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 Feature Industry Articles 
Thursday, January 12 2017
Seven Major Trends Influencing the Logistics Industry in the Future

By Kevin Hill, Online Marketing Manager at Quality Scales Unlimited


Emerging, mature and international markets are now part of the growth strategy of a vast number of companies. It is now the standard to go ‘international,’ and logistic solution providers have a role to play in enabling this trend through a transportation network. 

A Workforce that is Technologically Savvy 

Mobile technology has made people comfortable with technology since they are familiar with it. The current generation expects to have equipment in the workplace that can provide the same engagement using technology that they enjoy on their smartphones and cars.   

The millennials, those born in the 80s and 90s, are coming into the workforce and bringing traits that are bound to influence how technology is used. They are confident, able to multi-task, tech savvy and expect instant gratification. It is these factors that must be considered in with regards to this group and how you present information to them. With such a workforce, the next ten years will experience changes that will prove disruptive. 

In America today, 76 percent of the teenagers are on social media, 78 percent carry a cell phone, and 93 percent can access a computer at home. They spend most of their time engaging in computer games, and by the time they turn 21, they will have spent an average of ten thousand hours gaming.  This is now becoming a global trend. Equipment in the work place as well as management techniques will need to adapt to these workers.  

Posted by: AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 12 2017
The Future and Financial Incentives for Green Development

By Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel

We can all agree that the face of environmental protection and green development has changed dramatically over the past decade. What once used to be a small faction of the population is now a booming voice that is crying for change, and many across the political aisle have recognized the importance of action. From innovation strategies to technological advancements to incentive-based government programs, going green is now a talking point in almost every home and office across the country. 

In fact, it is in these markets that some of the best strides are happening. Energy efficient appliances, solar photovoltaics, and eco-friendly construction materials are now common phrases to be heard at dinner tables and conference tables alike. Demand for green development is at an all time high, with many in the industry feeling like it has nowhere to go but up, even if the road gets a bit rockier in the coming year. 

Posted by: AT 09:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 12 2017
Medical Device Manufacturing: Current Trends and Existing Opportunities

By Pete Mohan, Site Selection Consultant, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting


Medical device manufacturing is a dynamic industry, holding the attention of nearly every economic development agency in the country. However, with only about 300,000 employed in the industry nationwide, there are certainly limited opportunities to secure such operations. To help understand the direction that business is heading, a closer look at the prevailing trends is necessary. As saturation in traditional MedTech markets begins to push activity to other parts of the U.S. and the globe, new growth opportunities emerge for the burgeoning industry. 

National Trends

Throughout the nation, manufacturing employment faces the growing headwinds of automation and process improvement. Despite a growing economy since the end of the Great Recession that has seen a 6.9 percent increase in overall employment since 2012, manufacturing employment growth was less than half that rate (3.3 percent). The highly-technical nature of most medical device manufacturing operations makes the industry even more susceptible to technological forces, resulting in decreased employment but increased efficiency and profitability. This is corroborated by a decrease in employment of a half percent over the same period, while simultaneously growing gross wages by 11.3 percent, a truly impressive increase in the face of employment loss. See Table A.

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Wednesday, January 11 2017
Plastic Resins Continued Its U.S. Renaissance in 2016

By Woody Hydrick, Managing Principal and partner in Global Location Strategies

The growth in plastics resins production in the U.S. is continuing full steam. The American Chemical Council (ACC) reported in 2015 that $137 billion in capital investments in new plastic resins production operations had been announced in 225 projects with the investments predicted to come on line through 2023. The ACC also reported that these projects are expected to directly generate 127,500 jobs.

In the United States, plastic resins are primarily produced using natural gas liquids (ethane, propane, etc.) as their feedstock. In Asia and other parts of the world, plastic resins are normally produced using the crude oil derivative naptha as their raw material. Pricing for plastics resins is global, meaning the price paid for them is roughly the same wherever the buyer is in the world. Therefore, costs savings on raw materials, as well as the cost of the energy required to run the production operations, can be of great benefit to the manufacturers. The low cost of natural gas liquids (compared to crude oil) due to the large shale gas reserves in the U.S. give domestic producers a competitive advantage versus their foreign competition. Add in the low domestic cost of natural gas and electricity to power these production operations, and the result is clear: the United States is an advantaged position to produce plastic resins. 

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Wednesday, January 11 2017
The Data Center Revolution  - Who are Gordon Moore and Robert Dennard, and What Do They Mean to Me?

By Angelos Angelou, CEO, Angelou Economics, and Allan Paddack

“There were five exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days.” Eric Schmidt of Google (2010)

Information has been called the oil of the 21st century, and managing it is big business. There are approximately three million data centers in the U.S. That’s about one for every 100 of its citizens. They contribute, either directly or indirectly, $1 trillion or more, to the economy each year, which is over seven percent of the nation’s GDP. Given the relationship of information to the economy, it is not surprising that nearly every community across the country is actively seeking to attract one to their location. Sure, there are jobs associated with a data center, but as has often been noted by data center critics that there aren’t many direct jobs in an automated facility. The real benefit to a community of a data center is the indirect economic impact of technology investment. That investment attracts other high tech businesses, raises the quality of jobs and wages in the area and, of course, the tax base. And, at the rate of data center expansion seen in the first decade of the 21st century, every city and town could expect to have one by 2020.

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Wednesday, January 11 2017
16 eCommerce Logistics and Warehousing Best Practices to Follow

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

There is nothing quite like the ease of ordering things online. The holidays are around the corner, and millions of Americans will turn to their phones, computers and tablets to get the gifts they need. Unfortunately, millions more will still go to brick-and-mortar stores to find those special items, and the push toward online and omnichannel ordering will continue grow, which is why it is increasingly important to invest in eCommerce Warehousing.

In your organization, the ability to adapt to the changes in demand of your direct consumers and business-to-business (B2B) partners will strain even last year’s technologies. However, if you can leverage these “best practices,” you can create an eCommerce warehousing solution ideal for both holiday and year-round scalability and growth.

Posted by: AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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