December 8, 2017
The manufacturing sector continued to grow at an above-average rate in November, as the impact of back-to-back hurricanes over the summer recedes, according to an industry survey released on Dec. 1.
Output spiked and employment remains strong to produce “a really strong report” on the sector, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said.
The ISM’s purchasing managers index slowed to 58.2% from 58.7% in October, but remained well above the average for the past year, with 14 of the 18 industries surveyed reporting growth.
However, the decline actually reflects an improvement in conditions following the hurricanes, as transportation issues from storms are being overcome, Timothy Fiore, chair of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, explained.
The supplier deliveries index fell nearly five points to 56.5%, which indicates shipments are speeding up.
Manufacturers expected to see three months of transportation difficulties in the wake of the hurricanes — especially Hurricane Harvey’s hit to the key chemical and oil production facilities in Houston — as well as six months of impacts on prices, Fiore said.
He noted that only 5% of comments from the manufacturers surveyed mentioned the hurricanes, down sharply from the prior two months.
The report showed a three-point jump in the production index to 63.9%, and a more than half-point rise in new orders to 64%, while employment slipped a tenth to a still-strong 59.7%.
The only industries reporting contraction were wood and petroleum and coal.
Fiore said industries reported that “price pressures continue,” with 16 of the 18 sectors surveyed reporting increases. The price index slipped three points to 65.5%.
The comments from the companies surveyed indicate a strong surge into 2018, with many noting they are not seeing the usual year-end slowdown in orders.
“We are just coming off a record sales year. We expect to continue in 2018 robust activity,” one manufacturing firm said.
Meanwhile, a metal producer noted, “We are seeing steady, consistent demand for end of year. We usually see a slowdown, which we haven’t seen yet.”
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2017
November 6, 2017
The IIoT is part of a larger concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a network of intelligent computers, devices, and objects that collect and share huge amounts of data. The collected data is sent to a central Cloud-based service where it is aggregated with other data and then shared with end users in a helpful way. The IoT will increase automation in homes, schools, stores, and in many industries.
The application of the IoT to the manufacturing industry is called the IIoT (or Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0). The IIoT will revolutionize manufacturing by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds, and far more efficiently than before. A number of innovative companies have started to implement the IIoT by leveraging intelligent, connected devices in their factories.
What are the Benefits of IIoT?
The IIoT can greatly improve connectivity, efficiency, scalability, time savings, and cost savings for industrial organizations. Companies are already benefitting from the IIoT through cost savings due to predictive maintenance, improved safety, and other operational efficiencies. IIoT networks of intelligent devices allow industrial organizations to break open data silos and connect all of their people, data, and processes from the factory floor to the executive offices. Business leaders can use IIoT data to get a full and accurate view of how their enterprise is doing, which will help them make better decisions.
One of the issues encountered in the transition to the IIoT is the fact that different edge-of-network devices have historically used different protocols for sending and receiving data. While there are a number of different communication protocols currently in use, such as OPC-UA, the Message Queueing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) transfer protocol is quickly emerging as the standard for IIoT, due to its lightweight overhead, publish/subscribe model, and bidirectional capabilities. You can read more about MQTT here.
Challenges of the IIoT
Interoperability and security are probably the two biggest challenges surrounding the implementation of IIoT. As technology writer Margaret Rouse observes, “A major concern surrounding the Industrial IoT is interoperability between devices and machines that use different protocols and have different architectures.” Ignition is an excellent solution for this since it is cross-platform and built on open-source, IT-standard technologies.
Companies need to know that their data is secure. The proliferation of sensors and other smart, connected devices has resulted in a parallel explosion in security vulnerabilities. This is another factor in the rise of MQTT since it is a very secure IIoT protocol.
The Future of the IIoT
The IIoT is widely considered to be one of the primary trends affecting industrial businesses today and in the future. Industries are pushing to modernize systems and equipment to meet new regulations, to keep up with increasing market speed and volatility, and to deal with disruptive technologies. Businesses that have embraced the IIoT have seen significant improvements to safety, efficiency, and profitability, and it is expected that this trend will continue as IIoT technologies are more widely adopted.
The Ignition IIoT solution greatly improves connectivity, efficiency, scalability, time savings, and cost savings for industrial organizations. It can unite the people and systems on the plant floor with those at the enterprise level. It can also allow enterprises to get the most value from their system without being constrained by technological and economic limitations. For these reasons and more, Ignition offers the ideal platform for bringing the power of the IIoT into your enterprise.
June 20, 2017
Accenture Manufacturing Infographic Calls Explains State of Manufacturing In Survey With 250 Top Manufacturers
Each year Accenture takes a look at the state of manufacturing and this year is no different…..except they took it a big step forward in the way you consume that information. Accenture has not only create a comprehensive easy to understand infographic, but also created a quite immersive interactive website to explain the findings in the report. On their website, the main conclusions they tout are around operational flexbility, stating:
Accenture’s global manufacturing research study reveals that companies must have greater operational flexibility to substantially increase revenues and margins, boost production levels and improve labor efficiency.
In particular, with this study Accenture wanted to understand how manufacturers are performing and what initiatives they are embarking on to align their operations with market challenges and opportunities. We had 250 senior manufacturing executives from around the world participate this year, and they represented companies with annual revenues that range from $500 million to more than $50 billion.
How are Manufacturers Performing These Days, Still a Pretty Tough Market?
You’re right, it’s definitely a challenging time to be a manufacturer. But Accenture actually found that those participating in our study are doing pretty well. Production levels, revenues, and profitability have all increased during the time for the vast majority of them. And most manufacturing executives are optimistic about continued growth in the future. In fact, executives believe their most important markets will offer plenty of growth opportunities.
However, there are still things that could stand in the way of growth. Most of these would be classified under the broader category of volatility—such as global currency instability, unpredictable commodities costs, uncertainty about customer demand and where that demand is going to come from, political and social unrest, and then obviously government regulations that might be imposed upon them. So although manufacturers are growing and confident about their prospects in the future, there are always risks that they need to watch out for.
View the Accenture Manufacturing Infographic Below
April 18, 2017
When you hear “lean manufacturing“, you have your own world view of what it means. Every lean manufacturing consultant offers expertise but few will be an expert with every tool. To ensure you have the very best options for lean manufacturing tools, our team did extensive research which includes websites such as LeanProduction.com.
Continue reading at:Cerasis
April 10, 2017
January 30, 2017
If you’ve seen the latest issue of Manufacturing Business Technology (April 1, 2016), you were surely drawn to an article by Rootstock CEO Pat Garrehy on how manufacturing is being altered by the Cloud and other new technologies it is cultivating. According to Garrehy, “Conventional wisdom holds that as technology advances, the world gets smaller…Manufacturing firms are moving to cloud-based ERP systems to access large amounts of critical data in real time anywhere along their supply chains, scale operations up or down as needed, all at reduced costs.”
Garrehy goes on to project that “the ability to store and access critical data in the Cloud is enabling new technologies that promise to transform manufacturing even more and, in the process, allow firms of all sizes to access even more of the global economy.”
The ERP industry veteran argues that “before the cloud, small manufacturers were at a distinct disadvantage, lacking the financial and technology resources to compete in global markets. Many large manufacturers who already had a global presence invested heavily in on-premise ERP systems over the years in an effort to leverage data into business intelligence. Unfortunately, those legacy systems proved insufficient to the global challenges because of high operating costs, frequent customization, outdated hardware, limited functionality and limited access to data.
“Along came cloud computing, with its access to data and applications over the Internet in real time,” Garrehy states. But, that’s just the beginning, he ventures.
“We’ve seen how manufacturing has been transformed by cloud computing. However, the cloud itself is being transformed as it integrates into other new technologies, including mobile devices, the Internet of Things and soon, wearable devices.”
To read the entire article, head over to http://www.mbtmag.com/article/2016/04/how-cloud-and-new-technologies-are-transforming-manufacturing.
January 24, 2017
Debt Market Information on Terms and Rates
Including data from agencies (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), CMBS, life companies and banks, and recent transactions closed.
Multifamily Loan Programs > $3 Million
Multifamily Loan Programs < $3 Million
Commercial Property Loan Programs
Bridge Loan Programs
Construction Loan Programs
November 18, 2016
One of the largest changes in the economy that affects U.S. businesses is the direction of interest rates. Interest rates are typically lowered when the economy is sluggish and the Federal Open Market Committee — the group of Federal Reserve Bank economists who monitor the economy — decides that conditions warrant lowering. Interest rates are usually raised when the economy is picking up or strong, in an attempt to keep the economy from overheating and currency from inflating.
Since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, interest rates have generally been low. In fact, for the past several years, they have been at all-time lows.
What impact does that have on your business?
Well, lower interest rates mean that it’s less expensive to get loans. As a result, it’s easier do the things that a loan might pay for, such as expanding offices, hiring new people, and buying new equipment.
So right now might be a good time to expand.
However, because rates have been historically low for a relatively long period of time, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the financial and economic news. Anything that stays at a historic low for a long time is bound to go up.
The FOMC usually raises rates gradually — 0.25% to 0.50%. But when they start to climb, they can do so for a while. The FOMC meets multiple times per year, and it can, theoretically, hike rates each time.
So rising interest rates could, in a few years, mean that it’s expensive to get loans. It’s a good idea to keep track of the direction and plan accordingly.
November 15, 2016
The US manufacturing sector is on the rise, which was not the case previously. The growth in the automotive industry supports the success that continues to make these industries thrive within the US. Another factor is that improvement of domestic plants cost competitiveness, in comparison to the rise of manufacturing expenses as a result of high wages in other countries, draws attention of majority back to the US manufacturing industry. Here are some of the attributes that will help revitalize this industry.
Colleges as career factories
As the need to replace retiring employees within the US manufacturing field continues to rise, there is the threat of recruiting new hires from community colleges that offer generalized training. A new measure in place to provide job-training programs will help deal with the issue. Collaboration with community colleges to offer programs that the industry needs will be the other way to deal with this challenge.
Creation of regional centers of expertise
Manufacturing innovation and realization of new business opportunities lead to production of hi-tech and high-margin products. They can achieve this through creation of regional centers of competence that specialize in a particular area and leverage on that as well will make this achievable.
Value-addition on exports
The idea to make import more expensive than exports will also help revitalize the US manufacturing industry. To achieve this, there is a plan for those who ship products from the US, to acquire certificates equal to the value of their exports, while importers acquire certificates from exporters. That means exports become cheaper and this will make US goods more competitive.
November 11, 2016
Success in big or small businesses depends on several factors that work together in a seamless manner. However, it is important to note that what works for large enterprises, may not necessarily apply to small businesses. Here are some valuable tips that act as treasures for the success of small businesses.
Excellent customer service
If you operate a small business, success takes more than offering great products because even if they were the best in the market, without great customer service, then it is all in vain. You should employ customer service tactics that touch lives in a special way, to the extent that you create memorable experiences. Community projects provide a great avenue to touch lives, and this enhances public outlook as part of excellent customer service.
As a small business operator, you might not need to do a lot to attract new clients in some instances. The biggest challenge is how to retain them when they become loyal customers. Loyalty programs that suit your business and your customers are an excellent way to achieve this, and this is a strategy that large firms use as well to achieve success in business. Therefore, probability of customer retention is greater with relevant loyalty programs.
Price is a major factor when it comes to success in business, but small businesses lack the muscle to compete with larger ones in this aspect, as they try to either match or beat prices that large companies offer. The trick, in this case, is for small businesses to provide alternative experiences that are unique in comparison to price. That sets small enterprises apart and causes them to succeed.