Category: Enterprise Resource Planning

Gain a Strategic Focus on Quality IF Customers are Important

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Even the founder of lean principles, Toyota, can falter on quality; thus, anyone can lose their edge – yet it is cornerstone to business success. People and companies have more choices than ever before. If you wish to remain in the race, quality must be more than an assumption; it must become a strategic focus. 1. View quality from your customer’s perspective – What matters is what your customer expects when agreeing to purchase the product or service. Be vigilant in understanding your customers’ expectations.  Remember to value what they would be willing to pay for. 2. Over delivery of…
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The Power of Partnerships

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I helped to kick off a SAP Bootcamp for my APICS (#1 trade association for supply chain management) chapter in combination with our partner, Cal State University, San Bernardino. Cal State University San Bernardino is one of the only universities I am familiar with that teaches students about ERP systems (enterprise resource planning) and provides hands-on exposure. Certainly, ERP systems are the backbone of how manufacturers and distributors run their business, and SAP happens to be the #1 ERP system. Thus, we are very excited to be partnering with such a progressive team. We had students from other universities and supply…
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Why Implementation is the 80/20 of Success

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I’ve had a few client situations arise this week which brings the critical importance of implementation to the forefront. The best plans are useless if not implemented. Similarly, I’d take a “good” plan with an exceptional implementation team any day over a “great” plan with a “so-so” implementation team. For example, if you determine that you can improve your customer service and reduce your inventory levels by implementing a specific plan of action, little is achieved if you do not explain the plan, ask for input, incorporate changes that make sense and provide education and training for the roll out.…
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Trends at the Top

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I find that keeping an eye on trends is one of the best ways to ensure long-term success. If you are able to identify a changing trend early on, you have the opportunity to adjust plans or leverage an unexpected opportunity. In an era where volatility is the new normal, we must be vigilant with trends. In watching trends affecting executives, a few pop to mind: 1. The lack of time – No executives have time. If we can find ways to speed up the process (whether lead times, the time to close the month, or the time to get…
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Why We Shouldn’t Shy Away from Risk

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I always look for trends as I find that the 80/20 of success comes from watching and proactively addressing trends. This week, it has been obvious that if we are NOT willing to take prudent risk, things are likely to go awry. For example, if your sales forecast has been formulated and reviewed to the best knowledge of your organization, and it translates into x number of manufacturing employees at current efficiency levels, taking the prudent risk of hiring people even if it adds to near-term cost for a slightly longer-term return on investment is well worth it. In another example,…
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Customer Collaboration on Orders = RESULTS

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Customer collaboration has become cornerstone to success in today’s supply chain driven world. We are all part of a supply chain, and so we must look for ways to thrive within our supply chains. Undoubtedly, those who collaborate with their supply chain partners will succeed whereas the rest will struggle. One simple yet impactful way to collaborate is with orders. This concept is sometimes called consumption based ordering, sometimes VMI (vendor managed inventory), sometimes auto replenishment and the list goes on of possible names for order collaboration. The point is that it is a process where the supplier places orders…
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Innovation is a Must for Project Success

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In today’s new normal business environment, innovation is a must for project success! Often, I hear my clients think “I’ve designed this project for success; now I’ll hand it over to the worker bees to execute”; however, this approach is no longer enough. No wonder we have so many unfinished projects and disheartened project team members scattered throughout my clients! Instead, we must create a culture of innovation to ensure project success. We must find a way for execution and innovation to live hand-in-hand in business, from the executive suites to the shift workers on the production floor. Certainly one…
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What Is Important for ERP Success?

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What is important for ERP success?  The most important ingredient to success boils down to implementation; however, it will help set your implementation up for success if you select the “right’ system as well.  Here are a few strategies to ensure success: 1. Just the critical few key requirements. Although it is natural to think that every piece of functionality is critical (or why not include it since you’re spending money on a new system anyway), don’t. Take a step back and focus 80% of your efforts on the 20% that drives your business. 2. People. Nothing else matters if…
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Selecting the Right ERP System

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ERP systems are not of much value by themselves; however, if you leverage the appropriate functionality to support your business, it can pay back rapidly with business growth and value. The key is to select the “right” system for you – a good “fit” for your business. I find that my ERP selection projects are far more focused on business processes than on technical specs. Actually they can boil down to answering the following question: Which business processes (and related system functionality) are integral to achieving your strategy and providing a competitive advantage? Focus in on just those critical requirements.…
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Dow Plunges…Volatility is the New Normal – How Adaptable Are You?

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It is all over the news that the Dow plunged more than 300 points, as the sustained drop in crude oil spurred on growth concerns.  Yet last week we had news of the highest job growth in 15 years.  The bottom line is that volatility is the new normal.  How prepared are you and your business for volatility? Pre-recession, a 100 point drop in the Dow would have spurred on more news than last week’s 300 point drop as volatility has become expected.  This is true in business as well.  For example, one of my clients said that they can…
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