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How Tradition Can Be a Win for Company Culture

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Since Halloween recently passed, I’ve been thinking of the value of tradition with your people. Yesterday I went to a client that has an amazing people culture, and although the people were committed to the important session we were conducting, they all wanted to go to the Halloween pot luck at lunch. It was a fun and vast tradition – my client said that grazing started right away and lasted all day. Everyone looked forward to it, and it has become one of the few traditions that is meaningful in their culture. I have to say the food looked amazing!…
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Why It’s Important to Take Time to Think

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I was in Hawaii the last few days for a strategy session. It was great to have dedicated time to think through strategy, brainstorm and improve upon it with colleagues, etc.   Although this photo isn’t the typical beach scene from Hawaii, I thought it was a great picture and fascinating. Just like this tree, there is so much to notice and consider. Do you take the time out to get away and THINK?    One tip to implement this week: No matter what is happening, set aside a few minutes to think. It doesn’t have to be laborious or…
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Strategies to Keep Your Project on Track

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As easy as it seems to keep a well-planned project on-track, it isn’t! In working with hundreds of project teams over the course of my career, I’ve found that projects do not fail in formulation; they fail in execution. The best results follow those projects that are well-managed and kept on-track. Results are not just substantial in terms of monetary gain, but are also important to customer satisfaction and loyalty. In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, a leg up on the competition can be a vital competitive strategy. What are you doing to ensure success? There are several powerful strategies to keeping…
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Why Marketing Shouldn’t be Overlooked with SIOP

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I’ve been partnering with clients to design and implement SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) programs the last several years as I’ve found them to be a GREAT way to achieve several results simultaneously: 1) Support growth, 2) Improved service levels/quicker turnaround of deliveries (shorter lead times), 3) Improved margins and efficiencies, 4) Accelerated cash flow; and 5) Improved employee morale and teamwork. Although the technical side plays an important role (figuring out future demand and aligning with manufacturing, staffing, suppliers etc.), the aspect that generates the best results is that it aligns the executives and functions within the organization (and…
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The System Design Will Make or Break ERP

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As several of my clients are building their systems infrastructure to better support their aggressive growth, it just so happens I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about design lately. Design will make or break your ERP success. Today’s systems have come a long way — they have a more simplified “front” with extreme complexity and flexibility built in behind the scenes. Thus, it is important to start with the optimal design in order to avoid serious complications down-the-line. System design is similar in concept to the foundation of the house. If it isn’t solid, no matter how pretty the…
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Supply Chain Skills

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I just talked with several recruiters who see significant growth potential in supply chain management jobs. Thus, they have launched a concerted effort at mid-level supply chain management jobs. They were curious as to what companies need, which types of positions are most prevalent, what types of skills are needed, etc. This compliments what Jack Welch said at APICS 2015.  Supply chain professionals are in demand! What we both saw is that supply chains are increasingly important to executives. Supply chains are becoming more complex and require higher skills levels technically – along with robust communication skills.  A few of…
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Executive Summaries on Enterprise Apps© Number 8: Improving ERP Utilization

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A client recently contacted us at the ACA Group because they were not getting the results they had hoped for when they implemented a new enterprise wide Enterprise Resource Planning system. How we helped them makes a good case study on how to improve ERP utilization that can be applied to any organization that is not getting the results they want from their systems or processes.
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Put Your Eagle Eye on What’s Key to Success-Leadership

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Leadership will make or break your business. Put your eagle eye on ensuring success in this arena and you’ll thrive. The two core tasks of a leader are 1) to set strategy, and 2) to execute the strategy – not seemingly complex or daunting. However, the excellent leaders stand out in the crowd by translating these two core activities into results. How?  There are four keys to an effective leader who drives not only profitability and cash flow through these two core tasks but also engages employees, customers and suppliers: 1) Clear vision. 2) Effective communication of the vision. 3) A focus on results. 4) Performance management…
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