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October Roundup: Manufacturing and Distribution, Supply Chain Education

Ergonomics, accessibility, supply chain education & more

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Some of the best articles, tips and videos we’re seeing in the world of manufacturing and distribution this month.

Supply chain & higher education

The supply chain industry is booming, even if the general economy faces cloudy times in the near future. Companies are still working to reduce labor needs, sharpen processes and efficiently flow goods to their customers. A big piece of that is brainpower–and finding ways to attract the best and the brightest. American universities have built quality supply chain, manufacturing and distribution majors. This list is surely not comprehensive, but we’re happy to add to it.

Undergraduate degrees

Postgrad and Seminars

This is a brief listing, so we’ll be sure to add more as we become aware of them.

Diversity, inclusiveness and warehouse ergonomics

accessible industrial workbench
Our friends at BOSTONtec have created a guide to building industrial processes so that a larger variety of people can execute the work and receive those opportunities.

“Designing Wheelchair-Accessible Workbenches for Warehouses”

Key takeaways

  • Accessible workplaces increase your available labor pool, which should be welcome in today’s difficult hiring market.
  • Workstation adjustability is a key factor
  • For wheelchair users, an adjustable vertical system lowers the shelves to bring supplies closer to them. In addition, a slide system allows the shelf to move forward for easy access.
  • Set up your workstations to follow these zones: Zone 1: High-use items, easiest access; Zone 2: Medium-use items, comfortable reach; Zone 3: Low-use items, occasional access.
  • Aside from increasing your labor pool, this type of ergonomic considerations helps build morale, increase retention, and prevent injuries.

Read more: How Material Handling and Automation Increases Labor Flexibility

Manufacturing employment continues to climb

One of the most informative people you can follow on LinkedIn is Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. He frequently posts insights on the manufacturing economy and where it’s headed.

His recent Twitter thread on manufacturing employment emphasizes that while other economic signals are mixed, employment is particularly strong this year. It’s now exceeding pre-pandemic levels and continues to accelerate.

Moutray points out that the growth is a mixed bag, with the largest growth in transportation equipment, food manufacturing, fabricated metal products, chemicals and electrical equipment. Employment actually declined in support roles, machinery, nonmetallic minerals and plastics/rubber products. This continues the trend of a tight labor market for manufacturing labor.

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Scott Stone is Cisco-Eagle's Vice President of Marketing with more than thirty years of experience in material handling, warehousing and industrial operations. His work is published in multiple industry journals an websites on a variety of warehousing topics. He writes about automation, warehousing, safety, manufacturing and other areas of concern for industrial operations and those who operate them.

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