The term "digital supply chain" describes the integration of advanced technology, big data, and analytics to better manage and execute the physical supply chain, says Frederick Hartung of Jabil. He explains how this is playing out today and what it means for the future.
Technologies like 3-D printing, robotics, advanced motion controls and new methods for continuous manufacturing hold great potential for improving how companies design and build products to better serve customers. But if the past is any indicator, many established firms will be slow to adjust because of a formidable obstacle: legacy assets and capabilities that they are reluctant to abandon.
Across industries, we have left the big buildings, facilities and industrial parks and gone remote. All those remote operations, dispersed businesses and mobile and autonomous equipment need to be serviced. Thus, the service provider has to go to those remote locales. However, just as their customers have changed, the business of service has also changed. The service provider can also leverage technology to monitor, diagnose, and sometimes repair remotely.
U.S. manufacturing executives have an opportunity to make their factories even more competitive through parts and components de-costing programs. De-costing is simply a term that refers to removing cost from operations period-over-period. Parts and components usage is a great place to focus because improvements can provide such clear returns.
When we talk about the Internet of Things, most people think about the flood of wearables and connected devices that will be put into the hands of the consumers. This same trend, though, has the potential to transform, in good ways, supply chain management.
Just as the use of the word "cloud" exploded in the late 2000s, we have seen the term "Internet of Things" (IoT) appearing everywhere during the past couple of years. It seems as though everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Can one make sense of this phenomenon?
Enterprises are increasingly adopting asset-management systems that record location data from more vantage points, and with greater precision, to be analyzed and visualized, says Randy Rhodes, a Gartner analyst.
Lack of planning and tracking of inventory, poor communications among company divisions, and underutilized or non-existent technology are among the core elements holding back manufacturers, educational and medical institutions, life sciences companies, food processors, automotive makers and facility maintenance companies from achieving world-class MRO operations, according to a recent survey completed by Storeroom Solutions Inc.
There's an episode of The Office TV show involving a prank on a hapless colleague in which the victim's desk contents - his stapler, pencil cup, plate, even his wallet-are stashed inside the office vending machine. It does not occur to any of the sitcom's characters to turn these hijinks into a business model, but now someone has.
Did you spend too much on software? Did you buy something that you didn't need? Are you failing fully to utilize the systems that you did purchase? You're mired in the "software money pit," says Matt Cook, director of business solutions with Danone North America.