The hierarchy of controls -- a five-step process to reduce exposure to hazards -- can be applied to cold-weather risks, writes Karen Hamel. "Train supervisors to understand that both temperature and wind chill need to be considered when employees will be outdoors," she writes.
Supply chains without workarounds in place are being forced to absorb the higher costs of Trump administration tariffs on Chinese goods or find a way to get out of China to avoid them. Methods for overcoming supply chain challenges include transferring production to other countries, coming up with new raw material sources, applying for exemptions and increasing consumer prices to adjust for costs.
Facing such challenges as low US unemployment and a high holiday-season staffing surge across the country, warehouses are having difficulty hiring and holding on to enough workers, writes Robert J. Bowman, even as they hire at a faster rate than most other industries, adds Peter Schnorbach of Manhattan Associates. Raising wages is one step warehouses can take, Bowman notes, but employers should also consider more engaging and rewarding ways to retain employees, says Schnorbach.
You'll have stronger relationships with employees by regularly meeting to discuss roles, goals and happiness instead of waiting for an annual review, writes Lolly Daskal. Ask them how you can be of assistance, whether it's through listening or helping them overcome obstacles.
The emergence of autonomous trucking will mean that managers of rail, port and warehouse operations will need to adjust their scheduling and facilities to keep goods moving 24/7, write Aisha Chottani, Greg Hastings, John Murnane and Florian Neuhaus of McKinsey. Also, smaller trucking companies might become unable to compete with larger ones because of costs, and vehicle manufacturers might offer autonomous transport as a service, they write.
Companies can build a culture of inclusive diversity by taking a top-down approach that focuses on the issue at every step of their operations, mission statements included, says HD Supply Chief People Officer Anna Stevens. "It's more than just an HR process," Stevens says.
Distributors can overcome common supply chain challenges through a variety of actions including turning old storefronts into distribution centers and piggybacking on Amazon's gains, such as its business with the Postal Service, writes Kenco Chief Operating Officer David Caines. "Excess space in storage and in store can be used to collect and turnaround product for distribution, just like a DC," he writes.
Quality content and a modern warehouse picking system help Sailrite succeed online, says Matt Grant, vice president at the fabric and sewing manufacturer. Sailrite processes about 75% of its orders online.
Retrofitting legacy operational technology assets with sensors can be a cost-effective way for manufacturers to modernize equipment, Linda Rosencrance writes. Retrofitting may have limitations when it comes to cost and capabilities, says LNS Research's Dan Miklovic.
Safety is directly linked to operational profitability because good processes can reduce downtime, writes Steve Elliott of Schneider Electric. "While safety systems should never be connected to external networks, they can still take advantage of all that plant connectivity to help operators drive better, more timely operating and business decisions," he writes.