SpartanNash's growth strategy depends on its private brands, including its partnership with the Defense Contractor Agency, which CEO David Staples equates to a $5 billion retail business. The company announced a 21.5% increase in retail private-brand penetration for the second quarter.
A Fastenal store in Wilmington, N.C., has been selling welding goggles that have a filter lens that matches the specifications recommended for viewing today's solar eclipse.
Increased access to data and more powerful analytics options have expanded the range of key performance indicators that can be used to assess carrier performance, writes Stephanie Miles of Amber Road. Reviewing only the data from a single carrier deprives companies of the fullest insight available, she writes.
Profit margins and throughput are two areas where food and beverage distributors can gain by incorporating robotics, writes Chris Lewis of Innovative Written Solutions. Automatic guided vehicles can reduce labor costs but are increasingly being designed to work alongside people, too.
3D printing is more mainstream than ever, writes Jeff Kerns, with parts mass-produced by Airbus and Boeing as an example, but it is still inferior to traditional printing methods for some uses. Traditional approaches, particularly at scale, are often faster, he writes.
Using mobile devices and structures can make manufacturers more competitive and more attractive to millennials, writes Mark Holleran of Xplore Technologies. "As the new workforce has been raised as digital natives with a preference for mobile technology, tablet devices naturally make sense to serve as mobile command centers," he writes.
Being proactive about cybersecurity issues is the best way for manufacturers to avoid breaches and protect data, write Rick Schreiber and Mike Dombrowski of BDO. Cybersecurity should be incorporated as early as possible, keeping in mind the susceptibility of legacy systems and the need to train employees, they write.
Artificial intelligence has room to grow in supply chain management, with eight principles increasing the likelihood of its successful integration, writes Greg Brady, CEO of One Network Enterprises. Brady offers tips on the decision-making process, scalability and user engagement, among other areas.
Supply chain expertise can be multiplied through business-process-as-a-service solutions, writes Mike Raftery of SCM Connections. Supply chain analysts who are able to focus on high-level challenges when routine tasks are diverted to BPaaS options are more likely to remain engaged, he writes.
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