Archives

Why Customers Rule

By
  Last weekend, I attended APICS 2016 in Washington DC, and one of the keynote speakers was Bill McDermott, SAP’s CEO (pictured below with Abe, APICS’s CEO). He gave a motivating talk about a variety of topics. One of the key themes is that customers (consumers) rule! And, if you think about it, one set of customers includes your employees. Thus, you need to know what both think and want! One of his stories from his younger career is when he was sent to lead the worst performing division of Xerox. Listening to his employees and customers turned it from last…
View Article




Winning Leadership Traits for Project Success

By
No matter the topic of your project, it will be more successful if the project leader utilizes winning leadership traits. As our HR mentor used to say, “It begins and ends with people!” Therefore, leadership is the name of the game, assuming you want to win the game. In project management, this is even more critical because most project teams are groups of cross-functional resources who do not report to the same line manager. Thus, the project leader has to use influence leadership in addition to command and control leadership. Actually, command and control leadership doesn’t even work long-term for…
View Article




Unscrambling a Challenged System Implementation

By
From time to time, we receive a call from a client dealing with a challenged ERP implementation. Unfortunately, “challenged” is a nice word for most of these! Of course, by the time the client calls, they have spent a lot of money and are frustrated which isn’t a great starting point because unscrambling the situation is never an easy endeavor — assuming you want to provide service and make money. Unscrambling these scenarios requires a unique combination of skills: System thinking – as odd as it sounds, there is NOT a need for experience in the specific system. Certainly, it…
View Article




Why Blame Doesn’t Work

By
I’ve been spending the majority of my time this week with two clients: one is preparing to go live on a new ERP system and the other is working to improve service levels by implementing improved planning and order flow processes. Although these specific objectives are nothing alike, they have much in common. Both have countless numbers of small issues arise on a daily basis — and some quite large ones thrown into the mix. It is just the nature of the beast in manufacturing environments. And so we need to uncover the root cause of the preponderance of the…
View Article




Lisa Anderson Selected as Toyota Women in Supply Chain Mentor

By
Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group, was selected to participate in The Toyota Women in Supply Chain Mentoring Program sponsored by the Toyota Foundation and The Peter F. Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics, Claremont Colleges. Anderson, a sought after speaker on supply chain, customer service, skills gap, ERP, SIOP, and the Amazon Effect and its impact on business operations of manufacturers and distributors, will mentor a student and help her be ‘economy-ready,’ understanding the people, process, strategy, structure and technology involved in Global Supply Chain Operations. Anderson is board approved in supply chain strategy, an…
View Article




Cross-Functional Success

By
Although working cross-functionally is a basic tenet in every organization we’ve ever seen, it remains elusive to many. Certainly the topic arises frequently no matter what product or service is offered as coordination is required to conduct business. For example, we are working with a company to prepare for go-live, and the most challenging aspect lately has been to get every functional area to work in concert with each other within the order fulfillment process. Unfortunately, it requires more than simple coordination, although that alone would be a start in many organizations. In our case, as errors arise (which is…
View Article




Why Customer Service Trumps All

By
Although we work on many topics impacting manufacturers and distributors, we have found that the most popular — and vital — is customer service. Prior to the recession, most companies called for our inventory management expertise and how to understand and manage costs (and therefore strategically price); however, since the recession, almost everyone that calls has some element of the customer in their conversation. As our passion surrounds customer service which must start with your customers (your employees), we love this development. From a financial point-of-view, the customer has a profound impact on business performance. Clients call for every one…
View Article




What MacGyver & the Fess Parker Have in Common

By
With the reboot of MacGyver starting this fall, it reminds me of one of the strategies behind my success — leverage already-existing assets to deliver results. Coincidentally, over Labor Day weekend, I went to Santa Barbara and stayed at the Fess Parker Resort by Doubletree. Of course, it has stunning views of the ocean. One of the guests told me about the story of their restaurant and wedding area — the Roundhouse. It symbolizes the historic railroad roundhouse that once stood on the site (see below). And, they have made it into a popular wedding & party destination today. It is one…
View Article




Why Financial Acumen is Relevant to Operations

By
As we brainstormed our unique value proposition with our advisory board and marketing team, the topic of financial acumen rose to the surface. Traditionally, we’ve talked about people, processes and systems and how our unique combination of these elements delivers superior business performance; however, this statement failed to include a vital element of our success — financial acumen. When I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain, we constantly were pursuing how to reduce costs while improving the performance of the product and service to our customers. Understanding how to get to true costs — not double or triple…
View Article




Mother Nature Adds to Supply Chain Risk

By
Supply chain risk has increased exponentially over the last several years. Mother nature is unpredictable which is the antithesis of what the supply chain needs to perform predictably and profitably. For example, the California wildfires created a logistical nightmare – trucks were parked along the 15 freeway, rail cars were stacked up and being re-routed as best as possible, trucks in and out of Southern California were affected and even the ports were impacted. I was asked to comment about the fire in a Wall Street Journal article. This occurrence was not an isolated incident. There are almost too many examples to choose…
View Article