5 min read

Don’t Ditch the Lean Supply Chain

By Steven Calhoun on Nov 5, 2021 10:37:09 AM

In recent months, some supply chain thinkers have all but blamed lean inventory levels for the challenges and delays the world has faced in 2020 and 2021.

Topics: US Manufacturing Megatrends
4 min read

Reshoring: Time to Step Up and Accelerate the Trend

By Mike Kinder on Oct 20, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Back in early 2020, I published a couple articles aimed at encouraging US Manufacturers to stay the course and go on the offensive while global supply chains hemorrhaged amidst geopolitical turmoil. Now is the Time to Take it Back and Manufacturing Companies, Keep the Faith and Soldier On were calls to action during a time of great confusion and chaos – periods which have consistently proven to be the right time to rise above the noise and come out on the winning side.

Topics: US Manufacturing Megatrends
4 min read

What is the Bullwhip Effect? (Supply Chain)

By Steven Calhoun on Jul 14, 2021 11:15:00 AM

You’ve likely been here before: you get an order that’s unusually large from your customer. And then another customer, and another customer. So you take that as a sign that demand has increased for your product, and you order enough supplies to sustain this level of demand based on your forecasts. Then a couple weeks later, your demand has settled back to its average level. What happened?

Topics: US Manufacturing Megatrends
3 min read

Reaching Sidelined Workers with Flexible Work Options

By Steven Calhoun on May 28, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Companies in the US have faced challenges finding workers for the past few years. This is partially due to the pandemic, but inflation, commodity prices, and shifting expectations about work are trends that will continue to make the labor market challenging.

Topics: US Manufacturing Workforce Innovation Megatrends
4 min read

How US Manufacturing Can Realize Productivity Growth

By Pete Conrad on Jan 15, 2021 2:00:00 PM

US Manufacturing is lagging behind the overall economy in growth, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). The sector is seeing limited growth, however, with a PMI above 60%. 

Topics: US Manufacturing
3 min read

Average Manufacturing Wages for Chicago, IL in 2021

By Steven Calhoun on Dec 30, 2020 10:08:00 AM

Do you ever wonder if what you’re paying workers is why they never seem to stick around?

Maintaining a strong team is hard enough without workers leaving for better pay down the street. Maybe you’ve started to consider changing the compensation you offer, but it’s a big headache to figure out what’s fair or even competitive.

That’s why we’ve gathered the average manufacturing and logistics wages for Chicago, Illinois in the most common roles in these industries. 

Topics: US Manufacturing
2 min read

Average: You are what you plan for

By Adam Rubatt on Jul 20, 2020 8:00:00 AM

When you’re in operations, you're always thinking of the future.  Whether it’s for the next shift, next week or next quarter, you’ll need to create a forecast that will help you prepare for the demand coming your way.  And for all businesses, there is a common practice of how those operations plans are created.  You look at historical demand, take the average, and build your forecasts off that.  

Topics: On-Demand Labor Digital Manufacturing US Manufacturing
2 min read

Be Robust by being Local

By Pete Conrad on Jul 13, 2020 8:30:00 AM

The US Department of Commerce's GDP analysis of manufacturing estimates the industry represents ~11% of the economy and has 1.4x multiplier effect for every dollar spent.  Those figures are already quite significant; however, this article outlines research from the MAPI showing that the US manufacturing sector’s economic contribution is actually 32% and has a multiplier effect of 3.6x for every dollar created. Suffice to say, US manufacturing creates significant economic contribution to our national economy as a whole, as well as local economies across the country.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing US Manufacturing
3 min read

Leanshoring - Blueprint to localize

By Pat Dippel on Jul 2, 2020 8:00:00 AM

US Manufacturing is resilient and has never been in a better position to reclaim what was previously given away, as discussed in Now is the Time to Take It Back.  Outsourcing inherently introduces significant risks to service and quality, and the calculations typically used to make the case to outsource are highly inaccurate and overstated; even a 20-30% miscalculation would single-handedly negate any potential savings.  Any remaining cost gaps can easily be solved for by leveraging lean methodology to eliminate waste.  This concept of Leanshoring is already happening around the country, led by those willing to do the work by aggressively and creatively finding lasting solutions that solve the real problem all businesses face: waste. 

Topics: On-Demand Labor US Manufacturing
2 min read

Fool Me Once...

By Nick Parrish on Apr 23, 2020 3:02:37 PM

Fool Me Once…

There’s an old adage, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…shame on me”.   Side note, I can’t help but read that in George W Bush’s accent and chuckle.  Looking at the world around us, it’s safe to say industry and society were collectively taken by surprise.  The effects are evident across everything from the price of crude, to the number of jobless claims, to the visible impact on the supply chain.  Despite all of that, manufacturers and distributors are still being called on to answer the bell and produce and deliver goods with minimal disruption.  

Topics: US Manufacturing