IHS Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing managers index declined in January to 51.7, its lowest level in three months, amid sluggish demand and operating conditions. "Manufacturing is not out of the woods yet, with goods producers seeing only modest gains in output and new orders," said IHS Markit economist Sian Jones.
A "polycentric approach" involving public and private efforts at many levels is needed to get the most out of the industrial internet of things and other advanced technologies while ensuring security and privacy, says Indiana University professor Scott Shackelford, who has written a paper on the topic. “Without interaction and coordination across multiple scales, including technical communities, business, and governments, polycentric systems can descent into gridlock, and fragmentation,” he says.
Utility companies and manufacturers need to prepare for cyberattacks on critical infrastructure by thinking about how to contain the damage, what types of attacks are possible and how connected cyberphysical systems will be affected, writes Stuart Madnick of MIT. "Repairing or replacing such systems can take weeks or even months, especially if many are destroyed at the same time, since spare systems and parts are usually scarce, and often custom manufactured," he writes.
The National Association of Manufacturers just marked 125 years and is focused on promoting "modern manufacturing jobs" to the next generation of workers, write NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Vermeer President and CEO Jason Andringa. NAM is launching a "Creators Wanted" tour this year "to engage more Americans with hands-on experiences that demonstrate the high-tech opportunities in manufacturing and open their minds to what our industry offers," they write.
Cincinnati-based Nehemiah Manufacturing was founded to provide jobs in disadvantaged areas of the city, and people with criminal records are about 80% of the consumer products manufacturer's workforce. The company, named after the biblical prophet, has a social service team that screens applicants and provides support.
Shoppable social media platforms will inspire impulse purchases that lead to more returns, according to Advanced Supply Chain Group research. "This is supercharged window shopping ... it's something retailers need to embrace," says Ben Balfour of Advanced Supply Chain Group.
The best leaders invest time in their people to help them grow instead of simply "spending time" to correct mistakes, writes Steve Keating. This is an example of managing versus leading, he argues, wherein leaders look to grow people rather than oversee and correct them.