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Tips for Physical Inventory Success

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Inventory accuracy is cornerstone to success. It is a bedrock topic to improving service levels, reducing lead times, increasing margins, improving efficiencies, reducing inventory levels….and the list goes on.  Although I recommend implementing cycle counting programs as a way to replace physical inventories, there are times when a physical inventory is a must. Thus, it is worth thinking about a few tips to successfully complete a physical inventory. 1. Prepare, prepare, and prepare: 80% of your success is in preparation. Organize the warehouse, clearly mark areas, label exceptions, complete and review system transactions, etc. 2. Stop/isolate movement: When you begin…
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Inventory Velocity

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Inventory velocity not only accelerates cash flow but it also can contribute to margin improvement. How do we turn inventory faster and keep our money in motion vs. stagnating in the back of our warehouse? One of the best ways to keep your inventory moving is to put a SIOP (sometimes known as S&OP) process in place. The better picture you have of your demand plan, the better you’ll be able to align that with your master schedule, production plans, detailed schedules, purchase plans, capacity capability requirements, staffing and skill requirements, and sales plans. Aligning these people, processes and technologies…
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Strategy is “Easy”; Execution Distinguishes Leaders

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It is interesting to sit back and watch as companies spend millions of dollars on strategy formulation, just to achieve minimal results due to poor execution. Yet, the process repeats constantly – more money is dumped into strategy formulation, 3 ring binders, fancy Power Point slides, etc. On the other hand, I’ve found that strategy doesn’t fail in formulation; it fails in execution. So, why not focus the resources on execution? In my experience, it might be due to the fact that execution isn’t viewed as the exciting or “high-level manager” activity. Give me a company that is excellent at…
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Collaboration Platform: Valuing Team Input

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At the APICS 2014 International Conference, one of the keynote speakers was a futurist.  He talked about the importance of a collaborative platform.  I say – finally! I still remember one of my colleagues who questioned me about my articles about collaboration; not because he didn’t agree (as he is the collaboration guru in purchasing and supplier management) but because he wondered if I had clients who actually believed in collaboration. Collaboration will drive bottom line business results. If you look at collaboration as a way to combine 1+1 = 99, you’ll achieve dramatic improvements and happier employees and supply chain…
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Seattle State of Mind – Find Your Passion

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It just so happens that I’ve been on several trips this month for work and tourist stops/getting together with good friends. Seattle is the latest in a series of enjoyable long weekends.  It certainly has a different feel from New York and New Orleans, although wonderful in its own way. Instead of beignets, it has Starbucks. Rain or shine (which has a very good chance of leaning to rain), Seattleites seem to love Seattle. Do you have passion for where you live everyday? Thanks to my best friend from high school and college, Sandi, we went on a wonderful chocolate tour of…
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Tips for the Holiday Survival Guide

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As we head into the holiday season, I thought a few reminders might be in order: 1. Remember your relationships: It’s easy to get so busy that you go through the motions. Remember, relationships are #1 to business and personal success. The holidays are a good time to nurture them. 2. Don’t plan to 100%: By this, I mean do not plan every hour of your day. Instead, intentionally set aside time between meetings and calls. This allows for the unexpected – during the holidays, the unexpected should be expected (and planned). Give yourself time to breathe. 3. Find a…
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Are You Prepared for Success?

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Are you prepared for success? We worry so much about failure that I find most clients are not prepared for success. You know what the lawyers say, “never go into a situation without knowing the answer and being prepared for anything that might come up”. It is proven that the well-prepared will perform far better than those scrambling to survive without a plan for success. Think about success from both personal and professional standpoint. It seems strange that this would be necessary; however, in my experience, one of the contributing causes of failure is not being ready for success. I’ve…
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UPS Notes E-Commerce Boom

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According to today’s Wall Street Journal, UPS had robust growth in the third quarter, which was strongly influenced by the e-commerce boom. E-commerce now accounts for about 45% of U.S. packages. Is e-commerce on your radar? I’m on the flight back from Phoenix as I went to meet with a potential ERP selection client and to see my parents. As I told my potential client, e-commerce is a must in any ERP selection project today. According to my recent Amazon Effect research report (which will be live shortly), e-commerce, websites, 24/7 accessibility and order status information have all become musts! One…
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SIOP Metrics: 5 Key Baseline Measurements

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Which metrics are most crucial for SIOP (sometimes referred to as S&OP or sales and operations planning)?  The simple answer is that it is those metrics most vital to running your business. SIOP aligns not only demand with supply but it also aligns the various business units and functional areas on one plan.  Therefore, there are standard metrics which are key to SIOP including: 1. Sales revenues – certainly one of the key elements of SIOP is to forecast demand. 2. Inventory turns – how quickly you are turning your inventory will have a direct impact on cash flow 3.…
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Why Upgrade Your ERP System Software?

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I’ve been talking with an increasing number of manufacturers and distributors who are beginning to think about upgrading technology and specifically their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. There are many ERP softwares to choose from and staying current is essential. Selecting and implementing a new ERP system is no small endeavor; however, it can yield vast results in the right situation. A few reasons to consider an upgrade include: 1. Service: Your customers are more comfortable with your ability to service them. For example, one of my clients has a key customer who requires an ERP system to assure them…
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