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Keys to Successful Growth

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My clients across all manufacturing and distribution-related industries ranging from small, family-owned businesses to multi-billion dollar corporations have one item in common – growth.  More than 80% are experiencing relatively substantial growth while the remaining 20% are muddling along with slight growth figures. When companies grow, projects can become even more critical. Cash is needed to fund growth. Customer service must remain intact, even though it can be more challenging to succeed during periods of significant growth. Profitability needs to continue to grow to support the growth and to leverage assets. Keeping up with the people requirements can be a challenge. Thus, we need to…
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Why ERP Success Has Little to Do with Systems

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After partnering with dozens of clients to help them select the “right” system that best fits their business requirements and partnering with many more to design the “right” processes in conjunction with their systems and people to achieve their objectives, it is clear that ERP success has little to do with systems! Counterintuitive but true! As with almost everything, success boils down to people! That is a large part of the success of selection to cut through the “red tape” associated with ERP demos to look solely at critical success factors in conjunction with the ERP partner. If the supplier…
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The Importance of Innovation

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I was the Chair of the Manufacturers Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE)’s Innovation awards committee for this year’s Manufacturers’ Summit. It was inspiring to hear the stories of manufacturing innovation at today’s awards ceremony! These companies innovated in many different ways ranging from workforce development to marketing to resource efficiency, and each had tangible and significant results. As I said when giving out the award, there is a significant difference between problem solving and innovation. Problem solving “gets you back to some sort of standard performance” — important yet extremely different from innovation. Innovation, on the other hand, raises the…
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5P Accelerator to Fast-Track Growth and Profits

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Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners? They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How? Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and thinking…
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The Power of Customer Service & My Poor Car

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As many of you know, I adore my car. I have had it since 2002 (after buying the exact same car as my year 2000 totaled car) with 255,000 miles! Unfortunately a few days after picking it up from my mechanic after we both were concerned that it might be toast (but decided it was OK), it had steam coming out from under the hood. Not encouraging. I thought it might have a leak and since the temperature said it was OK, my mechanic and I thought if I got more water on the way, I could drive it direct to him…
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What Elton John and Presenting Ideas Have in Common…

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If you want to be successful, a LOT! I saw Elton John at the Colosseum in Las Vegas last weekend, and he puts on an incredible show. He mentioned that he has been writing with the same lyricist for 40 years — quite impressive. How hard do you think it would be to remain interesting to large crowds for 40 years? — and several generations? Not easy. Just think about one bad tweet…. This picture was at the end when the front row seats joined Elton by his piano. As you see, he is bigger than life. And the crowd loved it.…
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Serving up an ACE in Your ERP Selection and Design

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Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners? They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How? Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and…
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Evaluate ERP Systems with an Eye towards Your Supply Chain

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I frequently help clients select the “right” system to help them achieve their business strategy. One of the keys is to evaluate with an eye towards your supply chain. In today’s marketplace, the supply chain is often a core consideration. If we want customers to be happy, make sure your supply chain performs expertly. In today’s Amazon-impact world, customers expect extreme service levels.  We need to anticipate their needs. Deliver rapidly. Be accessible. And the list goes on… Thus, to achieve these lofty objectives while not breaking the bank, we must create nimble and efficient supply chains – from your…
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What Supply Chains and Liberal Arts Have in Common…

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I have been interviewing some VERY impressive candidates for internship positions from Pomona college (which was ranked #1 by Forbes for America’s top colleges in 2015). I enjoyed the interviews and learned a lot from them. This is one of the advantages of my profession — continuous learning is a part of the package! One of the interns saw the supply chain and consulting in an interesting light. He said, “It is the practical application of liberal arts” as it requires a broad knowledge and experience base. I think he might have hit the nail on the head. I just got back from…
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TST to Drive Supply Chain Performance

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Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners? They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How? Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and…
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