New Technologies and Data are Key to Preparing for Covid-19 as a “Constant” in Business Throughout 2020

But beyond these general guidelines, there are a number of recommendations we’re seeing based on the best practices of more advanced manufacturers we work with. These revolve, in many cases, around adopting new technologies and data sources to drive automation and insight.

Should We Apply Market Economics to Safety?

To understand a classic supply and demand environment, we need look no further than the boom of hand sanitizer in recent months.

Back To Work: How Will it Look?

These activities are not just new workplace safety requirements (many of which we are all still waiting guidance on). They represent a new social contract designed to foster the trust of employees, contractors, suppliers and customers -- and all others that come in contact with our facilities, not to mention the goods and services we all deliver.

Manufacturing and COVID-19: A Survival Guide

In this month’s Publisher’s Page, we first share some of the highlights that NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) provided in a recent policy statement on COVID-19.

Should Coronavirus Cause Us to Rethink Globalization?

Coming out of the crisis, this will beg the question: should we consider policy to make US manufacturing less dependent on the weakest link in these supply chains, pandemic or otherwise?

Rethinking Middle Class Manufacturing Income Inequality in North America 

The Wall Street Journal, however, takes the other side of the argument. Authored by Phil Gramm, former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and John Early, former assistant commissioner at the BLS,  the article, The Truth About Income Inequality, The Census Fails to Account for Taxes and Most Welfare Payments, suggests that the latest census data “portrays the top quintile [top 20%] of households as having almost 17 times as much income as the bottom quintile.”

Surplus Record’s Must See Movie of the Year: American Factory

We recently saw a documentary on Netflix that we think should be required watching for all Surplus Record readers. The movie, American Factory, traces the aftermath of a small manufacturing town in Ohio following the closure of a General Motors facility to the acquisition and retooling of the factory by a Chinese automotive glass manufacturer.

The Final Burial of Democracy in Hong Kong?

While the latest tariff waves and currency devaluation rumbles have captured the U.S. and China headlines of late – as the overall situation appears to continue to deteriorate, perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse – what we find just as fascinating and as important to understand China’s ambitions is its continued crackdown on the last vestiges of Democracy in Hong Kong, occurring this summer.

Is the August PMI Decline Cause for Concern?

For the first time in nearly three years, the PMI (manufacturing index) registered in negative territory, declining to 49.1 for August 2019. This represents a decline of 2.1 points (or percentage points as ISM reports) from the July report. For those not familiar with the ISM indexes, manufacturing (PMI) and non-manufacturing, a number above 50 indicates economic growth within the sector, whereas a number under 50 indicates contraction.