MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 37

A
BY FIONA SOLTES

variety of factors are converging to bolster the ROI for automation. Beyond the present and future state of the workforce,
the ever-increasing technological sophistication, and the
growing understanding that supply chain operations must
be faster, more efficient, more accurate and more transparent than ever, there's this sizable "direct-to-consumer"
shift. Demand has moved from handling larger pallets and cases to smaller and more frequent orders or
"eaches" and automation makes this shift much easier to manage.
It's no longer just B2C or B2B. As one industry veteran, Jim Tompkins, Ph.D., so appropriately terms it, it's "B2Me," where "me" could be
a business or consumer. "In fact," said Tompkins,
chairman and CEO of both MHI member
Tompkins International and the MonarchFX
Alliance, "many of the product categories that
once were B2B have become B2C, and vice
versa. For the most part, B2B and B2C have
become one."
As automation and robotics offer opportunities to for firms to catch up-and to get
ahead-some worry about the impact on jobs.
"Fears are being stoked among the workforce
about robots taking jobs," said Melonee Wise,
CEO of MHI member Fetch Robotics, which
builds robot systems for the logistics industry.
"The reality is that robots take over tasks, and
usually the worst tasks. Robotics has traditionally been designed to handle tasks that are dirty,
dangerous or dull. While workers may have
some initial trepidation when a Fetch robot
is deployed at their location, as those robots
start to take over the dull, dangerous and dirty
tasks, those employees are happy to have them
work alongside."
Because of the state of the workforce, Wise
said, warehouses and logistics "simply can't
afford to wait." She quotes the 2017 MHI Annual

Industry Report to make her point: "The top
challenge in the supply chain is 'hiring and
retaining a skilled workforce,' at 63 percent of
those surveyed; second is 'customer demand
for faster response times' at 55 percent. And the
same report points to robotics and automation
as the top 'trend of innovations being disruptive
or a source of competitive advantage.' These
statistics point to an industry that is in desperate need of labor and at a technology that is in
a position to alleviate that problem."
As the pace of material handling and
shipping has increased, so, too, has the rate
at which new offerings are being developed.
John Ashodian, marketing manager, logistics
automation for MHI member SICK, a global
producer of sensors and sensor solutions for
industrial automation applications, is seeing
a lot of automation now taking place "beyond
the conveyor." And he's seeing a distinction
between two types of customers as a result:
those who are already highly automated and
seeking further benefits based on new functionality, and those who are still in early phases of
adoption and can no longer ignore the benefits
of automation. He sees a real need for companies to "future proof," ensuring that, as process demands change, for example, "there's
a replacement or some enhancement to that

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MHI SOLUTIONS

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2

CEO Update
3-Step Checklist for Addressing the Supply Chain Skills Gap
Beyond Analytics
Women Rising
People Are at the Center of the Robotics Revolution
Acing ‘The Basics’ of Business
Bridging the Skills Gap
Millennials and GenZ: The Key to Future-Proofing Your Supply Chain Workforce
Identifying Talent
Attracting and Retaining Top Supply Chain Talent
Consider Sustainability When Choosing Your Next Forklift Power System
CTE Program: Students, Instructors Benefit from Student Days Participation
Industry Focus: Intermodal
Education and Industry: An Ecosystem Mindset
2018 MHI Innovation Award Finalists
MODEX 2018
Economic Market Analysis
Safer Handling
Fulfillment Update
Product/Solutions Spotlight
Scholarship Winners: Where Are They Now?
Inside MHI
Will Big Data Help Us Predict the Future?
MHI News
Calendar
Index of Advertisers
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Intro
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - cover1
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - cover2
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 3
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 4
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 5
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 6
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 7
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 8
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - CEO Update
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 3-Step Checklist for Addressing the Supply Chain Skills Gap
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 11
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 12
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 13
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 14
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 15
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 16
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 17
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Beyond Analytics
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 19
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 20
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 21
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 22
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 23
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Women Rising
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 25
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 26
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 27
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 28
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 29
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 30
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 31
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 32
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 33
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 34
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 35
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - People Are at the Center of the Robotics Revolution
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 37
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 38
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 39
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 40
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 41
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Acing ‘The Basics’ of Business
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 43
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 44
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 45
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 46
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 47
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 48
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 49
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Bridging the Skills Gap
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 51
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 52
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 53
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 54
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 55
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Millennials and GenZ: The Key to Future-Proofing Your Supply Chain Workforce
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 57
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 58
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 59
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 60
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 61
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 62
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 63
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 64
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 65
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Identifying Talent
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 67
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 68
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 69
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 70
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 71
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Attracting and Retaining Top Supply Chain Talent
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 73
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 74
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 75
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 76
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 77
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 78
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 79
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Consider Sustainability When Choosing Your Next Forklift Power System
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 81
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 82
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 83
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 84
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 85
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - CTE Program: Students, Instructors Benefit from Student Days Participation
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 87
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 88
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 89
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 90
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 91
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 92
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 93
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Industry Focus: Intermodal
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 95
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 96
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 97
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 98
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 99
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Education and Industry: An Ecosystem Mindset
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 101
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 102
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 103
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 104
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 105
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 106
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 2018 MHI Innovation Award Finalists
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 108
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 109
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 110
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 111
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 112
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 113
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 114
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 115
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 116
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 117
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 118
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 119
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 120
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 121
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 122
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 123
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 124
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - MODEX 2018
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 126
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 127
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 128
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 129
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 130
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 131
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 132
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 133
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 134
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 135
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 136
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 137
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 138
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 139
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 140
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Economic Market Analysis
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 142
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Safer Handling
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 144
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 145
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Fulfillment Update
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 147
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 148
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Product/Solutions Spotlight
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 150
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Scholarship Winners: Where Are They Now?
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 152
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Inside MHI
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 154
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Will Big Data Help Us Predict the Future?
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 156
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - MHI News
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 158
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 159
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Calendar
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - Index of Advertisers
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 162
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - cover3
MHI Solutions - Volume 6, Issue 2 - cover4
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