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3 Predictions for the Supply Chain in 2015

by Meagan Douglas on Fri, Feb 27, 2015

Manufacturing is growing domestically in the wake of the most recent economic recession, partly due to the recent development in digital technology. New portable devices and cutting-edge software offer manufacturers better oversight into overall production as well as flexibility and agility in their existing operation. Cloud-based systems allow the same businesses to access important data from various locations and scale properly as business grows.

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Topics: Field Applications, Manufacturing and Distribution, Mobile Data Collection, Inventory Management, ERP Software

Cumin Spice Recall Underscores the Need for Food Traceability Software

by Meagan Douglas on Thu, Feb 26, 2015

CBS recently reported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled hundreds of products after traces of peanut were found in cumin spice. The production gaffe could potentially cause severe or even life-threatening ailments to those with peanut allergies. These types of undeclared allergens are a primary driver in major domestic food recalls.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution, Inventory Management

Promoting Visibility and Transparency Through Mobile Data Collection

by Meagan Douglas on Fri, Feb 13, 2015

McDonald's has come under fire for not providing enough information about its food, the Harvard Business Review reported. Competing quick service restaurant chains such as Chipotle and Shake Shack offer much more transparent food supply chains. People are growing more interested in where their food is coming from. The same is true for anyone in the medical devices or pharmaceutical industries. The government is making mandatory transparency requirements that will involve a lot of work if companies don't begin planning now.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

Creating a Smart Factory with Automated Data Collection

by Meagan Douglas on Wed, Feb 11, 2015

Companies in places as far away from the U.S. as India have begun to build smart factories that will soon be competing with American manufacturers. Those who are late to the game will end up facing major competition problems because smart factories are much more sophisticated than many of the manufacturing plants currently extant in the U.S. In order to bring about a truly automated factory, companies will need to be prepared with both mobile enterprise software and automated data collection.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

How Ford is Implementing Big Data into its Supply Chain

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Feb 9, 2015

Bringing big data into the supply chain is not always as simple as buying the right software. A company first has to build a foundation of mobile data capture technology that can accurately record the information big data relies upon. The software needs this information in order to process statistics that can be used for building a proper supply chain. However, the adaptability of big data means that a company using it will be able to revolutionize not only their logistics part of the business, but the factory side as well. Annibal Sodero, assistant professor at the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, called big data management "the next frontier in retail" in a recent video on Supply Chain Brain.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution, Mobile Data Collection

Smart Factories and the Internet of Things on the Rise in Korea

by Meagan Douglas on Fri, Feb 6, 2015

The future of manufacturing lies with smart factories. Models of these are already under construction in Korea. They essentially use the technology behind the Internet of Things such that all the machines communicate with each other. Similar to a smart grid, smart factories isolate problems and find creative ways to circumvent these issues. For example, a smart factory will detect if a machine is running slowly or broken, and then reallocate jobs to another machine efficiently. It will do these things without any assistance from a person. All the work is done by machines.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

Mobile Enterprise Solutions: Bring Your Own Device or Not?

by Meagan Douglas on Thu, Feb 5, 2015

Although the economy is growing in the U.S., Logistics Management advises supply chain managers to keep a sharp watch for changes to this state. Many companies cut their capital spending in order to inflate their growth, so business might not be as strong as it appears. Additionally, many countries crucial to supply chains such as Mexico are experiencing financial rough spots or periods of political instability. Because of the importance that raw materials ship to factories in time to produce goods for the market, it's vital that companies maintain their supply chain visibility in order to keep leading and lagging indicators sharply accurate.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution, Mobile Data Collection

Mobile Enterprise Solutions in 2015

by Meagan Douglas on Wed, Feb 4, 2015

As companies become more connected with different technological innovations, those in the manufacturing sector are finding that the supply chain is becoming simultaneously more complex and more tightly focused. Some companies have discovered that the designers and engineers who build something will know more about what kind of supplier will be needed for a specific job. This is in opposition to the the typical procurement specialist who makes it his or her business to get everything for a company from as many places as possible. Additionally, the world is changing, and along with new technologies like mobile enterprise software, there is also big data and the Internet of Things, which could make supply chains much faster than they are already. Manufacturing might even find itself back on U.S. shores in a major way, according to one prediction by Industry Today.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution, Mobile Data Collection

Leveraging Data Collection Software to Boost Factory Effectiveness

by Meagan Douglas on Tue, Feb 3, 2015

A recent Supply Chain Digest article suggested that the overall equipment effectiveness metric is still relevant in today's factories. The metric works not only for individual machines but for entire factories.  However, in order to get this data, a new methodology has been proposed that has four different points of data: efficiency, utilization, productivity and reliability. In order to collect the relevant information about these issues, a company will have to invest in a data collection system. It can be as simple as barcode scanning software, and it works by gathering together information by scanning tags as they move past on a conveyer belt. This is a much more efficient system than using a pen and paper on a clipboard. Workers can only collect data at a human pace, while machines work very quickly and without making human errors.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution

The First Step to Leveraging the Internet of Things in Your Supply Chain

by Meagan Douglas on Mon, Feb 2, 2015

Over half of thought leaders in the logistics world report having issues with their external suppliers. The problem, according to the study by BaseKit reported by Digital Supply Chain, is having multiple companies that supply products to a business at the same time can be overwhelming. A close look at the report suggests that visibility may be an issue as over one-third of those surveyed reported they simply do not know how many suppliers are in their supply chain.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Distribution, Inventory Management

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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