The recently ended General Motors strike hurt overall US industrial production and manufacturing output in October, according to the Federal Reserve. Vehicle and auto parts manufacturing dropped by 7.1%, contributing to a 0.6% decrease in manufacturing output and a 0.8% drop in industrial production.
Manufacturers can protect industrial internet of things and supervisory control and data acquisition systems from cyberattacks by using managed security service providers that provide alerts to IT staff, writes Chris Jordan. One option is security information and event management systems, which can work alongside SCADA systems "to increase efficiency and protect sensitive information," Jordan writes.
Autonomous mobile robots are being used in warehouses to make humans more productive rather than replace them, Roberto Michel writes. At Lockheed Martin, workers have formed a close connection with the robots, which assist with order picking and make it more efficient.
Procurement operations that have long relied on Excel spreadsheets should consider newer software options that use machine learning to better analyze data, Craig Guillot writes. "Excel can be easily customized and offers many benefits, but its lack of integration, collaborative features and real-time capabilities limit its potential in today's digital supply chain," he writes.
The skilled worker shortage in manufacturing has highlighted the importance of well-made, reliable tools that can save workers time and get jobs done faster, Mike Miazga writes. Pressing technology and cordless tools are two growing trends in tools.
US hospitals and health organizations overspent by $25.7 billion on supply chain operations in 2018, an almost 12% increase from the year prior, according to Navigant research. Hospitals that focused on standardization and efficiency and included clinicians in the purchasing process showed less waste in their supply chain operations, the study showed.
Kroger is investing in state-of-the-art automated grocery fulfillment centers with help from Ocado, though the grocer doesn't expect to see changes until the first one comes online sometime in 2021. "With shopper receptiveness to digital innovation limited mainly by retailers' imagination, Kroger's new facilities will be coming online about the time that expectations for speed, accuracy, assortment and freshness are hitting new highs," Mike Troy writes.
To cut down on holiday stress, more shoppers are planning to order their groceries online, according to a report from ServiceChannel. Half of online grocery shoppers say they will purchase online more than usual during the holidays, and 63% said they would be somewhat likely to order a fully prepared meal online.
E-commerce fulfillment centers can reduce costs by using better layouts, such as putting mezzanines over work areas and locating picking modules on higher levels, writes Brian Barry, president of F. Curtis Barry & Co. He also recommends basing slotting on the fastest-selling units and doing regular reassessments.