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The Skills Gap is Alive and Well in California

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California was responsible for 1/3 of all new jobs added in August in the nation!  I see this on daily basis at my clients.  They are hiring for key positions and struggling to fill the skills gap.  My research showed that 87% of manufacturers and distributors are experiencing a skills gap. Not only must you be better than your competition at locating and attracting top talent, you must be able to retain top talent.  What do you have in place to retain top talent?  Certainly some companies have comprehensive training and development programs; however, I find the “simple” is amazingly…
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Profit through People: Making the Connection in Manufacturing

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Supply Chain is about making connections and when I talk about The Manufacturing Connector(SM), I am referring to the comprehensive process to connect the rapid assessment and identification of key priorities with the execution of results through the right combination of end-to-end supply chain expertise and improvements in people, processes and systems. When going into additional depth when it comes to people (Profit through People), I find that it is where I spend 80% of my time and attention for my most successful clients. Thus sit up and pay attention! The reason people are cornerstone to success and my original…
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Systems Pragmatist: Connecting Processes, Systems, Company Objectives

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When applying my Systems Pragmatist viewpoint to analyzing manufacturing processes and systems, I revisit the fundamentals as they are essential to delivering bottom line business results. Those clients who want to skip over the “hard work” of defining and improving processes and leveraging systems are destined to failure whereas those who take the time to ensure that these bedrock concepts are in place thrive. Undoubtedly, I find the key to success to be in connection points. Is your process documented? It’s amazing how often clients should start here.  By understanding your current process, opportunities for improvement jump out!  Do your processes…
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Learn from German Success: Apprenticeships to Fill Skills Gaps

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According to today’s Wall Street Journal, although there is federal and state attention being placed on building apprenticeship programs to fill the skills gaps, it is off to a slow start. According to my research, 87% are experiencing skills gaps. Why not consider options to address? So far, the vast majority of companies who have signed up are from overseas, especially German companies. Germany has had long-term success in creating apprenticeship programs, and it’s lowest unemployment levels for young professionals of any advanced country speaks to its success. However, there is a stigma in the U.S. that those who sign…
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Quality Tips for Manufacturers

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Quality has seemingly fallen out of favor in terms of the number of articles and attention in industry circles; however, it remains a bedrock principle for customer service and profitability (and has arisen frequently in the negative aspect re: product quality from China manufacturers, etc.), so I thought I’d resurrect the topic and provide a few Quality Tips: 1. Focus on the customer – quality should exclusively relate to what the customer sees as quality (and what is valued by the customer in the expectation of pricing). It doesn’t matter what Manufacturing or anyone else thinks; the customer’s perception matters.…
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Become the Strongest Link in Your Supply Chain

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As The Manufacturing Connector(SM), I work with clients on a comprehensive process to connect the rapid assessment and identification of key priorities with the execution of results through the right combination of end-to-end supply chain expertise and improvements in people, processes, and systems. When going into more depth on the content side of the equation (the Strongest Link in Your Supply Chain), I find that my most successful clients take the time to think through from a strategic perspective. Which end-to-end supply chain content areas are most important to success? Countless topics could be included in the mix, ranging from…
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Amazon & US Postal Service Collaborate for Success

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According to today’s Wall Street Journal, Amazon and the US Postal Service are testing a new delivery service for groceries including meat, produce etc. They already partner on Sunday deliveries and are expanding their collaboration efforts to see if this new model can be successful.  What a combination of innovation and collaboration!  Win-lose, collaborate for success partnership thinking (beating your suppliers down on price with no thought to creating gains for them as well) is no longer successful.  Instead, think about how to make collaboration yield 1 + 1 = 21. One tip to implement this week: Do you view your…
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Budget Time to Budget: 6 Tips for Financial Oversight for Your Business

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Whether as an individual or company, taking financial control is an essential element to success. Many of my manufacturing, supply chain and distribution clients dread budgeting time when they should be looking at it as an opportunity. This is always an appropriate topic but especially when looking forward to the next quarter: 1. Plan – as obvious as it sounds, think in advance about your projected income and expenses. I’m constantly surprised how many businesses and households do not plan and then are surprised at the results. 2. Think big picture – forget the details and think big picture. Is…
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Manufacturing Connector℠ Eagle Eye Requires Keen Observation, Focus

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When I talk about The Manufacturing ConnectorSM, I am referring to the comprehensive process to connect the rapid assessment and identification of key priorities with the execution of results through the right combination of end-to-end supply chain expertise and improvements in people, processes and systems. When going into additional depth on Eagle Eye, I find that keeping an eagle eye view remains cornerstone to success throughout the process. Slackers are not welcome!  Being vigilant with observation, prioritization, organization and the like must be omnipresent throughout if you’d like results to occur. In my experience, eagle eye vision boils down to…
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Don’t Let Your Summer Slip Away

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As summer is quickly winding down, I thought it appropriate to take a step back and think about a few ideas to wrap up the season: 1. Rejuvenation – no matter how busy, it is vital to plan time for rejuvenation. No one can go 24/7 – you’ll be more productive after a bit of rest and rejuvenation. 2. Creative vacations – even if you cannot get away or take time off, find creative ways to take a mini-vacation or stay-vacation. Have you spent an entire weekend reading in bed? Do something to get you out of your routine. 3.…
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