Amazon's Treasure Truck, which travels through neighborhoods selling one product at a time at a discounted price, will expand beyond Seattle, the company said. Customers who sign up for notifications will get a text when the truck rolls into town, and they can buy the item through the Amazon app and stop by the truck to pick it up.
W.W. Grainger increased overall sales in the second quarter by 2% but saw profit decline by 43%, while US operations reported a 1% sales gain and 10.5% profit decline. Chief Financial Officer Ron Jadin will retire this year after serving in the role for nearly a decade.
Avnet is beta testing its Ask Avnet platform, which relies on artificial intelligence to help customers find what they want quickly, writes Hailey Lynne McKeefry. The search engine uses existing information from logged-in users to improve their experience.
MSC Industrial Direct expects its supplier to drive price increases this autumn, though "even if pricing does not return and even if the recent accelerated mix headwinds do not abate, we are still positioned to grow earnings nicely," said CEO and President Erik Gershwind.
The accounts receivable function of a transportation management system must be capable of customizing invoicing and rating, writes Dawn Salvucci-Favier. Allocation options such as shared savings improve efficiency, she writes.
Labor retention is the biggest challenge reported in the Best Practices for Achieving Excellence in Warehouse Operations survey from ARC Advisory Group. Good lighting and warehouse cleanliness are two of nine best practices cited, and committed management is essential, writes Ben Ames.
Identification of mission-critical parts should be a fundamental part of every manufacturer's operations, writes Megan Wild. Crisis-response plans are more effective when written specifically to address failures of these parts, she writes.
Manufacturers become frustrated when machines do not perform to their advertised capacity, writes Steve Clarke of PA Consulting Group. Video, modeling and various testing and engineering tactics can help you understand your machinery and work to maximize available performance, he writes.
Working capital allocated to inventory can be reduced by at least 20% through inventory optimization software, Dave Turbide estimates, based on anecdotal evidence. An optimization solution can also help manufacturers create more sophisticated postponement strategies, he writes.
Industry 4.0 initiatives are more likely to succeed when companies use IT to drive profit, improve internal collaboration, and have leadership buy-in from the top down, among other factors, says Ram Ramasamy of Frost & Sullivan.
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