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Master Scheduling Strategies to Add Value

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I have yet to work with a client who couldn’t use improvement in their master planning process. Whether a company is squarely on the lean journey, traditional MRP or a combination of both, master scheduling can add value. In essence, a master schedule is a long-term plan which allows you to plan capacity, staffing, etc. Thus, I thought a few strategies for success can be a good idea: • Think Long-term: to be effective, you need a long-term view.Thus, look out at the long-term. If you do not have sales orders in your system for 12-24 months, you should look…
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A Planning Mindset Is Invaluable to the Supply Chain

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Developing a planning mindset can be invaluable to not only planners but also to any supply chain management employee/leader. When I refer to planning, I mean planning from multiple perspectives:  production planning, raw material planning, project planning, SIOP (sales, inventory, and operations planning), financial planning, and budgeting, etc. I find that developing a plan is more than half the battle. If you are part of a team, it provides a way for everyone to be on the same page. Who should do what and when? What sequence should we follow? Are there dependencies? It also allows for the optimizing of several variables. For…
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Manufacturing Wages are Going UP!

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I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the fast rise of manufacturing wages in some areas.  If you have access to WSJ.com, click here to read it.  The largest increase has been in Texas at 25%; however, wages are beginning to rise across the board. According to my skills gap research study, manufacturers see a gap – there is an overload of requirements (skills and work that needs to be done) vs. the skills and people available to fill them. In addition, it hasn’t been easy finding qualified candidates.  Thus, I’m seeing that the smart manufacturers are performing salary…
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The Amazon Effect: Critical Importance of Customer Service

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Companies that create loyal fans of customers thrive and leave the rest in the dust!  This has never been truer than it is in today’s new normal business environment.  That’s why my APICS Inland Empire chapter is bringing together top executives to discuss the topic at our fall executive panel and networking symposium on the Amazon Effect: The Critical Importance of Customer Service for Manufacturers and Distributors on Nov 8th at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, CA. Customer service has been at least a component of why I was called into 100% of my clients in the last few…
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What You Can Learn from an Organizing Guru

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My 5th grade teacher (who was also involved in politics) told my Mom that I was the most organized student she had ever had. Thus, my Mom was not surprised when I went into the supply chain management field and specifically production planning after college. As is probably a natural progress of one’s career, I have moved from details to big picture; however, organization plays a role in both. I see organization as providing a way to determine when details are key vs. when the big picture is paramount. The vast majority of situations are not black or white. Thus,…
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Employee Performance: Do Not Ignore Your Stars

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Since the beginning of 2014, the job market has been robust and employers are struggling to find high-skilled, qualified candidates for key positions. I’ve talked frequently about this skills gap and performed researchon the topic as I am convinced that those who get ahead of the skills gap will thrive and leave the rest in the dust. Join me at APICS 2014 to hear more about my research findings and strategies for success. One key component to succeeding while others continue to struggle with the skills gap is to retain top talent. I cannot tell you how often employee performance is…
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