Manufacturers with complicated supply chains or field service operations -- including outsourced work -- should examine their reverse logistics process to save money and improve efficiency, writes Tom DeVroy, senior product evangelist at IFS. "Reverse logistics software needs to account for multiple subcontractor types, and reimbursement policies in order to manage the complex situations caused by sub-contracting," he writes.
Nearly 10% of shoppers in the UK admitted to buying clothing only to return it after posting a photo of it online, according to a survey from Barclaycard. Brands' "try before you buy" offerings might be contributing to this trend.
Thailand has announced a ban on 432 types of electronic-waste imports, including circuit boards and television parts, that will take effect within six months.
Robots in a tightened labor pool are a benefit for manufacturers and their employees, says Vecna Robotics executive John Hayes. "You see workers move into way more productive positions, not just for them, but also for the company," he says.
Additive manufacturing's effects will be particularly noticeable in discrete and job shop manufacturing, writes Bradford Goldense, because both use little automation and tend to produce low-volume products.
General Motors, Ford and other automakers are using the data gathered from in-vehicle sensors to mitigate problems early on and improve product quality. "To some extent, the sky is the limit for what could be done with the data," says Cason Grover of Hyundai Motor.
Two-thirds of executives surveyed by Adelante SCM use Excel for supply chain functions, with late adopters of supply chain technology even more likely to rely on spreadsheets.
There are several metrics to track when measuring the success of safety programs and how well knowledge is retained, writes IndustrySafe Chief Operating Officer Clare Epstein. "You need to make sure that your employees are actually attending their required training and, perhaps more importantly, that they're demonstrating a reasonable understanding of the material they're taught," Epstein writes.