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Honor Those Who Served & Take Time for Family

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Certainly on Memorial Day weekend, it is important to honor those who have served and to set aside time to spend with family. It shouldn’t take a special holiday for us to focus on these priorities; however, it certainly is a great reminder. I find that we get so busy in our everyday lives that we overlook some of the most important priorities such as supporting our soldiers, talking with those who have served in the past and even just spending time with our families. I recently went to DC, and there is such great history there that forgetting the…
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How to Revitalize Projects to Ensure Success

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As we approach Memorial Day weekend, it is imperative to revitalize our projects. After working with countless manufacturers and distributors to elevate business performance, I’ve found that projects are the lifeblood of most organizations as their success or failure impacts customers, profit/loss and or cash flow in almost every client. Thus, making sure there is significant emphasis on their success should be a top priority for success. Typically, my clients look like a ghost town during the holidays. Everyone is understandably distracted with family and friends. Those working do not feel pressure for rapid progress. Therefore, it is critical to…
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Grand Ole Opry & Why Tradition Still Matters

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I attended the Grand Ole Opry last night…..what an amazing Country Music tradition! I love that the Grand Ole Opry is actually a radio show.  Now, in addition to having the radio station featured on the stage, it also includes #Opry. Times evolve but radio still rules in Nashville! They get great sponsors for their radio show. And, it worked as I went to Cracker Barrel this morning solely because the radio advertisements compelled me to give it a go. Country stars from YEARS ago are popular at the Grand Ole Opry, and they sing along with the newest performers. Where else can…
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Leverage Systems for Growth

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Lately I’ve been talking with many clients and potential clients who are interested in growth. Although rapid growth is exciting, it can also be one of the most challenging to navigate. Systems can provide the perfect tool to leverage for success – whether your company is small or big. Even the strongest of my clients are deterred with rapid growth. In many cases, the client is still relatively small and concerned with cash flow yet they are starting to experience “big company” problems. For example, customers do not care what you have to do to service them. They expect you’ll have what they…
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Where Should I Start to Ensure Demand Planning Success?

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80% of companies are not in front of their demand. How can you decide what to plan for if you don’t know where you are going? You don’t! Thus, it makes sense to spend time upfront to determine your best estimate for customer forecasts and your demand plan.  Don’t worry about perfection as the definition of a forecast is that it will be inaccurate; however, you can get in the ballpark. By achieving this goal, you will better serve your customers, grow your business and improve margins. If you are unsure where to start, consider digging into the following: 1.…
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Do You Have Enough Female Leaders?

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I attended the compelling Renaissance Executive Forums All Member meeting last week in the Inland Empire, and it got me thinking about female leaders. One of the keynote speakers discussed this topic. Who would think it would take me attending an event to think about an obviously appropriate topic? I have been one of very few women leaders and consultants in manufacturing. For example, without my former CEO, I would not be here today as he told the Board of Directors that he didn’t care that his VP of Operations wasn’t a “grey-haired man with a Harvard MBA” because I was able…
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Pioneer of Supply Chain Employment

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I recently attended the Southern California Logistics & Supply Chain Summit hosted by the Center for Supply Chain & Logistics of the Drucker School of Management and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. There were several interesting trends and innovations; however, the keynote speaker from Walgreens stood out in my mind. If you are unwilling to try something new and fail, you will be a miserable failure at innovation. You must be willing to “go BIG or go home”. Randy Lewis, the former Senior Vice President at Walgreens, launched a division-wide disability hiring initiative based on the principle of “same jobs, same performance,…
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Keeping an Eye Out for Opportunities

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One of the most successful strategies for success for executives follows the Occam’s Razor concept of simplicity – keep an eye out for opportunities. It is amazing how often vast opportunities pass us by because we are deep in execution and not looking at what is going on around us. Instead, remain vigilant on keeping your eyes open for trends, issues and opportunities you and your business can leverage for success. For example, many of the great innovations in history came from places such as unexpected successes, unexpected failures, market changes and the like.  None of these would have occurred…
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Innovation Tips from the APICS-IE Executive Panel & Networking Symposium

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My APICS (#1 trade association for supply chain and operations management) chapter hosted an executive panel & networking symposium which was focused on the topic of innovation. Innovation is a critical topic! Problem solving and maintaining the status quo is no longer enough as customers expect more, regulations increase, etc. Thus, how do you create a culture of innovation in your company? 10 tips that pop to mind that came up during our panel discussion include: 1) Empower your people. 2) Learn continuously. 3)  Try new things and don’t be afraid to fail (which can be considered learning what not…
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What You Don’t See

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Part of having an eagle eye is knowing what you don’t see. I’ve found that being observant while walking around a manufacturing or distribution facility can yield many hidden gems. What don’t you see? Do you not see bins of trash? If so, could it be that waste is minimal? Or do they recycle? Find out why you don’t see trash bins. What else don’t you see? Once upon a time, I worked with a company that went live on a new ERP system. They were not prepared to go live and struggled. Their shipments fell off the map – where…
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