Business & Industry

Companies Want to Get Social in their Enterprise Collaboration

Collaboration technologies are allowing employees to communicate in real time and work together more easily across enterprises of all sizes. But research suggests that many companies are lagging behind in taking advantage of such tools and the potential they promise for organizational effectiveness. Workers respond well to user experiences that replicate what they are used to in their personal...

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Business & Industry

Industry Crib Sheet: Obama Adds Manufacturing Research Hubs

Equipment Finance Firms Exhibit Slight Caution Asian Solar Panel Demand Simmers, Not Sizzles Report Shows Disparate CO2 Emissions Among States President Barack Obama last week unveiled two more manufacturing innovation institutes in his National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) intended to push forward advanced manufacturing technologies and sustain long-term growth of high-tech jobs...

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Business & Industry

The Light Side: UMass Researchers Defend "Oddball Science"

Artifical Muscles from Household Materials This Isn't Your Father's Power Suit As a Team, You Can Move the Earth Think you have it tough justifying your department budget at work? Try being a biologist working in basic science research as government spending pressures threaten to slash funding. Writing in the February issue of the journal BioScience, on behalf of the American Institute for...

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Business & Industry

Editor's Note: The Culture Club

Over the past two weeks, one theme has recurred in my work and travels: business transformation, notably in procurement. Earlier this month, I moderated an Institute for Supply Management-New York executive panel on workforce talent and transformation. On Tuesday in Orlando, I was in the audience for a back-to-back general session and executive panel on procurement transformation at SciQuest's...

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Business & Industry

Minding Your Business: The Paradoxical Thinking that Prevents Success

Two electrical contractors work in the same fairly large community. Their skill sets, market focus, demographics, pricing, and customer service philosophies are essentially identical. At one time, the contractors were actually friends, but one business continued growing, expanding, and enjoying great success, while the other never grew past the initial start-up phase.   Both businessmen...

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Business & Industry

AMT Viewpoint: NIMS Is On the Right Track

In recent years, as the manufacturing industry has been challenged with bridging the skills gap in its workforce, NIMS, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, has demonstrated the importance of industry-supported standards as a clear pathway to increasing the number of accredited education and training programs at schools around the country that meet today's needs at manufacturing...

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Business & Industry

2014 Government Market for Manufacturers

Amid a generally stronger economy and higher consumer confidence, public-sector agencies are earning higher tax revenues. Governments at all levels will be replenishing their coffers, and that will lead to greater agency spending in 2014. This bodes well for businesses that sell to the government sector, as demand from office furniture to batteries, and especially information technology, will...

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Business & Industry

M2M Communication Is Prelude to "Smart" Manufacturing Systems

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in manufacturing operations are helping manufacturers produce products faster and at lower costs. But beyond that, they are also enabling qualitatively different, "smart" manufacturing operations that could transform the way a number of industrjes makes products, components and materials. A recent report by research firm Frost & Sullivan, based in Mountain...

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Business & Industry

Industry Crib Sheet: Sign of Rebound After Early-Year Slump

Businesses Holding the Line on Firings Sweet 16 Achieve Record State Exports in 2013 Companies Fall Short on Managing Culture One of the two closely watched purchasing managers indexes shows that U.S. manufacturing is rebounding rapidly after a slowdown in January. The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI rose by a full three points to 56.7 in February, the highest level in almost four years. The...

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Business & Industry

The Light Side: Does the "Five-Second Rule" Exist?

Autonomous, Termite-Inspired Robots that Build Like Mad Bus Riders Are Detoured by Another Horror-Movie Prank Let's Face It, This Is Awkward -- but Hilarious Admit it. You've done it before. You are about to bite into a delicious muffin when, in your sudden clumsiness, it slides out of your hand and plops on the floor. You quickly squat down, pick it up, dust it off, and declare, "Five-Second...

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