Critical Issues: Manufacturing/Supply Chain

Critical issues are thought provoking articles relating to strategy, legislation, technology, best practice and some of the most challenging business topics in the world of manufacturing and supply chain information technology. The articles in this section have been contributed by leading vendors, industry leaders, research analysts, trade associations and consultancies and cover a variety of topics relating to the manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, transportation and distribution marketplace across Europe. They look at market trends, improvements in technology and some thought provoking comment on all aspects of optimising and improving efficiencies throughout the supply chain from raw material to finished product.

Other important topics covered in this section concern Health and Safety in Logistics with articles from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).Taxation, government policy, climate change, recruitment and training schemes are all covered, as well as educational opportunities at various UK logistics educational facilities such at Cranfield University

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Manufacturing activity worldwide jumped in May – The GEP Global Supply Chain Volatility Index

1 Manufacturing activity worldwide jumped in May – The GEP Global Supply Chain Volatility Index

The GEP Global Supply Chain Volatility Index — the indicator tracking demand conditions, shortages, transportation costs, inventories and backlogs based on a monthly survey of 27,000 businesses — increased notably in May to 0.21, from -0.18 in April.

Deliveries are the “beating heart” of ecommerce. Here’s how mid-size retailers can keep at peak fitness

2 Deliveries are the “beating heart” of ecommerce. Here’s how mid-size retailers can keep at peak fitness

By Jeroen Terheggen, VP for Mid-Market, nShift.

What happens after the customer clicks “buy” often determines whether they will buy again or go elsewhere. The manner, speed, and experience around deliveries is a key “moment of truth” for the customer relationship.

Logistics lifehacks: How to organise and optimise facility schedules

3 Logistics lifehacks: How to organise and optimise facility schedules

By Tyler Nickel, Senior Product Marketing Manager, FourKites.

Wouldn’t life be easier if you only dealt with one commodity going to or from one provider, serviced by a single carrier?

Major energy savings opportunity for manufacturers enabled by energy-as-a-service arrangements

4 Major energy savings opportunity for manufacturers enabled by energy-as-a-service arrangements

New research from Siemens Financial Services (SFS) estimates the significant energy savings manufacturers could make through a wide scale deployment of energy-as-a-service arrangements.

Cloud managed services market is projected to increase at a CAGR of around 9.6% by 2032 – Fact.MR says

5 Cloud managed services market is projected to increase at a CAGR of around 9.6% by 2032 – Fact.MR says

The cloud managed services market revenues were estimated at US$ 86.1 Bn in 2021 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 9.6% from 2022-2032, according to a recently published Fact.MR report.

Industry investing in workforce wellbeing with nearly half increasing spending despite difficult economic conditions – Make UK research

6 Industry investing in workforce wellbeing with nearly half increasing spending despite difficult economic conditions – Make UK research

Over the past year, manufacturers have maintained their health and wellbeing commitment, with spend remaining consistently high. Companies have largely increased their level of investment (48.6%) or kept it at the same level (45.7%) in spite of difficult economic conditions.

UK manufacturers see revenue drop in Q1 2024, new figures show

7 UK manufacturers see revenue drop in Q1 2024, new figures show

SME manufacturers saw revenue decline by 10% in the first quarter of the year, according to new figures.

Traceability is key to protecting human rights in supply chains

8 Traceability is key to protecting human rights in supply chains

By Eric Linxwiler, Senior Vice President, TradeBeyond.

Across the globe, a transformative wave is reshaping the landscape of international commerce. Nations and economic blocs worldwide are instituting a broad array of supply chain due diligence laws aimed at eradicating forced labour and safeguarding human rights.

7 ways AI can reinvent inventory management

9 7 ways AI can reinvent inventory management

By Dusty Alexander, President & CEO, Global Shop Solutions.

ERP for manufacturing was first introduced back in the 1960’s at a time when basic software systems were being developed to help manufacturers improve their ability to manage, track, and control inventory.

IDTechEx explores 3D electronics and additive electronics in the automotive industry

10 IDTechEx explores 3D electronics and additive electronics in the automotive industry

With 3D electronics, bulky PCBs can be replaced, resulting in sleek and integrated designs. The automotive industry is one of the largest sectors benefiting from this technology, as electronics can be printed in a thin layer onto surfaces or integrated within components, which can be particularly useful for human-machine interfaces (HMIs).

Manufacturing Critical Issues

The manufacturing industry is facing a number of critical issues, including:

  • Supply chain disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political tensions/war has caused widespread disruption to global supply chains, and this is having a significant impact on manufacturing. Manufacturers are struggling to get the raw materials and components they need to produce their products, and this is leading to shortages and delays.
  • Labour shortage. The manufacturing industry is facing a labor shortage, as there are not enough skilled workers available to fill open positions. This is due to a number of factors, including the aging workforce, the decline of manufacturing in some countries, and the lack of educational opportunities in STEM fields.
  • Rising costs. The cost of manufacturing is rising, due to factors such as the rising cost of raw materials, energy, and transportation. This is putting pressure on manufacturers' margins and making it difficult for them to compete.
  • Technology adoption. The manufacturing industry is facing the challenge of adopting new technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence. These technologies can help manufacturers to improve efficiency and productivity, but they can also be expensive and disruptive to implement.
  • Environmental regulations. Manufacturers are facing increasing environmental regulations, which are forcing them to change their production processes. This can be costly and time-consuming, but it is essential for manufacturers to comply with these regulations in order to remain competitive.

Supply Chain Critical Issues

The global supply chain has been facing a number of critical issues in recent years, including

  • Labour shortages: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to labor shortages in many industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing. This has made it difficult to find and retain workers, which has led to delays and disruptions in the supply chain.
  • Equipment shortages: The global supply chain is also facing shortages of equipment, such as containers, trucks, and ships. This is due to a number of factors, including the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and increased demand for goods.
  • Port congestion: Port congestion has been a major issue in recent years, as ships have been waiting for days or even weeks to unload their cargo. This is due to a number of factors, including increased demand, labor shortages, and weather events.
  • Demand volatility: Demand for goods has been volatile in recent years, as consumers have shifted their spending habits due to the pandemic. This has made it difficult for businesses to forecast demand and manage their supply chains accordingly.
  • Natural disasters: Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, can also disrupt the supply chain. These events can damage infrastructure, disrupt transportation, and destroy inventory.

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