Once artificial intelligence becomes virtually universal, human interactions, work and even morality will look different, writes Alex Bates. "There's an essential 'unlocking' waiting for humanity right around the corner, and AI is going to help us get there," he writes.
Manufacturers can increase efficiency with logistics by placing distribution hubs in strategic locations, researching greener packaging options and creating a database of information on what products are most popular where, writes Mark Howard of EU Automation. Staying updated and sharing that information with colleagues is also vital, he writes.
Robots as a service (RAAS) is gaining a foothold in the supply chain, with companies taking one of two options: renting robots that use a shared software model or leasing them on the cloud. The data gleaned from RAAS can help manufacturers, retailers and warehouse operators with everything from improving production efficiency to monitoring stock and moving inventory to packers.
June trailer orders decreased 53% month-over-month and 70% year-over-year, reaching the lowest monthly rate in nearly 10 years, according to FTR. "Carriers are reluctant to order at this time since commodity and component prices are uncertain due to the tariffs," said FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake.
The increase in targeted or precision medicine will pose options and challenges for complex logistics operations, particularly in Latin America, which does not have regional medical shipping standards, according to a DHL/American Airlines Cargo study. The "Patients, Processes and Partnerships: The Path to Personalized Medicine in Latin America" report offers four solutions, based on data analytics, innovative technologies, patient and shipment coordination and collaboration by forwarders and carriers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has denied the Small Business in Transportation Coalition's request for an exemption from the electronic logging device mandate for companies with up to 50 employees. FMCSA said the coalition, which represents more than 12,000 groups and individuals, did not adequately show that safety would not be affected if the agency approved the exemption.
Manufacturers have largely transitioned from analog technolgy to digital, although smaller businesses often struggle to maximize the benefits of enterprise resource planning systems, writes Eric Lundin. Fabricators will need to digitize more information and improve shop floor connectivity as they progress toward Industry 4.0 technology, Lundin writes.
Cultivate a strong mentality by identifying your values, setting goals and developing a belief that challenges can be overcome, writes LaRae Quy. "It takes discipline and perseverance to not settle for mediocrity, and instead, pursue the important work," Quy writes.
Inventory sharing may be a way for distributors to reduce surplus inventory while ensuring that products are available to customers within one or two days, writes Mark Tomalonis. For best results, distributors should price surplus items under current best wholesaler-distributor costs, offer high-velocity items as well as surplus items to partners and take an active role in recruiting peers to the inventory sharing network, he writes.
Administrators in an Ohio district recently toured area manufacturers to learn more about career pathways available to students. Part of the effort was aimed at learning what the district could do to prepare students for skilled jobs at the companies.