Tag: Innovation

Jorge Calvo, Professor of Operations Strategy at GLOBIS University Management School and former President & CEO of the Global Supply Chain Management Division of Roland DG Systems, recently sat down with the Director of The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation, Panos Kouvelis, to talk about Industry 4.0 and its implications on the future of global manufacturing.

Industry 4.0 was a term coined to describe a program to support the local industry in Germany and France. It is considered to be the fourth major phase of the industrial revolution, characterized by its use of emerging technologies to enhance manufacturing techniques and supply chain processes.

In his experience, Calvo has found that there are two different approaches within the scope of Industry 4.0: the German approach, focusing on machine-to-machine production practices and supply chain management (i.e., the “smart factory” and the Internet of Things), and the Japanese approach, which focuses on cloud-based technology designed for process optimization through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and download our app on iOS or Android for access to exclusive content and events!


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The Boeing Center

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John Stroup, President & CEO of Belden Inc., explains the major global trends driving investment in automation for manufacturing. Some factors contributing to automation’s increased adoption are rising labor costs, the need for increased productivity, and changing consumer behaviors.

Automation enables manufacturers to become better at producing to meet consumer demand because it significantly shortens changeover, resulting in greater flexibility. Stroup goes on to explain that, due to rising labor costs in Asia, many manufacturers are moving production to the United States and using automation to replace human labor. Productivity is more elusive than ever in the current post-recession landscape, which increases the need to focus on maximizing productivity and ROI.

All of these factors are generating a great deal of interest in the adoption of automation in manufacturing—a process Stroup says will be “evolutionary, not revolutionary.” Stroup estimates automation adoption will reach 74% in 6-10 years. The automotive industry is already at that mark.

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and download our app on iOS or Android for access to exclusive content and events!


• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

The Boeing Center

Supply Chain  //  Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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One of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry is reducing operating costs, and one area of opportunity for cost savings is through the supply chain. In part two of our interview with Jean-Claude Saghbini, Chief Technology Officer at Wolters Kluwer Health (and formerly of Cardinal Health), we focus on technology implementation in the healthcare supply chain. Be sure to check out part one of our interview with Saghbini.

Saghbini explains that although the push to utilize RFID and other inventory management technology initially came from early adopters, he is coming to find that the implementation of such resources is becoming necessary to manage all healthcare networks as they continue to grow. He finds that one of the key benefits realized by hospitals investing in new technology is significant cost savings via inventory reduction. Oftentimes, the reduction in inventory can be as high as 20-25%, which translates to millions of dollars. He also notes a decrease in expiration rates, better product tracking to patients, and an increase in patient safety resulting from enhanced technology utilization. All of these factors can add up to a 150-300% return on investment annually, not just for hospitals, but for device manufacturers as well.

Saghbini also talks about the benefit of RFID’s ability to integrate data across an entire healthcare network (for example, electronic medical records and hospitals’ material management systems). He is also exploring ways to leverage RFID in ways that allow communication with near-field communication in patients’ cell phones. If the two similar technologies are effectively integrated, it would allow the healthcare supply chain to be tracked all the way to the consumer.

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and download our app on iOS or Android for access to exclusive content and events!


• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

The Boeing Center

Supply Chain  //  Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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Blockchain is an emerging technology that has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way we think about financial transactions. It has the ability to record transactions via a shared ledger and can be applied across many industries and currencies. The first major application of blockchain was Bitcoin, an unregulated cryptocurrency that was very resource intensive to mine. But business applications for blockchain will likely differ in several key areas.

At The Boeing Center’s 9th annual Industry Conference in October, Ed Corno, Client Technology Leader at IBM, gave a presentation on blockchain from the IBM perspective. He claimed that the technology’s business applications will focus on identity over anonymity, selective endorsement over proof of work, and assets over cryptocurrency.

Ed Corno, Client Technology Leader at IBM

Corno defines the four key tenets of a shared, replicated, permissioned ledger (as characterized by blockchain’s business applications) are consensus, provenance, immutability, and finality. This shared ledger would serve as the one record of all transactions across the business network, and participants would be able to see only relevant transactions.

According to Corno, the requirements of blockchain for business are the aforementioned shared ledger, a smart contract embedded into the transaction database, the privacy to ensure that transactions are secure and verifiable, and trust between all participants.

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and download our app on iOS or Android for access to exclusive content and events!


• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

The Boeing Center

Supply Chain  //  Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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The Boeing Center hosted its 9th annual Industry Conference in October, featuring presentations from experts operating at the forefront of supply chain innovation. The conference was an interactive exploration of the ever-changing trends in supply chain, such as automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, fintech and blockchain, big data analytics, robotics, drones, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things. The presenters provided a variety of perspectives and unique insights on cutting-edge topics, and the attendees were able to exchange ideas with fellow industry professionals during breaks and lunch.

Panos Kouvelis, Director of The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation and Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations & Manufacturing Management, kicked off the conference. He primed the audience by discussing some of the technologies impacting corporate supply chains, and set the stage for the presentations to come. Then, Dan Coughlin of The Coughlin Company engaged the audience with a networking exercise that got attendees discussing implementation challenges to new technology adoption, as well as their recent successes.

The first speaker of the artificial intelligence and big data portion of the conference was Mary Ann Wagner, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Data Analytics at Boeing. Her presentation, “Boeing AnalytX: Transforming data to reveal insights—and empowering a world of limitless possibilities,” focused on machine learning and data analytics in the aerospace industry. She was followed by Kevin Deppermann, Chief Engineer Distinguished Fellow at Monsanto.

His talk, “Innovation in the Ag Supply Chain,” provided insight into Monsanto’s efforts to generate innovative engineering solutions for their customers through four main avenues: throughput (increasing speed and reliability), enabling (non-invasive, non-destructive testing), cost (resource reduction), and accuracy (screening, counting, measurement, scoring, and rating).

IBM Client Technology Leader Ed Corno then led the blockchain portion of the conference with his presentation, “THINK. Blockchain.” Corno began with a high-level overview of what blockchain is and how it’s relevant to business, discussing various blockchain applications and positing future possibilities for the technology.

Ryan Altemose, Head of Supply Chain Integration & Analytics at MilliporeSigma, talked about the opportunities and benefits of blockchain in the life sciences industry, as well as how the Internet of Things will shape the future of supply chain in the coming years.

The robotics and automation portion of the conference began with Kevin Lardner, Head of Operational Excellence & Global Strategic Projects at Merck Life Sciences. “Industry 4.0: Implementation Challenges in a Diverse Life Sciences Company” provided a background on the fourth industrial revolution and provided insight into the multitude of technological advances being used across the life sciences industry and beyond.

Next, Chris Krampitz, Principal Consultant at Stratasys, discussed the process of identifying value in a supply chain-wide deployment of additive technologies. Krampitz talked about the challenges addressed by additive manufacturing (AM), the potential benefits of enterprise-wide AM deployment, and the approaches to identifying the value of such an undertaking.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Dan Hazlett, Director of Logistics Solutions, and Eddie Davis, Senior Manager of Business Process Excellence, followed Krampitz’s presentation with an explanation of robotic process automation in the ABI supply chain.

They spoke about ABI’s project implementation methodology as it relates to technological innovations, and shared how ABI is using robotic automation to enhance product quality and improve on-time deliveries.

The final segment of the day focused on supply chain innovations in logistics and services. Rochelle Henderson, Senior Director of Research and Analytics at Express Scripts, talked about how Express Scripts is using data and technology (e.g., mobile apps) to enhance patients’ experience and help them live healthier lives.

Next up were Edward Jones’ Terrence Freeman, Director of Digital Product Management, and Jacob Heberlie, Director of User Experience. Their presentation, “Advancing Digital at Edward Jones,” showed how technology can be used in the financial services industry to improve user experience and client satisfaction.

Finally, Mark Southey, Executive VP of Business Development, and Dan Snow, Executive VP of Operations, from Traffix closed out the show with “Technology’s Impact on the SMB.” They explained how Traffix is using technology to optimize its role as a 3PL logistics company and bridge the gap between small-to-medium businesses and their much larger competitors.

The Boeing Center Industry Conference was a great opportunity for industry professionals, students, and supply chain enthusiasts to gain insights from some of the most technologically advanced companies and supply chains in the world. We will be releasing highlights from the presentations, so stay tuned to our social media channels (@theboeingcenter) and be sure to download our app for more exclusive content and information about future events!


• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

The Boeing Center

Supply Chain  //  Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

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