Asia's retail centers have made themselves into experiential destinations sporting libraries, gardens and art exhibits as well as mixed-use elements such as hotels, offices and apartments. "It's a core reality shift," said Scott Malkin, founder and chairman of Value Retail.
Research and development and acquisitions create a constant pipeline of innovation for healthy foods manufacturer Landec, CEO Molly Hemmeter says. Producing innovative products, she explains, helps the company offset challenges such as rising costs, labor issues and changing consumer buying habits.
Digital technologies present an opportunity for industrial companies to get to know their customers better and drive improvements in their selling and pricing processes, according to this McKinsey & Co. analysis. To succeed, companies must know their customers at a granular level and be able to condense all transactional data into a single stream of information, the authors write.
Aerospace component manufacturer R.E. Darling made quality a core part of its company culture by getting leadership buy-in and identifying key departments where performance mattered most, Stephanie Inners and Louis Columbus write. "Also central to the effort is relying on an agile production environment and daily standup meetings to review the progress on special projects and orders," they write.
Industrial control system security should be a focal point in 2019, especially as companies continue to deploy industrial internet of things technologies without strong safeguards, writes Leon Hounshell of Greenwave Systems. "Serious review, investment and a renewed commitment to security best practices are required across IIoT now," Hounshell writes.
US factories saw sales rise 8% in September year-over-year, but inventories only grew 5%, according to Commerce Department data, showcasing how logistics problems are limiting some manufacturers from restocking fast enough. Demand is rising, but a truck driver shortage and a rush to purchase product ahead of tariffs is constraining manufacturing.
Artificial intelligence as a service will make it easy and economical for discrete manufacturers to adopt AI solutions that meet their unique needs, writes Jason Andersen of Stratus. "AI-as-a-Service may become the norm for these discrete manufacturers, just as software-as-a-service is the norm for enterprises today," he writes.
Instrument and control maintenance is key to a high-performance maintenance program, writes William Mostia Jr., a fellow at SIS-TECH Solutions. Subpar instruments lead to production problems and make it harder to respond to abnormalities, leading to potential safety problems, he writes.
Manufacturers facing a talent shortage due to retiring workers and a tightened labor pool can't afford to overlook one key segment -- women in production, says Sheri Plain of the Advancing Female Incumbent Workers in the Manufacturing Industry initiative. The program uses a split training-work schedule to reduce barriers for women entering the field.
Faced with significant pressure, but still a vital component to local communities, small-business retailers "need support now more than ever," writes John Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. Laws driving up costs to operate in the state, putting small businesses at risk, are a main area of concern.