Wanting to share their passion for coffee with their local community, entrepreneurs Annette Dance and Robert Smith III recently opened Mint Hill Roasting Company. The duo still have full-time jobs, but they are working to expand their operations by obtaining warehouse space and offering cold brew coffee at a nearby brewery.
As The Home Depot's talent acquisition manager, Trey Stewart has recruited a widely diverse group of employees to fill key roles, including an aviation mechanic to service company jets. He and colleague Brack Sullivan talk about the challenges and new opportunities arising amid the fast-changing world of retail.
E-commerce startup Boxed works to strike the right balance of people and automation in its warehouses, where the company that envisions itself as the Costco of e-commerce packs and ships bulk items. At a warehouse in Union, N.J., packing supervisor Veronica Mena motivates the humans who interact with robots to get the job done.
Using software to apply a predictive maintenance approach can prolong equipment life and reduce costs. One supplier, for example, avoided an unexpected line shutdown through sensors that warned of excessive vibration levels and prompted a pre-emptive repair.
Next-generation data analytics are transforming manufacturing, as companies are "looking very systematically at everything they do, from the methods they use to make things, [to] technologies like 3-D printing and additive printing, all the way to their business models," says Jon Sobel, CEO of Sight Machine. He notes the big data software market has the potential to grow from almost nothing to over $1 billion within five years.
Internet of things applications to industrial control networks are creating unprecedented access and data, but the downside is cybersecurity vulnerability, writes Josh Jabs of Entrust Datacard. The most effective security systems protect data and users across entire ecosystems, he writes.
Data devoid of analysis and smart use by decision makers will do nothing to help manufacturers be more productive, write Serg Posadas and Brad Young of Clockwork Solutions. "There is little value in collected data unless you can use the data to obtain insights that turn into process-improving action," Young writes.
Complacency is a danger for manufacturers who have invested time and money in safety programs and want them to work indefinitely, writes Ward Metzler of DuPont Sustainable Solutions. Manufacturers have to regularly engage with employees to identify and prioritize hazards and recognize that people make risk-related decisions based on emotion, he writes.
Phase II of The Shops at Clearfork in Texas has opened, with Neiman Marcus as the anchor. The 500,000-square-foot office and retail space is an open-air, luxury property developed by Simon Property Group and Cassco Development Co.
R1 Rayford Road has sold Rayford Harmony, a newly built, 31,500-square-foot retail center in Spring, Texas, to an institutional fund based in Texas. The shopping center, which is in a master-planned community, features neighborhood-oriented tenants such as Sammy's Sports Grill, Brightway Insurance and Spring Oaks Dental.