On the Wire | News and Analysis from the Web for the Week of August 24

“Lean manufacturing has been around for decades. The implementation of lean tools and techniques usually result in impressive gains in efficiency and production. When implemented correctly, lean is a comprehensive process that eliminates waste from manufacturing processes, thereby reducing cost and adding value to the customer. . . .”


FreightWaves Wrap: Logistics industry looks at next steps in Hurricane Laura response.  FreightWaves 8/27

” As the Gulf Coast region picked through the wreckage left by Hurricane Laura, the logistics industry swung into action, swiftly seeking to determine how crazy it will get sending trucks into the region to rebuild infrastructure and restock shelves. . . .”


A New Perspective on the Post-COVID Supply Chain.  Material Handling & Logistics 8/27

” For decades, labor cost differences have been a primary influence in the continuous shift of manufacturing production from the U.S. to China. In 1980, the cost of labor in the U.S. was more than 30 times of that in China. As China became less agrarian and more of its population migrated to large cities to work in new factories, wages rose dramatically. By 2018, the U.S.-China wage gap had closed to only four times, rising approximately 200% in the U.S. but over 2,000% in China over nearly 40 years. Yet, despite the sharp rise in Chinese manufacturing wages over the last 20 years, offshoring continued. The U.S. manufacturing industry suffered, including millions of lost jobs, stagnant inflation-adjusted wages and a decline of the middle class. . . .”


The Right Bot for You.  Industrial Distribution 8/25

” In manufacturing tech circles and businesses alike, lots of people are talking about robotic process automation (RPA). Shortly after Gartner hailed RPA ” the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market”, it’s been described by some as a cure-all for high-volume, repetitive processes that often drive workers crazy. Is RPA the all-mighty solution to delivering  unprecedented advances in productivity, efficiency and accuracy? There is a bot for everyone. Right? . . .”


Microsoft says the pandemic has changed the future of cybersecurity in these five ways.  TechRepublic 8/24

” Cybersecurity has shot to the top of business agendas in recent months, as the sudden shift of workforces from the office to the home highlighted a host of new threats within remote-working setups. Add to that the explosion in opportunistic cybercriminals hoping to cash in on the situation, and businesses are faced with a security minefield as the prospect of remote work looms indefinitely. . . .”


5 Ways to Build a Culture of Safety for the Long Term.  EHS Today 8/24

“‘Workplace safety’ has become a buzz-phrase in 2020, as the pandemic has made safety concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 a top priority for most business leaders. . . .”