Tom's Blog

From industry’s leader in connecting buyers and suppliers

Advanced Manufacturing Will Shape American Manufacturing

While some people believe that the manufacturing industry is in a state of decline, the fact is that the industry isn't shrinking; it's shifting. Though some sectors are diminishing, others are experiencing tremendous growth.

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Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Successful CPO?

It takes a lot of skill to become a successful CPO. Not only do procurement leaders need to understand how globalization affects their department, they also need to stay up to date on emerging procurement technologies and evolving business standards. But what makes the difference between an average CPO and a CPO that goes above and beyond? 

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Video: Beer Pipeline Is A Sight To Behold In Bruges

The Belgian city of Bruges is well known for its historical sites, such as Belfry & Halle, Basilica of the Holy Blood and Markt. But beneath the city's cobblestone streets lies a spectacle that not too many tourists know about  a beer pipeline that stretches two miles long. 

De Halve Maan, or The Half Moon Brewery, created this pipeline to connect its historic 453-year old building to its modern-day bottling plant. With the help from experts in the oil and gas industry, the pipeline transports 1,000 gallons of beer (the equivalent of 12,000 bottles) every hour.

Want to learn the backstory of this beer behemoth? Our friends at Industrial Equipment News have the details. 

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Manufacturing Industry Jobs Update: December 2016

At, we are big champions of American manufacturing and reshoring. In fact, we work with suppliers who produce amazing products made in America every day, and we play an instrumental role in helping small- and medium-sized suppliers grow.

But how can we measure growth for the industry overall? A good barometer is the state of the manufacturing workforce. That’s why we will be regularly diving deep into the latest information from the Bureau Of Labor Statistics to take the pulse of hiring in the industry and to highlight sectors that are growing.

Here is our Manufacturing Industry Jobs Update for December 2016 (scroll down for previous releases):

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A Robot For The Elderly Is In The Works For The Aging Generation

If you're scared of living alone when you are older, you can now rest easy. Business Insider reports that IBM, in conjunction with Rice University, is creating a series of sensors that would eventually take form inside a robot to help senior citizens stay safe. The project is designed to help the growing aging population preserve their indepence and their overall health with little disruption in their daily lives.

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The Merger of Two Industrial Gas Giants

On Tuesday, December 20, Danbury Connecticut-based Praxair announced a merger with German rival Linde AG. Praxair and Linde are two of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial gas. Once the merger is complete, they will have a combined value of $66.6 billion with estimated annual revenue of $30 billion.  

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Five Trends That Will Shape The Supply Chain In 2017

With the holiday parties and New Year’s celebrations in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to take a look ahead at what’s in store for supply chain in 2017. And while we don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, there are some trends that will undoubtedly and irrevocably shift the supply chain in the year ahead.

Here they are:

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Manufacturers Struggle To Find Skilled & Interested Workers

In light of the recent presidential election, there has been a renewed focus on the plight of blue collar workers and the lack of job opportunities in manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

However, while workers say they can't find jobs to support their families, at the same time companies are having trouble finding workers with the right skills to support their businesses. In fact, a study projects that the U.S. manufacturing industry faces a 2-million worker shortage over the next decade

But if so many workers want new jobs and so many companies want to hire new workers, what's causing the disconnect? A recent article in the Chicago Tribune may shed some light on the situation.

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Cloud-Based Solutions Are The Future Of Manufacturing

Every facet of the manufacturing industry has evolved rapidly over the past two decades, and the way it is managed is no exception. The industry has gone from limited enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the 1990s to today's intricate, cloud-based software solutions.

According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, these cloud-based programs will be essential to the continued growth of the manufacturing and supply chain industry. 

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