Tag Archive: project management

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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The Calm of Muir Woods and Why Disconnecting Works

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Over Labor Day, I went to beautiful San Francisco for a weekend away, prepared for the “coldest winter ever spent is a summer in San Francisco“, and it turned out with record-setting temperatures over 100 degrees! So, after a food walking tour in the thick of the heat on Saturday in the Mission District, I thought my first visit to Muir Woods might provide some welcome relief on Sunday – and it did. Muir Woods is beautiful and calm. It can be a great way to get away from the rat race by going somewhere you can hear the babbling…
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How To Know If Your Old Business System Is Just Fine

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We cannot tell you how many clients call thinking they need a new system to support their business when they simply don’t! Certainly, there is a time to upgrade to a new business system, when you’ve outgrown your old one (for example: QuickBooks with add-ons like Fishbowl), or your old system is highly customized and unsustainable, or when you are in the midst of a merger or acquisition. However, before jumping to the conclusion that your system must be upgraded, think twice. Any ERP transformation project will be expensive (more than you think!) and resource intensive. With that said, it…
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Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain

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There is an ever-increasing interest in emerging technologies for supply chain. When thinking of your end-to-end supply chain – from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing and distribution operations, to your customers’ customers – you must consider technology to have any hope of achieving success. In today’s Amazon-impacted environment, rapid information and product flow must be accompanied with low-cost and efficient supply chains to maximize the customer experience, profitable growth and cash flow. Trending technologies to consider in your strategic discussions include the following: Additive manufacturing such as 3D printing – it is no longer just for R&D. The progressive…
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Why Executives Should Care About ERP Strategy

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Lately, we’ve been called in by several clients with ERP challenges that directly impact business growth and success. Do you desire profitable growth? If so, add ERP into your strategic discussions. Would you delegate a decision that could literally make or break your customer service, profit margins (or lack thereof) and ability to grow? I think not! ERP Strategy Matters There has been a widespread need to consider ERP as a strategic topic. For example, these scenarios have arisen in just the last month: In one manufacturing company, the ERP system was holding them back from growing. For a family-owned…
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Why Persistence Matters

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Typically when I talk about persistence, I refer to my Mom because she is very persistent. I’m glad that wore off on me. However, this time, I am referring to several people: an ACA Group colleague, Ellen Kane; a Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire colleague, Wally Brithinee; and one of my APICS Inland Empire Board of Directors Tony Martinez. I have been involved in the APICS West Coast Student Case Competition since the first year when Ellen Kane founded it with three teams from two schools. Now, I’ve acted as co-chair with Ellen (pictured below with me at the 2017…
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A Tour of Skechers and Jaw Dropping Savings (and Innovations)

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A Tour of Skechers & Jaw Dropping Savings Recently, I went on a tour of Skechers with my ProVisors group.  We had heard so much about the building and related innovations from the developer, Iddo Benzeevi, previously that we were really excited to see it in action.  There are truly jaw dropping savings – $25 million a year reduction in operating costs – from the total picture.  Who can argue with that?  Certainly not the environmentally-conscious people as it is also the largest LEED Gold Certified building of its kind to be awarded with this distinction by the U.S. Green…
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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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Raising the Bar With Customer Service Through Internal Operations

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Could a simple solution of aligning Sales with Operations with Finance deliver the bottom line BIG win? Do your internal operations truly have a significant impact on your customer service levels? Yes, for every single client, they can have a dramatic effect! For example, we recently worked with a client that wanted to raise the bar when it came to customer service levels. Over time, product mix, distribution strategies and buffer capabilities changed which created a gap when compared to prior performance levels. The challenge was to improve customer service and the overall customer experience rapidly – and “make it…
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Walmart Raising the Supply Chain Metrics Bar

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One of my clients forwarded this Business Insider article about Walmart’s supply chain metrics. Walmart is not only requiring an increase in OTIF (on-time-in-full) delivery performance but it also will charge penalties for suppliers that don’t live up to the metric! Creating an efficient supply chain is critical for Walmart, so they are taking this proactive stance. This is prevalent throughout our manufacturing and distribution clients – regardless of industry. For example, in aerospace, there are very similar supply chain metrics and penalties. If we want to grow our businesses, we must develop excellence throughout our supply chain. Just think, there…
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