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Oct. 8, 2009
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In the News

Changes Coming From OSHA
from Material Handling Management
On Sept. 30, OSHA made at least two announcements impacting material handling operations. First, the agency introduced a national emphasis program on recordkeeping “to assess the accuracy of injury and illness data recorded by employers.” OSHA’s second announcement was a proposed rule published in the Sept. 30 edition of the Federal Register. The rule would align the hazard communication standard with provisions of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. More

Supply Chain at the Core
from Supply Chain Digest
It is clear that the financial crisis has elevated the overall position of supply chain in most companies, in the end, to the benefit of supply chain professionals everywhere. Now supply chain doesn’t just deliver lower costs and great customer service, it is also serving as a sort of bank -- providing investment capital. There was yet another analysis just released which again showed that a number of companies are shedding the role of Chief Operating Officer. No number two to the CEO. A true “operating” executive -- the Chief Supply Chain Officer -- already has in many companies started to serve that role, and will do so in many more. The disappearance of president and/or COO from the executive team will accelerate that trend. More

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Selling Your CEO on Logistics
from DC Velocity
You know the supply chain can be a powerful competitive lever, but chances are, your CEO still doesn't get it. In the linked article, discover techniques that can help you to change that. More

Think, Then Measure: Business Intelligence in Small and Medium Businesses
from CRM Buyer
Suppliers and consumers have tightened their belts under current economic conditions, sending businesses scrambling for cost-cutting methods. Small and medium businesses have turned to business intelligence (BI) tools in response to these pressures. BI replaces spreadsheet-based static reporting methods with dynamic tools that put data at a manager's fingertips. The best data in the world, however, is useless if managers cannot interpret, access, or manipulate it without help from the IT department. More

Credit Performance Improves in Manufacturing
from Material Handling Management
The Credit Managers’ Index, a monthly survey of credit and collection professionals conducted by the National Association of Credit Management, is moving in a positive direction for the manufacturing and service sectors combined. For manufacturing alone, the Credit Managers’ Index was 49.6. An index of 50 indicates expansion in the credit market, which translates into more credit availability, more sales that require the acquisition of credit and more prompt and regular payments on credit granted. More

NRF Says Consumer Spending Remains Down
from Supply Chain Management Review
Even though the holiday shopping season is a few weeks off, it appears that consumers are still largely on the sidelines when it comes to making purchases, according to research released by the National Retail Federation. The data is akin to what is happening across all modes of the freight transportation and logistics markets, given the low tonnage volumes amidst a perceived “bottoming” of the economy. Even though the economy remains down, there are some signs of freight volumes on the mend, including railroad and intermodal numbers released recently reported that August truck tonnage was up 2.1 percent for the second straight month. More

Mixed-SKU Pallets: The Holy Grail of Picking
from Modern Materials Handling
Manual palletizing is one of the most labor intensive and expensive operations in a warehouse or distribution center. You not only have the cost of labor to build the pallets, you may also have the worker’s compensation costs associated with back and shoulder injuries. With the right volumes, automatic palletizers, robotic palletizers and layer pickers are cost-effective alternatives for building single SKU pallets and rainbow pallets -- that’s a mixed-SKU pallet that alternates products by layers. But the Holy Grail of picking has been to design a system that can automatically build mixed-SKU pallets that have more than one SKU in a layer -- and it has now been realized. More

Survey: Supply Chain Risks Decreasing
from Purchasing.com
A new report from AMR Research finds supply chain executives are expressing less concern about issues such as cost volatility and supplier quality or supply issues. In its quarterly risk survey, of 15 possible supply chain risks, 10 declined in level of importance and five increased. Volatility of commodity, transportation and energy costs all declined as did concerns about supplier quality. Issues that increased included supply chain security breaches and natural disasters, which headed up likely due to hurricane season and the H1N1 pandemic in the news. More

DHL Says Its SmartTrucks Save Money, Time and CO2
from RFID Journal
DHL reports that its SmartTruck initiative, which integrates RFID into its delivery trucks to enable faster package handling, has accomplished many of its goals. Nonetheless, the company indicates, the project is not ready to proceed to the deployment phase, because the technology has not yet achieved a 100 percent read rate of tags by the truck-mounted RFID interrogators. More



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