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General Motors   CEO, Mary Barra, expects the automaker to offer self-driving vehicles to consumers later this decade. While autonomous vehicles   for deliveries   and   ride-hailing services are currently undergoing rigorous testing, manufacturing them for retail customers hasn’t been a priority for automakers because the technology needed for the systems is prohibitively expensive. “Later in the decade, I believe, and there’s a lot to still unfold, but I believe we’ll have personal autonomous vehicles,” she told investors Wednesday during the company’s   first-quarter earnings call. She did not specifically say GM would sell such vehicles directly to ...
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This past week, over 130 attendees from 19 states and Mexico converged on Amelia Island, Florida for three days of exciting education, networking, and plenty of sunshine. Attendees enjoyed a series of expert speakers, nightly social events, a highly engaging and interactive Foundation Fundraiser, and a spouse event that gave back to a local charity.     CLICK HERE to view the event photo gallery to see all the highlights.   Members were energized by the incredible location, the Amelia Island Omni Beach Resort, and almost everyone expressed the same comments during the event, “It feels so amazing to be able to see people face-to-face and discuss industry ...
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Freight Broker CH Robinson See Q1 Per Mile Rates Jump 33% versus 2020 US truckload and LTL rates continue to soar, causing a growing number of companies to warn of Q2 earnings risk due to rapidly rising transportation costs. The Cass Linehaul Index which measures US full truckload contract rates before any fuel surcharge or other accessorial fees, rose 10.1% year-over-year in March from the same month in 2020. On month-over-month basis, the seasonally adjusted index was a sharp 2.0% higher than February, in the ninth straight monthly increase. That’s the rise in contract rates. In the broker or spot market, things are even worse.   Giant freight ...
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Dive Brief: Road builders will be the biggest winners of any infrastructure spending bill passed this year by Congress, with contractors who work in the environmental public works space sharing in the spoils too, according to a leading construction economist. Richard Branch, chief economist at Hamilton, New Jersey-based Dodge Data & Analytics, broke down three competing scenarios for infrastructure spending starting at the end of 2021. He looked at President Joe Biden's   $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan , the Republican's alternative   $568 billion proposal   and Dodge's own baseline plan, developed on the assumption that some form of an infrastructure ...
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New technology solutions could be transformative—but only if executives properly prepare their organizations. In recent years,   supply chains have become substantially more challenging to manage. Longer and increasingly interlinked physical flows reflect the rising complexity of product portfolios. Market volatility, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has elevated the need for agility and flexibility. And increased attention on the environmental impact of supply chains is triggering regionalization and the optimization of flows. As a result, companies and stakeholders have become more focused on supply-chain resilience. Supply-chain management ...
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U.S. auto retail sales for April are expected to be the highest ever recorded for the month, helped by strong consumer demand and tighter inventories at dealerships, industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said on Wednesday. Retail sales for new vehicles in April are forecasted to reach 1.3 million units, up 110.6% compared with last year, said the statement.   Total auto sales for April, including retail and non-retail, are projected to reach 1.5 million units, a 107.1% increase compared to the same period in 2020. "With the sales pace exceeding the rate at which vehicles are being produced, compounded by significant production disruption due ...
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Recruiting practices need to change if manufacturers want an agile, data-driven, resilient, global supply chain that can sustain a competitive advantage. According to a recent survey of U.S. and European supply chain leaders about ‘cost of disruptions’ by   The Economist , more than half (53%) of all organizations stated they were “lacking employees with advanced digital and analytical skills.”   The last 12 months brought these skills gaps into sharp focus, as most global companies discovered that their supply chains were unable to adapt to challenges brought on by the pandemic. Driven by globalization, geopolitical upheaval, new technologies, big data, ...
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Study: Only 40% of manufacturers perform proactive tests The pandemic created a breeding ground for hackers and bad actors. At the outset in March 2020, many companies viewed the move to remote work as temporary, and they reacted accordingly, doing whatever it took to get employees up and running in remote environments. But this move to remote work increased cybersecurity threats. Individuals’ home networks lack the protections of a company network. Personal computers are more vulnerable than company-issued and -managed equipment.   Further, some employees took sensitive files home, and financial professionals were handling company money with less oversight. ...
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Release of OSHA’s Covid-19 emergency temporary standard is on hold at the request of Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Secretary Walsh reviewed the materials and determined that they should be updated to reflect the latest scientific analysis of the state of the disease,” a Labor Department spokesperson told Bloomberg Law on Tuesday. The review is of the standard’s analysis of the disease, not the standard’s regulatory text. It’s been more than three weeks since the March 15 deadline President   Joe Biden’s   executive order   had set for DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to decide whether a standard was needed; the ...
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Toilet paper now seems to be in   ample supply ,   ketchup packet shortages   are vexing restaurants, and semiconductor chip shortages are causing major economic   damage   to auto makers. Why is it so hard to get these supply chains straightened out, and what more thrills are likely in store? A little over a year ago, I   wrote   about how shortage gaming was affecting the toilet paper supply chain. I didn’t realize that would become my most popular   Forbes   article ever, making me seemingly a   renowned   expert in toilet paper   (which I really am not). But the gist of that piece was that you   didn't have to be an expert   to know that ...
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With organizations eyeing a return to the office soon, most leaders are breathing a sigh of relief. But not everyone will be returning at the same time, if at all, and many of their teams will be made up of new people who weren’t part of the team “before time.” How can leaders of hybrid and remote teams incorporate new team members quickly and jump-start integration so that innovation, collaboration, and communication are even better than before the pandemic? Some of these challenges existed before the pandemic. Managers of hybrid teams often reported the forming of cliques, or teams-within-teams. The people in the office were jealous of the ...
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Yes, it’s 4/20. Yes, it’s another blog about marijuana. No, it’s not what you think. Let’s start with some facts. The conversation about marijuana in the workplace is becoming more common. Employers can sometimes struggle to hire employees who can pass a drug test because of recreational or medical marijuana. Much of this stems from the fact that attitudes toward marijuana are changing around the country. It is also important to know that marijuana has increased in potency over the years. The level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient, has increased from an average of 1% in the 1960’s to over 15% now. In fact, strains in Colorado have ...
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Energy consultants, energy suppliers, energy managers, energy brokers, energy advisors, the utility…if your head is spinning from the options made available to your organization when it comes to taking control of your energy usage, it stands to reason. So, where do you turn and what’s the best course of action to consider? Let’s start by taking a closer look at what holistic energy management means. Holistic Energy Management Energy is without a doubt one of the top expenses for any organization. It’s a no-brainer to aim for decreased energy costs, but the question becomes: what is the best way to reduce costs and minimize budgetary risks while concurrently ...
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The MTI Educational Foundation Scholarship submission process is still open through April 30, 2021. The Foundation Board has approved 11 scholarships for a total of $51,000 for 2021. If you have anyone in your company, or know of anyone who qualifies, please forward this notice to them.   The MTI Educational Foundation Scholarship Program is open to students who are interested in a career in metallurgy, materials science, engineering, industrial, and/or mechanical sciences. Applicants must be currently enrolled, or recently accepted, as a full- or part-time student in a nationally accredited college or technical school. Applicant’s area of study must be one ...
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Introduction This paper explains reactions that can occur during a vacuum processing cycle and different methods of preventing these reactions. We will discuss how eutectic compositions can form while heat treating and how diffusion bonding can be a concern to heat treaters when two dissimilar materials are in close contact with each other in high vacuum at elevated temperatures. To many people, the term “eutectic” is not well understood. The best way to think of a eutectic is a metallurgical meltdown. A eutectic reaction occurs when two components with different melting points and surfaces free of oxides come in contact with each other in the vacuum furnace. ...
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The U.S. transportation system could go through a major overhaul as the country comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan and a pair of studies, all released last week, point to a major shift over the next 10 to 15 years to electric vehicles from those that use gasoline or diesel for fuel. Trends already were heading that way, and the need to rebuild the economy is expected to provide the financial push to expand the infrastructure needed to support more electric vehicles. Part of Mr. Biden’s $2 trillion proposal, which he released Wednesday in Pittsburgh, calls for spending $174 billion to bolster the use of electric vehicles ...
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Smart Channel Selection for Remote and Hybrid Teams   Remote teamwork is here to stay and we’re not close to giving up the office. Teams will increasingly have to juggle among communication channels and platforms to adapt to their rapidly evolving workplace.  But what’s the point of multiplying communication channels if they are not used effectively? On this matter one big mistake we’ve seen during the pandemic is wrong channel selection…when teams chose the wrong channel, at the wrong moment, for the wrong task. Some teams even lock themselves into limiting “workplace ideologies” like the zero-office company, the zero meetings team, the lovers or enemies ...
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Clara Remacha, the Strategic Accounts Project Manager for HP’s 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing business based in Barcelona, is an industrial engineer who works with hospitals and physicians to print 3D anatomical models and a variety of orthotics. She was part of the team that launched HP’s first 3D printer and has helped several customers turn 3D-printed designs into product applications over the last four years.   At a networking event at a local hospital in March 2020, a physician colleague of Remacha’s warned her about how COVID-19 was ramping up. More than 1,200 cases had been confirmed since the first case on January 31—barely over a month earlier. ...
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Too often, when hard times hit, Lean goes out the window—though it is needed more than ever. We are all familiar with the notion that Lean tools and methods provide a solid basis for continual improvement of operations. We’re also accustomed to the idea that a successful Lean initiative takes months, even years, to implement effectively. One source that I checked says that it takes 10 years. Lean methods are not generally thought to be crisis intervention tools. If anything, Lean tools too often tend to go out the window when hard times hit. We think this is a mistake, and our experience has been that organizations need to double down on Lean methods during ...
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Here's a bold claim: Every conversation in the workplace that's not about the weather or sports is a negotiation. From simple process changes to the significant issues of strategy and structure, the dialog that promotes workplace progress is a form of soft negotiation. Think about it… How many times were you involved in situations recently where someone (maybe you) needed something to move forward? The something might be a bigger budget, access to resources, a change in procedure, or a minor or significant schedule adjustment. In the era when group lunches were an option, even those were negotiations of sorts. While it's nice to think strategy work, project ...
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