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Why The Little Things Matter

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I dropped my phone last week which I’ve done many times before; however, this time it shattered. Thus, I had to use my insurance to get a replacement phone. I received my replacement phone and got everything working, and then I realized it wouldn’t charge on the majority of chargers. Thus, I had to call to get a replacement for the replacement. I wasn’t that upset about the phone issue until I had to call back 3 or 4 times and got transferred to at least 2-4 people on each call. I was getting very annoyed! That experience could easily turn a satisfied…
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The Impact of the Volatility

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Certainly, you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not have heard about the wild swings in the global stock markets lately. Although we’ve definitely become more comfortable with volatility, it still can cause executives to take a step back and think. What if China’s slowdown affects manufacturers in the U.S. more than we realize? Should I be thinking about pulling back vs. a full court press on growth? Should I continue investing? What can I do about this wild foreign exchange market if I have suppliers and customers using different currencies?  Those executives who find a way to be…
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People Strategies to Kick Off the New Year

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People are your #1 asset. It makes imminent sense to kick off the New Year with this tenet in mind. How can you start with gusto?   Frequently, employees take off time near the end of the year, and so it can take time to get back into the swing of things. Don’t let your attention to your human resources take time off too. To shorten that cycle — and, most importantly, to empower and engage your people, think about leveraging some of the following strategies: Check in: Start the New Year by checking in with your employees. How are they…
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Interested in Growth? Beef Up Systems & 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 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 care what you have…
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Do Your Executives Have Vision?

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In thinking about an eagle’s eye (in concert with my Eagle Eye service line), it comes to mind that vision is a key contributor to success. An eagle can see 4-5 times further away than a human, colors are more vibrant, etc. They also have an amazing ability to zero in on their prey. In order for an eagle to spot its prey, it needs to have vision. If you think of these qualities in executives, having a vision contributes significantly to success. Vision is about creating clarity and purpose around why your company does what it does and being…
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System Strategies to Kick Off a New Year

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Since I work with clients ranging in size from small, family-owned businesses to multi-billion dollar corporations, industries ranging from aerospace to building products to value-add distribution and on topics ranging from growth to service level improvement to increasing business performance, I have the opportunity to see countless businesses — and what works and what doesn’t work.   It seems like a great time to share what is important as we head into a new year, new quarter or even new day. There is always opportunity to take that critical step towards success.   From a systems standpoint, here a few of…
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The Impact of China’s Slowdown

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It is somewhat of a coincidence that I’ve heard a few presentations about China recently (thanks to international attorney and China guru John Tulac as one of these experts) which synced up with the stock market plunge in China — and in the U.S. (and thus globally). Of course, that has also spurred on other conversations about China. The bottom line is that manufacturers and distributors should be weary and on alert.   It is very likely that if you are a small to mid-size business, the quality you receive from China will suffer eventually. It is less likely to…
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Have You Performed a Supply Chain Checkup Lately?

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As supply chains have become complex, it is no longer a “nice-to-have” to perform supply chain checkups. It has become an imperative. Supply chain performance will have a direct impact on whether a company can grow, whether customers are happy (or searching for competitive alternatives), whether profit will increase, and whether cash will be available. Thus, it must move from being an afterthought to a vital component of strategy. Supply chains have countless components and moving parts. Strategy, culture, people, processes, and systems are all relevant and must be considered in supply chain design. They are cross-functional, cross-organizational and global.…
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The High Value of Speed

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I was meeting with a client who is in the midst of implementing an ERP system this morning, and our conversation centered around the need for speed — keeping the momentum going, not wasting time in what could seem like unnecessary meetings and conversations, etc. With that said, it is very easy to run straight into a brick wall by not fulling understanding the details behind an ERP design and implementation. Thus, the key is to go fast while monitoring key check points along the way so you aren’t racing down the wrong freeway passing everyone along the way. You’ll get to the…
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Supply Chain Strategies for Success

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If there is one area that changes on a seemingly daily basis, it is your end-to-end supply chain. World events change it. Natural disasters impact it. Security concerns dictate it. And customers’ changing expectations drive supply chain change. How do we keep up with it all? As opposed to talking about the latest supply chain trends, I thought it might be valuable to think about ways to keep up with supply chain changes which could be critical to your success:  Pay attention: Look at your trends. What is changing? Are customers ordering smaller packages? More interested in packaging? What is happening? …
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