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Harriet Schneider

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Overcoming Digital Dread

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jul 19, 2018 8:00:00 AM


Not sure where to start in upgrading your operation? Map out an incremental approach. This article from Industry Week can help you get started.

Smart factories, digitization, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all hot topics in the manufacturing sector, generating considerable buzz—and some consternation. These disruptive technologies are exciting, yet the complexity can also be overwhelming.

But with a practical, incremental plan of action, including options with minimal disruption and low-risk, even those who have been reluctant to embrace next-generation technology can get started on the journey. 

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Topics: Manufacturing

Creating A Competitive Edge Through Service

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jul 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM

This is Part 3 in a 3-Part series on facing the competition.

Technology supports enhanced customer centricity.

Value-add programs are more important than ever as tools to overcome increased competition. Empowered by technology, new entrants into the market, as well as established veterans, are putting pressure on manufacturers to examine their mix of product offerings and services. Unless they want to risk commoditization of products or eroding market share, manufacturers must find ways to stand apart from their competitors. Enhancing the customer experience, from order entry to after-market service, is one of the most effective ways to build relationships that are resilient to aggressive competitors.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Is The Competition In Your Rearview Mirror And Gaining Fast?

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jul 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM

This is Part 2 in a 3-Part series on facing the competition.

How do you fend off competitive threats? 

With threats popping up from emerging players as well as mature contenders , maintaining market share can be difficult. You must be vigilant and ready to respond. Just as technology helps the new contenders step up their game, it also can help you identify early warning signs of eroding market penetration. Fortunately, there are also corresponding tactics you can deploy to boost your competitive edge.

Red ten warning signs the competition is making gains...

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Topics: Manufacturing

Competitive Threats And How To Protect Yourself

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jul 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

This is Part 1 in a 3-Part series on facing the competition.

Is it getting hot in here? The pace of change in manufacturing today is staggering. New markets emerge, seemingly, overnight. Micro industries and niche applications can light up the forecasts–then disappear—in a blink, leaving you with shelves of obsolete inventory. Trends come and go. Technology needs to be continually refreshed, and yesterday’s projections are ancient history before you even hit SEND on the report. But, the greatest danger of this break-neck speed of business isn’t in recognizing what’s ahead; It’s seeing who is sneaking up from behind.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Warehouses Evolved: From Storage To Strategic Advantage

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jul 5, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Join Stacie Immesberger and Guy Courtin on Supply Chain Radio as they discuss the evolution of warehouses, and how advances in everything from automation to robotics are changing the game.

From the first mile to the last mile, consumers and the rise of digital technology are transforming the entire supply chain. And from their position as one of the last stops between manufacturers and retailers (not to mention end consumers), warehouses are ripe for innovation. 



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Topics: Retail, Supply Chain, Fashion & Apparel, Life Sciences, Supply Chain Agility

Equipment Industry CFOs Shift Their Focus Toward The Future

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jul 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Two Equipment Industry CFOs discuss how their roles have changed over the last five years.

When markets change we sometimes need to take on new responsibilities and employ different strategies. Such has been the case in the heavy equipment industry for Gayle Humphries and David Leavitt.

“2013 was our recovery year from the recession. It was about building cash reserves back up. We proceeded slowly and cautiously,” says Gayle Humphries, chief financial officer for Low Country Machinery, with locations in Statesboro and Pooler, GA. Today the situation is dramatically different for the dealership.  Sales volumes have tripled since 2013 and Low Country also formed a completely new dealership. Low unemployment has made finding good people the dealership’s biggest challenge.


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Topics: Rentals & Equipment

There’s No Such Thing As Free Shipping

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jun 28, 2018 8:00:00 AM


Matt Simonsen, Director of Retail Strategy at Infor talks about 3 ways that retailers can exceed customer expectations with a networked supply chain.

When it comes to their orders, customers want them fast and they want them free. But these two forces are often in direct conflict inside the supply chain, where planning and production typically take place months in advance, and inventory is widely distributed among a geographically diverse set of stores and warehouses, logistics providers, and factories. The question for many retailers becomes, “How much margin am I willing to sacrifice to satisfy my customer?”

Retail powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart have conditioned customers to expect their orders in days, if not hours. And a growing number of consumers have become comfortable using options like click-and-collect to secure an item online and pick it up shortly thereafter in a store, or rely on third-parties like Instacart to do their shopping for them.

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Topics: Retail, Retail Trends, Online Retail

Customers Expect Something In Return For Their Personal Data. Can You Blame Them?

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jun 26, 2018 8:00:00 AM

In this episode of Reinventing Retail, listen to Vineet Chaudhary, co-founder of Trendage, a fashion and technology personalization company enabling 3.5 million users to digitally mix and match clothing using avatars, AI, and a vast product database. The discussion centers on how apps like Trendage are leveling the playing field between retailers and consumers, giving them both the tools and reciprocity to establish a two-way street when it comes to giving up personal data in return for great customer experiences.

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Topics: Retail, Retail Trends, Online Retail

Top 10 Cities For Manufacturing Jobs For Women

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jun 21, 2018 8:00:00 AM

A recent survey by MagnifyMoney ranked the U.S. metro areas according to where the average working woman could have the ability to better or maintain her financial health. We looked at the data from the perspective of how many women were employed in the manufacturing sector. 

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Topics: Manufacturing, Women in Manufacturing

Small Manufacturers Face Challenges; Technology Can Help - Part 2

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Jun 19, 2018 8:00:00 AM

While small, agile businesses may have some distinct advantages over larger competitors, they also face their fair share of challenges. Small Business Week (April 29-May 5) provides an opportunity to spotlight those challenges and what can be done to overcome the obstacles. A wide range of stakeholders rely on the success of small businesses. Small job-shops, fabricators, subcontractors, parts suppliers, engineering firms, and niche manufacturers play important roles in the overall economic stability of the industry. We need small businesses to thrive.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Technology Challenges

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Embracing thought leadership as a pathway for growth, represents the true spirit of progressive change that will make a difference in technology-driven industries. As a consulting company, ICCG customers look to us as their value-added resource. They expect us to be proactive about solving their immediate challenges and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. It is this that drives us to share our best practices, knowledge-base, years of experience, and tried and true methodologies. These have been the hallmarks of our corporate brand.

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