MHI debuts U.S. Roadmap

By Bob Trebilcock, Editor at Large
October 08, 2013 - LM Editorial

MHI, the organization representing materials handling in North America and the sponsor of ProMat and the upcoming Modex event in Atlanta unveiled the first draft of the Material Handling & Logistics U.S. Roadmap at its annual meeting in Orlando last week. 

The first draft is the result of four roundtable events in the spring of 2013 that brought together material handling and logistics practitioners, suppliers, academia, associations, publications and government. At each event, roundtable attendees “contributed thoughts about the capabilities and resources that the material handling and logistics industry needs to develop between now and 2025.”

The report was introduced by Kevin Gue, a professor at Auburn University and the editor of the roadmap. “We are on the cusp of real transformation in retail distribution and manufacturing,” Gue said at the event. “The big changes will only happen if we come together in new ways.”

The challenge to the industry, he added is whether the industry will determine its future or have it forced upon it. “Will we lead or be led?” Gue asked.

The first draft is just that – a draft. It will be open for feedback until around October 15th.

Those of us who attended the event also had the chance to hear from a panel of five industry practitioners who participated in one of the round table events. They represented the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Boeing, Disney, FedEx SmartPost and Nestle USA. The group covered a variety of topics, from Big Data to visibility. If there was a common theme or two from the discussions it was the need to work together in order to get to the next level of supply chain efficiency – that collaboration thing - and the need for talent.

To the first point, Matt Weinberg, a supply chain analyst with Nestle USA, and Randolph Bradley, a technical fellow in supply chain management for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, discussed ideas such as combining warehouses with other companies to share and minimize costs and standardizing the size of packages that move through the supply chain. “Stats from the Federal government state that the average trailer is 42% full and the average trailer with a load is only 56% full,” Bradley said. “There’s a $65 billion opportunity if with can ship full trailers with the right standardized containers and packages.”

To the second point, several panelists pointed out that supply chain management and logistics is gaining recognition within organizations, yet the industry still has an image problem when it comes to recruitment.

“How many of us go to our kids’ career days and tell them what we do?” asked Laurie Hein Denham, president of AST&L. 

“When I go to college fairs, I get asked why FedEx needs mechanical engineers,” added Jonathan Rader, manager, design engineering at FedEx SmartPost. “We just haven’t marketed the industry well.”

Big challenges are ahead of us. But, in response to the question posed by Gue at the beginning of the presentation, it appears as if the material handling and logistics industry is poised to lead and not be led.



About the Author

image
Bob Trebilcock
Editor at Large

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484 and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) August edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business saw its PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth, fall 1.6 percent to 51.1, following a 0.8 percent decline to 52.7 in July. Even with the relatively slow growth over the last two months, the PI has been at 50 or higher for 31 consecutive months.

Hackett observed in the new report that China’s economy has lost steam, with actual growth falling short of targeted rates, while the United States most recent second quarter GDP reading at 3.7 percent outpaced expected targets, even though it was negatively impacted by gains in manufacturing and retail inventories.

The proposed merger of Cosco and CSCL could spark further container consolidation

The average price dropped 4.7 cents to $2.514 per gallon, which now stands at the lowest weekly average price for diesel since July 2009, when it was at $2.542 the week of July 27, 2009, according to EIA data.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in June dropped 3.8 percent annually to $99.0 billion. This followed a 10.8 percent decline in May to $92.7 billion.

Article Topics

News · Materials Handling · MHI · All topics

About the Author

Jeff Berman, News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA