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May 21, 2020 Jeremy Boren

Kimberly-Clark Supply Chain, BlueScope Steel, Banner Safe Work

Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, Nestle Earn Top Supply Chain Spots from Gartner


Source: Kimberly-Clark

Gartner honored global consumer products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark with a spot this week on its new Supply Chain Top 25 list.

Gartner’s ranking identifies global supply chain leaders and highlights their best practices so other companies can learn from their achievements.

Kimberly-Clark is among six companies new to the top 25 list, which includes organizations such as Colgate-Palmolive, Nestle and Johnson & Johnson.

Rankings are based on a composite score of opinions from Gartner analysts and industry peers, revenue growth and inventory turns.

“With substantial amounts of the economy closed due the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders need an agile strategy that allows the supply chain organization to sense and respond to changes in the business context as they happen,” said  Mike Griswold, VP analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “Our ranking highlights companies that possess these strategies and other differentiating capabilities.”

Read more about Gartner’s ranking and methodology here.


Two Chances to Join GrayMatter’s emPOWERUP 2020 Series


emPOWERUP Virtual, our latest technical training workshop and discussion, is live!

Sign up for our next session on May 27 while spots remain available, or you can register for June 23.

Here’s some of what we’ll cover:


  • Benefits of Edge Computing
  • First Look at GE Digital’s HTML5 Web Client, Proficy Operations Hub
  • emPOWERGUARD: Overcoming IT/OT Convergence Challenges
  • Cybersecurity for Operational Technology
  • Project Discussion and Q&A (that’s questions from you!)


GrayMatter Training and Workshops


A snapshot of GrayMatter’s Training options

While you’re there, check out GrayMatter’s Training and Workshop options. You can can sign up or register your interest in one of our training sessions.

The next training course is GE iFIX HMI/SCADA Fundamentals on June 8 — and it’s available online! 

BlueScope Steel Takes Cybersecurity Incident ‘Extremely Seriously’

In a statement to shareholders, Australia-based BlueScope Steel, a 14,000-employee company that produces steel for the construction industry, said a cybersecurity attack has impacted its manufacturing operations.

The company said the intrusion affected its IT systems and was first detected in one of its U.S. businesses. Though it might have impacted IT systems, it has also affected the company’s OT systems.

BlueSteel said it has been forced to pause or alter some manufacturing operations.

GrayMatter Cybersecurity Lead Scott Christensen said the case is interesting because company officials said they think remote employee access granted to allow employees to socially distance during the COVID-19 outbreak might have been the source of the cyber attack.

“It was interesting to see that it’s the first time we’ve really seen remote access get blamed,” Christensen said. “The even more interesting part is that it got all the way down to the blast furnace and that they’ve gone to manual operations on the blast furnace because they’re so worried about what can happen there.”

Christensen said the attack is reminiscent of one that heavily damaged a German steel mill in late 2014.

“For the affected areas, BlueScope said it has reverted to manual operations where possible while it ‘fully assesses the impact and remediates as required, in order to return to normal operations as quickly as possible,'” ZDNet reported.


Hardware Highlight: Banner Engineering Safe Work Solution


Banner Safe Work

With COVID-19 precautions still in place, U.S. states are beginning to allow employees and customers to return to workplaces, stores and, in some places, eateries.

Visitors will be required to wear masks. Employees will likely need to work alternating shifts. Some workers might be asked to use specific entrances, also to reduce the changes of contamination, and many places will limit the number of people present in a room to 25, 10 or some other maximum.

Banner Engineering is highlighting its Safe Work Solution, which allows facilities to precisely monitor the number of people who enter and exit.

It even provides a visible indication to those waiting to enter if it’s appropriate to do so.

Check out Banner’s video for more details and visit GrayMatter’s Industrial Products page to start an order.


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Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.