Industry Market Trends

Climbing Hardwood Prices Floor Home-Building Industry

October 16, 2014

The U.S. housing market is facing a new headwind — a jump in the cost of hardwood prices. The hike also is escalating the price of wood pallets. Against the backdrop of rising raw materials prices, most of the American hardwood flooring manufacturers have been forced to raise prices on finished goods. Some... Read More

Industry Market Trends

Viewpoint: Can Walmart's 'Made in America' Campaign Last?

October 16, 2014

As I remember tuning into ABC and David Muir’s “Made in America” series last year, I find myself thinking about how U.S. manufacturing has come back. Walmart made headlines last year, when it announced plans to buy $250 billion ($50 billion new) in products that support American jobs over the next 10 years. It... Read More

Industry Market Trends

Lean Processes Are 'Low-Hanging Fruit' of Maintenance Savings

October 15, 2014

Lean processes, while being widely deployed in manufacturing, are only now gaining the recognition they deserve in plant and facilities maintenance. Regardless of the systems in place, the visibility and management of critical spares and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) procurement represent in many cases... Read More

Industry Market Trends

Biomaterials Weave Their Way Into Manufacturing Value Chains

October 14, 2014

Manufacturers and brands have raised the level of bio-based materials they use in their products. Their reason for using plant-based materials is, in part, to meet sustainability goals. However, such materials, green as they might be, are now competitive with petrochemicals in the critical areas of cost and... Read More

Industry Market Trends

Editor's Note: The German Way

October 13, 2014

Even with all the good things happening in our manufacturing revival, the European -- specifically, the German -- manufacturing innovation and apprenticeship models are ones we admire and often remark about in relation to our challenges. A recent Harvard Business Review blog elucidates the formula that makes the... Read More

Industry Market Trends

Viewpoint: It Takes a Village to Spark Youth Interest in Manufacturing

October 9, 2014

As Hillary Clinton so aptly put it, "It takes a village" to raise a child. In the case of raising the next generation entering the workforce, this is particularly true. It takes a village — every one of us in manufacturing — to ensure that there is a next generation of skilled workers. When it comes to... Read More

Industry Market Trends

Design a KPI Program that Realizes Business Goals

October 8, 2014

Business journals have devoted much coverage to key performance indicators, and “KPI” has become as much a thrown-around buzzword as any other in discussions about business performance. It is important not to lose sight of the essence of KPIs and what they are about. A key performance indicator is a measure of... Read More