MHI Solutions

Solutions Spotlight

SOLUTIONS COMMUNITY

New and Improved: Solutions Community Aims to Be Resource for MHI Members, User Community

By Brian Reaves, MHI Executive Vice President

Come together, right now, for efficiency. Well, that’s not exactly how the famous Beatles lyric goes, but in the case of the MHI’s three solutions groups, it makes perfect sense.

When the MHI Solutions Community was created this past spring, it represented the consolidation of the association’s Automated Solutions Group (ASG), Information Systems Solutions Group (ISSG) and Order Fulfillment Solutions Group (OFS) into a single entity focused on engaging the user community and addressing problems affecting the material handling and supply chain industry.

The Solutions Community provides MHI a centralized place to better address the complex challenges of the user community instead of multiple groups working independently to identify and respond to common industry challenges. The previous groups and structure often resulted in overlapping effort and confusion about which group would be best suited to address the challenge.

Having one solutions group will ensure that efforts focused on the user community will be efficient and focused, and that information will be efficiently shared among members. There will no longer be three groups competing for user input, and members who were participating in multiple groups will be able to focus their time and effort on one group.

At the 2017 MHI Spring Meetings, the ASG, ISSG and OFS held a joint meeting to review the initiatives and priorities of each group to help ensure a smooth transition into the Solutions Community. Governing documents were adopted for the Solutions Community, and the members of the ASG, ISSG and OFS automatically became members of the new group.

The Solutions Community board of directors spent two days in late June meeting in Charlotte, NC to review the mission of the group and develop a strategic plan, including stakeholder interviews, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and short- and long-term action plans. The group’s board has been evaluating how to maximize value to all stakeholders and learn from previous iterations of solutions groups – a 360 review that has been inclusive and thorough.

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Emerging technologies such as IIoT, robotics and artificial intelligence provide exciting opportunities for supply chains. They also mean an exponential growth in the amount of data these supply chains generate. When properly utilized, this data can provide crucial information to improve efficiency, reduce costs, enhance transparency and customer service. But it comes with risk. The more digitized a supply chain becomes, the more it is at risk of cyberattack. Hackers are constantly finding new ways create data breaches they can exploit. The reality that most supply chains require third-party suppliers down the chain only heightens this threat. No matter the scale of your supply chain, it is essential to have solid cybersecurity processes in place to manage and mitigate the growing risk of cyberattack. That’s what this issue of MHI Solutions is all about, from cybersecurity threats in an IIoT world to dark data to the human factor in cybersecurity to blockchain as a potential solution.

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