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Biotech Industry Has Much to Gain from Electronic Data Capture

by Meagan Douglas on Wed, Dec 31, 2014

The biotechnology industry should be just as concerned about its supply chain as other fields of business. In fact, due to the importance of having the best possible raw materials for making drugs and industrial chemicals, any company in biotech should be even more worried than other companies. A new poll by Bio Fuels Digest, indicates that biotech companies are most concerned about their supply chains, followed by finances.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

Real-time Data Collection Critical for a Successful Omnichannel Approach

by Meagan Douglas on Tue, Dec 30, 2014

A recent study by Forrester Research cited by Forbes found that nearly half of B2B buyers are making work-related purchases on the same websites they do shopping for personal business. Omnichannel is a method of organizing a company's front end client-facing side so that everyone gets the same experience. This means whether someone is B2B, B2C, a person in a store, online, using an app, etc. they are getting the same discounts and the same charges for shipping, along with the exact same time for goods to reach certain places. Having an excellent way of shipping products and keeping track of where items are located in a factory or a warehouse is crucial for this technique because people are going to want their goods sent to them quickly and efficiently. If a company wants to compete with a business like Amazon, which is already providing omnichannel services to companies that shop there for items, ranging from paper to heavy office equipment like printers and photocopiers, it needs to begin offering expedited delivery and other B2C services for items that are traditionally part of the B2B market.

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Topics: Mobile Data Collection, Inventory Management

New Studies Show Common Weakness in Supply Chain Management

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Dec 29, 2014

Two recent studies have pointed to common weaknesses in supply chains that many companies probably think are very tight and efficient. Concentra, a company that specializes in improving the supply chains of different companies, found that businesses often carry 40 percent more stock than necessary because of overall inefficiencies in the way managers understand their own supply and demand, according to Digital Supply Chain. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), used by the Chicago Board Options Exchange to predict market volatility, dipped recently, according to Manufacturing.net. While this may not seem like much, it points to the need for a highly reactive and predictive supply chain. In the same way a company predicts the price of steel, it needs to predict how many units of a product the market will absorb in the near future.

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Topics: Inventory Management

You Have All This Data About Your Supply Chain, Now What?

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Dec 22, 2014

Data is a powerful tool, according to Entrepreneur. It also exists potentially everywhere in a manufacturing environment. The more sources of data a company has, the better its chances of producing useful metrics that can boost productivity and improve a business's odds of reducing overhead and improving margins.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution, Inventory Management

The Short-term and Long-term Future of Supply Chain Management

by Meagan Douglas on Thu, Dec 18, 2014

The future of manufacturing in the U.S. will likely be dominated by huge advances in technology. In the short term, technology will revolve around the cloud and the Internet of things, while in the long term, technology will enable computers and robots to do just about all the work that humans are doing now.

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Topics: Field Applications

Big Data to Revolutionize Manufacturing

by Meagan Douglas on Tue, Dec 16, 2014

Big data can help many manufacturing companies with continuous improvement issues. According to Forbes, by using the power of data analytics, companies can quickly accelerate existing automation techniques, so that work is done faster and more efficiently. Companies can also make more accurate predictions about their raw materials supply and the speed at which they can produce different combinations of items. For example, the time it takes to make one product might change depending on the other products being made at the same time in a factory. This is a complicated matter that likely would be hard to figure out without using big data to crunch the numbers and find correlations that people wouldn't otherwise have considered.

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Topics: Field Applications

Mobile Data Collection Helps Auto Manufacturers with Flexibility

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Dec 15, 2014

It's sometimes difficult to say which way manufacturing trends will head during the final quarter of the year when temperatures typically drop in many places throughout the U.S. Traditionally, cold weather tends to scare away consumers, which drives down demand. As a result, there's more risk involved in trying to balance inventory with projected sales figures. However, there are times when certain verticals within the manufacturing industry buck trends and skew upwards. This is the case in the automotive market.

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Topics: Mobile Data Collection

Mobile Data Collection Key for Investing in Manufacturing Innovation

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Dec 8, 2014

Manufacturing is critical for the health of the U.S. economy. The extent to which this seemingly straightforward statement is true can sometimes get lost among the various reports used to gauge the health of the nation's finances. Fortune magazine put it pretty clearly by citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that indicated every $1 injected into manufacturing spurs another $1.35 in economic activity. That's more than any other industry, reflecting just how much influence manufacturers have.

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Topics: Mobile Data Collection

What a Hazelnut Shortage Can Show Manufacturers About Automated Data Capture

by Meagan Douglas on Fri, Dec 5, 2014

One of the most important lessons manufacturers have to learn is how to deal with scarcity. Especially for businesses in the food industry, sourcing can be tumultuous because of fluctuations in production based on weather patterns and crop yields. There are likely also competitors in the market that may be vying for the same items, making a low-yield season even more difficult for manufacturers to meet demand.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

Can Mobile Data Collection Support Conservation Efforts?

by Meagan Douglas on Thu, Dec 4, 2014

Many organizations in the manufacturing industry have made the pledge to reduce their use of limited resources, including water. Unilever, for instance, has made a pledge of reducing water abstraction at its plants around the globe by 40 percent per ton of production by 2020. Much of the thrust behind this type of initiative is recycling and reusing water that goes through the manufacturing processes. Part of the strategy is integrating new technologies in boilers and cooling towers that are more efficient at optimizing resource levels. However, another big part of the equation is accurate data capture.

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Topics: Mobile Data Collection

Why Mobile Data Collection Reduces Manufacturing Costs and How to Choose the Right Platform

by Meagan Douglas on Wed, Dec 3, 2014

Traditionally, the lower the production costs, the better the financial situation a manufacturer will find itself in. According to Manufacturing Business Technology, one of the most significant factors in the movement of manufacturing jobs to overseas markets is the cost of labor. Logically, the less a business has to pay for production by way of labor and tax regulations, the greater profit margin they can expect to see. However, it's unlikely the cost of labor in the U.S. will go down anytime soon, as inflation and standards of living tend to push wages up.

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Topics: Mobile Data Collection

Pre-Thanksgiving Beef Recall Calls Attention to Traceability Need

by Meagan Douglas on Tue, Dec 2, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 48 million people get sick from foodborne diseases every year. Out of this number, more than 128,000 must go to the hospital as a result. The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011 with the desire to prevent contamination, instead of taking a reactive stance.

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Topics: Government Compliance

4 Warning Signs that Wholesale Distributors Need License Plating

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Dec 1, 2014

Between the different stages of manufacturing and moving products off the shelf in retail locations, distributors play a key role in making sure merchandise flows efficiently and accurately.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

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RFgen Software helps organizations reduce supply chain implementation costs and increase accuracy and efficiency with the industry’s most reliable and flexible mobile data collection software and supply chain automation solutions.

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Digital technology is disrupting traditional operations and now every business is a digital business. The impact on supply chain management is particularly great. The digital supply network is more connected, intelligent, scalable and rapid.

~ Accenture