Advance Auto Parts reported net income of about $108 million on sales of $2.89 billion in the quarter ended April 22, with both figures down from the year-ago period. Same-store sales were down 2.7%.
A merger of Linde and Praxair has been agreed upon in principle, pending votes from company boards. A vote by Linde's supervisory board, which could require a tie-breaking vote from Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle, is set for next week, according to a report in the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.
Suppliers that want to convince businesses of their enduring value should use analytics and other tools to more accurately forecast trends, write Jeff Durr and David Leonard. Omnichannel relationships are increasingly important for business-to-business suppliers.
Technology is helping manufacturers implement lean techniques without the aid of consultants, writes Eric Whitley of Leading2Lean. Cloud-based solutions can offer the standardized data collection critical to continuous improvement, Whitley writes.
Digital accelerators are being created by chief innovation officers to evade the constraints of corporate budgets and procedures, writes Clint Boulton. Vince Campisi of United Technologies says support from CEOs and boards remains critical to incubator success.
Additive manufacturing, digitization and artificial intelligence will converge into "a manufacturing ecosystem" that will bring growth in machinery, especially in emerging markets, said Arun Kumar of AlixPartners.
Using an external solution to partner third-party data insights with machine capabilities helped Elizabeth Arden reduce purchase-price variance more effectively than a solely in-house approach, writes Omer Abdullah of The Smart Cube. Benefits included better predictive-cost accuracy, Abdullah writes.
Always-on supply chain performance is a growing customer expectation and requires a great deal of coordination and collaboration, Susan Fourtane writes. Advantages include cost savings and increased productivity, she writes.
Wearable technologies, artificial intelligence and e-learning are helping the safety industry innovate and improve performance, George Beall writes. Technology combinations such as utilization of wearables to connect job sites and track safety hold the most potential, he writes.
Last-mile delivery remains inefficient because of factors including the complexity of routes and customized service, often costing logistics companies significantly, this article states. This long-standing problem finally could have a solution with technology such as drones and self-driving cars.
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