Tag Archive: culture

Customer Service Starts with Employees

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Have you ever seen a company that provides consistent, exceptional service for its customers that has unhappy employees? I never have! From my view, it is not possible for longer than a short-term time frame. On the other hand, if you empower and engage your employees, you’ll find that customer service follows. It is no accident that the Ritz Carlton provides exceptional service. They know it starts with their employees. If you have a problem at the Ritz, whoever is helping you (from a baggage handler to a maid) will make sure you walk away satisfied – without asking for approval.…
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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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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 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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Transaction Criticality

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Few executives think much about transaction criticality. Transactions certainly aren’t strategic; however, I have seen numerous clients’ growth and profit plans negatively affected by the lack of transaction rigor. Thus it should be on your list of fundamentals for review. There are only two issues that occur with transactions:  1) Accuracy. 2) Timing. It would seem simple; however, it is not an uncommon struggle. The reason is that although limited in terms of types of issues, transactions are widespread. Typically there are transactions affecting almost all functions of an organization. Typical ones include the following: purchase orders, receipts, production orders (work orders),…
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Leadership’s Unsung Heroes

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Success begins and ends with leadership. Clearly, formal leaders are vital; however, it is important not to overlook the power of influence leaders. These folks are informal leaders who command significant influence in an organization – typically unsung heroes. Who do people follow? At all of my most successful clients, I find informal leaders. Sometimes they are in a leadership position of some sort but not the “top dog”, and often they have no official power. Yet these influence leaders wield VAST influence on the organization’s success. Typically, they are known for championing the critical yet difficult changes. They seem…
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Are You Planning for Failure?

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Are you planning for failure? I imagine no one thinks they plan for failure; however, I see it happen more than you’d think. Instead, plan for success, and success will follow. Have you ever called an important contact and were surprised when he/she answered the phone – and you didn’t know what to say? Don’t despair…we have all been there. This is an example of planning for failure on a small scale. As easy as it is to do with this, unfortunately, I also see countless examples of this in everyday work situations. For example, if you are planning an…
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