Orders for core capital goods rose 0.5% in June, and shipments grew 0.6%, according to the Commerce Department. Orders for durable goods increased 0.8%, supported by increases in transportation equipment and civilian aircraft.
Manufacturing and construction buyers are most likely to use search engines for online shopping, followed by manufacturer websites and distributor websites, according to a Distribution Strategy Group study. "We think this shows -- again -- that distributors have to figure out their e-commerce strategies and invest in solutions that meet customer needs," research leader Dean Mueller said.
Ransomware attacks are increasing in frequency, and companies need to safeguard industrial control systems and operational technology both to protect themselves and to avoid regulatory scrutiny, experts say. Grant Geyer of Claroty recommends organizations adopt the "three lines of defense" model, run real-time security exercises and understand where to focus safeguards.
Contractors generally take the risk of increasing material costs under standard contracts, although allowances and contingency work differently depending on the particulars of each project, Colm Nelson writes. Insurance options are starting to be offered to cover material price escalations, but Nelson advises that it's usually in the best interest of contractors and project owners to simply find an outcome that ensures all parties' interests are protected.
Six tenets are at the core of lean construction, a set of collaborative practices for project management that help contractors meet challenges. Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks at how contractors use lean construction in conjunction with integrated project delivery and building information modeling.
Training, development and career-growth opportunities are essential to keeping manufacturing employees younger than 25, according to a study by The Manufacturing Institute's Center for Manufacturing Research. In addition, mobile, flexible training has emerged as a necessary alternative to degree-based learning.
Better awareness of manufacturing careers, new styles of training and increased diversity are all needed to source talent, write Ethan Karp, president and CEO of the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, and Jessica Borza, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition. They offer use cases to address these challenges and suggest "a holistic approach, one that requires radical collaboration among manufacturers, state and local government, academia, community leaders, nonprofits, students and workers."
The Biden administration's efforts to change labor regulations, including ones regarding worker pay and the classification of independent contractors and employees, are raising concerns with some industry groups and lawmakers. They say Biden's proposals could put more burdens on employers and hamper the economic recovery.
Shipping container rates have risen sharply during the pandemic amid increased demand for consumer goods, backlogged ports and delayed transport through the Suez Canal. "I have been in this business for 20 years, and $4,500 was the previous high I had seen for a container from Asia to the US West Coast before the pandemic," said Robert Khachatryan of Freight Right Global Logistics. "I think that will be the new floor."
Jinsoo Kim, a student at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, won the Best of Show award in the 2021 AWFS® Fresh Wood Competition at the 2021 AWFS® Fair in Las Vegas. All 24 Fresh Wood student finalists went home with monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000, along with trophies and software prizes.
Winners were announced for The Great Closets Challenge, which took place July 20-22 during AWFS® Fair 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attendees had the chance to assemble a custom closet system while competing against their peers for an Apple Watch.
The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) is a non-profit organization that owns and produces the biennial AWFS®Fair. AWFS® members include manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, software, tooling, components, wood products and supplies for the wood industry. To learn more, visit http://www.awfs.org/.
Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®)