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12 posts categorized "Warehousing"

Preparing the workforce of the future

By David Maloney | November 10, 2014 | 6:01 PM | Categories: Material Handling, Warehousing

Those who attended the MHI Fall conference in San Diego last month heard one theme repeated through many of the sessions - how difficult it is becoming to find quality people. And the situation is expected to become even worse in the future.

Colleges are just not turning out enough skilled managers to fill the ranks of the future supply chain. The colleges and universities themselves say that they do not have enough qualified instructors to teach budding supply chain practitioners. The lure of industry is keeping many from pursuing PhD's and entering the world of academia. 

Supply chain technicians - those who install and repair warehouse technology - are also becoming rare at a time when automation is seeing dramatic growth rates within facilities.

While many companies are bemoaning the dirth of talent coming into the pipeline, one company is doing something about it. Baldor is investing in its future by helping to develop the robotics program at the University of Arkansas-Ft. Smith campus.

I attended the Baldor Publishers event last week at Baldor headquaters in Fort Smith, Ark. It was a gathering of editors and publishers from magazines that cover the various industries that use Baldor motors, drives, and robotics. During the meeting, we were bussed to the U of A campus to meet with some of the students of the robotics program and to experience their enthusiasm. The classes meet in the Baldor Technology Center building on the campus, further evidence of the company's support of education.

The eighteen students in the class worked in teams of two, with each team manning one of nine small tabletop robots supplied by ABB, the parent company of Baldor. The students had programmed the robots to do a number of tasks, some of which could simulate warehouse or manufacturing operations, such as picking up objects on one part of the table and moving them to a process represented at another spot on the tabletop.

One pair of students had programmed their robot to move ping pong balls from one set of egg cartons to another, simulating a picking operation. Another pair had their robot draw with a pen. And one more pair had attached a child's golf club to the robot and programmed it to put a ball across their worktable.

The range of student ages was also encouraging. While most were of the usual student age of around 20, several students were older and in their 40s or 50s. These were obviously workers retraining for new job skills.

A steady stream of skilled designers and technicians graduate the program every year, with many of them finding a home at nearby Baldor. Baldor is making an investment in the future that pays dividends over and over again.

 

DCV editors will begin blogging

By Peter Bradley | September 15, 2014 | 3:00 AM | Categories: Material Handling, Transportation, Warehousing

    Since 2003, DC Velocity has brought its readers stories designed to help material handling, logistics, transportation, and supply chain executives do their jobs better. Whether its the latest on transportation regulation, the newest developments in warehousing management systems, news on the innovative products for distribution efficiency, or leading thinking on issues like network design or business resilience, our editors have brought news and information to keep readers ahead of the game.

We've also changed with the times, offering a robust web site and a series of e-newsletters to bring news and information far more frequently than the monthly magazine. Now, in the latest extension of our effort to engage readers, our editors will begin blogging. One or more of our editors will post a blog on what they have seen, heard, or read--or what they consider vital or just plain interesting about the areas we cover--every week. We trust that this effort will add greater value to our readers and deepen the trust we've spent more than a decade working to develop.

This is a timely week to begin. Next week, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals will hold its annual conference in San Antonio. We'll have a full team of editors there to bring you news of some of the latest thinking we hear at seminars, on the show floor, or in conversations along the way. Stay tuned.

-Peter Bradley, Editorial Director, DCV Velocity and CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly

 

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

Thoughts from our editors.



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