Tag Archive: customers

Obsession with Your Customer

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One of our clients has a healthy obsession for the customer! It might drive some of his employees a little mad but it is effective. Adopting a bit of healthy obsession for your customers can go a long way! In this case, our client was particular with every customer-facing document, interaction, piece of information and the like. This owner would keep track of who ordered what throughout each day, kept a pulse on what was going on vs. prior years, like years and would ask his employees who interacted with customers for customer feedback and the pulse of customers multiple…
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Technical Innovation & Japan’s Bullet Train

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  While in Japan last week, I had the opportunity to ride the bullet train three times — and, even waited to go back to Tokyo from Mt. Fuji to see it whiz past since you cannot see it in action in Tokyo as a terminal station — simply amazing and FAST! The bullet train travels at over 300 kph. They always arrive on time and they are neat, organized, efficient, and safe. They account for potential earthquakes, etc. We can certainly learn something from this engineering and service feat. And if that wasn’t enough, I learned that they have been…
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Will Your Supply Chain Risk Surprise You?

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Supply chain risks abound! Just look at the recent bankruptcy of Hanjin. It created havoc in the global supply chain. Ships were virtually stranded on the water. No one knew how they’d get paid. Customers still needed the product. And so the results were scary. Have you thought about these types of risks within your supply chain? At our APICS Inland Empire executive panel and networking symposium, we had a panel of experts on navigating the global supply chain. A renowned international business attorney brought up a significant topic — what if a conflict brews in the South China sea?…
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Shangri-La: The Best Hotel Service Bar None

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I am in Japan this week meeting with my global board of advisors group to discuss 2017 strategy and business trends. Since I have never been to Japan, I decided to take a few days in advance to see the sights. Following the advice of the member of this group who lives in Japan, I stayed at the Shangri-La. The service is simply amazing! First, they met me at the train station to walk me back to the hotel — not just at the train station but at the specific car I was riding in. Next, they checked me into…
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Navigating the Global Supply Chain

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Last week, I participated in the development of the Supply Chain Roadmap 2025. It will result in a compilation of what more than 100 industry thought leaders had to say about the future of material handling and logistics. It is quite an interesting process to take a step back from the daily grind and sometimes fire-fighting to think strategically and long-term. I look forward to the report coming out in the spring of 2017! Similarly, I have been focused on finalizing the executive panel for APICS Inland Empire’s upcoming symposium on navigating the global supply chain — we have an amazing lineup of…
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Why Customers Rule

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  Last weekend, I attended APICS 2016 in Washington DC, and one of the keynote speakers was Bill McDermott, SAP’s CEO (pictured below with Abe, APICS’s CEO). He gave a motivating talk about a variety of topics. One of the key themes is that customers (consumers) rule! And, if you think about it, one set of customers includes your employees. Thus, you need to know what both think and want! One of his stories from his younger career is when he was sent to lead the worst performing division of Xerox. Listening to his employees and customers turned it from last…
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Why Customer Service Trumps All

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Although we work on many topics impacting manufacturers and distributors, we have found that the most popular — and vital — is customer service. Prior to the recession, most companies called for our inventory management expertise and how to understand and manage costs (and therefore strategically price); however, since the recession, almost everyone that calls has some element of the customer in their conversation. As our passion surrounds customer service which must start with your customers (your employees), we love this development. From a financial point-of-view, the customer has a profound impact on business performance. Clients call for every one…
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Big Customer Promises

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Last week, I met with my marketing team on several topics. One of the key areas, stemming from the strategy session with my international advisory board in Sydney is “what is my unique differentiation and value proposition”. I have always been passionate about providing exceptional service which ONLY can occur if you have empowered and engaged employees. Thus, we decided upon “I work with manufacturers and distributors (with deep expertise in aerospace, building products and food industries) to make and KEEP bold customer promises by empowering people with profit-driven strategies. From my point-of-view, the promises and profit have to go…
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The Importance of Controlled Speed

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Last week I was in New Zealand, and I went on a wild ride on the Dart River (see below). We went at 100 kph with just 4 inches of water. It was a thrilling ride with amazing scenery in the background, and it got me thinking about the critical importance of speed in today’s workplace. EVERY single one of my clients must grow, improve service levels, reduce lead time, maximize margins, and improve efficiencies — YESTERDAY. Speed of results is of the essence. It has been the focus of my clients since the recession (as cash was the focus during the…
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Vivid Sydney is Spectacular

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This past weekend, I was in Sydney for a strategy/mentor advisory meeting. Sydney happened to have Vivid Sydney (a color light show throughout the city with entertainment, etc.) in full force for the first two weeks of June — what a great way to spur excitement at the start to the winter season! Of course the iconic Opera House is truly amazing (see one of MANY, continually rotating color displays below):     Similarly, what are you doing to attract new customers, employees and other partners during your low season? Or when everyone else is worrying about oil prices, the…
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