Category: Supply Chain Management

My Late Aunt Marge & the Art of Conversation

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Last week, my Aunt Marge passed away, one month shy of her 96th birthday. My dad, brother and I went to surprise her for her 90th birthday. She was so very excited to see my dad. Aunt Marge had a gift for the art of conversation and could make mundane topics seem compelling. I remember visiting my aunt and uncle over the years, and my mom was typically deep in conversation with my aunt about all sorts of family members and whatever else was going on. Since I was the only girl, I could sit and participate with them sometimes…
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What Do Sears and Amazon Have in Common?

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Thanks to my client Dan Vest, I read a fascinating article about Sears and Amazon. Who knew Sears and Amazon had so much in common? Pretty startling! The Reader’s Digest version is as follows: Sears was the former Amazon about 100 years ago, growing 50-fold within a decade with its world-famous catalog and then transforming from a mailing company to a brick-and-mortar giant. They were the everything store with an uncanny feel for consumer demand. Sound familiar? So what might we learn from history and paying attention to trends? What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise? Perhaps Sears…
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I’ve Been Thinking about Competition – Or Are They?

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Last week, Kash Gokli (Professor of Manufacturing Practice and Director of the Engineering Clinic at Harvey Mudd) and I led our most recent Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable on the topic of competition. We created these roundtables to bring Southern California executives together to network and discuss timely topics for organization success. We had a fascinating discussion about two general themes: How to develop a strategy to make you stand out from the crowd so you have no competition AND how to collaborate with your competition for win-win success. In today’s Amazon-impacted, competitive world, it is wise to be thinking about…
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What is Walmart Doing?

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I sat on a panel of experts for Mobility 21’s annual conference titled “Speed to Delivery: Good’s Movement’s High-Tech Future“. It was a fascinating meeting and panel discussion due to the amazing amount of technology being discussed to address the future of transportation. One of the panelists was the Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart. Walmart has come up in several circles lately. One of our clients supports Walmart’s stores, and so we learned quite a lot about their fulfillment processes, demand planning practices and, of course, their new OTIF (on-time-in-full) metrics. We also discussed Walmart service with a 3PL partner, and, of…
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Which Business Best Practices Do Top Notch Trusted Advisors See?

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In my ProVisors ODAM (Ontario-hosted Distributors and Manufacturers group – don’t you love the play on words?) meeting this month, we discussed business best practices we’ve seen with our manufacturing and distribution clients. It was a fascinating discussion as our group is diverse and consists of the most respected attorneys, CPAs, commercial insurance, business financial advisers, and consultants from around Southern California. Yet, we agreed rather quickly on core best practices. Thanks to Ron Penland for making the meetings engaging and trend-worthy. Here are some of the top themes surrounding best practices: Start by understanding financial statements and cost –…
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Are You Reshoring?

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My APICS Inland Empire Chapter hosted a program on “Changing Trade Policies and its Effect on Reshoring” with Michele Nash-Hoff, author of “Rebuild Manufacturing – the key to American Prosperity”. And, interestingly, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Orange County chose “Onshoring Profits: Manufacturing is Not Dead Yet” from a long list of topics and asked that I speak on its impact. Thus, it seems only appropriate to discuss a few common themes: U.S. firms are leaving China as conditions worsen. Actually, 25% of U.S. companies active in China have moved some operations out of the country.  38% relocated to North…
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What are the Best Referrals You’ve Received?

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I lead a group of trusted advisors for ProVisors in the Inland Empire, and we celebrated our five year anniversary in September. It was a fun celebration and interesting to see how many long-term members we have, who have gained significant benefit from participating in the group. I very much appreciate my executive committee as they helped create this amazing success. A BIG THANK YOU to Kathy McEntee, Gus Marantidis, James Valmonte, Jan Palmer, Dana Mitchellweiler, Steve Nosenchuck, John Tulac and Mike Kouyoumdjian. At the anniversary event, we talked about our best referrals, introductions, resources or assistance gained during our tenure in…
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My ProVisors Ontario Group’s 5 Year Anniversary and Amazing Business Connections

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I am the Group Leader for the ProVisors (a top notch group of trusted advisors to business executives and owners) Ontario. Last week, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary – aren’t we a sharp-looking group! HUNDREDS of referrals and business connections later, we continue to be quite successful and have increased the value we provide to our collective clients. I know my clients have benefited. When I joined ProVisors as a member, I truly had no idea how I would provide introductions and facilitate connections to some of the members. Their professions just didn’t seem to arise much in my…
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Electric Car Investment Surges Among Big and Unexpected Names

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Dyson just announced it will build a radically different electric car by 2020. What is particularly interesting is that Dyson is not who you would expect to get into electric cars. They are spending far more (one billion £) to develop the car than they are on the rest of their traditional business lines (vacuums and air filters). Obviously, they see vast potential. Similarly, Mercedes is aggressively targeting Tesla with a $1 billion electric push. Not only that, they are doing it in the U.S. – in Alabama to be specific. Electric car investments are stimulating a billion here and a billion there… What Should We…
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Styx and the Power of Positivity and Enjoying Your Career

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Last week, I attended a Styx concert at the L.A. Fair – what a powerful event! The band has been around for 45 years and still enjoys singing together! It was totally apparent watching the concert. They really took the positive spin on their commentary and truly enjoyed singing their classics such as my favorite, “Come Sail Away”. Since I started on a quest to see some of the “greats” while they were still singing over the last few years, I have some performances to compare. Thus, it is obvious that although all of the classics sang their greatest hits,…
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