Tag Archive: manufacturing

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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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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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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Wisconsin Provides HUGE Tax Incentives to Lure Apple Manufacturer

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The state of Wisconsin granted $3 billion in tax incentives to Foxconn to entice them to manufacture in the midwestern state. This is not only the highest government subsidy ever offered for a foreign company to locate to the U.S., but it also specifically entices production that goes into the Apple iPhone. It certainly proves that blanket statements about innovation in government are just as inaccurate as all others! Wisconsin shows that thinking outside the box can be achieved even in government. Clearly, it also shows that manufacturing is relevant in today’s environment. Have you thought about whether you are…
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The Manufacturing Forum and the Value of Relationships

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Business relationships are the key to success. Although we need to be technically competent, able to communicate our plans and ideas and write a decent email (not as common as you’d think!), we still will not get far in our career if we do not value relationships. Although this is obviously true for sales and marketing resources, it is JUST as true for every professional – from operations to finance resources. Last week, I spoke about the Amazon Effect on the Manufacturing Industry at the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturing Forum. It is always fun talking with a new group…
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Hurricane Harvey & Supply Chain Impacts

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Hurricane Harvey has been wreaking havoc on Texas and is now threatening parts of Louisiana. Flooding is tremendous and many people are still trapped in their houses. Refineries are shut down and basic necessities are being rationed. Unfortunately, this is the devastation caused by a hurricane and it reminds us about natural disasters and the global impact. The earthquake in Japan had an impact for several months. In Houston’s case, businesses in the city and surrounding areas are shut down or, at a minimum, affected without access to local suppliers, logistics networks etc. Gas prices are higher with the closure…
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The Ladies of Logistics (LOL) & the Power of Networking

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On Friday night, I went to the annual LOL (Ladies of Logistics) networking bash, thanks to Elizabeth Warren (we’re pictured below). She brought together many of Southern California’s most powerful women in logistics (and a few men too). It was a great opportunity to talk with industry people from the ports, procurement, rail, trucking, air, policy, distribution and the media. Talk about a powerful network! This event illustrated the power of networks. We could never achieve as much individually as we do by collaborating. And, we propel each other to success! Making s’mores doesn’t hurt either…. One tip to implement…
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Women in Supply Chain (and Why Men Should Care)

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Whether you’re a man or woman, if you are in the end-to-end supply chain, you should be thinking about women in supply chain. We’re facing a serious skills gap in the next several years in manufacturing and supply chain circles. Although women make up 47% of the labor force, they compose only 27% of the manufacturing workforce. Thus, logic dictates that if we can raise that percentage, we’ll cover much of our skills gap! I spoke on “Women in Supply Chain” at the western district conference for APICS (#1 supply chain management association) this weekend. I also am a mentor…
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