Make sure to perform operational due diligence before an acquisition even if there is pressure to focus only on financial issues, writes Ambrose Conroy of Seraph. "Operational details add context to the financial numbers, the financials can guide the operations team in prioritizing its review, and the legal team can incorporate financial and operational findings into a sound share purchase agreement," he advises.
Robots' roles in factories will change rapidly as they depend less on scripting and are able to integrate wirelessly, says Rodney Brooks, chief technology officer at Rethink Robotics. He cites safety as another emerging priority in robotics.
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Telematics solutions reduce supply chain disruptions by providing real-time visibility, writes Kelly Frey of Telogis. Customers are happier when distributors can prevent issues that threaten service-level agreements, Frey notes.
H&H Castings is applying results of an eye-tracking study conducted by Tobii Pro Insight to reduce training time for new employees in the foundry's melt department, according to manager Jacob Hammill. The company is also using attention data gathered by the study to make the pouring process safer, he said.
Walmart has worked to incorporate sustainability as a "shared value" within the business rather than something separate, says CEO Doug McMillon. In addition to the long-term economic benefits of sustainability, he said, Walmart understands that customers want to feel positive about the products they buy.
More technology manufacturers are designing products with repairability and recyclability in mind, with information- and consumer-technology products that are up to 96% more durable than expected by consumers, according to Wrap Recycling Action Program data. Products that are easy to disassemble are easier to repair and can be cheaper to manufacture, writes techUK program manager Craig Melson.
Manufacturers should see increased automation as an opportunity to train employees differently, write Michael Gretczko and Ina Gantcheva of Deloitte. Use virtual reality and augmented reality to provide advanced-skills training without sacrificing production, they recommend.