Walmart has announced 10 policy plans to boost US manufacturing jobs and recapture as much as $300 billion in imported goods and create 1.5 million jobs in the country. The strategy has many moving pieces, including building vocational schools, creating flexible compliance guidelines for small business, increasing tax deductions that promote manufacturing investment and reducing costs for training workers.
Leaders develop themselves but must also help teams achieve more -- and watching a great leader in action can be mesmerizing and inspiring, writes Mark Miller. The effort required to mold a great team is tremendous but so are the potential returns, he argues.
4D printing gives products shape-changing capabilities by adding the dimension of time to traditional 3D printing processes, writes Gary Hilson. 4D printing is still expensive and experimental, but it has the potential to create flexible and self-repairing materials, he writes.
Amazon Business has begun to demonstrate availability and pricing competitiveness compared to traditional distributors but needs to mature in three areas, writes Nicole Mahaffey of Source One Management Services. Shipping speed, account management and sophisticated pricing refinement still pose challenges, she writes.
Carmakers have to make careful financial and resources choices as they work to innovate, write Rich Parkin and Reid Wilk of Strategy&. These companies will need to share platforms, use external sources for development work and modify distribution models to conserve costs, they write.
Small and medium-sized manufacturers trying to increase productivity and reduce cost through a lean manufacturing approach need five basic components, including the kaizen philosophy, writes Steven Brand. The other four concepts of lean manufacturing are kanban, value stream mapping, total quality management and jidoka.
Almost 40% of manufacturers reported a cyberbreach in the past year, a Deloitte report shows. One challenge of manufacturing is the innocuous-looking nature of items like thermostats, which can be entry points for malicious activities.
Take data available through the cloud, integrate it with existing supply chain components and be aware of customer desires to realize the benefits of the digital supply chain, writes Jason Rosing of Veridian. Suppliers who can act quickly on data from multiple sources are most likely to prevail competitively, he writes.
Manufacturers who want to reap the benefits of sustainability need to apply its concepts across their organizations, Howard Letendre of FLEXcon Spencer writes. Efficiency initiatives like cellular manufacturing and recycling programs can demonstrate corporate commitment to sustainability, he writes.
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