Tag Archive: cash flow

Time or Money – Which Gets the Priority?

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In today’s Amazon-impacted world, we believe in instantaneous delivery. It has become an expectation. Even my mom who orders on Amazon by calling me believes a two-day delivery is a bit long. After all, she might not realize she needs something until the last minute. Thus, which is more important – time or money? Here are a few questions to ponder when thinking about time vs. money: 1. Do you expect rapid deliveries across the board? 2. Are you willing to spend extra money for speed? Are your customers? Do you know this answer or are you guessing? 3. How important is…
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Case Study In Increasing On Time Delivery Performance

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Situation: Our client struggled with low customer service levels since they cut back with inventory on the ‘wrong’ items during a time of tight cash flow. Of course to add fuel to the fire, the customer also wanted product to be delivered at least 20% earlier, ideally 50% earlier. If our client didn’t find a way to respond quickly, they would risk losing key customers. Path Forward: Upon looking at the order fulfillment flow, there were countless areas of opportunity. However, simultaneously working on these solutions would tax already-maxed out resources (who also were frustrated by angry customers) and accomplish…
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SIOP Success is a Straight Line to People

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As with everything in business success, SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) success is a straight line back to people. Thus, it is the reason I started my business with the “Profit through People” brand and continue with it as one of our service lines and for our newsletter. In the last 5 years, we have completed many SIOP projects and have found the keys to delivering rapid, bottom line results – exceptional customer service, significant growth, improved margins, accelerated cash flow and high morale. These keys to success are built into our proprietary process for SIOP, 4 EXCEL, which…
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Why Planning is at the Crux of Success

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I just had a brainstorming session with one of my key clients about the integrated planning process — in essence, how demand and supply match up to ensure customer service (which is #1 for every client in today’s environment), growth, and improved margins and cash flow. It almost doesn’t matter the reason I come into a client — and the reasons can be wide ranging — there is always opportunity to improve the integrated planning process, get everyone on one page with clarity and sync up demand with supply. It sounds much easier to do than it is in reality.…
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Involve Your Supply Chain for SIOP Success

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The best SIOP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning) processes that deliver significant returns on investment involve the extended supply chain. Since SIOP is about how to align demand with supply – and align all the process owners and executives on one page, it has far reaching implications beyond any one project, person or result. I find the most successful SIOP processes deliver the optimal combination of: Business growth backed by operational readiness Improved customer service levels Accelerated cash flow Increased margins Thus, it is a worth-while endeavor for any business as not only a way to stay competitive but it…
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Why We Should Pay Attention to Inventory

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I presented on “Inventory Accuracy Remains Core to Success” at ASQ (American Society of Quality) Palomar last night, and we had great questions and discussions on why inventory is important for success. In essence, it boils down to 3 C’s — cost, cash and customer service. What could be more important for a business? Unfortunately, inventory can often be overlooked in its importance because it is such a bedrock topic — and left to the people who focus on it. However, any executive who wants to grow the business, provide exceptional service to customers and accelerate cash flow better pay attention. I’m often-times…
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Should We Always Aim to Reduce Inventory Levels?

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Certainly reducing inventory on hand is typically preferred as you can accelerate your cash flow. It is one of the key focus areas of my consulting practice. I have found that reducing inventory by 50% is typically quite achievable with the optimal mix of people/skills, processes and systems. Keeping money flowing is one great way to improve your business results. However, it is never black or white. There are times when increasing inventory is my recommendation!  The best practice process should not dictate low inventory levels for the sake of having low inventory levels. If it does, throw out your…
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Inventory Management Remains Core to Success

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No matter how many engaging conversations I have with clients, contacts and trade groups about emerging supply chain trends, the less exciting topic of inventory management oftentimes can deliver a higher value than the latest and greatest most-talked about trend. As the Programs chair of APICS Ventura chapter said when requesting this topic for a recent speech, inventory management is core to success and remains a timeless topic.   This prompted me to think about what I see across all types of clients: Whether a $5 million fast-growing manufacturer in the building products industry, an $80 million dollar food processing…
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Collaborate for Project Success

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Collaboration has come into vogue. In my experience working with clients ranging in size from $4 million to multi-billion dollar enterprises across a multitude of industries, spanning building products to aerospace to consumer products, the more collaboration is valued, the better the company has performed over the long-term. Certainly, project results are directly tied to collaboration as the vast majority of projects are cross-functional and cross-company in nature. Collaboration will drive bottom line business results. If you look at collaboration as a way to combine 1+1 = 99, you’ll achieve dramatic improvements and happier employees and supply chain partners. For…
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