Category: Organizational Development

Avoiding Top Project Pitfalls

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Project results drive business performance! In my experience in working with countless companies ranging from small to multi-billion dollar ones, I’ve yet to run across one that wasn’t dependent on project results to meet critical company objectives. Actually, quite the opposite is typically the case – too many projects with too few resources are vital to performance. Thus, those executives who find ways to ensure project success will outpace the competition. For example, one of my significant manufacturing aerospace clients is experiencing delivery challenges. Thus, there are several projects which are geared towards improving the order fulfilment processes to improve…
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Cherry Blossoms & The Value of Time

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I was in DC this week for a conference. My theme last week was on continuous learning, and I put that into practice this week. Walked away with several ideas. It just so happens to be “cherry season” in DC. This is what got me thinking about time because the cherry trees are beautiful but only in blossom and last for 10-14 days. How ridiculous is that? Talk about a condensed tour season for cherry blossoms! Perhaps that’s why all the hotels were booked…. Thus, cherry trees made me think about the impact of time in our work life as well. If…
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Cross-Supply Chain Opportunities

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I find that cross-functional teams can be some of the most valuable teams that generate winning ideas. By taking a diverse team of people with different backgrounds and areas of focus and providing a common goal, ideas arise that never would have occurred with a silo approach. In my estimation, my clients that support cross-functional teams achieve at least 30% better results. Thus, why not consider the same idea with cross-supply chain opportunities? Start with your customers. Typically there are several customers within a supply chain. At the most basic level, there are internal and external customers. However, outside of…
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How to Create an Innovative Culture

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Creating an innovative culture is cornerstone to success! In today’s new normal business environment, customers expect “stand above the crowd” service with high-value products and services as the norm. The only way to achieve these lofty expectations without breaking the bank is to create a culture of innovation. Focus on how to create and leverage innovation to not only improve your profitability but also to leapfrog your competition. You must change the playing field – and therefore the rules of the game – and throw out your old business models and practices. Instead, you need to think and practice innovation.…
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The Power of Amazon

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I’ve been thinking about the power of Amazon since I facilitated an APICS tour of their San Bernardino 1.2 million-square-foot facility on Friday. It was quite impressive from several viewpoints: 1) warehouse automation, 2) simplicity, 3) how they treat their people, 4) the power of continuous improvement, 5) their focus on the customer no matter the position, and 6) quick deliveries. Amazon has enormous power yet it didn’t exist until 1994. They certainly are the epitome of innovation and a customer-focused philosophy. What can we pick up from Amazon to boost our customer focus? One tip to implement this week: Although Amazon has many…
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APICS Inland Empire Chapter Spring 2015 Symposium – Focus on Innovation

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Knowing how precious the weekends are for busy supply chain, manufacturing and distribution professionals needing to recharge their internal batteries, we’ve been hard at work carefully preparing another informative symposium and networking event. The ideas-rich symposium will give attendees time to network as well as participate in an expert panel discussing how our current business climate demands we innovate, how companies have integrated innovation into their cultures and where to look for new ideas to remain competitive. For our Spring 2015 Executive Panel & Networking Symposium, we are proud to have assembled a dynamic panel including the nationally-recognized authority in…
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The Value of SIOP

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I’ve been thinking about the value of SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning). Not only can it be a great way to gain bottom line results (capacity to support business growth, improved margins, accelerated cash flow), but it also can help align the functions of an organization. I’ve facilitated three executive SIOP meetings in the last few weeks. In each case, the process brought up critical business topics not otherwise addressed and better aligned the people on one page with one plan. For example, in one of the executive SIOP meetings, the “next” potential bottleneck surfaced through the SIOP data. Instead of…
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Mixed Messages Is a Motivation Killer

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Mixed messages from leaders not only harm results but they also are a motivation killer! I’ve had several situations arise recently from a variety of clients and contacts related to the harm of mixed messages, and so I thought it appropriate to discuss. According to mySkills Gap research, 77% of manufacturers and distributors are having trouble finding the required skills to support their business. Thus, the last thing we can afford is to make that situation worse by de-motivating our stars with mixed messages! For example, a superstar performer at one of my clients received recognition last month for her…
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The Value of Feedback

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Feedback can be invaluable; however, it can also be the opposite. As my HR mentor used to say, do not react to all feedback. Consider who is providing the comment. Sometimes, people mean well and provide feedback; however, it is not appropriate or accurate. Sometimes, people are jealous, and it taints the feedback. On the other hand, critiques can often times provide immense value from the right people and in the right circumstances. Be open to reviews. Request it from those you trust will provide honest (at least from their perspective) and value-added information. For example, I’ve always encouraged feedback as it can…
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Is Customer Service Pivotal for Project Success?

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In today’s new normal business environment, customer service is pivotal in project management ONLY if you want to ensure success. According to my firm’s recent research report, Amazon Effect, which covered the role of customer service for manufacturers and distributors, 67% feel customer service gaps vs. Amazon-like offerings. Technical skills alone will no longer be sufficient; project managers must create an environment of customer service to accelerate results. For example, one of my clients has several projects going at the same time. One of them is crucial to bring staffing to the levels required to meet customer orders. They have…
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