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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Better B2B E-Commerce: Misconceptions, Missed Opportunities

August 12, 2013 2:50 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

Even in the B2B world, that landscape is changing. Because more procurement people — and manufacturing professionals on the whole — are increasingly familiar with simple and elegant B2C e-commerce online, they’re starting to bring some of those demands into their acquisition process.

5 Quick Questions With South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt

August 12, 2013 9:25 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, ABM Manufacturing Group | Boeing | Articles | Comments

The bottom line is this: We run a customizable state. We don’t attempt to steer companies or campaign for business plans that benefit our state over the business. We look for strong companies, provide them the resources they need, and let them conduct business as they see fit. We make sure South Carolina is just right for all of our companies, and it works. In South Carolina, business is part of the culture.

Top 5 Quality Metrics For The Plant Manager’s Dashboard

August 9, 2013 3:37 pm | by Mike Roberts, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

If you are involved in quality and operations decisions for manufacturing or supply-chain management, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that the final output of your plant is in compliance with internal and external quality standards.


China Fines 6 Milk Suppliers In Price-Fixing Probe

August 7, 2013 8:25 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The investigation reflected intensifying scrutiny of business under China's 5-year-old anti-monopoly law. Most targets so far have been foreign-owned. It was carried out against the backdrop of Chinese probes of possible bribery and other misconduct by global suppliers of pharmaceuticals and other products.

ISM: Manufacturing Surges Ahead

August 5, 2013 4:35 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | News | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector is at its highest levels since June 2011, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business. The PMI registered 55.4 percent, an increase of 4.5 percentage points from June’s reading of 50.9 percent. June’s PMI reading, the highest of the year, indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month.

E2open Acquires icon-scm In $34M Deal

August 5, 2013 10:11 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | News | Comments

Foster City, Calif.-based E2open has announced its recent acquisition if icon-scm, a provider of supply chain planning and collaboration technologies, in a transaction valued at approximately $34 million. E2open hopes to expand its market opportunity and accelerate its product roadmap with the recent deal.

Survey Reveals Plastics Manufacturing Customers' Top Priorities

August 1, 2013 11:25 am | by Andrew Hoehn, Ray Products | Articles | Comments

"When we got the results back, we weren't surprised to see these attributes at the top of the list," said Brian Ray, president of Ray Products. "Lots of things have changed in our industry since my grandfather founded our company in 1949. But I'll bet that if he had given his customers the same survey back then, those same three attributes would be at the top of the list."

Wrapped Around Innovation

August 1, 2013 9:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Major innovations in the stretch wrapping equipment industry can be traced back to Lantech — including the first stretch wrapper, the first automatic stretch wrapper, and the first horizontal wrapper. Lantech currently holds 360 patents, and its patent rate “is at its highest rate it’s ever been on an annual basis.”


Playing ‘The Game’ Of U.S. Clothing Manufacturing

July 31, 2013 11:12 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

The Game, founded in 1986 by Neil Stillwell, owns manufacturing operations in Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, and sourced a great deal of product from China and Vietnam. Amid a noticeable demand for a home-grown product, they decided to reconsider the cost picture of producing goods locally.

Nissan Building Park For Suppliers At Miss. Plant

July 31, 2013 7:35 am | by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Phil Bryant and Nissan officials spoke Tuesday during a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday near Canton. The manufacturing plant opened in 2003 and is about 15 miles north of Jackson, facing Interstate 55. The new supplier park will not be visible from the interstate.

Top 5 Quality Metrics For The Plant Manager’s Dashboard

July 30, 2013 9:28 am | by Mike Roberts, Research Associate, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

If you are involved in quality and operations decisions for manufacturing or supply-chain management, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that the final output of your plant is in compliance with internal and external quality standards. This is not as easy as it sounds.

Group Accuses Apple Supplier Of Labor Abuses

July 29, 2013 3:09 am | News | Comments

A labor rights group Monday accused a Chinese company that makes iPhones for Apple Inc. of abuses including withholding employees' pay and excessive working hours. China Labor Watch said it found violations of the law and of Apple's pledges about working conditions at factories operated by Pegatron Corp., a Taiwanese company.

Survey: Many Struggling To Comply WIth SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule

July 18, 2013 9:47 am | by PwC US | News | Comments

The survey found that almost half of the nearly 900 executives surveyed are still in the initial stages of their compliance efforts, while 16 percent have not yet begun gathering information, and 32 percent are still determining if the rule even applies to them.


Q&A: Why Implement Enterprise Asset Management?

July 17, 2013 9:28 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

Enterprise asset management, as a solution, is designed to protect and prolong the assets in an organization. To make sure the people and the materials that need to be in place to make that happen, are working in concert with each other, to make sure the assets are working the way they’re supposed to. Disrupts Shipping Industry With Name Your Price Shipping

July 16, 2013 4:01 pm | Product Releases | Comments

With the launch of, a web-based shipping platform, small business owners and shipping personnel who feel they pay high prices for shipping with freight carriers, are now empowered to save time and money. Using paradigm shifting technology, first embraced by the travel industry, OneMorePallet introduces Name Your Price Shipping™.

Purchasing Parts Vs. Buying Into A Strategy

July 12, 2013 2:12 pm | by Bill Michels, CPSM, C.P.M., ADR North America | Articles | Comments

The old days of “write a specification, collect bids, and pick the low one” are long gone. Your suppliers are now an extension of your company. This is especially true in manufacturing. For instance, there are companies that will manage all your maintenance and repair parts within your own facility.

Meat Groups Sue USDA Over Meat Labeling Rule

July 10, 2013 7:37 am | by David Pitt, Associated Press | News | Comments

Requiring meat labels to have more details about a product's origins is too costly and serves no public health or safety benefit, industry groups said Tuesday in announcing a lawsuit against U.S. Department of Agriculture over new labeling rules.   

Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 13.6 Pct. In May

July 9, 2013 11:14 am | by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

May U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $430.06 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 13.6 percent from April but down 7.6 percent when compared with the total of $465.38 million reported for May 2012.

Companies Move Ahead With Bangladesh Safety Accord

July 8, 2013 10:37 am | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

A group of primarily European retailers and clothing makers said Monday that it plans to inspect clothing factories in Bangladesh that make garments for the companies within the next nine months and will concentrate renovations on those that pose the biggest safety threat.

Supply Chain Innovations Lead To ‘Hyper Innovation’

July 8, 2013 10:30 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, | Articles | Comments

A recent survey revealed a number of interesting trends, such as the sheer lack of visibility among global supply chains. Whether this is because of outdated technology or simply due to more global sources, the key take-away is that there is a surge of mindshare on how to better manage these relationships via collaboration and new technology.

Nothin' But Blue Skies

July 3, 2013 10:57 am | Articles | Comments

After a car maker or a steel mill wears out a factory, extracts all the tax breaks a treasury will bear, and accumulates more obligations to its workers than the stockholders will bear, it flees town like a deadbeat husband, leaving a worn-out, exploited patch of land no else will touch. An industrial city follows the same life cycle as a boxer, or a prostitute.

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $45 Billion In May

July 3, 2013 10:10 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit increased in May to the highest level in six months as a weak global economy depressed U.S. export sales while imports of autos and other nonpetroleum products hit an all-time high. The trade deficit rose to $45 billion in May, up 12.1 percent from April's $40.1 billion imbalance.

ISM: Manufacturing Back On Track

July 2, 2013 4:57 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector returned to a slow, steady expansion in June, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth time in six months, reversing May’s contracting PMI rate of 49 percentage points.

Does APICS Certification Help Build Your Manufacturing Career Skills?

July 1, 2013 11:06 am | Articles | Comments

Many professionals believe that companies place value on the APICS certification because it provides third-party validation that their knowledge and skills extend past on-the-job experience and a college education. As a result, thousands of supply chain and operations professionals across the country are enrolling in courses to pursue APICS certification.

U.S. Lawmakers To Hold Hearing On Smithfield-China Deal

June 28, 2013 2:12 pm | News | Comments

The committee notice says the hearing will examine the pending purchase of the Smithfield, Va.-based company. It also will examine how the government review process of foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies addresses American food safety and the effects of increased foreign ownership of the U.S. food supply.

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