Nordstrom has teamed with robotics companies Attabotics and Tompkins Robotics to create an automated fulfillment center in California designed to speed delivery of beauty products to online shoppers. E-commerce generated about 30% of the upscale department store chain's total net sales last year, and the new facility will also be a distribution center for area stores.
Shipping containers are ideally on the move and full at all times, and technology is making it easier to do this cost-effectively, writes Gary Barraco. "A container management platform facilitates tracking of containers that are ready to return to the port via message updates to trucking companies and logistics teams, providing a single view into their location and status," Barraco writes.
Many distributors are laggards when it comes to tracking competitors' online pricing through scraping software, with many respondents to a recent survey using spot checks instead. Using spot checks "in place of what's a relatively inexpensive and easy to install technology frankly shows a naivety about what it takes to compete online," says Ian Heller.
Several waste-disposal associations are supporting legislation in the House and Senate to create grant programs for local recycling education and infrastructure. The House bill, which would create matching grants for governments, would be "essential to building a reenergized recycling infrastructure and programs to meet stricter quality standards for recycling materials," said Michael Greenberg, president of the Solid Waste Association of North America.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Justin Saliman combined his medical expertise with entrepreneurial curiosity to create suturing company Ceterix Orthopedics, which he sold to Smith & Nephew this year for $105 million. "The reason I chose to combine business and medicine is I knew I wanted to be able to make a positive health impact on a macro level," he says.
3D-printing company Stratasys, with $660 million in annual revenue, is fueled by co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Scott Crump's ideas and energy, colleagues say. "Part of why he's so successful as a leader is his open-door policy and his appreciation for every person's role, as well as his internal fire to innovate," says executive Dick Anderson.
Nissan will put all US employees on an unpaid two-day furlough at the beginning of January and reduce employee travel expenditures as Nissan deals with declining sales. The automaker's US sales are down 7.8% this year through November.
Introducing the industrial internet of things to the supply chain can provide more visibility and improve efficiency, writes Boris Shiklo, chief technology officer at ScienceSoft. He lists four steps to follow, starting with evaluating current visibility, then introducing a flexible IIoT solution.
The majority of manufacturing managers and operations professionals said their companies are pursuing industrial internet of things-related technology modernization to some degree, according to an Automation World survey. Nearly half said they trail their peers in introducing such technologies.
Electrical systems manufacturer Eaton has training centers and labs at colleges in Houston and Pittsburgh that recruit workers for various careers. The company also has training centers for entry- and mid-level employees and is involved with STEM programs.
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