of outsourcing, nearsourcing, insourcing and other key trends in manufacturing. Economic factors can have a significant impact on your business. I learned quite a lot about this from my Director of Purchasing when I was a VP of Operations many years ago. It was simply amazing — and…
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Drucker Supply Chain Forum Executives Share What They Look for in Supply Chain Professionals

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What are executives looking for in supply chain professionals? That was the topic of the panel I participated in at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum with executives from the Walt Disney Company, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. So, what is the consensus? Broad knowledge– Supply chains are global and more complex in today’s world. Thus, a broad and diverse set of skills is required to be successful in the field. If you have the opportunity to try a new area you wouldn’t have requested, give it a shot. You might just enjoy it. Worst case, you’ll have built skills that will come in…
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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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3 Takeaways from the Drucker Supply Chain Forum

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At the Drucker Supply Chain Forum held recently, there was a panel of distribution executives from Amazon, Toyota, QVC and Komar discussing “Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage”. I’ve found that if all of my clients (or my best clients) have something in common or emphasize the same point, I should pay attention. In this case, the themes noted by every successful executive included: 1. Core values– interestingly, we found that establishing and living by core values was integral to success when I was a VP of Operations for PaperPak. The executive panel agreed. Do you have values? Do your employees know…
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The Drucker Supply Chain Forum

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I participated on the panel, “Professional Pathways in Supply Chain” at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum last week. Interesting to note that the panel was all women — definitely not typical but nice to see! I was joined by executives from Walt Disney, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. It was a lot of fun, and I learned as much as I contributed. We had some engaging discussions about the future of supply chain and the types of professionals that will be needed. For details on these topics, please tune in to my recent Profit Through People newsletter. However, one of the keys I…
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