Tag Archive: Material Handling and Logistics

Are Robots Good or Bad?

April 19th, 2017

According to the Material Handling & Logistics, robots are slashing U.S. wages and worsening pay inequality. That is certainly a provocative statement! According to new research by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo, one additional robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio from 0.18 percentage points to 0.34 percentage points and slashes wages from 0.25% to 0.5%. Regardless of the exact figures, it is certainly accurate that robots will replace certain types of jobs.

automation

Is this good or bad? It is for you to decide based on your circumstances. Technology and automation can keep you competitive and “save” higher skilled jobs since costs are reduced and so there is less incentive to move manufacturing away from the customer base to a lower cost location. On the other hand, robots will minimize the number of repetitive jobs needed. Are you continually building on your skills? And, are you supporting continual skills building in your workforce?

 

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

We are hearing more and more about technology, automation and robots. Thus, if you aren’t at least thinking about this strategy, you’ll likely be left in the dust. With that said, we are the first to say — do not automate for the sake of automation. Does it support a key need of your business? Will it help you provide a better customer experience? Will it help you be more competitive to grow your business? Think carefully before jumping for the sake of following the popular trend.

If you don’t have a high labor cost environment, will robots make sense? Perhaps not. Just like everyone and his brother jumped on the outsourcing craze several years ago and many later discovered it didn’t make sense in their case (often by learning the hard way with unhappy customers), think before you leap. Stay on top of the latest technology and search for business needs where this tool “fits the bill” to drive business results but do not blindly follow any person or crowd.



LMA Consulting Group’s Lisa Anderson Participates in Material Handling and Logistics U.S. Roadmap  

April 12th, 2017

Material Handling & Logistics U. S. RoadmapLisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, CLTD and president of LMA Consulting Group, acted as a Roundtable Participant, providing input in the development of Material Handling & Logistics (MH&L) U.S. Roadmap 2.0. A collaborative business effort, The Roadmap’s purpose is to guide the industry through supply chain and logistical challenges—domestic and international–through 2030. Roadmap 2.0, which was released at ProMat 2017 in Chicago this month, focuses specifically on technology, consumers, workforce, and logistics infrastructure.

“Roadmap 2.0 is a comprehensive, well thought-out and insightful compilation of trends and technologies that will help provide a broad perspective of where supply chain is headed,” shares Lisa Anderson. “It should be required reading to keep the findings from these supply chain industry thought leaders in mind when setting strategy and considering future potential end-to-end supply chain disruptions. Undoubtedly, manufacturers and distributors will gain valuable takeaways from the Roadmap.”

Anderson was part of a community of nearly 200 strategic thinkers, including material handling and logistics practitioners, equipment and software suppliers, academia, associations and government. Participants sat in on roundtable events held August through November 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia; Trenton, New Jersey; Ontario, California; Tucson, Arizona; and Chicago, Illinois. After dividing into breakout sessions, attendees shared their insights on both recent and anticipated developments in the field. They also identified the core competencies that companies will have to develop within the next decade.

Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.



US Roadmap 2025

October 17th, 2016
US Roadmap

It is critical for manufacturers and distributors to keep track of the rapidly changing factors that impact the supply chain including technological and workforce issues. The US Roadmap 2025 is a strategic study to weather and thrive amid current and future global disruptors.

The Material Handling and Logistics Association has taken the lead in updating the roadmap for supply chain and logistics for 2025. I participated in a strategy session focused on thinking about what is coming in ten years, what disruptors are likely to exist and how we should prepare to succeed in 2025. Southern California is #1 in both manufacturing and logistics; thus, there is much to think about to stay ahead of the curve and think about how technology, workforce, and other factors will affect logistics in the future.

For example, we discussed the impact – or lack thereof – of the Panama Canal. Although it is certainly an alternative, it might not be as much of a threat of the change in the origin of manufacturing. As manufacturing moves away from China, could different routes make other ports more viable? The advantage Southern California has is the sheer size and capability of the ports – they can handle big ships (which many others cannot), there is deep water, the equipment and infrastructure at the ports is available, etc. However, there are grave concerns about the 710 freeway coming out of the Long Beach port. Traffic and congestion is a big concern. What is likely to change in the next ten years? Can we collaborate with government? Will autonomous vehicles be commonplace? How about increasing truck traffic at night? There are many considerations to ponder.

It is wise to stay on the leading edge of what is of such critical importance to manufacturers, distributors, logistics providers and the economy. Think about attending local trade association events such as APICS Inland Empire’s executive panel and networking symposium on “Navigating the Global Supply Chain”. Read trade journals. Talk with colleagues. Ask experts. And join us at the Material Handling and Logistics Roadmap 2025 unveiling at ProMat in April 2017.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

APICS-IE Focuses on ‘Navigating the Global Supply Chain’

 

Lisa Anderson Invited to Participate in the 2017 U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics