Industry Market Trends

Friday Focus: 3 New Grants for Manufacturing

March 29, 2013

In March, several new grants became available to help spur manufacturing growth and strengthen industry training. Here are three of the newest investments to aid industry and its pipeline. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Global Steel Production Down in February

March 28, 2013

Worldwide crude steel output fell slightly between January and February, but remained above the February 2012 level. However, U.S. steel production declined on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Washington State Roundtable Emphasizes the Cost of Unskilled Labor

March 28, 2013

A new report reveals the economic toll of the skilled worker shortage in Washington state, and emphasizes that filling jobs could generate $720 million in new state tax revenues annually. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Demystifying “Green” Supply Chains: 5 Steps for Manufacturers

March 28, 2013

By Yves Leclerc, West Monroe Partners Being “green” is no longer a new concept. Whether it’s improved public perception or bottom line results, organizations ranging from global enterprises to nimble start-ups understand that embedding green initiatives is just good business.  But, for a mid-sized manufacturer without deep pockets or a team dedicated to such initiatives, where do you begin? It can seem overwhelming given all of the complexities and inner workings of your supply chain. But, it can also make real financial sense. For decades, many manufacturers turned to Lean as the answer to cost savings and efficiencies with little focus on sustainability. Unfortunately, many of these Lean  initiatives only eliminated waste on a temporary basis. Without an internal Lean team to oversee processes constantly, waste can creep back in, disrupting process flow. Today’s manufacturers should focus on optimization through engineering to build sustainable and green operations across all aspects of the supply chain. They can do this by following these five steps. Read More

Industry Market Trends

EPA Chemical Risk Assessment to Focus on Common Flame Retardants

March 28, 2013

epa-logoThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will begin assessments on 23 commonly used chemicals, with a specific focus on flame retardant chemicals, in order to more fully understand any potential risks to people’s health and the environment. This effort is part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan, which identifies commonly used chemicals for risk assessment. Flame retardants can be found in a wide variety of products, including furniture, textiles, and electronics. Some flame retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in people and animals, and have been shown to cause neurological developmental effects in animals. Read More

Industry Market Trends

More States Considering Miles-Traveled Fee for EV: A Fair Burden or a Disincentive?

March 27, 2013

For several years now, a handful of states in the U.S. have encountered and tried to solve a vexing problem: Gasoline taxes have traditionally be a major source of funding to help repair roads and other needed infrastructure. But with high-mileage vehicles and electric cars starting to show up more and more on roads, the money raised by gas taxes is dwindling. And as more major auto manufacturers join Nissan, Tesla, Fisker, and others in making all-electric cars, you have to figure the gas tax money will continue to shrink. The latest state to try to tackle this problem is Oregon. In that state gas taxes account for approximately 60 percent of the funding used to repair city, county, and state road projects, and clearly, legislators there are concerned about the future. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Where Does the U.S. Rank in Global Business Friendliness?

March 27, 2013

Research indicates that American companies and entrepreneurs still benefit from one of the most favorable business climates in the world, but government regulation and oversight may be eroding the country’s advantages. Read More