Outsourced Jobs to India May Now Go To Indiana

August 2, 2017

For years, American companies have been saving money by “offshoring” jobs — hiring people in India and other distant cubicle farms. “Today,” writes The New York Times (July 31, 2017), “some of those jobs are being outsourced again — in the U.S.” Salaries have risen in places like South Asia, making outsourcing there less of a bargain. (A decade ago an American software developer cost 5-7 times as much as an Indian developer. Now the gap has shrunk to 2 times). In addition, as brands pour energy and money into their websites and mobile apps, more of them are deciding that there is value in having developers on the same continent. Continue reading

Amazon Plans for Manufacturing Clothing on Demand

May 1, 2017

Amazon continues to cast a shadow over the apparel industry. Not only does the e-commerce giant create pricing headaches for major clothing manufacturers, but the company’s supply chain efficiencies and trove of consumer data are exceedingly hard to match.

Location Decisions and Incentives

March 28, 2017

When Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda learned that Riddell Inc. was looking to leave this small Ohio city, she came up with a $14 million package of tax incentives and offered to lease land to the company for $1 a year. It wasn’t enough. Riddell, which makes the football helmets used by NFL and college players, decided to move its 320 employees just over 2 miles down the road to a neighboring town, which offered its own bundle of incentives and lower corporate and individual income-tax rates. Continue reading

Returning Bicycle Manufacturing to the U.S.

by Barry Render

Kent International plans to produce 500,000 bikes in the U.S. in 2017, and more than 1 million by 2020.

Kent International plans to produce 500,000 bikes in the U.S. in 2017, and more than 1 million by 2020.

 

After decades of offshoring, bicycle manufacturing is coming back to the U.S. as overseas costs rise and companies realize the value of “local for local” production. “From hand-crafted boutique brands to high-volume manufacturing, U.S. bicycle makers are reshoring bike production,” writes Industry Week (Dec.8, 2016).  A confluence of factors are giving rise to new opportunities. Continue reading

Using Drones to Take Inventory at Walmart

by Barry Render

drone work in classic warehouse 3d image

Soon, the labyrinthine aisles at Walmart’s distribution centers — stocked high with canned beans, toys and many other products — could also have a low humming sound. The country’s largest retailer, reports Supply & Demand Chain Executive (June 6, 2016), is testing the use of flying drones to handle inventory at its large warehouses, which supply the thousands of Walmart stores throughout the nation. In 6-9 months, the machines may be used in its distribution centers.

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Google’s Self-driving Technology Creates a Revolution in Material Handling

March 24, 2016

ottoA swarm of robots will soon be overtaking John Deere’s Wisconsin  plant, reports New Equipment Digest (March, 2016). A fleet of new-generation AGVs will begin zipping through the lanes of the company’s assembly line, hauling parts and materials across the plant in an efficient, automated buzz. On the face of it, there is nothing too exciting about this news. Automated Guided Vehicles have been scurrying around pla Continue reading

Robots to Make Adidas Running Shoes in 2016

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adidas2A German factory operated largely by robots is making its debut this year as the sportswear company seeks to cut labor costs and speed up delivery to fashion-conscious consumers. Adidas had shifted most of its production from Europe to Asia and now relies on more than 1 million workers in contract factories, particularly in China and Vietnam. But Adidas now wants to bring production back closer to its major markets to meet demands for faster delivery of new styles and to counter rising wages in Asia and higher shipping costs, reports Reuters.com (Dec.19, 2015). Continue reading