A study into manufacturing turnover at a Chinese factory suggests that high turnover is not just a problem because a less knowledgeable worker comes in, but also because turnover disrupts efficient workflows, says researcher Ken Moon. "It's not that the new worker necessarily performs worse than the one who left; it's that the workflows and the social relationships on the line matter," he says.
Machine builders should focus on developing industrial control systems that, at the very least, are easy to use, comply with local safety standards and can be updated or re-designed over time, says Simone Gianotti of Schneider Electric. "The players that stay ahead of the pack by building the most intuitive and efficient machines will surely remain successful as technology advances," he says.
Cloud data storage should be a prerequisite for internet of things investments, writes Sean Ventura, chief information security officer at Atmosera. "By migrating to the cloud before you install sensors, you'll create a single point of control, with greater accessibility from day one, and all data -- IoT-collected or not -- is locked down immediately," Ventura writes.
Businesses are creating more sustainable supply chains as a direct way to boost profitability, a survey from HSBC found. Of those surveyed, 31% say they will make social and environmentally friendly changes to their supply chains during the next three years, with 84% reporting improved revenue and financial performance as primary motivations.
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Consumer packaged goods brands are treating food waste as a supply chain inefficiency to be corrected, writes Dale Buss. Tyson Foods' Yappah snack, for example, is made from chicken trimmings, unused vegetable puree and beer-brewing byproduct.
A sustainability agenda must be set and met by every product or factory under the 3M umbrella, the company said on Wednesday. The shift will require changes to some of 3M's supply chains and will affect the approximately 1,000 new products 3M launches annually.
Manufacturers aren't offering pensions nowadays, and a market-return cash-balance plan might be a better alternative than the 401(k), argues John Lowell of October Three. "Costs are highly predictable and stable, each employee's benefit is funded during his working lifetime, and according to recent October Three study, more than 90% of them in existence today are fully funded," he writes.