Category: Supply Chain Management

Maximizing Your Purchases Resources

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How to get more with less after down sizing In many companies today resources have been cut to a bare minimum. Companies that have survived the sudden down turn in the economy have taken drastic measures to reduce their overhead and expenses, often resulting in a reduction in purchasing staff. This article will address how you can increase the effectiveness and productivity of your purchasing staff and at the same time position your company to be ready to face future challenges. Where we once saw purchasing organizations with one or two senior buyers, several commodity buyers and a clerical staff,…
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Metrics for Customer Loyalty

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Polling my clients and contacts, I’ve found there’s no exception to the rule that customer loyalty is no longer a nice-to-have; instead, it must be an assumption in today’s “new normal” business environment. A perfect storm is brewing – just as companies have cut back dramatically in spending and on resources; customers are demanding higher service levels. Since cash is tight across the board and as the number of items that leaders can control dwindles, an interesting phenomenon has occurred. Suddenly, service expectations have skyrocketed. Thus, metrics to track customer service are vital. Once you’ve lost a customer, it is…
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MRP/ERP Education – The key to Successful Implementation

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One major key to success in implementing an MRP/ERP system is education of its users early in the implementation process. Software training is not enough. All users of the system must have a good understanding of how and why the system works and be able to recognize the effect that their actions have on others using the system. To be most effective MRP/ERP education should be, a) done early in the implementation process, b) generic, not software based, c) all inclusive, starting with top management, d) must be ongoing. Early Education Often, in talking with users of new MRP/ERP systems…
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Opportunity for Operations in Troubling Times

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Though it is hard to visualize it while you are struggling to turn a profit, there are opportunities to be found amid our current economic troubles. The trick is to identify the opportunities and to have the knowledge and foresight to take advantage of them. It is not news to anyone that we are in an economic crisis. Every day the newsman tells us stories about layoffs, retrenchments and collapses. Correspondingly there are lots of articles being written about what individuals and companies can do to survive or even prosper in a climate like this. This article and the others…
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Performance Measurement for a Customer Focus Strategy

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Introduction Many organizations are in a perpetual state of change. Changing markets, changing competition, changing organization structures, total quality initiatives and reengineering are often the rule rather than the exception. Often these initiatives fail to yield the desired results or, in the extreme, fail entirely. The reasons for this failure, of course, can be many and multiple. However, one that often stands out is the lack of change in the performance measurement system as the needs for measurement change. The recommended solution is often to establish new measures appropriate to the new techniques employed and appending them to the existing…
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Performance Measurements – Designing the Guidance System for Your Organization

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Introduction Your business is changing. JIT, TQM, Reengineering, Information Technology, Teams, Time Based Competition, the supply chain and the decline of the Command/Control organization structure are just some of the changes taking place. The critical success factor is knowledge, not physical work. Competitive advantage can no longer be perpetually and automatically maintained. In many industries continuous change and improvement is no longer an option, it is a way of life. But what are we measuring? Often organizations are measuring the same things they were 10, 20 and even 50 years ago. Most organizations are still using a cost accounting structure…
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Driving a Winning Culture

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In my 20 years of experience in working with multiple companies across multiple industries and globally, there is a lot of talk about culture; however, little to no impact – bottom line results. On the other hand, I’ve seen companies with an existing, winning culture and I’ve also seen one built – both types of situations drove bottom line results. The distinction between the so-so (and ugly) cultures and the winning culture is perseverance of implementing and maintaining the core elements of culture. The reason the ‘talk’ rarely turns into a winning culture is that it isn’t backed by solid…
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Creating a Customer Service Edge

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There has never been a bigger need to create a customer service edge! Gone are the days of the last decade when we saw examples of 10% sales growth achieved solely by picking up the phone. Unemployment levels remain high and there are limited opportunities for growth. Who knew business executives could be so excited over 1% growth? If that wasn’t enough, customers’ expectations are elevated – suddenly, they want more for less too. With increasing commodity prices (putting upward pressure on sales prices) combined with declining sales revenues and personal wages, it feels as though they are spending more…
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Customer Focused Supply Chain Management

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Supply Chain Management (SCM) was introduced in the 1990’s as a buzzword often used by logistics and software providers to describe the integrated network of product, information, and cash flow between the various entities in a supply chain. SCM has been embraced by many non-supply chain professionals simply as a new and faster way of acquiring goods and services using integrated software tools and global logistics. Today, SCM is widely recognized as a better way of doing business in a complex global economy. Traditionally, Supply Chain Management has focused on negotiating long term agreements, cost reduction, outsourcing, third-party logistics, and…
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Radical Inventory Reduction

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Companies, like all organisms, only change in response to fear or pain. We can use the current climate of fear and pain to make real change, even radical change. Companies are looking for anyway they can find to keep costs down and reduce the need for working capital. Reducing inventory levels is one of the biggest opportunities to affect real change. Companies periodically look at slow moving inventory and either reduce its price to spur sales or, write it off and scrap it. A survey of 400 companies conducted by IQR, www.InventoryPerformance.com, revealed that slow/no move inventory comprised about 10%…
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