Inflexibility is hurting the supply chain as businesses adhere to rules that aren't in line with changing technology, Gary Hilson writes. Citing advice from Neogrid founder Miguel Abuhab, Hilson argues for metrics based on ongoing consumption rather than historical trends, with inventory kept higher upstream.
Deutsche Post AG's DHL package division will begin testing delivery using smart cars in Germany. Through the test, Daimler AG's Smart model vehicle owners will be able to have parcels delivered to the trunks of their parked cars in Stuttgart, with plans to expand the service to seven cities.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's latest update of the company's master plan continues its focus on electric cars and the development of self-driving features but also envisions building autonomous, battery-powered trucks and buses. "As the technology matures, all Tesla vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully self-driving with fail-operational capability, meaning that any given system could break down and your car will drive itself safety," Musk wrote.
Integrated enterprise resource planning solutions help eliminate obstacles between companies and consumers, offset costs and streamline the overall distribution process, Stefan Hoffmann writes. These hybrid models also offer more staffing flexibility with off-site support, which in turn expedites operations.
Grainger continues to increase e-commerce sales as a percentage of overall sales, with e-commerce accounting for 46% in the second quarter. The company also added nearly 300 inside sales employees during the quarter, said CEO Jim Ryan.
Essendant posted a profit of $12.9 million on sales of $1.35 billion in the second quarter, a smaller profit than the same period a year ago, although sales were up 0.9%. Office-product sales, which accounted for more than half of the company's revenue, increased by 0.6%.
Ford is testing collaborative robots in a Cologne, Germany, plant to help workers place shock absorbers on the Fiesta vehicle. If the test goes well, the company may deploy the robots in more plants around the globe.
General Mills plans to slash 1,400 jobs, or 3.6% of its workforce, globally and close or reduce operations at numerous facilities. The company noted that consumer trends for more natural ingredients reduced demand for some products, such as Progresso soup.
Winsupply's recent rebranding from WinWholesale and focus on talent development are helping the company pursue its goal of $3 billion in sales by the end of this year, executives say.
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