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