The lean Six Sigma approach uses the overlap to improve efficiency through greater use of data analysis, Back2Basics principal Jeff Sipes writes. "You can do one without the other, of course, but if you look at them entirely separately, you miss the synergy between them," he writes.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise kept its dealer partners under one roof when it created its e-commerce platform, allowing buyers to shop from partners while remaining on the HP Enterprise website. Over the past two years, the move has led to increased visits, higher average order value and sales leads, and more time spent on site.
Webinar - What's on tap in manufacturing and distribution in 2020? It's almost 2020, do you know what you need to be ready? Register for the webinar on Thursday, December 5th at 2 PM EST where experts from Netsuite and Deloitte will discuss what's ahead and what strategies will work best to remain competitive as they head into next year.
Just-in-time manufacturing has become so common that in order to stand out, manufacturers need to excel at timing and customer service, which they can do with the help of key performance indicators, Amanda Loudin writes. Manufacturers should also work with reliable suppliers that can keep up with demand, says reverse logistics expert Robert Lee Gordon.
Small and midsized businesses such as machine shops are increasingly using wearable biometric security devices to track employees on the job and collect data that managers can use to optimize processes, Marla Keene writes. The devices can also prevent workers from operating machinery they aren't trained for.
Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle, is on a mission to combat the world's plastic waste problem by encouraging consumers to move from single-use to reusable packaging models through an initiative known as Loop. Despite the high risks, Szaky has managed to win the support of companies like Clorox, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Nestle, and believes the convenience factor will determine the success of the model.
Fluid power manufacturer Kocsis Technologies needed a fresh look, so it changed its company culture to emphasize accountability and went out of its way to hire younger engineering and production employees as well as older, experienced salespeople, writes business development manager Paul Kocsis. The company also improved its brand messaging and offers continuing education opportunities.
Collaborative apprenticeship programs involving multiple manufacturers and partners can attract more participants and local investment, but conflict can arise when companies compete for the same people, says Johann Fortwengel of King's College London.
Identifying all of the environmental, health or safety regulations that apply to a manufacturing plant may be challenging, but not knowing the requirements will not avoid potentially costly fines and penalties. Expert Laura Andrew from Dakota Software gave an example of sugar dust leading to an explosion at a sugar refinery - meaning that the sugar refinery needed to follow regulations for combustible materials. Learn more about how a manufacturer can use a simple decision-tree in plain language to wade through the requirements and more in the full interview.