Reminders

Manufacturing Value Chain

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Dow Chemical and DuPont recently announced a merger that will result in two of Americas oldest firms becoming a $130 billion behemouth. The deal, a merger of equals, has been agreed as an all stock deal with an even split of board members and share holder value. Dow and DuPont are the 3rd and 4th largest chemical companies in the world, and the merger will make the new company (DowDuPont) the 2nd largest trailing only BASF. Shortly following the merger, the company will then split into three separate publicly traded companies in agriculture, material sciences, and specialty products.


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Infor Announces Acquistion of GT Nexus

By John Santagate

Infor announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the world's largest cloud based global commerce platform, GT Nexus, for $675 million. This acquisition brings together two highly innovative organizations, with a complementary solution set that will deliver for customers "the first global commerce cloud with end-to-end control and visibility for the production of direct goods"


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In my recent post, "Rise of the Machines - 4 Factors Driving an Increase or Robotics in the Manufacturing Supply Chain", I discussed a few elements that are supporting the move towards leveraging robotics in manufacuting. We are certainly seeing a move towards automation in the manufacturing process, and in at least one Chinese Province (Guangdong Province) there is an active effort to replace human labor with robots.


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The impact of the omni-channel revolution is being felt across every element of business today including warehousing and fulfillment strategies. Customers today are more connected, more informed, and more demanding than ever before, and as a consequence, manufacturers are forced to reevaluate their fulfillment strategies in order to meet ever increasing demand for fast, accurate, and low cost delivery of product to the customer. One element of this adaptation is for manufacturing firms to evaluate the viability of a micrologistics network.


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The use of robotics in the manufacturing supply chain began back in 1961, when GM installed the Worlds first industrial robot on a production line. Granted, that first robotic installation was nothing compared to The Terminator or Wall-E, but what it lacked in Hollywood appeal, it made up for in its ability to transform the way things are made. In the manufacturing environment of today, robotics are now playing a significant role, taking on jobs beyond assembly and helping to drive efficiency, consistency, and productivity across the supply chain.


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LLamasoft, a rapidly growing Supply Chain solutions company, has announced its acquisition of the LogicTools business unit from IBM for an undisclosed amount. The move enhances the already robust competencies at LLamasoft in the areas of inventory and product analysis, transportation analysis, and network design while allowing IBM to continue to focus on reshaping its business towards its cloud and analytics offerings.


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Visibility of inventory as it navigates its way through the supply chain is a common objective and challenge across organizations, regardless of industry. In a perfect world, visibility extends through the supply network (raw material) to the point of consumer consumption (finished goods) and everything in between (WIP/sub-assemblies) to provide an accurate portrayal of the health of the organization relative to inventory. Clear line of sight of all inventory in a supply chain network as well as the velocity, variability, and other related data, goes a long way in supporting supply chain optimization efforts. However, robust visibility in the supply chain is not a reality for many organizations leading to excess inventory in the network driving sub-optimal supply chain performance. One area of significant delinquency in improving inventory visibility is seaborne container shipping.


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IDC Manufacturing Insights New Team Member

By John Santagate

The past 3+ weeks have been very insightful (no pun intended) for me, as I have been going through the on-boarding process here at IDC Manufacturing Insights. I have had the opportunity to meet with many of the team members and am looking forward to continue to meet the team.


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