Supply Chain
Top stories summarized by our editors
12/15/2017

The US unemployment rate of 4.1%, a 17-year low, coupled with higher-paying job choices are worsening the long-haul trucking industry's driver shortage. This is placing renewed pressure on shippers to increase compensation and improving working environments.

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unemployment rate
12/15/2017

Governors Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas met with Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday to discuss their goals for North American Free Trade Agreement reform. The governors emphasized the need to protect domestic jobs, US manufacturing and global trade.

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Reuters
12/15/2017

True Value CEO John Hartmann advises speakers to avoid being repetitive and to pause during their presentations to seek feedback. He describes a situation in which he had to cut off a presentation to the board because the speaker had gone over time.

12/15/2017

Business investment in robotics for warehouses is expected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2016 to $22.1 billion in 2021, according to Tractica, but warehouse-management systems and a reliable labor pool still matter, writes Don White of Snapfulfil. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are still unable to self-modify, writes White.

12/15/2017

Shippers should use a transportation-management system to provide accountability to carriers, writes Dan Clark of Kuebix. "By monitoring performance backed by reliable, fact-based analysis, carriers and shippers can build and maintain a win-win partnership for smoother operations and better performance," he notes.

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Logistics Viewpoints
12/15/2017

Landing.AI, a startup specializing in artificial intelligence integration, will focus on quality control and product yield, says founder Andrew Ng, formerly with Baidu and the Google Brain project. Ng expects AI to improve visual inspection accuracy and free up workers to make strategic decisions.

12/15/2017

Artificial intelligence and the internet of things have potential in many fields, such as reducing unplanned downtime and improving operational efficiency in manufacturing, according to this Deloitte analysis. "For instance, for GE's drone and robot-based industrial inspection services, the company is looking to AI to automate both navigation of inspection devices and identification of defects from the data captured by them," write David Schatsky, Navya Kumar and Sourabh Bumb.

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Deloitte Insights
12/15/2017

Enterprise software's role in providing mobility, usability and connectivity to digital transformation was the focus of three 2017 IFS studies. The people managing processes are critical to successful outcomes, no matter what technology is used.

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Plant Services online
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Enterprise software, IFS
12/15/2017

Don't assume planned downtime for maintenance will be low risk, as employees will be engaging in unfamiliar tasks, writes Karen Hamel of New Pig Corp. Prevent injuries by providing specialized training for situations such as confined spaces.

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EHS Today
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Karen Hamel
12/15/2017

One example of a smart onboarding tool is a digital workplace platform that can provide training materials immediately, so new manufacturing hires don't have to wait for an in-person training class, Will Eadie of WorkJam writes.