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Electric Car Investment Surges Among Big and Unexpected Names

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Dyson just announced it will build a radically different electric car by 2020. What is particularly interesting is that Dyson is not who you would expect to get into electric cars. They are spending far more (one billion £) to develop the car than they are on the rest of their traditional business lines (vacuums and air filters). Obviously, they see vast potential. Similarly, Mercedes is aggressively targeting Tesla with a $1 billion electric push. Not only that, they are doing it in the U.S. – in Alabama to be specific. Electric car investments are stimulating a billion here and a billion there… What Should We…
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Styx and the Power of Positivity and Enjoying Your Career

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Last week, I attended a Styx concert at the L.A. Fair – what a powerful event! The band has been around for 45 years and still enjoys singing together! It was totally apparent watching the concert. They really took the positive spin on their commentary and truly enjoyed singing their classics such as my favorite, “Come Sail Away”. Since I started on a quest to see some of the “greats” while they were still singing over the last few years, I have some performances to compare. Thus, it is obvious that although all of the classics sang their greatest hits,…
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Wisconsin Provides HUGE Tax Incentives to Lure Apple Manufacturer

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The state of Wisconsin granted $3 billion in tax incentives to Foxconn to entice them to manufacture in the midwestern state. This is not only the highest government subsidy ever offered for a foreign company to locate to the U.S., but it also specifically entices production that goes into the Apple iPhone. It certainly proves that blanket statements about innovation in government are just as inaccurate as all others! Wisconsin shows that thinking outside the box can be achieved even in government. Clearly, it also shows that manufacturing is relevant in today’s environment. Have you thought about whether you are…
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The Manufacturing Forum and the Value of Relationships

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Business relationships are the key to success. Although we need to be technically competent, able to communicate our plans and ideas and write a decent email (not as common as you’d think!), we still will not get far in our career if we do not value relationships. Although this is obviously true for sales and marketing resources, it is JUST as true for every professional – from operations to finance resources. Last week, I spoke about the Amazon Effect on the Manufacturing Industry at the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturing Forum. It is always fun talking with a new group…
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IBM, MIT & Artificial Intelligence

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IBM has announced it plans to spend $240 million over the next ten years to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) research lab with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Anytime these two powerhouses collaborate and put their money where their mouth is, we should at least pay attention and consider the significance. AI is popping up in conversations everywhere as all type of organizations and industries are seeing the significance of AI technology. I don’t even have to look very far. My mom said her Amazon Alexa was one of the best presents she has ever received. (And that’s solely…
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The Calm of Muir Woods and Why Disconnecting Works

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Over Labor Day, I went to beautiful San Francisco for a weekend away, prepared for the “coldest winter ever spent is a summer in San Francisco“, and it turned out with record-setting temperatures over 100 degrees! So, after a food walking tour in the thick of the heat on Saturday in the Mission District, I thought my first visit to Muir Woods might provide some welcome relief on Sunday – and it did. Muir Woods is beautiful and calm. It can be a great way to get away from the rat race by going somewhere you can hear the babbling…
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Even The Best System Will Fail Without Talent

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As an ERP expert, it is quite clear to me that even the best systems will fail miserably if they don’t possess talent. Don’t even bother to select and implement an ERP system if you don’t have the “right” people on the bus. Start with executive support and continue on down through every position – everything is a team effort. Since we’ve worked with many clients on ERP projects, it is crystal clear what impact people will have on your business’s success. Throw out the notion that ERP is a technical topic! Instead, start thinking of it as a transformation…
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How To Know If Your Old Business System Is Just Fine

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We cannot tell you how many clients call thinking they need a new system to support their business when they simply don’t! Certainly, there is a time to upgrade to a new business system, when you’ve outgrown your old one (for example: QuickBooks with add-ons like Fishbowl), or your old system is highly customized and unsustainable, or when you are in the midst of a merger or acquisition. However, before jumping to the conclusion that your system must be upgraded, think twice. Any ERP transformation project will be expensive (more than you think!) and resource intensive. With that said, it…
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Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain

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There is an ever-increasing interest in emerging technologies for supply chain. When thinking of your end-to-end supply chain – from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing and distribution operations, to your customers’ customers – you must consider technology to have any hope of achieving success. In today’s Amazon-impacted environment, rapid information and product flow must be accompanied with low-cost and efficient supply chains to maximize the customer experience, profitable growth and cash flow. Trending technologies to consider in your strategic discussions include the following: Additive manufacturing such as 3D printing – it is no longer just for R&D. The progressive…
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Why Executives Should Care About ERP Strategy

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Lately, we’ve been called in by several clients with ERP challenges that directly impact business growth and success. Do you desire profitable growth? If so, add ERP into your strategic discussions. Would you delegate a decision that could literally make or break your customer service, profit margins (or lack thereof) and ability to grow? I think not! ERP Strategy Matters There has been a widespread need to consider ERP as a strategic topic. For example, these scenarios have arisen in just the last month: In one manufacturing company, the ERP system was holding them back from growing. For a family-owned…
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