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The Raymond Corp.’s Steve Medwin finds context, relevance in the Roadmap

When he first picked up a copy of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics, Steve Medwin of electric lift truck manufacturer The Raymond Corp. was struck by how comprehensive the document is.

“Raymond has been committed to making quality lift trucks and telematics solutions for fleet optimization,” he said. “But we don’t always have visibility to the whole supply chain and material handling industry, or all the other things that go on around our products. So from a broader perspective than just the movement of a pallet from point A to point B, the Roadmap is very helpful.”  

Medwin, whose official title is Director of Systems and Advanced Engineering at Raymond, is in charge of new product research and development. His lab cooks up the innovations—such as the iWarehouse lift truck fleet monitoring and optimization telematics system—that not only make his company’s products even better, but also expands upon the offerings of other companies, such as Seegrid’s vision-guided technologies. Indeed, Medwin is responsible for Raymond’s own roadmap of planned technological advancements and upcoming innovations.

“Every so often we get a chance to take a step back and look at what we should be doing in the lab today, knowing that it might take five years to commercialize,” he explained. “So, when I first read the Roadmap, I felt that it clued right in to where the industry is going to be by 2025. It covers a lot of content in a very timely way—that’s why it really resonated with me.”

Because of his perspective, Medwin found the section about driverless over-the-road transport vehicles (pages 39-40 in the Roadmap) to be particularly relevant to the work he’s been involved with over the past few years—including driverless lift trucks. “It ties right in to some of the developments that have come out of our lab,” he said. “That concept is a logical extension of where the technology is today.”

Although Medwin was reluctant to pinpoint how his team’s research and development process has (or hasn’t) been impacted by the Roadmap’s vision, he appreciates its relevance: “It puts material handling and logistics into a societal context by tying in the impact of cultural trends on our industry,” he said. “For us, it’s an excellent background resource.”

Join the Roadmap on LinkedIn: Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.

April 27-30, 2014: Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) Conference

MODEX 2014

Hosted at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, WERC’s annual conference includes the Warehousing Industry Resources Event (WIRE) exhibition, educational sessions and facility tours. The U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics will be discussed during a strategies educational session in a panel format. The four featured panelists were among the 100-plus original roundtable meeting participants who established the Roadmap’s foundation.

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MHI Roadmap Paves Way to Material Handling Future

Plant Engineering magazine’s Bob Vavra covered the panel discussion, “Material Handling and Logistics: The Road to 2025," held on March 18, 2014 at the only MODEX On-Floor Educational Seminar dedicated to the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The panel discussion featured Randolph Bradley of Boeing, Bill Ferrell of Clemson University, and Steve Hopper of Inviscid Consulting, above.
Click here to read the full article.

Additionally, the presentation and its accompanying audio is available here.

Lee Scott Lee Scott, Walmart’s third president and CEO, discusses the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics
In an interview with DC Velocity’s group editorial director Mitch MacDonald, retired Walmart president and CEO Lee Scott shared his insights into the talent development initiatives needed to prepare the workforce of 2025. Scott advocates a shift in educational programs, saying: “The world is becoming much more sophisticated… It's unlikely that you'll get to a point where systems and computers and material handling equipment do everything for you. In fact, the more these systems do for you, the more sophisticated the people who work with those systems have to be.”
Click here to read more.

Welcome to the Future

June 12, 2025

Gaithersburg, MD. John Alvarez has been under his classic 1996 silver Corvette for three and a half hours. He’s sweating profusely, but doing what he loves—restoring old cars. His search for the source of a small oil leak is finally over—a leaking right valve cover gasket. “MyEye, stock check.”

“Yes, sir?” responds a small SmartPin clipped to his shirt. “Is there a right valve cover gasket for my Corvette in this town?”

“Checking, sir, please wait…” After confirming the meaning of “valve cover gasket” and “my Corvette” with appropriate databases, SmartPin sends a stock request via wireless connection to a central database for automotive supplies: “Stock check, right valve cover gasket for a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, 5.7 liter V8, 4-speed, convertible. Near address: 2049 Mockingbird Lane, Gaithersburg, MD.”

“I have found a source, sir. Please check MyEye to confirm.” Still under the car, John shifts his focus to the eyes up display in his right contact lens as it projects photographs and technical details for the part.

“Next page…. Next page. Yes, that’s it. Please order for immediate delivery.”

“On the way, sir.” The order is immediately placed and paid for. Inside the local auto parts store, a 3D printer begins the job. Ten minutes later, it’s done.

The store’s CrowdDeliver system broadcasts a request for delivery to thousands of participating mobile devices. A notification pops up in the car of Jeff Hart, who lives in John’s neighborhood but has never met him. Jeff is on his way back from his daughter’s gymnastics meet, and only two blocks from the auto parts store. He clicks “Got it” and takes a left toward the store.

A clerk greets him at the service window, “Here you go, Mr. Hart. Do you see the address?” “Yep, it came up right there. I’ve been wanting to meet John for some time.”
“Thank you sir, we’ve credited your account.”

Ten minutes later, Jeff pulls into the driveway of John Alvarez, who is still under his Corvette.

“John, I’m Jeff Hart from down the street. Here’s your gasket. Nice car.”

Sound far fetched?

It’s not.

This is the future, as envisioned by the contributors and authors of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The Roadmap offers a visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.

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