Tag Archive: customers

What Tours Have You Gone on Lately?

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In the last month, I have attended quite a few tours of manufacturing and distribution operations.  The pictures below were taken at an APICS Inland Empire and ProVisors tour of Southwest Traders Foodservice Distribution and Do It American Manufacturing.  Both were excellent.  And I walked away with great tips! Tours are a great way to see different ways of doing business and gain insights and ideas to apply in your company.  I find that what I see and learn will provide value to clients somewhere down the line.  As often as I hear clients request a consultant with knowledge in their specific industry,…
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What’s Next in the Supply Chain?

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Our most successful clients always ask “What’s next?” as they want to stay ahead of the curve.  It is quite clear that staying on top of current trends and what is expected down-the-road is essential to successfully navigating your business to scalable, profitable growth. For example, if you think your industry might develop a new way of servicing customers, you need to attack it quickly as you afford to be left in the dust.  Clearly, providing an exceptional customer experience is important but so is developing this new service method in a scalable, profitable way. It will be much harder if…
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Gaining New Ideas to Increase Business Value

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Every executive we work with is interested in increasing the value of the business.  Whether a small closely-held business with an owner who might want to sell the business or exit with an ESOP, a private-equity backed company aiming to achieve the ideal exit strategy per the private equity agreement or a large, complex organization working to increase shareholder value, increasing the value of the business remains a unanimous top priority. Understanding this objective is quite different from fulfilling it.  There is a reason the most successful businesses have teams of people rather than one person who has to come up…
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Conflict & Collaboration in the Supply Chain

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Have you thought about the role of conflict and collaboration in the supply chain?  When thinking of supply chain from creation to customer, there are many links and connections.  In the current supply chain model, there are connections between and among suppliers, transportation partners, manufacturers, outside processors, distributors, customers, end consumers, and much more. Within any of these connection points, there are another set of links and connections between new product development/ R&D, sales, operations, finance, HR/ staffing, and any more.  Given the sheer number of variations of connections, it becomes a critical link in achieving success. Therefore, the concepts…
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Manufacturing & California are on Fire!

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According to Industry Week and the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing is on fire! Manufacturers’ optimism registered 95.1% – the highest level EVER recorded! Manufacturers are projecting historic growth in investments (4.1%), hiring (3.1%) and wages (2.7%).  Projected wage growth is the fastest in 17 years. The bottom line – manufacturing is on fire!           Now to turn general perceptions on its head, Industry Week did a study of the top states for manufacturing jobs and California was #1! Clearly, this was accomplished in a state that doesn’t favor manufacturing jobs (even though they pay well).  Manufacturing…
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Should I Move?

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  Our clients frequently call with questions such as:  Should we renew our lease?  Should we move to a lower cost area?  Should we move to a lower cost state?  What considerations should we think about when evaluating our manufacturing and logistics network?  Should we outsource? Thus, we thought it would be prudent to address some questions and themes that should be evaluated from a strategic point-of-view when discussing supply chain network assessments. Let’s start by saying that our top clients begin THINKING about these topics several years in advance. Similar to selling a business, it isn’t the best plan to…
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People Rule

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Why does Southwest Airlines outperform the competition by a long shot in employee turnover (7% vs. 25% industry average)? People! As our long-term readers know, we believe that people rule!  There is just no doubt about it – our most successful clients are similar to Southwest and JetBlue as it relates to people – executives view them as assets; not costs.  Instead of stifling creativity and success, they encourage it! We have to image that no one sets out to stifle creativity when they leave for work in the morning (it sounds like a miserable existence) . Yet that is…
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What IS the Supply Chain?

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Certainly, we are well-known in supply chain circles; however, what does that mean?  This topic has come up somewhat frequently lately – should we call this position an Operations Manager or a Supply Chain Manager?  Which will get us the best fit talent? Because we are known as supply chain experts, we continue to talk about the supply chain even though LOTS of people – including potential clients – are unsure what in the world that means. For a while we talked about operations but that definitely didn’t provide the appropriate vision since our passion surrounds providing bold customer promises…
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Manufacturing is HOT

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In the last week, not only have there been several articles about the positive strides manufacturing is making but it also has come up in several presentations we have attended such as the Inland Empire Economic Forecast. Here is a compilation of just a few of the HOT topics and trends.
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A Systems Checkup

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Early in the year is the appropriate time for a systems audit. Do you and your have clarity on your current processes. Take the time to see how your processes interface with all areas of your organization.
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