Tag Archive: distribution

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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Motocross, the 100% Brand and How Global Distribution Scales

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I recently attended the San Diego Distributors and Manufacturers (DAM) group of ProVisors. We had an engaging discussion with Francis Costello, COO and CFO of 100%, a well-respected brand in motocross and mountain biking.  He made a very interesting point about how the value of distribution scales and supports “getting big quickly”.   Francis generously provided insightful lessons learned in scaling distribution: Don’t trust your gut. (In essence, it isn’t enough to run the business) Understand the rules and regulations. Contracts vs. trust (neither is sufficient alone) Choose wisely. The only constant in change (after all, Amazon, Alibaba and more continue…
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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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Warehousing Strategies for Success

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The Amazon Effect is creating elevated levels of stress in the warehousing and distribution world. The key question is how to provide immediate deliveries, customized service, easy returns, and more for a reduced cost – a very good question indeed! A few considerations to ponder:  Storage capacity -What is your storage capacity?  How does that compare with your requirements?  And how can you maximize what you can store in your warehouse? Flow – Are you running in circles around your warehouse to support your customers?  Similar to a manufacturing environment, flow can be an essential ingredient to warehousing success –…
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APICS-IE Symposium & Key Take-Aways on GROWTH

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Our APICS Inland Empire chapter hosted the 12th executive panel and networking symposium (over 7 years) on the theme of “Managing Rapid Growth when Manufacturing and Distribution are HOT”.  We had a fabulous panel (clearly enjoying the conversation – see below) of manufacturing and supply chain CEOs and experts.  Thanks to the APICS BOD and Kash Gokli and the Harvey Mudd team for putting on such a value-packed day! Overall, we discussed the power of manufacturing and supply chain in today’s environment.  In the era of the customer, it is all about the customer experience, rapid deliveries, e-commerce and responsiveness.…
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The Amazon Effect Remains Hot

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Our marketing guru asked whether we should start talking about other topics aside from the Amazon Effect since there are a vast number of key topics occurring in manufacturing and distribution, and she wondered if it was becoming stale (and it’s her job to make us look at timely as possible). The answer came in from all angles – conference leaders continue to request this topic, news reporters continue to ask about it (including the Wall Street Journal in a recent conversation) and everyone is STILL talking about it. For example, when the Ontario Chamber CEO mentioned this topic for…
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The Economy and the Inland Empire are on Fire!

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IE Forecasts Since we attended not one but two economic forecast events last week (one hosted by Claremont McKenna and one hosted by the Inland Empire Economic Partnership), we thought it made sense to share the take-aways:     The economy has never looked better especially in the Inland Empire – All the signs point up.  Even though folks are concerned about when the other shoe will drop, from an economic point-of-view, all appears positive.  Jobs at record levels with the Inland Empire leading California –  We are virtually at zero unemployment. Perhaps we need to be concerned about retaining…
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Walmart Raising the Supply Chain Metrics Bar

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One of my clients forwarded this Business Insider article about Walmart’s supply chain metrics. Walmart is not only requiring an increase in OTIF (on-time-in-full) delivery performance but it also will charge penalties for suppliers that don’t live up to the metric! Creating an efficient supply chain is critical for Walmart, so they are taking this proactive stance. This is prevalent throughout our manufacturing and distribution clients – regardless of industry. For example, in aerospace, there are very similar supply chain metrics and penalties. If we want to grow our businesses, we must develop excellence throughout our supply chain. Just think, there…
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APICS-IE Spring Symposium Panel to Discuss Disruptive Innovations in Logistics

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The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS, the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, will be hosting a meeting on global supply chain trends and strategies at its Disruptive Innovations in Logistics Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium on May 6, in Corona, CA. Expert panelists include Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, Director of the METRANS; Mark Hirzel, Customs Broker for A.N. Deringer, Inc.; Lupe Valdez, Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad; Heidi Chance, Division Manager at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA; and, Steven C. Finley, Vice President of Re-Transportation at Kuehne + Nagel Co. Attendees will gain insight into…
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The Drucker Supply Chain Forum

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I participated on the panel, “Professional Pathways in Supply Chain” at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum last week. Interesting to note that the panel was all women — definitely not typical but nice to see! I was joined by executives from Walt Disney, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. It was a lot of fun, and I learned as much as I contributed. We had some engaging discussions about the future of supply chain and the types of professionals that will be needed. For details on these topics, please tune in to my recent Profit Through People newsletter. However, one of the keys I…
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