Board Converting News, May 17, 2021

Allies in Productivity Improve efficiency with robotic loadformers by Alliance

Gene Achieves (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

ported that supply chain problems are caused by a variety of issues, including COVID-19, cyberattacks, commodity prices, tariffs, the conflict with China, and logistic issues.. “This will be over at some point. It’s a temporary issue that will go on for much of this year, but this too will pass,” he said optimistically.

Marks noted that manufacturing demand is up signifi- cantly. The Institute of Supply Managers (ISM) surveyed purchasing managers who reported that purchasing growth is where it was in the late 1970s and 1980s. Man- ufacturing is up dramatically, which has caused significant supply chain issues. In order to deal with these challenges, Marks listed eight ways companies are combatting supply chain issues: 1. Evaluate inventory – take a physical count 2. Conduct weekly counts of top moving inventory. 3. Utilize demand-planning technology. 4. Maximize warehouse space and machine time. 5. Invest in technology like RFID chips and tracking 6. Create a “wonder team” of employees who go into different parts of the company to evaluate, audit and rec- ommend process changes for increased efficiency. 7. Communicate with top customers. 8. Find alternative suppliers. Marks identified India is the number one alternative to China. The Cost Of Labor Finally, Marks addressed increased labor costs, which he clearly defined as a separate problem aside from the lack of labor. He identified several issues affecting labor costs, including increased minimum wages, overtime wag- es, PRO Act union activity, reclassifying 1099 contractors as employees, and significant changes to OSHA laws. Marks noted there is bipartisan support to increase the minimum wage to $11-12 per hour, and expects to see a strong push for this before the mid-term elections. The in- crease in the minimum wage is also driving up the cost of more skilled laborers,” said Marks. “If another employee finds out he’s only making $5-6 more per hour than an entry level employee with zero experience, he’s going to want a raise, too!”

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May 17, 2021

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