Hope Neal, Contributing Editor


Info Management July 1, 2009

Measuring business performance

With thousands of SKUs and up to 12 quality control tests being run on each one, BGF Industries, a manufacturer of fiberglass and other high-performance fabrics, had collected approximately 5 million data points solely through its lab testing operations. But getting the data out so that it could be analyzed was virtually impossible, making it difficult for the company to determine if there were...

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 May 1, 2009

24-hour product development

While scenarios for sharing design data may invoke grandiose thoughts of enhanced collaboration or disparate design center interactions, sometimes all a company really needs to do is make it easier for two engineers sitting in the same office to work together on a project. Just ask Black Diamond Equipment, a Salt Lake City-based manufacturer of climbing and skiing equipment.

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES March 6, 2009

Web-enabled workflow: Synergy solution simplifies collaboration in smaller organizations

Collaboration technology isn’t just for big companies anymore. Today it’s just as important—and readily accessible—to small and midsize businesses.

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
Diagnostics, Asset Management March 1, 2009

Skillfully social: Companies embrace wikis, blogs, collaboration tools found on the lofty Web 2.0 landscape

In January, PTC, a supplier of product life-cycle management (PLM) software, released Windchill ProductPoint, describing it as a social product development tool. While Windchill ProductPoint brings more collaboration to the product development process, the social product development descriptor refers to the collaborative functionality the software offers, such as blogs, wikis, instant messaging...

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
System Integration February 1, 2009

The intersection of lean and green

Once considered to be of interest only to “tree huggers,” sustainable or green business practices are more widely embraced now by companies. But it’s not sheer concern for the environment that’s driving these initiatives. Instead, companies are discovering that business practices that preserve the planet’s future can pay substantial financial dividends today.

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 19, 2008

Cooking up success: Grill maker cuts call-center volume, customer complaints with CRM

When Memorial Day rolls around, millions of Americans get ready to start grilling. That’s when the phones ring at the call center for Meco Corp., manufacturer of the Aussie Outdoor Living line of electric, gas, and charcoal grills. Meco recently turned to customer relationship management software to handle the volume and garner customer feedback. 

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
HMI, OI November 1, 2008

World view: Manufacturers make the most of the multiplant model

In 1999, saddled with an antiquated IT system from a vendor that had gone out of business, Brooklyn-based Lee Spring, a privately held manufacturer of industrial components, issued a request-for-proposal (RFP). The manufacturer was looking for a new system by which it could run its operations. One of the key requirements was the ability to support several sites.

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
Process Safety October 17, 2008

Smart product design: It’s getting easier to be green

By making informed design decisions and using the right tools, manufacturers can take the necessary steps toward making greener—or more eco-friendly or sustainable—products. That's because many of the things considered in everyday good design decisions also are great sustainability design decisions.

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
Simulators, Optimizers October 1, 2008

The complete picture: Supply chain solutions balance inventory management with transportation costs

For years, when it came to inventory, most manufacturers were focused on one goal: cutting inventory levels as low as they could go. It was a trend that could be called inventory minimization. But a new trend may be emerging—one that, in some cases, proves less isn't always best. “Most supply chains are built on the unwritten rule, or the unwritten assumption, that transportation co...

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
Diagnostics, Asset Management March 5, 2008

Multiple personas: Knowing what each user needs from a service is critical to SOA governance

Multiple personalities can be a good thing—at least when it comes to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance strategy. That’s the conclusion offered by analysts at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, who argue that the best solutions for managing an SOA are offered by vendors that realize that people with a variety of roles—or personas—must be part of the SOA governance process.

By Hope Neal, Contributing Editor
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