Will manufacturers embrace virtual reality to transform product development, testing, layout and assembly? It was hard to imagine just a few years ago that the advancements in hardware and software would allow for far greater use of virtual reality in manufacturing. Allowing designers, engineers and customers to see and evaluate a design in real time will shorten product design cycles. Being able to walk through assembly line layout will reduce setup time. And providing customers with a view of the product in use will decrease the time spent on redesign and marketing material development.
Few supply management leaders think that their businesses' management teams appreciate the potential of modern supply management. Business leaders disagree. They are adamant that they understand the strategic potential of modern supply management, but that doesn't mean that their businesses are reaping the benefits.
Two measures commonly used by the government to measure manufacturing's overall impact on society are badly underestimating the impact of that critical sector. One is the proportion of gross domestic product for which manufacturing accounts. The other is the "multiplier effect," which measures the impact on other industries from an increase in economic activity by a specific industry.
In a landmark decision on data protection, the European Court of Justice's decision in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner last month struck down the agreement companies have relied on for 15 years to legally transfer the personal information of EU employees and customers back to the United States.
The picture for Cuban manufacturing is mixed. On the positive side, the government’s decision to give private firms more autonomy to retain earnings and make investment decisions may spur a much-needed market for capital equipment, a crucial source of demand for a developing economy factory sector.
A few years ago, the OECD embarked on a multiyear effort to create an international tax framework that closes perceived gaps in international tax rules. This includes combating base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) to ensure companies pay their "fair share" of taxes. Many of the BEPS Project's action items are expected to be finalized later this year.
The MAPI Foundation's manufacturing production index for Latin America is expected to decline 0.9 percent in 2015, although this regional picture masks sizable differences across countries. The deeper than expected recession in Brazil, for instance, is offsetting the solid performance of Mexican factories. Argentina's manufacturers are also in recession, but it is milder than Brazil's.