Walmart has worked to incorporate sustainability as a "shared value" within the business rather than something separate, says CEO Doug McMillon. In addition to the long-term economic benefits of sustainability, he said, Walmart understands that customers want to feel positive about the products they buy.
General Electric will acquire new companies to streamline its supply chain operations in an effort to boost profit margins while reducing costs overall. Though vague in details, the company's investor update indicated a rigorous revamping.
Your company's digital presence can never outdo Amazon.com's, but customers are demanding that you be in the space, says Ian Heller in this video. Don't abandon the offline attributes that add value, he says.
Make sure to perform operational due diligence before an acquisition even if there is pressure to focus only on financial issues, writes Ambrose Conroy of Seraph. "Operational details add context to the financial numbers, the financials can guide the operations team in prioritizing its review, and the legal team can incorporate financial and operational findings into a sound share purchase agreement," he advises.
Robots' roles in factories will change rapidly as they depend less on scripting and are able to integrate wirelessly, says Rodney Brooks, chief technology officer at Rethink Robotics. He cites safety as another emerging priority in robotics.
Telematics solutions reduce supply chain disruptions by providing real-time visibility, writes Kelly Frey of Telogis. Customers are happier when distributors can prevent issues that threaten service-level agreements, Frey notes.
H&H Castings is applying results of an eye-tracking study conducted by Tobii Pro Insight to reduce training time for new employees in the foundry's melt department, according to manager Jacob Hammill. The company is also using attention data gathered by the study to make the pouring process safer, he said.
Manufacturers should see increased automation as an opportunity to train employees differently, write Michael Gretczko and Ina Gantcheva of Deloitte. Use virtual reality and augmented reality to provide advanced-skills training without sacrificing production, they recommend.
A tight market and limited capacity, compounded by a holiday weekend, kept Niagara Bottling from getting its 127 truckloads of bottled water into Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Uber Freight, a mobile, app-based marketplace, got the loads booked in hours by small trucking companies and independent drivers.
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