Patterson Cos. is increasing its focus on private labels and investing in supply chain technology, among other moves, as it looks to reverse a slide in sales. CEO Mark Walchirk said the company is examining its existing stock keeping units and vendors.
Genuine Parts reported second-quarter profit growth of 19.3%, with sales up 17.6% from a year ago. Subsidiary Motion Industries had sales growth of 8.7%.
Delivering a better customer experience is one of the most effective strategies for electrical distributors competing with Amazon Business, says e-commerce specialist Chris Apollo Lynn. Amazon's goal is to quickly enable purchases for people who know what they want, adds Charlie Lawhorn of Riversand.
A lifetime buy of discontinued spare parts can often result in under- or over-stocked parts due to the difficulty of accurately predicting future needs and the costs associated with purchasing, storing and transporting parts, write Cokeva executives Ken Ueltzen and Mark Anderson. Original equipment managers can avoid these challenges with an effective repair strategy that offers support throughout the product's life cycle, even after manufacturing has ended.
A federal court has struck down the California Resale Royalties Act, which provided visual artists a 5% royalty on their work in the secondary market. The court found the law conflicted with federal copyright law.
Many European automakers use software programs to price spare parts based on how much consumers are willing to pay for them, according to documents filed for a court case. The companies argue that the tactic is legal.
Robotic process automation can take care of back-office duties and help companies reduce human error while cutting costs, Kristin Manganello writes. "Thanks to these unique benefits -- and the upward trajectory of industrial automation in general -- it's safe to assume that RPA will eventually become standard practice across all types of industries and applications," she writes.
Companies looking to reap the rewards of mass customization should "[s]tart at the top, with a commitment from leadership to transform the manufacturing process," writes Vicki Holt, CEO and president of Protolabs. The biggest obstacle to change is often the company's mindset, she argues.
Data is the future of maintenance, repair and operations but needs to be managed properly to deliver value, says Synovos executive Mike Weinberg. "If your MRO program is to be effective, think simple and elegant, not complicated," he advises.
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