Category Archives: Manufacturing Types

The Magazine Industry

Anyone taking a look at magazines from the 50s or 60s would see a huge difference between them and the magazines of today. Before the advent of computers, many consumers relied on magazines to provide information, recipes, home decorating tip and business information. They read eagerly about the private lives of celebrities and eagerly awaited each issue.

The back to school issues of magazines such as Seventeen could be nearly as thick as many telephone books.Flash forward to 2009 and 2010 and magazines have changed a great deal. They have to compete with other sources of information, with a primary competitor being the computer.

Ad revenues are down in nearly every magazine being published. Some very specialized magazines have managed to stay profitable, however. Question is: how long can they continue to do so? Is the future of the magazine industry in trouble and will magazines soon be collector’s items, becoming as odd a sight as record players, typewriters and similar items?

There are some magazines which seem to buck the trend. Among the most popular are home magazines. Buyers seem to like to collect these and even tear out pages to take to home design stores. The number of home magazines has more than tripled since 2005, with news stands filled with a record number of these type of periodicals.

Even so, with the advent of computers and access to information online, the magazine industry is facing many challenges. Magazines with a long and notable history, including Gourmet and Portfolio magazine, have ceased publication. Newsweek magazine is up for sale, raising questions about how people want to get their news.

Perhaps receiving it weekly is simply too long to wait, especially when the click of a button can allow readers to have access to breaking news. Computers have many wonderful features but can signal the death of magazines which used to offer similar information.

Magazines like Newsweek, also known as newsweeklies, face special challenges. Why do they often get into trouble and face possible doom? Simple. They can’t compete with online news, information which could be breaking on the same day as a weekly news magazine hits the stand. Magazines can’t cover breaking events as quickly as online publishers. However, they can be purchased for recipes, holiday crafts, biographies of celebrities and more.

In order to lure readers, magazines must have a special hook or angle. Mary Englbreit’s Home Companion magazine featured paper dolls in the back of the periodical as well as collector prints suitable for framing and hanging on the wall (so did the old McCalls magazine). Special sports magazines covered the Olympics and featured posters which could be put on the wall. All of these features helped entice readers into buying magazines.Maybe they still will.

There is another challenge facing the magazine industry. It takes paper to fill magazines and paper generally comes from trees. Magazines have been attacked for being wasteful and not good for the environment. When given a choice between buying a magazine or reading similar information online, environmentally conscious consumers often opt for the online experience.

Mostly, it comes down to simple economics. What role do magazines have when it comes to providing information and what will consumers pay for? In order to remain competitive, the magazine industry has to create issues which readers want to buy, collect and keep for more than a day or two. Certain special collector’s editions seem to do well and even fly off the stands. But it is becoming harder and harder for the magazine industry to carve out a unique niche when it comes to providing information.

Also, in order to stay profitable, magazines must have advertisers. Unfortunately, they are competing for advertisers who often prefer to appear online. Ad revenues have been shrinking at many magazines as their usual advertisers decide to cut back on expenses or move to online ads. Advertisers have to stretch the budget as far as possible and that often means cutting particular magazines out of the mix.

Business Intelligence in the Music Industry

The use of social networking and digital music technologies generate a large amount of data exploitable by machine learning, and by looking at possible patterns and developments in this information, tools can help music industry experts to gain insight into the performance of the industry. Information on listening figures, global sales, popularity levels and audience responses to advertising campaigns, can all enable the industry to make informed decisions about the impact of the digitization on the music business. This can be achieved through the use of Business Intelligence assisted with machine learning.

Machine Learning is a branch of artificial intelligence, which gives computers the ability to implement learning behaviour and change their behavioural pattern, when exposed to varying situations, without the use of explicit instructions. Machine learning applications recognise patterns as they emerge, and adjust themselves in response, to improve their functionality.

The use of real-time data plays an important role in effective Business Intelligence, which can be derived from all aspects of business activities, such as production levels, sales and customer feedback. The data can be presented to business analysts via a dashboard, a visual interface which draws data from different information-gathering applications, in real time. Having access to this information almost immediately after events have occurred, means that businesses can react immediately to changing situations, by identifying potential problems before they have a chance to develop. By being able to regularly access this information, organisations are able to monitor activities closely, providing immediate input on changes such as stock levels, sales figures and promotional activities, allowing them to make informed decisions and respond promptly.

Using Business Intelligence to monitor P2P file sharing can provide a detailed insight into both the volume and geographical distribution of illegal downloading, as well as giving the music industry with some vital insight into the actual listening habits of the music audience. By analysing patterns in data on downloads, music professionals can identify recurring trends and respond to them accordingly, for example, by providing competitive services – streaming services like Spotify are now driving traffic away from P2P filesharing, towards more monetizable routes.

Social networks can provide invaluable insight to the music industry, by giving direct input on fans’ feedback and opinions. Automated sentiment analysis is a useful method of gaining insight into these unofficial opinions, as well as gauging which blogs and networks exert the most influence over readers. Data mined from social networks is analysed using a machine learning based application, which is trained to detect keywords, labelled as positive or negative. It is necessary to ensure that the technology can adapt and evolve to changing patterns in language usage, while requiring the least amount of supervision and human intervention. The volume of data would make manual monitoring an impossible task, so machine learning is therefore ideally suited. The use of transfer learning, for example, can enable a system trained in one domain to be used in another untrained domain, allowing it to keep up when there is an overlap or change in the expression of positive and negative emotion.

After the available data is narrowed using machine learning based applications, music industry professionals can be provided with information regarding artist popularity, consumer behaviour, fan interactions and opinions. This information can then be used to make their marketing campaigns more targeted and efficient, helping in the discovery of emerging artists and trends, minimise damage from piracy and help to identify the influential “superfans” in various online communities.

Information Technology and Textile Industry

Today, Information technology (IT) plays a vital role in the field of textile industry. Any manufacturing unit employs four Ms that is, Men, Material, Machine and of course Money. To get organizational success, managers need to focus on synchronizing all these factors and developing synergies with in and outside organizational operations. With the increased competition, companies are taking support of IT to enhance its Supply Chain Management (SCM) and using it as a competitive edge. In short, many textile companies are leveraging the technological power to adding value to their business.

Supply Chain Management includes: sourcing, procuring, converting, and all the logistic activities. It seeks to increase the transaction speed by exchanging data in real-time, reduce inventory, and increased sales volume by fulfilling customer requirements more efficiently and effectively.

Why Textile Industries Need IT Support?

Lack of information on demand and supply aspects

Most of the decisions a manager takes are related to demand and supply issues. But unfortunately very few are able to get it, as a result decisions taken carries risk and uncertainty. Excess inventory is one of the most common problems faced by managers which further results in long cycle-time, outdated stock, poor sale, low rates, and reduction in order visibility and finally leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Long procurement time

In a traditional textile industry, procurement process takes a much longer time. So, the retailers need to forecast demand and identify consumption trends at a much earlier stage. Lack of clarity about future can either result in early stock out, delay or overstock.

Supply chain in-competency

With the urge for getting global, apparel and textiles are facing hurdles of inefficiency in carrying out various processes involved right from designing, developing samples, getting approval, manufacturing, dispatching to payment procedures. The total time taken can get extended to one year or even longer. If we calculate, production actually accounts for just ten to twenty percent of the total time. Rest of the time is taken for the information processing from one end to the other.

The trajectory of development of Information Technology has intersected every application in textile industry. From enhancing performance of textile manufacturing and tighter process control, IT has inserted intelligence at every node of textile supply chain.

Step into the global trade

It is a fact that a company going global is opened with lot of opportunities as well as threats in terms of competition, changing trends, and other environmental changes. It necessitates managing every kind of information efficiently and at much faster speed.

Interaction of Information Technology with Textile Supply Chain

Sharing of Information

Proper flow of information among supply chain member is very crucial. Such flow of information can influence the performance of overall supply chain operations. It includes data about customers and their demand, inventory status, production and promotion plan, shipment schedules, payment details, etc. Bar coding and Electronic data interchange are the two information technology tools which can facilitate information integration.

Bar coding facilitates recording of detailed data by converting it to electronic form and can be easily shared among members through EDI system. EDI with its high efficiency is able to replace the traditional ways of transmission like telephone, mail and even fax. EDI enables managers to analyze and apply it in their business decisions. It also helps in expediting order cycle that reduces investment in inventory. EDI based network enables Company to maintain quick response and closure relations with suppliers and customers, who are geographically dispersed. Manufacturers and retailers can share even new designs developed through CAD/CAM.

Supports planning and execution operations

Planning and coordination are very important issues in supply chain management. The next step after sharing information is planning which includes joint design and implementation for product introduction, demand forecasting and replenishment. Supply chain members decide their roles and responsibility which is coordinated through the IT system.

Various software tools like MRP, MRP-II, APSS facilitates planning and coordination between different functional areas within the organization.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP): It helps in managing manufacturing processes based on production planning and inventory control system. Proper implementation of MRP ensures availability of material for production and product for consumption at right time optimizes the level of inventory and helps in scheduling various activities. MRP system uses computer databases to store lead times and order quantity. MRP includes mainly three steps: first assessing the requirement of how many units of components is required to produce a final product; here it applies logic to implement Bill of Material (BOM) explosions. Second step includes deducting the stock in hand from gross to find out net requirement. Finally, scheduling manufacturing activities such that finished goods are available when required, assuming the lead time.

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRPII) system is a logical extension of MRP system which covers the entire manufacturing function. This typically includes machine loading, scheduling, feedback and Software extension programmes in addition to material requirement planning. It provides the mechanism to evaluate the feasibility of a production schedule under a given set of constraints.

A textile company which has multipoint manufacturing and engaged in global business necessitates something more than MRP and MRP-II like Distribution Requirement Planning (DRP), it has ability to solve both capacity and material constraints and quickly propagates the effects of problems in both backward and forward direction throughout the supply chain.

The Advance Planning and Scheduling (APSS) system includes both material focus of MRP and rapid response scheduling power of MRP-II.

Coordination of logistics flows

Workflow coordination can include activities such as procurement, order execution, implementing changes, design optimization, and financial exchanges which results in cost and time efficiency. The results are cost-effective, speedy and reliable supply chain operations.

IT contributes towards the maximizing the value of textile supply chain through integrating supply chain operations within and outside the organization and collaborating the acts of vendors and customers based on shared forecasts. Internet adds to IT contribution towards supply chain management through coordination, integration and even automation of critical business processes. New system of the supply chain game emerges as a result of business innovation fuelled by the Internet.

Many supplying companies maintain demand data by style, size, fabric and color to replenish inventory at retail outlet. Level of replenishing is predetermined by both parties after reviewing history of sales by product and buying behavior of the community.

New Business Models:

Data mining and data warehousing

Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different viewpoints and summarizing it into useful information that can be used as a basis of monitoring and control, enabling companies to focus on the most important aspects of their business. It allows users to analyze data from many different dimensions, categorize it, and summarize the relationships identified. In short it is the process of finding correlations or relationship among dozens of fields in large relational databases.

Data warehousing is the repository of data and can be defined as a process of centralized data management and retrieval. Centralization of data maximizes user access and analysis.

E-commerce

E-commerce can be B2B (Business To Business) and B2C (Business To Customer). B2C commerce is the direct selling to consumers through Internet. While B2B marketplace can be defined as neutral Internet-based intermediaries that focus on specific business processes, host electronic marketplaces, and use various market-making mechanisms to mediate transactions among businesses. B2B appears to be more prospective than B2C.

E-retailing

The textile-retail giants are adding an Internet shopping-component to their offering. It has affected their distribution and warehousing infrastructure. As a result of going online, retailers have changed their supply chain strategy. High volume products with stable demand are stocked in local stores, while low-volume products are stocked centrally for online purchasing.

Companies prefer a direct route to consumers by closely scrutinizing individual customer’s tastes, preferences, habits, and buying patterns. Instead of waiting for consumers to visit their stores, retailers simply send them e-mails with offers. Internet has facilitated quick response system. With the use of web-enabled technology it is possible to have automatic customer replenishment system.

Industry Information

The significant role information plays in the success of industry and its participants continues to dominate academic debate, with the growing volume of multidisciplinary literature demonstrating the complexity of not only defining but accessing relevant information. No one clear interpretation of the term industry information exists with the variables of country, language, sector, purpose, etc., determining the context of what is looked for and where and how it can be located. What is clear, however, is that information has and will continue to be a vital asset among a manager’s skills. For the purpose of this entry, industry information will reflect, as E. Ozgen and R. A. Baron write, “the idea that information plays a crucial role in opportunity recognition… to identify opportunities for viable new ventures, entrepreneurs must somehow perceive, gather, interpret, and apply information about specific industries, technologies, markets, government policies, and other factors.”

Traditional sources of industry information represented by company reports, market research, country, and sector analysis have now been usurped by the digital era, with estimates that by 2011 the digital universe will be 10 times the size it was in 2006. For examples from the digital era, a look at United Kingdom-based industry/business information in the form of information products may be useful. A wide range of industry information sources can be accessed through national, regional, academic, and private library holdings. The sources covered are primarily electronic sources and identify a cross-section of industry information sources from the innovation/ ideas phase through to development and marketing:

COBRA (Complete Business Reference Advisor) database: An encyclopedia covering information relating to start-up, running, and management of a small business, together with examples.

Business-in-a-box Web site: A free start-up business guide covering such areas as staffing, finance, protecting your ideas, etc.

Business Link Web site: Sponsored by the DTI

Small Business Service: supported through local agencies, providing information, advice, guides, and networking.

National Federation of Enterprise Agencies: Independent, nonprofit service to advise prestart and small businesses.

Startups.co.uk: Contains business planning, finance, etc., together with newsletter and networking facilities for start-ups.

The following sample, using the advertising industry as an example, demonstrates only a small cross section of the range and content of sources available relating to competitors, suppliers, market evaluation, etc. Within each respective industry sector (pharmaceuticals, retailing, etc.) a similar range of targeted resources can be identified.

Advertisers Annual (Hollis Publishing): Listing of United Kingdom agencies ordered by location, sector, associations, and sources.

BRAD Monthly Guide to Advertising Media (EMAP Group): Monthly listing of advertising media in the United Kingdom, new and existing media sources, arranged by sector.

Advertising Statistics Yearbook (World Advertising Research Center): Covers sales and marketing data for print, radio, and television media in the United Kingdom.

Business Ratio Report: Advertising Agencies (Key Note Publications): United Kingdom industry overview, profiling over 120 companies relating to finance, league tables, employee growth, etc.

The European Marketing Pocket Book (World Advertising Research Center): Covers 33 countries including demographics, economic indicators, advertising expenditure.

Ad Forum Web site: Resources relating to worldwide advertising.

Advertising Association: Federation of trade bodies covering advertising and promotion activities in the United Kingdom.

Another useful category of industry information sources are market research databases such as the following:

AMADEUS: Approximately 1.5 million company profiles covering 32 European countries. The searches can be made across countries to include key financial and contact information and lists can be created.

Business Insights: Provides market research and analysis of several key sectors including healthcare, financial services, energy, telecommunications, high technology as well as consumer markets such as food and drink.

FAME: Detailed financial data for 2.5 million companies in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Expert searching allows for the creation of company lists that can be sorted by turnover, postal code, and other search variables.

Key Note: Provides full text access to over a 1,000 reports covering 30 industry sectors such as information technology and food and drink.

Kompass Worldwide: Covers detailed product and service descriptions of over 1.9 million companies in 70 countries. This represents a key source for manufacturers and suppliers.

Mintel: Coverage relates to a wide range of consumer and lifestyle markets in the United Kingdom.

What is becoming obvious is that today’s contemporary manager still needs additional resources to complement such electronic sources as those identified above. E. Ozgen and R. A. Baron discuss the need to recognize peer support and social networking and suggest that three further sources of key industry information can be found in the nonstandard social sources of mentors, information industry networks, and participation in profession forums. Understanding and using industry information is essential for survival in today’s information economy, yet to attempt to be aware of and be able to use all formal and informal, internal and external information sources is unrealistic.

L. Orna argues that to understand what you need, you have to establish a “meeting place for minds,” in the form of an electronic information product shaped by its users, and arrived at through a co-operative investigation of what’s really going on. Sources of industry information are available, dependent on locality and time spent to identify where and how to access them, but to use them effectively, the key is knowing what the individual and their organization want and why.

Vibratory Feeders In The Manufacturing Industry

Vibratory feeders are defined as a special type of mechanical, electromagnetic, or electrical device that is used to transfer materials within a manufacturing plant from one point to another. The device vibrates while it drags or feeds different materials into the area that they need to be in. The device was named after the functions that it carries out.

This particular device actually transfers large amounts of raw material from one point to another with the help of gravity and vibration. Gravity is what gives materials direction and shows where they need to go, while the vibration part of the device simply moves all products and materials to the specified location.

There are three primary industries that rely on the aid of these magical devices. These three industries are the manufacturing industry, the construction industry, as well as different Quarries. Pharmaceutical industries, chemical industries, and even mining industries have also found a purpose for this device to be used within their field as well.

A lot of the manufacturing companies that utilize these special machines depend on the machines to mix all of the raw materials together for products that they issue to the public. All products must be mixed fast and accurately in order to keep up with public demand for various items.

In order to understand how vital it is for manufacturing companies to utilize these machines, think about your favorite soda. If the machines that the manufacturing plant was using to create your favorite drink were to mix certain chemicals together in a different manner, your drinks would never taste the same. This would actually decrease your interest in wanting to consume your drink.

Industries that manufacture and sell products or services need to be able to engage in their everyday tasks as quickly as they possibly can. Also, they want to ensure that the products that they are mandated to make are being made in a relatively short time span as well. The only product that exists these days that can help manufacturing companies produce their products with haste are vibrating feeders.

These machines are considered to be the best medium to use inside of manufacturing institutions. Bulk or large materials can easily be transferred from one area to the next. They also help protect belt conveyors from being overused, which will help keep equipment costs down in the long run also.