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Amazon Fears Driving Supplier Price Concessions at Costco

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Amazon continues to wreak havoc on supply chains worldwide.  A client that does not compete directly with Amazon forwarded an article on Costco’s new price pressures on suppliers in response to Amazon concerns.  She said that these types of industry moves were creating disruption and price pressure in her industry, even though unrelated to consumer products.  Thus, we better pay attention!   According to an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, Costco’s remarks were the first time a retailer in their coverage has explicitly admitted exacting price concessions from suppliers. That is a BIG deal!  Costco’s CFO has said the brands need…
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Technologies of Disruption & E-Commerce

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I participated on the Amazon Effect: Play or Pass Panel at the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire’s Manufacturing Summit.  B.J. Patterson, Dan Vest and I had an interesting discussion about the technologies of disruption.  Certainly Amazon has led the way with several of these…. For example, e-commerce directly correlates to Amazon.  Who doesn’t want to order 1 toothbrush or 1 can of carpet cleaner at a time and expects it to arrive within 24-48 hours?  It appears as though we all do! Yet we don’t think about what it takes behind the scenes to make this happen. For example, the…
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Manufacturing Expands at the Fastest Rate in 14 Years

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According to ISM (Institute of Supply Management), manufacturing expanded more than it has in 14 years in February – it is on fire!  Improving global economies and firm business investment are fueling this expansion. The factory index climbed to 60.8 from 59.1. Export orders are also up from 62.8 from 59.8 which is the fourth consecutive improvement and the longest stretch in six years.  Are you taking advantage of this manufacturing boom? How can you? Coincidentally a recent article was on exports – perhaps that is one area of opportunity? It appears to be for the vast majority of U.S.…
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What IS the Supply Chain?

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Certainly, we are well-known in supply chain circles; however, what does that mean?  This topic has come up somewhat frequently lately – should we call this position an Operations Manager or a Supply Chain Manager?  Which will get us the best fit talent? Because we are known as supply chain experts, we continue to talk about the supply chain even though LOTS of people – including potential clients – are unsure what in the world that means. For a while we talked about operations but that definitely didn’t provide the appropriate vision since our passion surrounds providing bold customer promises…
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Have You Thought of Crossing Borders Lately?

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There was an export panel at the Manufacturers’  Council of the Inland Empire 7th Annual Summit, and it brings to light the vast opportunity of export.  Additionally, I had a lunch with a top international attorney and an international research expert recently, and it opened my eyes further on the topic of export.  Why do we always think about import but forget to export? Less than 1% of America’s 30 million companies export and less than 39% of US manufacturers export.  Of those that export, 58% export to only 1 country. Why? What is going on? In the same breath,…
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A Human Capital Checkup

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In honor of the Innovation Awards presented at the 7th Annual Manufacturers’ Summit in February, it seems appropriate to discuss the critical importance of human capital.  Innovation occurs with the engagement and involvement of your people. That’s why there is a specific category of the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire’s innovation awards for just this topic.   Have you ever thought about how to answer these questions: Why is HR a transaction department?  (and therefore not part of the executive team) In the vast majority of organizations (big and small), HR is solely or mainly focused on benefits, payroll…
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Additive Manufacturing & GE’s 3D-Printed Aircraft Engine

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More and more can be achieved with additive manufacturing – it is the wave of the future.  The latest feat is an aircraft engine.  GE’s new turboprop engine shows what can be achieved with 3D printing.  More than a third of the components of this engine can be produced through additive manufacturing which will power Textron Aviation’s new Cessna Denali.  Although additive manufacturing isn’t taking over the world yet, it is certainly a big part of our future. Are you evaluating 3D printing? What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise? Undoubtedly, whether you relate to aerospace or not,…
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Case in Point – Should You Speed Up Your M&A Plans?

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The merger and acquisition market has slowed down due to political, economic and tax uncertainty. Might it be the opportune time to sell quickly to maximize value? If you are thinking about it, perhaps it is time to take a look…
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