Made in the US: Manufacturing moving onshore — Donald B. Rosenfield

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Donald Rosenfield

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Donald Rosenfield

From the Boston Globe

The health of the US manufacturing sector has been at the top of the news agenda for some time. Factory closures are highly publicized; businesses that move their production overseas are publicly shamed; and politicians often find themselves on the defensive.

True, the United States has seen a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs over the past decade, and many of those jobs are not coming back. (Garment-making and smartphone assembly will likely stay in places such as China.)

Despite all the negativity, though, US manufacturing is in good shape. Industrial production remains near its all-time peak, as measured by the Federal Reserve Board, and the sector will likely continue to thrive. More companies will set up — or indeed keep — their production here as the manufacturing sector becomes more efficient, innovative, and technologically sophisticated to allow for greater product variety.

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Using machine learning to increase meeting efficiency — Cynthia Rudin

MIT Sloan Asst. Prof. Cynthia Rudin

MIT Sloan Asst. Prof. Cynthia Rudin

Meetings play a big role in many people’s jobs. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 11 million meetings take place in a typical day. Managers can spend up to three-quarters of their time in meetings, and approximately 97% of workers say that collaboration is essential to do their best work.

As a result, meetings are tremendously important for businesses. Yet understanding meetings — much less finding ways to increase their productivity — is challenging for researchers because it requires an understanding of many social signals and complex interpersonal dynamics. Most of the work done in this area has been from the social sciences perspective using field work and surveys.

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Increasing manufacturing jobs in the U.S. requires innovation and variety — Donald Rosenfield

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Don Rosenfield

In the last 10 years, there has been a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. due to a combination of factors, such as the economic crisis and foreign competition. But manufacturing jobs can return to the U.S., and a key component of that return involves innovation to facilitate product variety.

Companies that manufacture products abroad typically do not offer significant product variety, as the support costs — like inventory, markdowns and returns — are too high. It’s more economical to produce a narrow product line when you’re shipping to warehouses from across an ocean. Read More »

A systems engineering view of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner–Steve Eppinger

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a huge innovation. The first new aircraft launched in more than a decade, Boeing uses incredibly advanced manufacturing technology to build a lighter-weight carbon composite plane for improved fuel-efficiency. In addition, the planes include a number of state-of-the-art design features to increase passenger comfort on long-haul flights. Read More »