Tag Archive: Brookings study

Manufacturing Month & Interview with an Innovation Award Winner

October 25th, 2019

October is manufacturing month. We would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the power of manufacturing on our jobs, economy and quality of life.

Manufacturing is powerful in its influence and often overlooked.

Here are a few statistics from the National Association of Manufacturers to put the power of manufacturing in the proper light:

  1. Manufacturers contributed $2.8 trillion to the U.S. economy
  2. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.82 is added.
  3. The majority of manufacturing firms are quite small yet there are 12.82 million manufacturing workers in the U.S.
  4. Manufacturing workers earn almost $85k annually
  5. 92% of manufacturing employees are eligible for health insurance
  6. Over the the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will be needed.
  7. Over the past 28 years, U.S. manufactured good exports have quadrupled
  8. Manufacturing in the U.S. would be the 8th largest economy in the world.
  9. Manufacturers perform 64% of all private-sector R&D
  10. Foreign direct investment in U.S. manufacturing exceeded $1.6 trillion.

We are excited about the future of manufacturing in the U.S. and in the Inland Southern California area. In fact, according to a Brookings study, it is one of the top two recommendations to create a consortium for advanced manufacturing excellence. We are working with the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, more than 10 local universities and community colleges, and partner organizations and exporters to bring this to a reality! We are currently seeking CEO and manufacturing executive involvement from an advisory capacity. If you are interested, please contact us.

To illustrate one success in manufacturing, we thought we’d highlight my interview with Ingram Micro after they won the Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire‘s Innovation Award in Process & Resource Efficiency. As Innovation Awards Chair, it was an exciting day to see such innovation and success in the Inland Empire! In this interview, I had a great conversation with Ismael Reyes Jr, Lean Leader II and process expert, as well as Cindy Baughman, Senior Process Manager and finance guru at the Manufacturing Summit to explore further what they achieved with 33 lean projects, a $1 million dollars of savings and more. Watch the video.

In alignment with what we see with our clients, the 80/20 of success boils down to people and leadership combined with the appropriate process improvements to drive dramatic improvement to performance to customers and the bottom line. If you are interested in discussing a rapid assessment of what can be achieved in your organization, please contact us.

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People & Robots Can Co-Exist Successfully

May 23rd, 2019

We held an engaging executive panel discussion at our APICS Inland Empire spring symposium on the topic: “The Talent Transformation: People or Robots? There is quite a lot of hoopla in Inland Southern California as this geography is larger than all but 24 states (and soon will take over Lousiana) with a strong manufacturing and logistics base.  Yet, the threat and opportunity of automation is close at hand. According to a University of Redlands study, most large metropolitan areas are subject to losing 55% of their current jobs due to automation. In Inland Southern CA, that number expands to 62%. What will this mean? Disaster or opportunity?

According to a robotics expert with a background in industry, Carnegie Mellon and Harvey Mudd, the CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), a Director at Honeywell and a recruiter and practice lead at Aerotek, we can rest assured that people and robots can co-exist successfully. Of course, this assumes we are proactive in thinking about automation, retraining and educating our workforce and providing the insights and collaboration opportunities such as the executive panel event.

We had some probing questions from the manufacturing and distribution professionals in the audience, but it was unanimous that a solution exists. We also talked about Middle Harbor which is a high-tech area of the ports. This has proven more challenging as negotiations have put some people out of a job yet still getting paid for it. With that said, there were many examples of success with business growing 3-fold while the company doubled the workforce and more. Hiding under a rock is definitely not the route to success. Instead, be a part of the collaborative effort.

As a Board member of IEEP and a supply chain expert, I am helping to lead a consortium for advanced manufacturing and logistics success to address just this topic (resulting from the Brookings study research). If you are interested in staying in the loop with updates, please email me. I’ve created a special interest list for this topic.

The students from Harvey Mudd presented some exciting robotics research they are conducting with industry on how to successfully navigate cluttered workspaces (as most manufacturing and distribution clients require). Much progress is being made.  And, robots aren’t going away. There are many positives in terms of consistency of quality, replacing competitive motion tasks, reducing workers compensation and labor risks in addition to cost savings. With that said, there are also some challenges to overcome such as what happens when technology goes wrong (like with the Boeing 737 Max). There is always risks to mitigate and people who are overlooked. The panel discussed the Challenger disaster and the employee who warned ahead of time to the technical glitch.

What are you doing to evaluate technology from a strategic standpoint? Will you be left in the dust? Grocery stores might have been a bit complacent before Amazon bought Whole Foods. Are you complacent? On the other hand, please don’t follow fads. When everyone thought outsourcing was great and Boards insisted on following the trend no matter the total impact, several companies outsourced and were sorry later when service went down and costs weren’t saved. If you’d like an assessment, contact us.

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The Talent Transformation: People or Robots?

April 14th, 2019

automationNo matter the industry and geography, the topic of “People vs. Robots” is a hot topic!

Certainly, manufacturing has been focused on technology and automation for quite some time to navigate the path to thrive in the modern environment of high costs, regulations, and elevated customer demands.

The Manufacturing and Technology Expo in Pittsburgh is going back to the theme of the 1939 World’s Fair, “The World of Tomorrow”. The Manufacturing sector has seen positive job growth not seen in 79 years. As Industry Week says, “We don’t have smoking robots but we have ones that perform lung surgery.”

Our APICS Inland Empire Chapter is hosting an executive panel and networking symposium on just this topic, “The Talent Transformation: People or Robots?” on April 13th at Harvey Mudd. We have an intriguing panel of executives and experts to discuss automation, robots, IoT, AI and much more. How do we co-exist successfully? Join us to learn more and probe further.

In logistics circles, there is quite a bit of worry and opportunity. According to a University of Redlands study, most large metropolitan areas are subject to losing 55% of their current jobs due to automation. In Inland Southern CA, that number expands to 62%. However, it depends on your thought process. UPS automated a section of their facility that reduced the number of people they needed by 100 yet they ended up hiring as they absorbed additional volume. Additionally, it depends on whether you are furthering your education and skills. We find proactive employees and employers in our Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM)’s APICS certification classes who want to learn and grow.

For Inland Southern California, we have a particularly unique opportunity or challenge, depending on how you want to look at it. According to a Brookings study, we must focus on advancing the capabilities and competitiveness of local firms in opportunity-rich manufacturing and logistics industries. What an opportunity for us to leverage technology hand-in-hand with talent to THRIVE.

If you are interested in discussing whether your organization is prepared to leverage these opportunities and what priorities should emerge, contact us. We are experts and would love to see the U.S., California and the Inland Empire take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to enable scalable, profitable growth.

Find out how to navigate disruption and achieve peak performance.

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