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Appreciate Your Colleagues on New Year’s

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As we head into the New Year, remember your most valuable asset – people!  Start with your employees as customers, suppliers and others will not matter if your employees are not taking care of them. Tell them about their value. Say thank you. Notice what is important to them. Reward them with what is important to them. Celebrate successes. Provide training, mentoring and resources. Listen. It will cost you little to nothing yet achieve BIG results – and, more importantly, create happy employees. Next, expand to your other business partners. Collaborate for success. Share your goals. Ask about their goals.…
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Avoid New Year’s Resolutions

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The New Year is known for resolutions and goals. However, I concur with my consulting mentor — what’s the point of setting resolutions at the New Year? What is magical about doing it on 12/31? Absolutely nothing. If you set a resolution, stick to it for a few weeks and then give up, are you any better off? No! Instead, think about creating a continuous process. For example, when I was a VP of Operations for a mid-market manufacturer, we set 3 goals per quarter and continually reviewed and revised with changing business conditions. Why wait until the New Year…
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You’ll Learn More By Teaching

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Have you ever heard the saying, “you’ll learn more by teaching” than most other options? I can vouch for this first hand. I am President of the APICS Inland Empire Chapter (#1 trade association for supply chain and operations management professionals), and we offer highly respected and sought after certifications in the industry. Thus, we have several instructors teach courses on the fundamentals of manufacturing and distribution — and on advanced topics such as lean manufacturing. I have team-taught our CSCP (certified supply chain professional) classes, and I guarantee you learn more by teaching! Teaching can be hard work —…
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Collaborate for Project Success

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Collaboration has come into vogue. In my experience working with clients ranging in size from $4 million to multi-billion dollar enterprises across a multitude of industries, spanning building products to aerospace to consumer products, the more collaboration is valued, the better the company has performed over the long-term. Certainly, project results are directly tied to collaboration as the vast majority of projects are cross-functional and cross-company in nature. 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 partners. For…
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The Power of Databases

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I’ve been working with a client recently on a SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) program. We are gaining access to powerful information that will help them hire at the “right” time (not too early – and, more importantly, not too late when considering growth & ramp up curves), train/cross-train at the right time (as growth requires new skills), upgrade and purchase machines at the “right” time (certainly, who wants to spend millions in capital too soon – or worse, too late as customers will be up in arms), buy new buildings at the “right” time and so on.  …
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Executive Summaries on Enterprise Apps© Number 5: ERP Can Improve Customer Service

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Modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are designed to help improve customer service. Customer service is a lot more than how you treat your customers at the point of sale. Customer service is also delivering a quality product, at a fair price and delivering it when it is promised. Those are the areas where ERP shines.
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Keeping in Touch

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As we are in the holiday season, it certainly seems like a good time to keep in touch with our family, friends, and colleagues. What are you doing to make sure your contacts know they are valued? For example, I have heard from several contacts I haven’t talked to in a while. It is nice to catch up and remember the importance of people. As I say in my consulting business, people are #1 to success. And isn’t it just a great time of year to keep in touch anyway? One tip to implement this week: The great news is that…
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The Value of Process Flow

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When the idea of The Systems Pragmatist service line popped to mind, I was thinking about the critical importance of systems and processes.  I had just left a strategy session with the former head of HR from Cisco, and she gave me a new respect for the value of process flows. Previous to that session, I saw them as just an assumed part of the process. It was great to gain a new appreciation for one of my strengths!   Thus, I thought I’d share the value of process flows. As much as we think we know our processes, we…
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Interested in Growth? Beef Up Systems and Project Management

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Companies are in growth. Every single client is growing – many quite dramatically while others a bit slower, yet growth just the same. Although rapid growth is exciting, it can also be one of the most challenging. Systems can provide the perfect tool to leverage for success – and project management is your ticket to ensure success. Growth can be challenging for companies both large and small. Whether the client is still relatively small and concerned with cash flow or whether they are much larger and trying to purchase buildings and machines, growth will bring growing pains. Customers do not…
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Sarbanes Oxley

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  The 2002 Sarbanes Oxley legislation (new, enhanced standards for all U.S. public companies) was established in response to high-profile financial scandals (Enron, etc.) in order to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices. However, implementing SOX in a meaningful way for an organization is far from a no-brainer. A few tips include: Understand your business – what are your key business processes? Understand and document those processes, from the financial risk and control perspective. Do not worry about the rest. Materiality – this is another way of saying, focus on the 80/20. Focus on…
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