Category: Organizational Development

Deliver Project Results by Engaging Employees

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In today’s new normal business and manufacturing environment, sales are lackluster, cash is tight and material prices are squeezing margins. Thus, those projects which will increase sales, reduce costs and/or improve customer service levels/ loyalty are quickly becoming #1 priority within the organization.  The companies who can deliver project results consistently will succeed.  And those who can accelerate the results while maintaining the quality of results will have the opportunity to leave the competition in the dust. What is the secret to success?  Engaged employees!  Have you noticed that those organizations with engaged employees not only perform better than the competition…
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Speed is King: How Do We Leverage for Project Management?

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In today’s new normal business environment, customers want products and services delivered quicker. Investors want month-end numbers faster. Customers expect new products yesterday. Executives are expected to sift through an immense amount of information and make rapid decisions. Boil it down – speed is a differentiator. In my experience as an operations strategist and global business consultant and with hundreds of projects of all shapes and sizes behind me, I find that there can be hundreds or thousands of moving parts in any project or program. In these situations, it’s hard enough to keep track of all the pieces and…
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Continuous Education Will Give You an Edge

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In today’s marketplace, it is no longer enough to be good.  You must stand out from the crowd in some way that is different or exceptional.  Just think about the information overloaded society – how do you get anything through the millions and millions of messages each person receives in a day?  It can be a tall order to just be noticed. I’ve noticed that those who have a passion for continual education find a way to stand out in the crowd. For example, one of my Board members in my APICS chapter (the #1 trade association for supply chain and operations…
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Motivate Employees as One Critical Way to Retain Top Performers

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A motivated employee can move mountains. A disgruntled employee creates havoc. Which do you have? As results are critical to success, I thought it was worth pursuing how to motivate employees; however, as important as results are, retaining top talent in today’s marketplace will put you on top. 1. Let’s start with a “not” – money. Although the lack of fair compensation is a de-motivator, money itself is rarely a motivator. 2. Instead, explain each person’s value – how does each person contribute to the company vision, goals and priorities? Yes, it takes time to translate each person’s value but it will achieve immeasurable…
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The Skills Gap: Putting the Spark Back in Manufacturing

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As I discussed in my Skills Gap research report, there is a significant disconnect between what companies need and what they have.  It is worrisome for our future if we cannot find a way to close this gap.  Of course, I have suggestions stemming from retention to hiring to training & development which I discussed in my recent Skills Gap article. However, what do we do about the fact that manufacturing and distribution careers don’t seem to attract top talent? Certainly, if you ask a college student about exciting and high-paying careers, most will talk about what’s reported on the news as…
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Collaborate and Thrive

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 I’m seeing that only those clients who collaborate thrive.  More and more, customers are demanding dramatically improved service and shorter lead times.  Mega distributors like Amazon are elevating expectations.  A few of the key areas to focus on for collaboration include: 1. Pick up the phone – some of the largest successes I’ve seen result from simple yet critical conversations. It can be as simple as calling a customer to discuss current business and to stay in touch. 2. Win-win – remember to look for win-win opportunities in your conversations / meetings with your customers. Two heads are typically better than one…
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The Strongest Link

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I recently was the subject of what’s called a “member spotlight” question and answer session about my business. Knowing my business centers on the supply chain, my interviewer asked me to draw a picture of a supply chain. It’s always a good place to start as there are countless definitions of what people mean when they said “supply chain management”. In my case, I drew a web of interconnected points spanning from your supplier’s supplier through manufacturing and distribution to your customer’s customer. Afterwards, my interviewer asked me, “Why do you always start with the end of the diagram –…
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Crisis Brings Real Change

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The current recession has thrust many companies and individuals into crisis – at a minimum, plans have been put on hold, and in many cases, it has been the worst crisis experienced since the Great Depression (if the company has been around since then). This crisis has caused many companies and individuals to do the previously unthinkable. The “unthinkable” is significantly different from person to person and company to company; however, it is equally worrisome. Naturally, stress is at an all-time high. So, what can we do productively to deal with crisis? It brings me back to my HR mentor’s…
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Groundhog Day – Why Are Meetings So Bad

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In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) finds himself caught in a special kind of hell as he wakes up each morning to find it is Groundhog Day all over again. Many of us have to attend the same horrible meeting, week after week, trapped in our own version of Groundhog Day hell. What is a “Groundhog Day Meeting”? We intuitively know because at various times we have all attended really bad meetings. Such meetings have the following characteristics: The decision makers were absent. Wrong people were in the room. Everyone came unprepared.…
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Going for the Bottom Line

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Increasing the bottom line means increasing profit, and in today’s economy one of the biggest ways to do this is to control costs. If your organization is effective in controlling costs, real costs, then you will be more profitable. This article will give you some great ideas to help you effectively reduce your costs in order to help you increase your cash flow and your profit! In this economy, going for the bottom line means transforming our organizations fundamentally from top to bottom. It means listening to and satisfying the Voice of the Customer through increased value, while effectively reducing…
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