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Mexican Gas Prices Soar

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The Mexican government took away subsidies on gas, and so prices soared in the New Year. A 20% hike in gas prices has spurred on protests, looting and chaos at border crossings. Although the objective was to let the cost of fuel adjust to the market, the gasolinazo (which is how the price hike is known) is anything but just a market adjustment in the eyes of the people. They are not happy! It is already creating havoc in the Mexican supply chain. What should we be thinking about to stay on top of this supply chain trend? What Should We Consider…
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Innovation

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I am the Chair of the Innovation Awards of the Manufacturers’ Summit for the Inland Empire, and we have been quite busy preparing for this Friday’s summit (see below). It is important to encourage innovation for the obvious reason that if we do not innovate, we will stand still. And, if we are standing still, we end up moving backwards while our competition passes us. What have you innovated lately? One tip to implement this week: Innovation is certainly not something to accomplish in a week; however, it is definitely something to start this week. My best clients innovate by inspiring and rewarding creativity.…
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70% of Manufacturing Execs Say Near-Sourcing Will Increase

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Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group, conducted a proprietary research study to better understand outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing trends for U. S.-based manufacturers. Pending further analysis, Anderson reports on a preliminary finding that shows that 70% of responding executives expect near-sourcing to increase within the next five years. Survey data was collected from August to October 2016, and the U. S. presidential election may have an impact on this trend toward near-sourcing. “I’ve seen that manufacturers were already considering insourcing to the U.S. and near-sourcing options to Mexico and other closely located countries because of the Amazon effect – the need…
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Leadership – Making You Feel Important

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Of course we talk about leadership more than anything else as it is #1 to business success. Thus, we are always looking for strategies and tips for success. One of our clients clearly prioritizes us — it is clear we are one of her top priorities. How often do you feel that way? We happened to work with her in more than one company, and it was clear that her team appreciated her leadership style. People quite opposite in personality (who probably wouldn’t agree upon much) seemed to enjoy working with her. Of course, no one is perfect (including her)…
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The Calm After the Storm

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While driving up the street to my house on the way back from driving both directions to the port of San Pedro for a port tour in a horrific storm (for Southern California), I see the calm after the storm. Southern Californians know just how challenging the rush hour freeways can be in a rain shower, and so it is especially significant to see the beautiful effects that can come from such havoc. How many times do we get caught up in some sort of storm at work (ERP implementations, merger or acquisition, a major change project such as a…
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Forget Data Cleanup and Find a Measure to Start NOW!

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If you have the systems to measure your ideal metric, go for it but don’t let it become an excuse! Find one that will measure progress and start immediately! For example, in one of our clients, not only were the run rates incorrect but they were wildly different for similar items which would make planning an utter nightmare! However, there are still ways to measure progress and plan. Find a metric that won’t change and stick to it. In this case, we used earned standard hours, and we are able to measure improvements in the metric. Of course, as data…
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Hidden Figures & Providing Value

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I went to see the movie, “Hidden Figures” last weekend and really enjoyed it! It was an uplifting story about what perseverance can achieve. Three brilliant African American women were the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit at a time when women, let alone African-American women were not considered important or involved in anything important. One of the women ran the group of African-American women known as human computers (although wasn’t recognized as a supervisor). As a new contraption came on board (an IBM computer), she realized they would be without a job. Instead of digging…
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Obsession with Your Customer

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One of our clients has a healthy obsession for the customer! It might drive some of his employees a little mad but it is effective. Adopting a bit of healthy obsession for your customers can go a long way! In this case, our client was particular with every customer-facing document, interaction, piece of information and the like. This owner would keep track of who ordered what throughout each day, kept a pulse on what was going on vs. prior years, like years and would ask his employees who interacted with customers for customer feedback and the pulse of customers multiple…
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Charleston & Open Door Policies

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I went to Charleston over New Years and enjoyed time with my best friends, food and fun. Charleston is an intriguing historical city. The houses in town cannot change their structures, and so purchasing a home is not only expensive but the maintenance is ten times more expensive than the original purchase; however, the homes and historical significance are amazing. They used to build homes with a front door to nowhere (see below) so that neighbors would know that if the door was open, it was a good time for socializing and if it wasn’t, they should come back later.…
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MCIE Innovation Awards of Inland Empire Announces New College Student Category

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Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group and program awards chair for the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) Manufacturer’s Summit E=mc² Innovation Awards, a special award ceremony celebrating innovative businesses solving challenges in today’s manufacturing industry, is pleased to announce a new category award of Student Award in addition to the five award categories of Innovation in Product Development, Innovation in Resource or Process Efficiency for Manufacturers, Innovation in Human Capital and Talent, and Innovation in Marketing. Submissions are due by January 16, 2017, with awards made at the Manufacturing Summit, the largest event of its kind…
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