News from the MH industry.
Changes at MHMS
“We’ve made some exciting changes that will continue to provide good member services and to create opportunities for new chapter development while continuing to offer excellent education, training and certification services,” says Mike Flamer, immediate past president of the Material Handling Management Society.
During an interview at NA 2002, Flamer said, for starters, there will be no national dues. Members will continue to receive the many benefits of MHMS membership, including:
• Entry to the member’s Web site on the Material Handling Industry’s Web site (mhia.org);
• Discounts to seminars and forums at trade shows;
• Subscriptions to Mhove in its text and electronic versions.
You can request a membership application by calling (704) 676-1183 or by printing one from the Web site, mhia.org/mhms. Members are encouraged to affiliate with local chapters to maximize benefits.
Additionally, if you wish to earn the title of Certified Associate in Materials Handling (CAMH), or the more prestigious Professional Certified in Materials Handling (PCMH), you need to join the MHMS. Professional training and certification have become a critical component for success, especially during an uncertain economic climate, says Flamer.
A members-only advisory council now guides the society. It will include presidents of all active chapters, plus past presidents and members-at-large.
Survey Reveals Growing Optimism
Consumer and industrial products (CIP) industry leaders are optimistic about growth and the economy; however, the group is still highly focused on finances and profitability, according to a recent national survey of middle market business owners by Grant Thornton LLP .
“Companies focused on the consumer and industrial products industry are rebounding as the rest of the economy continues to expand and the confidence index rises,” says Greg Stollsteimer, partner and director of the CIP industry group, Grant Thornton. “They continue to focus on bottom-line profitability while being guardedly optimistic about growth during a time of ongoing change and uncertainty in the local and global economies.”
Grant Thornton LLP and Wirthlin Worldwide, an international strategic research and consulting firm, conducted the biennial survey. More than 400 executives from more than 100 middle-market companies — between $50 million and $1 billion in revenues — in the CIP industry were interviewed, including people from the banking and technology industries.
Today, 80 percent of CIP business owners say they are optimistic about the general business outlook, compared with only 64 percent in October 2001. In addition, that number jumps to 88 percent when asked to consider the next 12 months.
Today, 45 percent of middle-market firms in the CIP industry are looking to grow and add employees in the next six months, compared with only 26 percent in October 2001. The technology industry is expecting a larger boom; 66 percent of business owners in the technology industry expect to add new employees to the payroll, while only 40 percent of community bank executives anticipate an increase in their companies’ employee count.
Financial concerns such as profitability still plague middle-market business owners in the CIP industry with 41 percent saying that it is the most important issue facing their company. Growth was a far second with only 16 percent citing it as the largest concern. Visit grantthornton.com/boc to request a copy of the survey.
Supply Chain Observations
William C. Copacino, global managing partner, supply chain management, Accenture, in accepting the 2002 Salzberg Medallion from Syracuse University’s School of Management for Global Supply Chain leadership, made the following supply chain observations:
“Based on our experience, research and discussions with executives, we see a growing gap in performance between the leading and the average players in almost every industry segment. The best are getting better faster than the average company.”
He also noted that supply chain management is having a dramatic impact on organizations’ operating models, business strategy and business performance.
“Accenture has identified six supply chain management keys to operational excellence,” said Copacino. “Among them are managing the extended supply chain, better linking supply-and-demand planning, and focusing on capability development.
“Finally,” he said, “we are telling supply chain professionals they need to better understand and articulate the competitive advantages derived from the supply chain management, how it links to value creation, and how their companies can leverage this advantage.”
Savi Launches R&D Center
Savi Technology has launched a world-class research and development center in Singapore, dedicated to the advancement and innovation of real-time information systems that improve the security and productivity of global supply chain networks. The groundbreaking agreement was announced during an official ceremony by Teo Ming Kian, chairman, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and Vikram Verma, president and chief executive officer, Savi Technology.
Called the R&D Center for IT Logistics Excellence, the facility will draw on the proven expertise of Savi Technology in the field of real-time solutions for managing supply chain assets, and on the strategic guidance of EDB to ensure that practical technologies are developed to enhance the operational efficiency of freight transportation operations.
The R&D Center in Singapore will continue to focus its development efforts in building new software applications designed for specific industries that enhance and extend the portfolio of Savi’s integrated real-time solutions.
FKI Logistex Launches European Team
FKI Logistex, supplier of automated material flow systems, has launched FKI Logistex Europe. The newly formed team aims at expanding FKI Logistex’s already strong material flow presence in the European postal, distribution, baggage handling systems, and manufacturing sectors.
FKI Logistex Europe is comprised of Crisplant a/s, turnkey material handling systems providers; Cleco Systems, designer and integrator of automated distribution systems; and Dator-Crisplant and Io Systems, designers and implementers of material flow control systems and software. Cleco Systems and Io Systems are recent acquisitions for the company.
“We are pleased about the formation of FKI Logistex Europe and how it strengthens our position,” said David Martin, president of FKI Logistex North America.
Partnerships, Alliances and Acquisitions
Alvey Systems and Intek Integration Technologies announced the expansion of their strategic alliance to encompass new distribution and manufacturing facilities.
Intermec Technologies, McHugh Software International, Georgia-Pacific, CHEP, Marconi InfoChain and Unilever joined together to explore the use of RFID technology in consumer goods supply chains. An integral part of this collaboration effort will be the establishment of a Center of Excellence at McHugh’s headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Transbotics Corporation opened an office in the Detroit area in response to the increasing needs of the company’s automotive clients.
Working With Wood?
The Engineered Wood Association has issued a revamped publication guide that includes more than 15 new titles among the 140-plus publications, videos, CDs and binder sets offered. New publications include Engineered Wood Pallets — A Solid Value and A New Angle on Floor Sheathing. Contact them at apawood.org.
New Program from Nissan
Nissan Forklift Corporation introduced a new fleet-tracking program after Chief Editor Tom Andel’s report on lift trucks had gone to press (see page 24). Fleetraxx is an Internet-based lift truck management program for its dealer network and end users.
Companies are continually pressured to increase operational efficiency, says Keith Allmandinger, director marketing and product support, and to reduce overall operating expenses. “In order for companies to make informed decisions,” says Allmandinger, “they need real-time data, accurate expense data and reports to analyze fleet utilization.”
Fleetraxx is a Web-based application designed to create a database for each component of your material handling fleet. This database of information is then accessed to provide real-time reports from anywhere you can access the Internet.
The program will cover everything from equipment specifications and equipment status, to use reports and lease payment processing. The program is set to launch at the end of this month.
Conveyor Industry Looks for Recovery
The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) reports that after six consecutive years of record-setting growth, booked and billed sales were down for the industry. Booked sales totaled $5.5 billion for 2001, and shipments totaled $6.8 billion.
While shipments for unit handling conveyors (light to medium) increased by three percent and shipments for trolley (light to medium) increased by 35 percent, shipments in all other unit categories were down 22 percent on average. Bookings were down an average of 34 percent.
Software Directory Available
Datamax has released the Datamax Software Resource Directory (DSRD), highlighting a renewed focus on vertical market applications. The DSRD contains information on a wide variety of software vendors.
The DSRD is currently available by request in Adobe PDF format, and will soon be available for download from the Datamax FTP site and corporate Web site, datamaxcorp.com.
Managers Making News
FKI Logistex appointed Steve Jones managing director, FKI Logistex Worldwide. Jones will be responsible for FKI Logistex global operations and will continue as an executive director of FKI plc.
David Martin was appointed president, FKI Logistex North America. Martin is responsible for managing growth in the North American market, in particular the continued development of a seamless combination of its companies and its network of software and control systems alliance partnerships.
At Creative Techniques, Joe Banfield was named president and general manager, and Rick Parker was promoted to vice president and director of business development.
Four Soft International announced the appointment of Carsten S. Andersen as chairman, North American Executive Board.
Henry W. Knueppel was promoted to president and COO, Regal-Beloit Corporation.
Plassein International appointed Tom Crosson vice president general manager of its Longview, Texas, and Thomasville, North Carolina, facilities.
Nilfisk-Advance America promoted Paul R. Miller to vice president.
SATO America Inc. appointed Robert Lanzendorf OEM sales and marketing manager.
Manhattan Associates Inc. appointed Eric Peters as senior vice president of marketing and alliances.
Equipto named Mark Yonai marketing and sales coordinator to manage all marketing activities and provide organizational support for its expanding outside sales department.
Shuttleworth Inc. has promoted John Shuttleworth to vice president customer services, North America. In addition to being responsible for sales in North America, he will oversee the service and parts departments.