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Showing posts from April, 2016

The Future of Manufacturing and How to Be Ready

There are several names for the impending industrial revolution: Smart Manufacturing, Digital Enterprise, and Industry 4.0. No matter what you call it, it’s all about the rapidly-changing disruptive technologies that are already starting to churn up the waters of manufacturing.

The biggest signifier of the changes to come is the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), meaning that the world of the virtual is colliding with the world of the physical. This has been predicted to increase efficiency and streamline the production process, but what does the data show?

According to the American Society for Quality’s recent study, the manufacturers surveyed who have begun to implement smart tech reported the following:

•82% found increased efficiency
•49% found lower product defects
•45% found customer satisfaction gains

It makes sense: mobile and social tech streamlined training and shop floor tracking, robotics and automation revolutionized productivity a…

Negotiating Smarter by Focusing on Cost, not Price

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Anyone with procurement or purchasing experience knows that price and cost are not the same thing. Price is what the buyer pays in return for goods and services and costs are the supplier’s direct and overhead costs to produce the good or service. The difference between the two numbers is the primary focus of most negotiations. Some of it is kept by the supplier as profit margin, and some of it is claimed by procurement as savings.

The best thing procurement can do in advance of a negotiation is to research and understand all of the relevant costs. This ensures that negotiations will be fact-based rather than instinct-driven – a focus that should create an advantage for procurement.

There are multiple ways that procurement should allow a detailed understanding of costs to influence their negotiating strategy. Doing so requires procurement to dig into the details of costs, categorizing them by type and determining how much control the suppliers have over each one.

Supplier Cost Advanta…

Top 5 reasons golf is good for business

It is springtime and the local golf clubs are gearing up for another great season.  There is an understanding that great business is done on the golf course, but why is that?  Are game-changing contracts signed on the 17th hole?  Are deals negotiated and futures changed while lining up the perfect drive?  The truth is, not usually.  However, there are many other reasons why golf is an important tool in business.  Here are the top five reasons why golf is critical to business success.

5.Anyone can play – Golf is an equal opportunity sport.  Anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, can learn to play golf.  For that reason, it is a great form of corporate entertainment.  Thanks to the handicap, people with a variety of abilities can compete and enjoy a friendly round.  So take your client, your boss, your colleague or even your competitor to your local club for a round of golf.  If you need an effective way to entertain in business, the course is perfect.

4.You have an audience that…

The US Manufacturing Recession Seems to Be Over, According to Goldman Sachs

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New data from Goldman Sachs was released this Tuesday showing a significant manufacturing rebound. Regional surveys were conducted to look at the state of factories in the Federal Reserve districts of Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond, and all five showed significant improvement in March. Check out the graph below:


These results aren’t outliers, either: according to the analysts on this project, the surge shown in these surveys is supported by many other aspects of manufacturing including trucking activity, railcar volumes, and seaborne container traffic.

Goldman even predicts that the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index will exceed 50 in the coming update to this data on Friday, April 1. (50 is the metric in the ISM scale that divides contraction and expansion.)

Our favorite way of describing this data comes courtesy of Luke Kawa in his Bloomberg article: “The U.S. manufacturing sector just batted five-for-five in its version of spring training.”