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Transaction Criticality

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Few executives think much about transaction criticality. Transactions certainly aren’t strategic; however, I have seen numerous clients’ growth and profit plans negatively affected by the lack of transaction rigor. Thus it should be on your list of fundamentals for review. There are only two issues that occur with transactions:  1) Accuracy. 2) Timing. It would seem simple; however, it is not an uncommon struggle. The reason is that although limited in terms of types of issues, transactions are widespread. Typically there are transactions affecting almost all functions of an organization. Typical ones include the following: purchase orders, receipts, production orders (work orders),…
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Growth

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I’ve been thinking about growth as I’m getting ready to celebrate my 10th anniversary of LMA Consulting Group, and as I’ve been partnering with several clients who are in high growth mode lately. If you aren’t growing, you are declining. Unfortunately, staying the same doesn’t work. You must choose a path. How focused are you on growth – of your business, of your sales revenue, of your skills and experience? Which factors are most important for growth? Certainly, it starts with people – do you have the right people on your team? It also relates to strategy and plans. How do you…
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Customer Communication Strategies for Success

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Improving customer communication is always a good idea; however, making these communications a key focus area is pivotal in today’s new normal business environment. I am consistently hearing about top priorities of business growth and improving business performance. What could be more important to both of these? Thus, a few strategies to ensure effective communications include: 1. Pick up the phone – some of the largest successes I’ve seen result from simple yet critical conversations. It can be as simple as calling a customer to discuss current business and to stay in touch. 2. Win-win – remember to look for win-win opportunities…
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Cycle Counting by ABC

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Since I’ve been working with a client on a cycle counting program, and it was one of the topics I taught in a recent APICS CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) course, it reminded me of its significance to success. The point of cycle counting is to maintain inventory accuracy on a continual basis. Inventory accuracy is a foundational element to manufacturing and distribution success. Cycle counting by ABC means you’ll count your high volume, more critical parts (A) more often than your low volume, less critical parts (B & C). Not only will your inventory be more accurate on what…
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The Power of Partnerships

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I helped to kick off a SAP Bootcamp for my APICS (#1 trade association for supply chain management) chapter in combination with our partner, Cal State University, San Bernardino. Cal State University San Bernardino is one of the only universities I am familiar with that teaches students about ERP systems (enterprise resource planning) and provides hands-on exposure. Certainly, ERP systems are the backbone of how manufacturers and distributors run their business, and SAP happens to be the #1 ERP system. Thus, we are very excited to be partnering with such a progressive team. We had students from other universities and supply…
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Why is it So Hard to Focus on Priorities?

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Why is it so challenging for executives to focus on priorities? It would seem simple; however it rarely is so. I work with executives in manufacturers and distributors ranging from $5 million to multi-billion dollar companies, and none of them have extra time. Additionally, it seems that customers, Boards of Directors, corporate managers (for the multi-billion dollar companies) and employees demand attention on a daily basis. Thus, priorities for ensuring bottom line results are delivered can be lost in the shuffle. Thus, how can we combat these compelling forces that want us to focus on priorities, even if they are…
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How to Spot Opportunities

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One of the keys to successful growth is learning to spot opportunities – and leveraging them. While working with clients of all shapes and sizes, I find that opportunities are all around us; however, we frequently miss them. Developing an eye for spotting opportunities can take a bit of practice. Following a few proven methods can give you better odds for success: 1) Look for trends. 2) Watch metrics. 3) Be aware of your industry and surroundings. Start by watching for trends. I find that a significant portion of my success comes from identifying trends others miss. Keep your eyes…
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The Value of CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

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I’m in process of teaching my first APICS CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) session, and earlier today I taught a section on CRM. In addition, I’ve been helping clients select the “right” ERP system to best meet their business priorities, and CRM has emerged as a top priority. The bottom line is that more executives are thinking about how to better leverage customer relationship management processes and technology to create customer loyalty. Also, the better you know your customers, the better your supply chain performance can be. CRM can help you track your sales pipeline (potential customers), understand your customers and…
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Leadership’s Unsung Heroes

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Success begins and ends with leadership. Clearly, formal leaders are vital; however, it is important not to overlook the power of influence leaders. These folks are informal leaders who command significant influence in an organization – typically unsung heroes. Who do people follow? At all of my most successful clients, I find informal leaders. Sometimes they are in a leadership position of some sort but not the “top dog”, and often they have no official power. Yet these influence leaders wield VAST influence on the organization’s success. Typically, they are known for championing the critical yet difficult changes. They seem…
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