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.

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.

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.

Comprehensive Logistics web photo 1

Comprehensive Logistics has assembly capabilities that put it in a league of its own.

By Chris Kelsch

To refer to Comprehensive Logistics as a logistics company would be to dramatically undersell an impressive range of capabilities. A fourth-generation, family-owned operation, Comprehensive Logistics was incorporated in 1995 as an independent entity to focus on original equipment manufacturers (OEM) logistics outsourcing, mostly in the automotive industry.

All of that changed, however, in 2010. That’s when Comprehensive signed its first value-added sub-assembly contract with a major U.S. automotive OEM. “We had focused on transportation since 1995,” notes Vice President of Operations and Quality Jeff Peters. “Then one of the OEMs we were working for said ‘Hey, can you warehouse these parts and meter them into our facility?’”

Daikin Applied web photo 2

Daikin Applied’s new quality and supply chain executive focuses on increasing efficiency and revamping the supply chain.

By Kat Zeman

Ramon Gonzalez likes efficiency. In his new role as vice president of corporate quality and supply chain management at Daikin Applied, Gonzalez plans to concentrate on regionalization, standardizing the supply chain process and improving forecasting. “Our customers are very focused on efficiency,” he says.

Minneapolis-based Daikin designs and manufactures technologically advanced commercial HVAC systems. Its products, solutions and services are sold globally. “Daikin is the world’s No. 1 air conditioning company,” says Gonzalez, who joined the company about six months ago. “We are more technologically advanced than our competition and we are developing products that are more efficient and use less energy. We’re always looking at the future.”

Daikin clients – such as hospitals, schools, apartment buildings, hotels, casinos, shopping centers and stadiums – demand eco-friendly HVAC systems that use less energy and save them money, he says. “And people are very conscious about size. They want units that take up less space, making more room for people to live, learn, work and gather,” he adds. “Also, sound is very important. These three areas and others is where we differentiate ourselves.”

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