Vanderlande Industries web photo

Vanderlande’s new facility reduces the lead times and costs of delivering its turnkey baggage and parcel systems.

By Tim O’Connor

Whether it’s a key airport hub like Boston’s Logan Airport or an Amazon warehouse, sorting systems must meet three primary criteria: speed, energy efficiency and accuracy. That last item is especially important to travelers, who expect their luggage will follow them on their flight. A misdirected or lost bag can leave customers without fresh clothes or important travel papers.

It’s one of the reasons many U.S. airports are switching to European-style baggage systems. These place every piece of luggage with its own individually tracked tub carrier, then route the luggage to an early bag storage area, where it is held until the flight calls for that bag. The process results in fewer errors because bags don’t arrive at a gate ahead of time only to be mistakenly placed on an earlier flight.

“People don’t get too happy when their packages or bags don’t arrive with them,” notes Blake Mathies, vice president of supply chain and procurement for baggage handling systems manufacturer Vanderlande Industries.

Seagate Technology web photo 1

Seagate Technology’s supply chain supports the company’s new focus on the enterprise market.

By Tim O’Connor

Think about how people use digital photos. In the past, someone would take a picture then store it on a hard drive where it might quickly be forgotten. Today, that same person snaps the photo using their cell phone and moments later effortlessly shares it with hundreds of friends and family members across social media.

The dissemination is instant, but it also requires a different approach to data storage. The size of flash memory space available on devices such as phones has not grown fast enough to accommodate the explosive number of food photos, selfies and cat memes shared around the internet. The problem of storage space will only grow as people and businesses find ways to interact with their data. One solution is to move information from personal devices into cloud storage.

Manhattan Beer Distributors web photo 2

Manhattan Beer Distributors uses technology to ensure its customers get what they need just in time for happy hour.

By Jim Harris

Distributing beer and other beverages to more than 25,000 customers daily in the New York City metro area is no easy task. Inventory levels as well as truck scheduling and routing, among other factors, all need to be taken into consideration before consumers can enjoy a pint at a bar or take a six-pack home from the store.

The city’s premier distributor manages the complicated logistics of delivering to the nation’s largest city through a large fleet of trucks as well as state-of-the-art warehouse and computer systems that enable it to meet its customer service goals.

“To be successful in this business, you need to understand customers and partner with good suppliers and great brands,” says Mike McCarthy, senior vice president of operations for Manhattan Beer Distributors. “We make sure we’re getting the right brands to our customers where and when they want it and how they want it.

Leggett Platt web photo 1

Leggett & Platt fosters an entrepreneurial spirit within its logistics team.

By Chris Kelsch

In 1883, J.P. Leggett, an inventor who already had several patents to his credit, developed an idea for a spiral steel coil bedspring. He turned to his future brother-in-law and Carthage resident C.B. Platt for his manufacturing expertise.

Together, the pair invented the Leggett & Platt bedspring, offering the best night’s sleep available. The partnership prospered and eventually the company grew to where it is today: a member of the S&P 500 with 17 business units and 130 facilities in 19 countries.

The company’s diverse array of products can be found in any home, office or vehicle. They include formed wire, office furniture, car seating and tubes used in aerospace and automotive products. And yes, Leggett & Platt still makes mattresses and bedding components.

Kawasaki Motors Corp web photo 3

KMCs supply chain turnaround has taken the company to 'the next level.

By Alan Dorich

Kawasaki Motors Corp. (KMC) U.S.A. has stayed strong for five decades. The Kawasaki brand is known for quality and great engineering, Senior Director of Parts and Accessories Tom Leimkuhler says. Even when the economy goes down, we still continue to maintain and hold our own.

Santa Ana, Calif.-based KMC, which is part of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., serves the power sports sector with its motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis and side X side vehicles. The company recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and today KMC employs 400 workers.

Although KMC is renowned for its motorcycles, its most up-and-coming business unit consists of its side X side vehicles. Hunters and farmers in the middle states are really using them in their efforts, he says.

The vehicles also have found a use in parks and recreation departments, as well as retirement homes. Its a huge, huge market, he says. Its closing in on our motorcycle division.

FinishMaster web photo 1

FinishMaster expands its footprint through acquisitions and organic growth.

By Chris Kelsch

Anyone who has experienced a car accident knows it is an emotionally stressful ordeal. Dealing with insurance and finding a collision repair center is challenging enough, to say nothing of possible physical injuries.

When faced with such a situation, consumers tend to go to a local collision repair center they have used in the past or that came recommended from a friend. Collision repair centers work hard to build a strong presence in their community as someone you can hand your car over to without a worry. Steve Arndt, president and COO of FinishMaster, notes that is exactly the same relationship his company aims to create with the market it serves. “We consider ourselves a key supplier and partner to the local collision shop,” Arndt explains. “Vehicle repairs have to be done to pre-accident specifications and it is our job to support collision shops with products and services to get the car back on the road as quickly as possible.”

dr. brandt skincare web photo 2

dr. brandt skincare stays relevant in the ever-changing world of retail by continually raising the bar for quality and productivity.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Dr. Frederic Brandt, renowned dermatologist to celebrities, founded dr. brandt skincare in the late 1990s to help everyday people repair and prevent skin damage while promoting health and beauty. Dr. Brandt passed away in 2015, but his legacy lives on in one of the fastest-growing companies in the cosmetics industry that continues to raise the bar.

“The way we developed our products always started with Dr. Brandt’s input,” says Osmar Rodriguez, vice president of manufacturing operations and supply chain. “He managed patients every day and knew exactly what people really needed. He would challenge us to develop products that were innovative and cutting edge.”

Although Dr. Brandt is no longer here to guide dr. brandt skincare, the company has partnered with several dermatologists who develop ideas for new products centered on current skin concerns. Innovation is key for dr. brandt skincare and the company continues to regularly develop new products.

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