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 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.
The next shot from Seattle could be even more disruptive. <!–more–>
SeekingAlpha.com (April 29, 2017). (See the graphic below). The patent says the technology can be applied to a broad range of items, “including clothing or fabric products, accessories, footwear, bedding, curtains, towels, etc., in a wide variety of materials including, but not limited to paper, plastic, leather, rubber, and other materials.” Continue reading
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
by Barry Render
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
by Barry Render
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.
March 24, 2016
A 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
A 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