In Electronic Document Interchange (EDI), an EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry is most commonly utilized when suppliers want to provide available and future inventory quantities, either corporately or by ship from location.

an image of entrust edi for manufacturers

The primary purpose of an EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry is for a supplier to provide a purchaser with a number of goods currently on-hand and on-order, including the future date. This allows better management of buying needs and is used primarily in a drop ship order management model to support e-commerce management.

EDI 846 Format

ISA*01*0000000000*01*0000000000*ZZ*ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO*ZZ*123456789012345*101127*1719*U*00400*000003438*0*P*>
GS*IB*4405197800*999999999*20101127*1719*1421*X*004010VICS
ST*846*1001
BIA*13*PI*4589*20001104
DTM*040*20001108
N1*DS*OP DISTRIBUTOR*21*78YU0JN90
PER*IC*I.R. O’NERY*TE*888-555-0234*EM*

EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry Key Data

The EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry contains several key data elements that help suppliers communicate inventory levels to buyers, who can, in turn, respond accordingly to customers. These data are:

  • Identifying number
  • Inventory date
  • Product and service identifiers, including UPC/EAN/GTIN, as well as their quantities

It is not uncommon for additional data to be included in an EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry, depending on the client’s needs and level of customization. Additional data may include:

  • Out of stock items and their respective restock dates
  • Products that have been discontinued
  • Supplier warehouse locations with on-hand items, including amounts
  • Vendor numbers
  • Additional item identifiers such as buyer item number and vendor part number
  • Item descriptions

EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry Benefits

EDI 846 offers plenty of benefits to both the purchaser and the supplier. When implementing electronic trading of inventory data, benefits can include:

  • Better visibility into when a product is out of stock or no longer being made and the ability to advise other actions as a result
  • Better management of e-commerce drop shipping
  • Communicates when items will be available if out of stock
  • Better forecasting when planning warehouse levels and ordering
  • Easier Management of details on eCommerce websites, for instance, when items are out of stock, quantities available, or remove the items from the website
  • Enables ordering of non-stock items and special orders

For more information on Encompass Solutions’ EDI offerings, read more about our Rapid EDI Implementation.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


In Electronic Document Interchange (EDI), an EDI 830 Planning Schedule With Release Capability is essentially an electronic sales forecast. You can think of an EDI 830 planning schedule with release capability as an electronic version of a paper planning schedule. Used primarily in the manufacturing industry this document exchange is reserved for when manufacturers are communicating with their suppliers.

an image of entrust edi for manufacturers

While the EDI 830 invoice is the most commonly utilized electronic sales forecasting and material release authorization method, it can be used in one of three ways: as a sales forecast, as a forecast and an authorization for the recipient to commit to resources, such as labor or materials, and as a forecast that also includes order release levels. It will often include shipping information, though it is important to keep in mind that this inclusion is based solely on forecasts.

EDI 830 Planning Schedule With Release Capability Format

ISA*01*0000000000*01*0000000000*ZZ*ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO*ZZ*123456789012345*101127*1719*U*00400*000003438*0*P*>
GS*PO*4405197800*999999999*20101127*1719*1421*X*004010VICS
ST*850*000000010
BEG*00*SA*08292233294**20101127*610385385
REF*DP*038
REF*PS*R
ITD*14*3*2**45**46
DTM*002*20101214
PKG*F*68***PALLETIZE SHIPMENT
PKG*F*66***REGULAR
TD5*A*92*P3**SEE XYZ RETAIL ROUTING GUIDE
N1*ST*XYZ RETAIL*9*0003947268292
N3*31875 SOLON RD
N4*SOLON*OH*44139
PO1*1*120*EA*9.25*TE*CB*065322-117*PR*RO*VN*AB3542
PID*F****SMALL WIDGET
PO4*4*4*EA*PLT94**3*LR*15*CT
PO1*2*220*EA*13.79*TE*CB*066850-116*PR*RO*VN*RD5322
PID*F****MEDIUM WIDGET
PO4*2*2*EA

EDI 830 Planning Schedule With Release Capability Key Data

An EDI 830 Planning Schedule with Release Capability document is a highly organized and segmented document. It will always contain at least one data element, but can potentially house an infinite number of data segments for a company to customize. In the case of each data element, a data field will be included. For example, these data fields can provide:

  • Vendor numbers
  • Resource authorizations
  • Period-to-date cumulative quantities
  • Specific shipping and/or delivery patterns

EDI 830 Planning Schedule With Release Capability Benefits

EDI 830 offers plenty of benefits to both the purchaser and the supplier. When implementing electronic trading of the inventory advice benefits can include:

  • Better visibility into when a product is out of stock or no longer being made and the ability to advise other actions as a result
  • Better management of e-commerce drop shipping
  • Communicates when items will be available if out of stock
  • Better forecasting when planning warehouse levels and ordering
  • Easier Management of details on eCommerce websites, for instance, when items are out of stock, quantities available, or remove the items from the website
  • Enables ordering of non-stock items and special orders

For more information on Encompass Solutions’ EDI offerings, read more about our Rapid EDI Implementation.

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


In Electronic Document Interchange (EDI), an EDI 810 is the electronic version of a traditional paper invoice. Used primarily in the manufacturing and retail industries, an EDI 810 Invoice is sent by the vendor or supplier to a retail partner or distributor to request payment for products and/or services.

While the EDI 810 invoice is the most commonly utilized electronic invoice, there are multiple EDI documents supporting invoicing. In addition to the 810, EDI 880 and EDI 894 are commonly used. The former invoices grocery products specifically and the latter is utilized for vendor managed inventory (VMI) models.

an image of entrust edi for manufacturers

EDI 810 Format

ISA*01*0000000000*01*0000000000*ZZ*ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO*ZZ*123456789012345*101127*1719*U*00400*000003438*0*P*>
GS*IN*4405197800*999999999*20101205*1710*1320*X*004010VICS
ST*810*1004
BIG*20101204*217224*20101204*P792940
REF*DP*099
REF*IA*99999
N1*ST**92*123
ITD*01*3***0**60
IT1*1*4*EA*8.60**UP*999999330023
IT1*2*2*EA*15.00**UP*999999330115
IT1*3*2*EA*7.30**UP*999999330146
IT1*4*4*EA*17.20**UP*999999330184
IT1*5*8*EA*4.30**UP*999999330320
IT1*6*4*EA*4.30**UP*999999330337
IT1*7*6*EA*1.50**UP*999999330634
IT1*8*6*EA*1.50**UP*999999330641
TDS*21740
CAD*****GTCT**BM*99999
CTT*8
SE*18*1004
GE*1*1320
IEA*1*000001320

EDI 810 Invoice Key Data

The EDI 810 Invoice contains several key data elements that help route the correct information during a transaction. These data are:

  • Invoice number
  • Purchase order number
  • Invoice date
  • Product and service identifiers, including UPC/EAN/GTIN, as well as their quantities
  • Item price

It is not uncommon for additional data to be included in an EDI 810, depending on the client’s needs and level of customization. Additional data may include:

  • Carrier and service levels
  • Invoice terms
  • Ship to and remit to locations
  • Vendor number
  • Charges and/or allowances
  • Taxes
  • Buyer item number
  • Vendor part number
  • Shipping information

EDI 810 Invoice Benefits

Utilizing the EDI 810 invoice offers several benefits to both the supplier and the purchaser. These benefits will depend on the transaction’s level of automation and integration on either party’s system. These benefits can include:

  • Increased efficiency, reduced time to complete transactions, and decreased volume of paper flow
  • Less time spent in manually submitting invoices on the supplier’s end
  • Less time spent manually entering invoices on the purchaser’s end
  • Increased resources to focus on value-added work for both supplier and purchaser
  • A significant reduction, if not outright elimination, on errors associated with manual entry
  • Reconciliation against orders/shipments to verify correct invoice amounts
  • Better order fulfillment
  • Faster payment

For more information on Encompass Solutions’ EDI offerings, read more about our Rapid EDI Implementation.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


What Is EDI? Electronic Data Interchange, is defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as, “the computer-to-computer interchange of strictly formatted messages that represent documents other than monetary instruments. EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties, either of whom may serve as originator or recipient. The formatted data representing the documents may be transmitted from originator to recipient via telecommunications or physically transported on electronic storage media.” However, it can be summarized as a process by which computer systems exchange business documents quickly and securely in a standard electronic format. Some examples of those electronic formats include those from ANSI, EDIFACT, TRADACOMS and ebXML. The edi benefits any business stands to gain from implementation are substantial. Below are just few of those use cases for businesses of any size.

an image of entrust edi for manufacturers

How EDI Benefits Efficiency

By shedding traditional paper-based systems, businesses and their partners can take advantage of a host of benefits that EDI provides. Those benefits include, but are not limited to faster production speeds, fewer errors, reduced costs, and stronger more reliable partnerships.

When it comes to Electronic Commerce (EC), also known as e-commerce/eCommerce, EDI provides an essential method for carrying out business functions relating to information exchange, monetary transactions, and purchasing both in business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships.

EDI helps eliminate human participation in the exchange of essential documents throughout business processes. In short, EDI helps automate monotonous and error-prone business processes.

How EDI Benefits Security

When it comes to how EDI can affect your company’s business processes with customers and partners, security becomes one of the most important factors to consider. By doing away with paper systems and outdated technology, like phone, fax, and email conversations, your business is freed to take advantage of more comprehensive and secure methods of exchange.

Consider these benefits when it comes to implementing an EDI solution for your business:

  • Audit trails
  • Contingency planning
  • Use of acknowledgments
  • Electronic document management
  • Activities of supporting networks
  • User access controls to systems and networks
  • Cryptographic techniques for authentication and confidentiality

How EDI Benefits Business Relationships

the above two examples of EDI benefits strengthen business relationships. By imparting consistency, trust, and confidence, trading partners, suppliers and customers are more willing to commit to repeat business with a company using EDI.

Every data transaction from stock reordering to order updates an be automated with EDI. These automated transactions remove the opportunities for human error that cause wrong orders, returns, and negative impacts on relationships. As a result, confidence remains high, customer satisfaction is consistent, and performance increases.

by leveraging EDI benefits within your business, you can improve these key performance areas and more. Reach out to Encompass today for more information on how EDI can benefit your business.

 

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


USW negotiations continue as representatives report that progress had been made in the latest round of contract bargaining with US Steel. Negotiations between the two entities will continue and a strike will be avoided provided that gaps in asks from union members can be filled in a reasonable timeframe.

Currently, US Steel proposes an additional $145 healthcare premium per month to be used toward healthcare and dental coverage. Representatives for the USW negotiations calculated the lifetime cost to workers over the term of the agreement would total $10,440. The number would eat up the proposed wage increases from the USW and effectively put workers back at square one.

Key issues that remain to be resolved include health and dental costs, incentive pay, supplemental unemployment benefits, and disagreement on the use of a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association fund.

A picture of a steel production plant Like those where US Steel workers are considering organizing a strike.

USW Negotiations

US Steel released its most recent contract proposal publicly, which provides:

  • A $3,000 ratification bonus to be paid within 30 days of contract ratification to employees accruing pension service as of Sept. 1
  • $3,000 bonus to be paid to the same category of employees as of Sept. 1, 2021.
  • Basic wage increases of 4% effective Sept. 1, 2018
  • increases of 3% on Sept. 1 of each year 2019 through 2023.

This marks the 4th consecutive week of contract negotiations between US Steel and the United Steelworkers Union.


Following this week’s announcement that US Steel workers voted in favor of strike approval, ArcelorMittal steelworkers across the region have mobilized in preparation for a strike authorization vote of their own. The vote will take place next week on Monday.

Members will meet with USW leaders at the meetings, where they will receive updates on the expected bargaining process, a rundown on strike rules, review benefits afforded to members during a strike, and, if deemed necessary, pursue strike authorization. A recently released update included the statement, “If significant progress is not made by early next week, we will return home to deliver detailed reports at membership meetings and seek your support for a strike authorization.”

If the strike is approved, the United Steel Workers Union members at ArcelorMittal locations throughout the United States could join US Steel steelworkers in a complete work stoppage in the event contract negotiations fall apart. USW officials and steel companies have been in contract negotiations for months leading up to the workers’ September 1st contract expiration date.

ArcelorMittal Steelworkers Unsatisfied With Proposed Terms

ArcelorMittal has earned the ire of steelworkers, who have not received a pay raise in three years, for proposing concessions that include hits to supplemental unemployment, incentive, vacation pay, hot-rolled steel bonuses, and health care. Union representatives communicated that these concessions could result in as much as an additional $8,000 per year in out-of-pocket health costs for the affected families.

a picture of steel rods like those produced by ArcelorMittal Steelworkers.

US Steel released it’s own update on Wednesday of this week, saying, “We have submitted a revised proposal to USW leadership that reflects the ongoing dialogue during our most recent round of negotiations. The revised six-year proposal, which we strongly believe is in the best long-term interest of all U.S. Steel stakeholders, includes a 14% base wage increase over the term of the agreement, guaranteed profit sharing, and healthcare premiums offset with transition payments.”

Currently, U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal, and workers are operating under contract extensions.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Platinum Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Kaufman Container has enjoyed substantial returns on its investment in Epicor ERP software thanks to skilled consulting, implementation, and training services provided by Encompass Solutions, Inc. and Epicor Software Corp.

The Project

Kaufman had been running several non-integrated systems prior to the implementation of Epicor ERP. During that time, these non-integrated platforms led to colleagues having to do each other’s jobs. One example included a lack of confidence in inventory on hand. with no trust in the system data, users had to manually confirm inventory availability.

The Epicor implementation effort was owned by Kaufman IT Director Larry Keilin. “The transition from our old system to our new system was less painful than I expected-for many employees, the day you switch from an old system to a new system is the day they love the old system,” Keilin commented. “A large number of our employees got on the Epicor bandwagon and became excited about all the work they can now do that they couldn’t do before. We are truly seeing the benefits, for example for the purchasing department, the Buyers Workbench is such a useful tool that it really stands out, and our customer service department really loves the way they can take an old order, copy it, and create a new one-it’s a huge time saver for them.”

The Details

  • 70 Concurrent Office Users
  • 15 Concurrent Data Collection Users
  • 8 Database Users
  • On-Premise Deployment

The Challenge

Challenges for this project both substantial and essential to overcome if Kaufman were to make the most of their new ERP system. First, overcoming the lack of visibility for purchasing decisions, which up until this point had been made using days worth of research and inventory management via Microsoft® Excel® worksheets, would be essential.

Second, The lack of real-time transaction data gave little insight into how Kaufman was performing at any given point in time. Finally, the organization’s multiple costing methodologies provided inconsistent gross margin calculations.

The Goals

Kaufman Container implemented its Epicor ERP solution with the primary goals of:

  • Better tracking of sales and gross margin data to salespersons and customers.
  • Improve inventory management.
  • Integrate production management.
  • Growing revenue and profitability.

The Results

Encompass Solutions was contracted by Kaufman to perform an end-to-end business process review (BPR) which was critical in helping to determine the optimal business processes to follow. This would yield the maximum benefit from the newly implemented Epicor ERP product. The BRP was completed in just one week and help outline areas for improvement as well as recommendations for systems and process improvement moving forward into implementation. 

Every business area was taken into account during the assessment and recommendations for changes in engineering, production, inventory, purchasing, costing, and accounting departments were presented. In particular, a go-forward path that included additional modules to offer substantial benefit to production and inventory management was provided by Encompass

When asked how he felt we performed in our assessment, Keilin offered, “Encompass has done a great job at assessing the situation, with BPR guidance to systematically attack and resolve pain points following the implementation.”

Improvements included:

  • High return on investment that saw overhead costs cut by 30%.
  • System usability improved significantly as a result of easy-to-use dashboards and report generation.
  • Business Process Management (BPM) provided users the ability to set conditions and actions that added functionality to the system, tailoring screens and processes as needed.
  • Reorganization of sites, warehouses, and bins enabled quick and easy product location for issuing to jobs or shipping.
  • Parts purchasing was made easier with the visibility of time phase reporting.
  • Consistent average costing across all product lines.

Full Kaufman Container Case Study

About Kaufman Container

For the past 100 years, Kaufman Container has been a leader in the North American market in providing quality and innovative packaging components and value-added services. From our beginning, our focus has always been on giving our customers exactly what they are looking for. Kaufman Container continues to be your “One Stop Shop” for all your packaging needs.

an image of the case study kaufman container corporate headquarters

Today, Kaufman Container continues to be a privately-held, family-owned business which operates two key facilities in the Midwest. The business offers a wide variety of products and services, warehousing, quality and technical support, logistics assistance and an in-house decorating facility.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, a NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Platinum Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


An innovative digital printing technology from the world’s largest glass manufacturer, Owens-Illinois (O-I), provides the application of mass personalization technology at industrial speed for beverage manufacturers. The technology is expected to become commercially available in both the US and Europe by mid-2019. Europe alone makes up 24% of the global personalized package market and O-I is excited to begin talks regarding proposed projects and collaborations.

A photograph of bottle being manufactured before labeling and application of mass personalization technology

Mass Personalization Technology With EXPRESSIONS

One of the latest techniques and technologies adding value to manufacturing processes, Owens-Illinois EXPRESSIONS and the sculpted version of the service, EXPRESSIONS RELIEF, offer a revolutionary way to transform bottle design. The techniques are praised as a way for beverage manufacturers to further set themselves apart from the competition with an eye-catching avenue to get customers’ attention.

Arnaud Aujouannet, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of O-I, recently discussed the new technology with Manufacturing Global, stating: “The most important thing about O-I: EXPRESSIONS is it’s a differentiation service provided to brands but enabled by digital direct-to-print on glass. There are four core benefits; it’s unleashing creativity, it’s increasing speed to market, it’s a true personalization and it’s sustainable.” He added, “There is unlimited creativity and you even can print images on packaging with high resolution that can go up to 720 DPI. The unique thing about what we offer is the ability to create a 3-D print like embossing on bottles and even colour this embossing. It’s enabling us to provide a completely different look and feel for a bottle that potentially starts with a very standard shape.”

A photograph of bottle being manufactured before labeling and application of mass personalization technology

What began on a small scale in 2014 has nearly come to realization with the installation of two direct2glass industrial printing lines, which enable contactless direct printing. Quick curing inks and CMYK color models allow the process to incorporate the full spectrum of Pantone hues.

Mass Personalization Technology For The Masses

The ability to personalize products to meet and exceed customer expectations is anticipated to drive brand engagement and customer satisfaction. Going further, the technology could offer retailers and individuals customers the opportunity to personalize their own vessels for promotions, events, and celebrations at an affordable rate.

You can find O-I and its EXPRESSIONS technology on display at the following upcoming trade shows:

LuxePack

October 1st-3rd, Monaco

Brau Beviale

November 13th-15th, Nuremberg, Germany – Hall 4A / Booth 4A-215

Vinitech

November 20th-22nd, Bordeaux, France

About O-I

Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the world’s largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. The Company had revenues of $6.9 billion in 2017 and employs more than 26,500 people at 78 plants in 23 countries. With global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, O-I delivers safe, sustainable, pure, iconic, brand-building glass packaging to a growing global marketplace.

For more information, visit o-i.com 

For more information on O-I: EXPRESSIONS, visit discoverexpressions.com

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Platinum Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Last week, the United Steel Workers Union (USW) voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if new contract negotiations can’t reach a compromise. The USW will meet in Pittsburgh to address steelmakers’ substantial profits in the face of worker wages remaining stagnant. Locals including Gary Works, East Chicago Tin and the Midwest Plant in Portage are among the largest involved and all voted unanimously to strike. The proposed work stoppage will affect nearly 16,000 workers at locations including Clairton Works (Pennsylvania), East Chicago Tin (Indiana), Fairfield (Alabama), Fairfield Southern (Alabama), Fairless Hills (Pennsylvania), Gary Works (Indiana), Granite City Works (Illinois), Great Lakes Works (Michigan), Keetac (Minnesota), Lone Star Tubular (Texas), Lorain Tubular (Ohio), Midwest Plant (Indiana), Minntac (Minnesota), and Mon Valley Works (Pennsylvania). If enacted, the strike will be the largest such stoppage in the US steel industry in more than 30 years.

The whole situation is rooted in a decision made three years ago, when U.S. Steel was on the verge of bankruptcy. Workers conceded to a wage freeze and reduced work hours in the hopes that the company would rebound from dire straits. In short, it did. U.S. Steel is now expecting profits to exceed $2bn, the highest in 10 years.

According to a union spokesperson, “Angry USW members conducted strike authorization meetings at each U.S. Steel local over the past week.”

United Steelworkers’ Unrest  

Among the chief complaints from steelworkers are having undergone three years of work without pay increases, which comes at a time when US Steelmakers are reaping significant gains. For perspective, hot-rolled coil steel is currently selling for $900 a ton, according to the metal pricing website SteelBenchmarker. To put that into perspective, steel prices have more than doubled from the low of $412 on Dec. 14, 2015. Roughly the same three-year period in which workers state they have not experienced a pay increase.

To add insult to injury, USW claims that CEO David Burritt and U.S. Steel upper-management have endowed themselves with more than $40 million in compensation since 2015.

Proposed Changes To United Steelworkers’ Contracts

After three years with no pay increases, the USW is coming to the negotiating table seeking raises. However, the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker is looking for concessions that include more out-of-pocket health care costs, reduced retiree benefits and a commitment to no raises in the latter half of a proposed six-year contract.

According to US Steel, the contract includes a $4,000 signing bonus, at least $6,000 in profit-sharing and wage increases over the first 3 years of the 6-year contract. On top of the proposed terms, US Steel says that employees will gain $0.15 per hour towards their 401(k) retirement plans.

A picture of a steel production plant Like those where US Steel workers are considering organizing a strike.

According to a statement issued by the USW, “Our committee will be returning to Pittsburgh next week to resume negotiations with U.S. Steel management in an effort to reach an honest and fair settlement. As you know, management’s proposals so far have been completely unacceptable, particularly in light of the company’s projected profit this year of nearly $2 billion. We will be sure to keep all members informed of any progress we make at the table next week and of whatever next steps we anticipate.”

Consequences Of A United Steelworkers Strike

The consequences of a USW strike, at least on the US manufacturer, will depend on the size and scale of operations and whether or not a manufacturer has a stockpile of materials to work with. Make-to-order manufacturers will be at the highest risk of disruption and may find fulfillment increasingly difficult if the supply of raw materials is cut abruptly. when it comes to manufacturers who are not a level-one priority for raw steel, the result is having to choose to cut production or pay the import fees on steel from outside the US and passing the cost on to their customers. If the latter is the case, those manufacturers run the risk of losing customers as a result of higher prices for their manufactured goods. On the customer-facing end, higher prices for steel may be on the horizon.

US Steel And The United Steelworkers Strike Of 1986

U.S. Steel was involved in a strike/lockout situation more than 30 years ago in 1986. During this work stoppage, about 22,000 steelworkers brought about the longest steel industry work stoppage in US history. The strike/lockout lasted from August 1, 1986 to January 31, 1987.

The effects included disrupting deliveries, expensive and unplanned plant-idling operation. To continue running at a diminished capacity, management-level employees began loading trucks and trains with previously-produced steel kept in inventory themselves and shipping it to customers. The result was violent clashes between management with striking workers.

USW Facts

USW forms the largest industrial labor union in North America with 860,294 members. Their current rate of dues is equal to 1.45% of total earnings, plus $.02 per hour.  This tops out at a maximum of 2.8 the average steelworker’s hourly rate, plus $.02 per hour. Minimum dues are $5.00 per month.

Relevant US Steel, US Steel Steelworkers, And USW Union Salary Information

US Steel Corp executive salaries

US Steel Corp 2018 Proxy Statement 

USW staff wages

• US Steel employee salary data according to Glassdoor, Indeed, Payscale.

• Average structural iron and Steelworkers salary according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


When it comes to buzzwords, few raise as many eyebrows and roll as many eyes as Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, when it comes to food and beverage manufacturing AI, the impact of such technology on industrial processes becomes harder to ignore with each passing day.

For the uninitiated, AI can be characterized by the ability of machines and computers to emulate human intelligence. That is any device that is seemingly aware of its environment and can complete actions to increase the chances of successfully achieving a goal.

An image of simulated neural networks used to convey the idea of food and beverage manufacturing ai.

While manufacturers are leveraging disruptive technologies like AI, Robotics, membrane technologies, machine vision, and automation to increase safety, output, and ROI, food and beverage manufacturers may be one of the biggest benefactors from all this technology has to offer.

Food And Beverage Manufacturing AI Benefits

When it comes to the benefits of incorporating food and beverage manufacturing AI into operations, Gartner, a noted global research and advisory firm, predicts that, “By 2020, the number of users of modern business intelligence and analytics platforms that are differentiated by augmented data discovery capabilities will grow at twice the rate — and deliver twice the business value — of those that are not.”

Contending with constant change is a crux food and beverage manufacturers know all too well. This isn’t just about the prediction above and emerging technology, either. The industry is rife with fluctuation when it comes to suppliers, regulations and compliance, tax codes, and a host of other environmental factors that manufacturers need to consider.

From data analytics and executive-level predictions to process automation and batch quality, food and beverage manufacturing AI can be applied to many facets of what keep a business running in optimal condition.

Securing Facilities And Batch Quality With Machine Vision

Recipes and processes are what give food and beverage manufacturers dependable and consistent products. Security that can keep up with today’s modern data theft tools is essential to remain protected. Facial recognition that can secure access to a production facility is just one example of how AI can further protect the intellectual property of manufactures. The same machine vision technology that can sound an alert that unrecognized intruders are on-site can capture and interpret images to identify products with defects or bottling lines that aren’t securing caps or filling vessels to the appropriate height.

An image of filling and corking wine bottles to specification, a task food and beverage manufacturing ai can make easier.

Making Sense Of Sensor Data

IoT devices are constantly feeding data to ERP software and manufacturing execution systems (MES) assisting in process improvement, predictive maintenance, and forecasting, AI can make sense of data much faster than a human can.

Identifying abnormalities before they become blockages in the production process is invaluable and AI’s ability to read and interpret data for warning signs can set your teams to work on maintaining equipment before it fails.

Output, cost, and revenue information can also be compiled by AI to offer decision makers a clear picture of how operations are faring relative to the global competition. For example, data points derived by the systems in place can flag important information for review, compile reports, direct field service crews, update schedules, and even modify recipe formulations on the fly depending on environmental factors. Imagine being able to adjust ingredient quantities in real-time based on the quality of raw ingredients.

An image of a food processing equipment separating packaged foods, a task food and beverage manufacturing ai can make easier.

Increasing Consumer Confidence with AI And ERP

In the rapidly changing environment of food and beverage manufacturing, maintaining customer confidence is critical to retaining business. AI, Robotics, and ERP all have a hand in ensuring brand consistency and customer trust. For instance, consider regulatory compliance. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a complex piece of legislation designed to regulate the way foods are grown, harvested and processed. As a result, every food and beverage manufacturer has to know the components of the law to which they must adhere.

 

An image of a technician lab testing food samples, a task food and beverage manufacturing ai can make easier.

By utilizing intelligent software and refining processes to reduce recalls, lost sales, and legal expenses, businesses can remain more competitive and avoid the potentially fatal mistakes of falling outside of regulation with the products they produce. By enabling superior tracking and traceability alongside more concise testing and validation, advanced technologies can keep such incidents to a minimum, and ensure that when they do arise, they are addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Platinum Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.