Tag Archive: innovation

Amazon’s Deal with Party City & More Competitors

By
While I presented on the Amazon Effect to a specialty group of ProVisors (trusted advisors) members focused on manufacturing and distribution recently, Amazon was firming up a deal with Party City to offer an assortment of items. This is just the latest in a stream of retailers collaborating with the competition.  Party City follows Kohl’s (see the sign in the picture below), Sears, Nike, Chico’s and more. This is especially interesting because at our recent Harvey Mudd executive roundtable event, almost every CEO mentioned a time when he/she collaborated with the competition.  Perhaps we should be keeping our mind open…
View Article




U.S. #3 in Global Manufacturing Scorecard

By
According to a new Brookings Institution report, the United States ranks near the top for overall manufacturing environment.  The report evaluated policies and regulations, taxes, costs, workforce quality and infrastructure and innovation.  The only two countries to rank higher are the United Kingdom (#1) and Switzerland (#2).  The high tax rate and healthcare costs and the lack of government grants/ loans kept the U.S. out of the top spot. The study also measured manufacturing output and manufacturing employment.  China ranked #1 in manufacturing output with the U.S. just behind in second place whereas Poland ranked #1 in manufacturing employment (with…
View Article




Manufacturing & California are on Fire!

By
According to Industry Week and the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing is on fire! Manufacturers’ optimism registered 95.1% – the highest level EVER recorded! Manufacturers are projecting historic growth in investments (4.1%), hiring (3.1%) and wages (2.7%).  Projected wage growth is the fastest in 17 years. The bottom line – manufacturing is on fire!           Now to turn general perceptions on its head, Industry Week did a study of the top states for manufacturing jobs and California was #1! Clearly, this was accomplished in a state that doesn’t favor manufacturing jobs (even though they pay well).  Manufacturing…
View Article




Robots Taking on Pharmaceuticals & Food?

By
According to the Wall Street Journal, robots are taking on pharmaceuticals and food preparation.  In pharmaceuticals, companies like Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline are investing heavily in automation to radically change the process of drug discovery.   If robots can handle thousands of samples around the clock (although costs will decrease or be reallocated to more valuable tasks), these results pale in comparison with the vast opportunity to develop drugs quicker! Are you radically re-thinking and innovating with speed in mind? Meanwhile, a burger joint will open in San Francisco that makes $6 burgers entirely by robot.  Creator is betting that robots can create…
View Article




The Amazon Effect Remains Hot

By
Our marketing guru asked whether we should start talking about other topics aside from the Amazon Effect since there are a vast number of key topics occurring in manufacturing and distribution, and she wondered if it was becoming stale (and it’s her job to make us look at timely as possible). The answer came in from all angles – conference leaders continue to request this topic, news reporters continue to ask about it (including the Wall Street Journal in a recent conversation) and everyone is STILL talking about it. For example, when the Ontario Chamber CEO mentioned this topic for…
View Article




Additive Manufacturing & GE’s 3D-Printed Aircraft Engine

By
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,…
View Article




Harvey Mudd Student Projects & Innovations Related to Cancer

By
Earlier this week I attended some clinic presentations at Harvey Mudd and the value of innovation hit home! The type of education and experiences you provide for your employees and team members will make a difference. Do you find a way to provide an experience?
View Article




Logistics Innovation – Where is it Going?

By
The global logistics industry will grow from its current hefty size of $8 trillion to $23 trillion by 2023 – what a sharp contrast!
View Article




What Do Sears and Amazon Have in Common?

By
Thanks to my client Dan Vest, I read a fascinating article about Sears and Amazon. Who knew Sears and Amazon had so much in common? Pretty startling! The Reader’s Digest version is as follows: Sears was the former Amazon about 100 years ago, growing 50-fold within a decade with its world-famous catalog and then transforming from a mailing company to a brick-and-mortar giant. They were the everything store with an uncanny feel for consumer demand. Sound familiar? So what might we learn from history and paying attention to trends? What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise? Perhaps Sears…
View Article




Electric Car Investment Surges Among Big and Unexpected Names

By
Dyson just announced it will build a radically different electric car by 2020. What is particularly interesting is that Dyson is not who you would expect to get into electric cars. They are spending far more (one billion £) to develop the car than they are on the rest of their traditional business lines (vacuums and air filters). Obviously, they see vast potential. Similarly, Mercedes is aggressively targeting Tesla with a $1 billion electric push. Not only that, they are doing it in the U.S. – in Alabama to be specific. Electric car investments are stimulating a billion here and a billion there… What Should We…
View Article