Overseas Manufacturing: Guarding Against Risk

PATTY RASMUSSEN| December 28, 2017
OVERSEAS MANUFACTURING: GUARDING AGAINST RISK
We've written a lot about protecting your facility and processes from cyber attack. As these incursions continue to escalate, in number and in scope, companies of all sizes must address the issue of cybersecurity. One thing we know for sure, uncertainty lurks everywhere. Which is an oxymoron so it’s funny, right?

Spotlight

Powell Industries

Powell (NASDAQ: POWL) was founded in 1947 as a metal-working shop to support the local Houston, Texas petrochemical facilities. While we began small, the company has grown over the past six decades to become the strategic supplier of choice for highly complex and integrated systems for distribution and control of electrical energy and other critical processes. A complete description of the markets served by Powell is available.

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Manufacturing Branding: A Ground-breaking Method for Increasing Product Sales

Article | January 19, 2022

Manufacturing branding is a relatively recent trend that is gaining traction in the manufacturing sector. Brand marketing is important for manufacturers in a variety of ways, including increasing business revenue and establishing product credibility within their target consumer group. 82% of people feel better about a brand after reading personalized content. 94% of customers are inclined to develop a relationship with a brand that is completely transparent. 13% of consumers would spend 31-50% more on your products or services if they believed your business was making a positive difference in the world. In this article, we will look at the advantages of branding to a manufacturer as well as how brand manufacturing may be established. What Difference Can Manufacturer Branding Make? "A brand is a voice, and a product is a souvenir" -Lisa Gansky, an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker Your Name and Work Will Be Publicized Branding is the process of enriching your products with a visual, linguistic, and conceptual identity that differentiates them from competitors. Ideally, factory branding would help you reach out to your potential clients by making them aware of your company's name and becoming familiar with what you do. Brand Marketing Builds Emotional Bonds Manufacturing branding is more than merely developing an image in the minds of your customers. It's about telling a story that strikes a chord with them.Once you've defined your message and the motivation for developing your products, customers will be able to connect with you more easily.Relatability is critical in an era of ever-changing trends and consumer behavior. Your clients will simply switch over to another firm that provides the same service and fosters a sense of belonging. The emotional value of your manufacturing brands should not be underestimated. Building Trust Is Easier with a Strong Brand A manufacturing brand that wishes to remain in business for the long run will communicate with its customers. The customers understand that you would not connect or share your story unless you intended to grow with them. However, this strategy works only if the factory branding is well-executed and demonstrates its authenticity. Modern customers can easily notice dishonesty or the use of a phony character. Increase of Distribution Channels Working on your manufacturing branding will help you expand your sales. Just make sure you have the necessary tools to sell via different channels. Creating a memorable brand doesn't merely attract customers. It will also assist in attracting potential distributors who may otherwise be reluctant to be your distributing partners. Your ability to negotiate quality agreements with resellers and reps will increase when your manufacturing brand is well-known. It simplifies their lives and saves them money on marketing. This is a domino effect issue. More distributors mean more exposure for your business, but a delicate balance must be maintained. Your personal connection with clients may be lost if you abdicate brand responsibility. So, provide superior customer service to maintain a connection with your customers. Profit Margin Is Increased A strong manufacturing brand will allow you to sell at greater prices. People will be happy to pay for a quality brand that they can trust. But what would really set you apart from the rest is if you could beat private companies at branding. Private brands are the house brands of shops and huge resellers who offer cheaper copies of your goods. Customers should be able to tell the price difference between a factory brand and a private brand. "You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do." – Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company How to Build an Effective Manufacturing Brand? Identify Your Intended Audience Identifying your target demographic is the first step in intentionally building your brand. You can build a buyer persona of the typical user of your product or by analyzing your current consumer base. Consider their age, gender, industry, occupation, education, interests, etc. To grow your brand and market your products more effectively, you need to create a buyer persona. Conduct Competitor Analysis Following that, it would be advisable to analyze your competitors' brands. In various markets and with companies in general, there are many brand features that are unique and widely utilized, and it would be counterproductive for a corporation to highlight those elements. For example, many B2B companies take pride in their product quality, reliability factor, and personal touch. When everyone is highlighting the same brand qualities, you will need a unique approach to stand out. Developing a Central Theme A brand's central theme acts as a pillar. It summarizes your company's principles and objectives in a single statement, or perhaps one word. It's a lot simpler to come up with marketing ideas and campaigns that connect with your company's philosophy and seem like a part of the brand. Developing Your Brand's Individuality Now, imagine your brand as a person, considering the preceding phases. You may gather every piece of information possible. The more specific you are, the more solidity your brand identity will have. Brand themes may help you develop your brand's personality and story. Using themes, you may classify individuals and fictional characters based on a common set of personality qualities. These are commonly used in psychology and marketing. Creating a Visual Brand for Your Business Finally, create a visual illustration for your organization. This includes producing unique logos that represent your company's beliefs, selecting colors, designing your website and blog, and everything that can be related to visualizing your corporate brand. Get familiar with geometric and color psychology, look at what prominent brands and other firms in your industry have done, and get on board with a good graphic designer to create the materials. Best Channels for Manufacturers' Branding Many businesses utilize social media, blogging with SEO suggestions, and email newsletters to boost their online presence. Content is the most important consideration when adopting these marketing methods. Hire good specialists to assist you in understanding your buyer's persona and developing buyer-centric content to capture their attention and generate potential leads for your business.An active social media presence enables you to increase the number of followers on your social media sites and reach millions of people via these platforms. Furthermore, you can start weekly newsletters to keep your subscribers updated on the latest developments, campaigns, and how you're working to develop the best goods possible for your target groups. Final Words Effective branding for manufacturing is what you need to increase your company's popularity and demand in a competitive market. Once you've established yourself as a known brand in your sector, you may pursue manufacturer branding, which is used by many well-known manufacturers such as Ford, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Apple. Use the above-mentioned techniques to create your own brand and stay ahead of the curve in your industry. FAQ What are the four elements of branding? A successful brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality, all of which must be present. What is the manufacturer’s brand? A product that has the manufacturer’s name on it or is used to market and sell the product. What is manufacturers’ label? The manufacturers label provides name and address of the manufacturer or distributor and relevant hazard warnings.

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Technologies to Adopt Now to Enable the Smart Warehouse Concept

Article | December 8, 2021

Why should warehouses be left behind as everything gets smarter in the manufacturing world? The future warehouse will be smarter and more innovative to speed up supply chain management procedures and assist businesses in intelligently segregating their raw materials and manufactured goods. So, what does it mean to have "a smart warehouse"? A smart warehouse is a big infrastructure that stores raw materials and manufactured goods and employs machines and computers to handle routine warehouse tasks that humans previously performed. Smart warehouses are inspired by smart factories and operate in a data-driven environment. It is the ability of the system in the warehouse to make it more efficient and productive by utilizing networked, automated technology. “I advocate business leaders get to know more about what AI can do and then leverage AI in proofs of concept.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft According to EASYECOM, nine out of ten businesses intend to include commercial service robots into their operations in some form. By 2025, it is projected that there will be roughly 23,000 robotic warehouses in the United States alone, up from only 2,500 in 2018. Furthermore, the global smart warehousing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5 percent from USD 14.8 billion in 2021 to USD 25.4 billion in 2026, according to GlobeNewswire. As can be seen, the current warehouse automation trends are scaling up the worldwide market for smart warehouses, and the value of the smart warehouse business has a long way to go in the future. So, what are the technologies that are changing traditional warehouses into intelligent warehouses? Continue reading this article to get a better understanding of this. Top 5 Warehouse Technologies to Take On Numerous manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations, including IKEA, NIKE, and WALMART, utilize smart warehouses to streamline their overall operations. The technologies listed below assist many of them in implementing the modern warehousing idea. A Warehouse Management System Warehouse Management Systems, or WMSs, are comprehensive software systems that consolidate all of your critical data onto a single platform that can be easily accessed by team members and selected supply chain partners. This data compartmentalization allows for lightning-fast reporting, which allows for super-efficient planning, even for unexpected events. Overall, the use of warehouse management systems complements the use of other automated aspects perfectly. Automated Picking Tools The days of error-prone picking are long gone; now, when picking automation elements are integrated into the flow, warehouses can profit from near-perfect picking rates. In addition, picking procedures can be aided by various techniques, including voice-automated order picking, pick-to-light, and robotic order picking. These technologies also use cutting-edge barcoding choices that easily interface with your selected management software to provide the quickest and most accurate automated reporting experiences. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) AGVs, or automatic guided vehicles, are the best approach to speeding up storage and retrieval processes. AGVs are becoming more robust as technology advances, but older models have proven safer and more cost-effective than manual labor. Their functions include pallet, rack, and other container storage and controlling and automating the entire receiving process. Platforms for Automated Inventory Control Automated inventory control platforms, when combined with a few other technological cornerstones, such as asset and inventory tags, may eliminate labor, guesswork, and unnecessary time from traditional inventory control. In addition, there are several advantages to using these platforms, including their ability to automatically count inventories and synthesize data for real-time reporting that can be viewed remotely. IoT Implementation The Internet of Things (IoT) is used by some of the world's most efficient smart warehouses, such as Amazon, as an entire concept rather than a specific technology. All of your automated and manual operations may be optimized when IoT is used to control all of your moving parts, both automated and manual. This innovative technology helps optimize a warehouse's inventory control systems, workforce planning, and, of course, the overall customer experience. While implementing technology improves the notion of a smart warehouse, it isn't always possible for every warehouse to do so instantly, especially since implementing technology takes significant financial and infrastructure changes. That's why warehouses are adopting the concept of collaborative robots (cobots). These are the autonomous elements that work with existing human workers. Cobots allow warehouses to preserve many of their existing procedures and infrastructure while gaining the benefits of fully autonomous elements. Amazon's Smart Warehouses Integrates Humans and Robots Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, highlighting its interest in warehouse robotics. Kiva Systems was the sole known producer of warehouse robots, serving many different logistics organizations. Amazon bought Kiva Systems' machines, constructed and used them all. Amazon Robotics is a new business unit that the company has developed. Amazon recently established a semi-automated warehouse with human workers and robots. As a result, simple chores like moving parcels and scanning barcodes are automated. However, organizing goods and carrying complex objects (like bottles) is still part of human work. Amazon's automated warehouse employs over 400 robots and hundreds of human employees. Amazon's rise in two crucial areas – online shopping and logistics – has been accelerated by warehouse robots. Final Words Modern warehousing is a new trend in the manufacturing industry that automates numerous procedures required for keeping manufacturing materials and products organized. Technology trends in warehousing are making manufacturers' jobs easier and promoting the future warehouse model in 2022. Implement the cutting-edge technology outlined above to stay current with warehousing trends and boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility for your personnel and their operations. FAQ What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse? A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible. What exactly is WMS? A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf. What is COBOT? Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. 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The packaging journey: Is it an important factor for your brand?

Article | June 8, 2021

The last 12 months saw a considerable increase in e-commerce, driven by the global pandemic with many retail commentators believing this is an irreversible behavioural shift. If correct, this will further underline the importance of the packaging journey, since the likelihood of consumers primarily interacting with brands through deliveries increases, potentially becoming the standard purchasing process. Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, a sustainable packaging solutions provider for luxury fashion brands, considers the impact of the packaging journey amid these new retail dynamics. How much impact could a single packaging box have when it comes to consumer engagement and marketing? This is a question that all retailers and brands should reconsider, given the tumultuous nature of the retail landscape. If Deloitte’s recent report into the Danish consumer’s permanent shift to online shopping can be viewed as a microcosm of imminent global trends, then businesses must adapt packaging to incorporate the entire journey. Last year, the fashion and luxury markets were forecast to decline by an astounding $450 - $600 billion. A market previously thought too-big-to fail is taking a huge financial hit. The long-term effects of Covid-19 on retail as whole are unclear. But packaging has become too integral to the sales journey to ignore. Packaging, therefore, can work as a core marketing tool, beyond the basics of the primary recipients’ experience. In this article, I’ll highlight how best to consider and exploit the entire packaging journey, ensuring that packaging realises its complete potential. Materials Manufacturing that avoids the use of sustainable materials is becoming impossible to justify, from both an economic and environmental perspective. In fact, they are, practically speaking, one and the same. We know that a significant majority of consumers expect businesses to adopt a sustainable ethos – and are willing to pay more for it. Therefore, the economic viability of sustainable packaging is fortified by consumer expectation. It is both a market and environmental inevitability. Beginning a packaging journey should start with the selection of sustainable, recyclable, reusable materials. This is a stage in the packaging voyage that is easily achieved, with manufacturers increasingly switching to eco-friendly methods. At Delta Global, sustainability is incorporated into every packaging product we produce. We’ve seen demands for sustainable services increase, but more can be done to mark this initial step as a marketing footprint rather than a footnote. There are some great recent examples of how to do this right, from Burberry’s elegant reinvention of the ordinary cardboard box which will go even further to remove all plastic from its packaging by 2025, through to Gucci’s opulent Victorian wallpaper design packaging that is fully recyclable. And so, step one - the initial consumer experience and expectation, is met through sustainable materials, and when done correctly, is easily exceeded. Design Once the correct materials are selected, brands should start think about design beyond creating an attractive, secure container. The goal here is to inspire the consumer to utilise the packaging in a way that positions them as a virtual brand ambassador. Consider the rise of the unboxing video. YouTube reported a 57% increase in product unboxing videos in one year, with these videos having in excess of a billion yearly views. Together with Instagram, where 58% of its estimated 1.074 billion users log-in to follow trends and styles, visually oriented content platforms provide an unmissable marketing opportunity. It is important to underline that this type of viral marketing need not rely on paid celebrities. In fact, I am advocating for a completely organic approach where possible. From a brand’s perspective, recipients of well-executed sustainable packaging must progress this initial positive experience by innovative and thoughtful design. That way, authentically persuasive content will occur naturally. And it's this type of spontaneous, highly engaged micro-influencing that rewards brands that have fully considered the packaging journey. To achieve this requires innovation. You might consider implementing technology and connected packaging, where apps and QR codes are integrated into the packing itself. A favourite example of this is Loot Crates brilliantly innovative unboxing experience which connects, via an app, to new products and exclusive items. While technological innovation provides a novelty that encourages unboxing videos, simpler approaches can equally inspire the consumer through personal touches like VIVE Wellness’ individually packaged and addressed turquoise vitamin tubes, or M.M Lafleur’s curated and detail-oriented ‘bento box’ styling solution. These packaging creations work because they provide memorable experiences, centred on discovery, individuality and, ultimately, shareability. Packaging after purchase The third and most under-utilised part of the packaging journey is post-unboxing usage. Brands should ask themselves who the packaging is seen by – and does the packaging have the function to be seen and used by others? At this point in the packaging journey, we are hoping to harvest as many positive impressions as possible. This can include, for example, delivery drivers, photographers and stylists. The concept is not abstract. Reflect on the reaction felt by a fashion photographer the first time they received, from an enthused stylist, a Gucci item in its new opulent emerald green packaging. Or the response of a delivery driver when seeing, in amongst the more mundane boxes, MatchesFashion’s reimagining of the a cardboard parcel. Is it likely that the impression made by those stand-out packaging designs will be talked about, purred over, recommended and revered? The answer is obviously a resounding yes. When this happens online, we call it influencer marketing. And we should not dismiss this type of marketing when it happens offline. Word of mouth matters. In an increasingly online consumer market where the first – and perhaps only – physical interaction between brand/consumer is through the packaging experience, it will matter more. To our imaginary trio of driver, photographer and stylist, let’s introduce the general consumer. How likely it is that any of those would throw such packaging away? They are so wonderfully designed that reusability and repurposing are inevitable. When a packaging compels secondary usage - deployed around homes and offices as containers, storage or decoration – you are creating an item that symbolises what marketers spending entire budgets pursuing: brand as central to an aspirational lifestyle. If the retail market is moving irrevocably online, the offline journey of packaging – from manufacturer, deliverer, consumer and user – can ease that transition and become a perpetual marketing tool. This way, brands and retailers can enjoy the journey and the destination.

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Microfinancing in Uganda Works with Lean Manufacturing Precision

Article | November 23, 2021

Having recently returned from Uganda, had the pleasure of being introduced by Bernard Munyanziza of Nziza Hospitality to Gilbert Atuhire. He is the Managing Director at Value Addition Microfinance Ltd. which provides micro loans to producers and manufacturers. Atuhire is an attorney by training, however his ability to articulate the core values of Lean Six Sigma and continuous process improvement were abundantly clear. The Kampala, Uganda offices are located on Parliamentary Avenue and Dewinton Rise. This central location allows direct access to industrial projects.

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Spotlight

Powell Industries

Powell (NASDAQ: POWL) was founded in 1947 as a metal-working shop to support the local Houston, Texas petrochemical facilities. While we began small, the company has grown over the past six decades to become the strategic supplier of choice for highly complex and integrated systems for distribution and control of electrical energy and other critical processes. A complete description of the markets served by Powell is available.

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