Manufacturing associations in the Chicago area try to connect city residents to jobs in the suburbs, but more needs to be done to get people into good, well-paying manufacturing jobs, experts say. Public transportation access is a problem, while Freedman Seating CEO Craig Freedman says many would-be employees lack the core skills and work habits required.
It's ultimately up to manufacturing employers to come up with ways to have enough employees with the right skills, writes Elizabeth Mann Levesque of the Brookings Institution. She also notes the need for clarity and consistency among postsecondary credentials in manufacturing.
The University of Arkansas was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Transportation Department's Maritime Administration to create the Transportation and Maritime Analytics Partnerships Hub, also known as TransMap. The hub will gather and disseminate data in the form of real-time interactive maps to help government officials and private sector executives design, construct and maintain transportation infrastructure such as waterways, rail lines, roads and highways, according to university officials.
Productivity can wane without a specific, actionable and relevant plan that can be measured, writes Naphtali Hoff. He offers five steps for planning your productivity, including categorizing tasks by priority, setting goals using the SMART model and physically organizing your workspace.
A second bidder has arisen for Anixter, which recently agreed to be acquired by a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice affiliate for $3.8 billion. Anixter is in discussions with the undisclosed bidder, President and CEO Bill Galvin told employees.
C&S Wholesale Grocers plans to sell three warehouses to Ahold Delhaize USA, which is moving toward a self-distribution model. C&S and Ahold Delhaize's Retail Business Services subsidiary will provide supply chain services as Ahold Delhaize makes the transition.
Distributors can use social media to network with potential employees and use video to speak to candidates remotely, writes Bridget McCrea. Other ways to improve hiring include offering schedule and workload flexibility, McCrea adds.
Energy-storage systems are drawing more attention from investors and manufacturers. Tesla and General Motors are working on lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles, while billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are among those supporting iron-flow battery development.
Manufacturers can handle trade concerns by creating a trade team from different departments, monitoring for trends and understanding that each situation is distinct, Lisa Caldwell writes. "Just as they need to combine people from across the business, manufacturers must also put in place the tools and processes to consolidate all their data and understand the details," she writes.
Manufacturers' artificial intelligence and machine learning projects often fail before they can get results, but six strategies can help ensure success, writes Greg Diamos of Landing AI. Those include having clarity on data acquisition, achieving agreement among stakeholders and not being preoccupied with perfection.