Arrow Electronics has expanded over time beyond electronics distribution to offer a variety of solutions and technologies to many industries. "We strive to be the platform that customers go to for the things they need to be the best for their own customers," CEO Michael Long says.
Grainger's contact center in Janesville, Wis., has about 1,200 employees and has transformed over the years as business moved from phones to e-commerce. This Grainger location increasingly hires millennials, has relaxed its dress code and is focused on career growth.
Data quality and sharing, specific milestones and visibility reporting unique to various needs are key aspects of a successful visibility initiative, writes Descartes executive Chris Jones.
An engaged workforce will lead to higher rates of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, writes Dave Haley. Leaders can encourage employee engagement by focusing on areas such as ensuring team members are aware of organizational goals.
Software, interactive features, immersive experiences and other technologies are becoming requirements for premium automotive suppliers, write Jian Xu and Xiaoming Liu of A. T. Kearney. They assert that "OEMs must dramatically diversify their investments in being a premium brand, or see their claims to premium status inevitably slip away."
Preventive maintenance is an important tool that helps companies avoid downtime and system failure, even if too many managers make excuses for not keeping on top of it, writes Michael Cowley. A failed preventive maintenance plan, he notes, is often because of a company culture that fails to provide the necessary leadership, training and persistence.
Trucking products firm Curt Group is relaunching its five e-commerce sites this year, replacing legacy systems that struggled to manage available inventory and cross-promote the company's brands. The company changed its name last year as part of a rebrand.
Artificial intelligence-based synchronous planning can help companies create logistics operations that are prepared for growth and change, according to this Deloitte analysis. "As organizations continue their journey toward a fully realized [digital supply network], the ability to plan for and meet shifts in demand will become increasingly critical," the authors write.
Manufacturers should seek partnerships with specialty industrial distributors that offer good products, fair prices, a local inventory and source parts from the right original equipment manufacturers, writes FCX Performance executive Jody Linnig. "Having the right specialty industrial distributor on board as a partner to procure the right parts quickly, monitor and maintain plant systems can help alleviate that stress and be a valuable asset," he writes.
Industry 4.0 is an evolution, meaning it involves ongoing updates and improvements to products, not just the rip and removal of costly legacy systems, Tom Canning writes. Companies should take care in selecting their Industry 4.0 team and do small tests before rolling out their strategy, he notes.
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