Tag Archive: eagle eye

The Impact of Supply Chain Strategy

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Can supply chain strategy have a profound impact on your bottom line? Without a doubt! Recently, we worked with a client that wanted to review their operations strategy and look for ways to optimize and improve. To begin, we evaluated many business options including, but not limited to:     Do nothing (stay in the same locations). Transfer distribution operations closer to the port. Move to a different location in the Inland Empire. Relocate to Nevada. Evaluate 3PL options. Expand and automate the current facility. In this client’s case, the customer, cost and cash flow impacts of making these changes…
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Do You Have Empowered Teams?

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Lately, there has been a common theme at seemingly unrelated events — the importance of employee engagement and empowerment. Just in the last several weeks, it has come up at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum, the Harvey Mudd executive panel event, and at the CEO Summit. Do you have empowered teams? Or do you just think you do? In thinking about empowered teams, we can ask a few pointed questions: Do you communicate the importance of employees acting in the best interest of the customer? Do your teams understand what they are able to do to satisfy a customer? If an employee makes a decision…
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How Effective Is Your Cross-Functional Collaboration?

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Cross-functional collaboration can make or break success. No matter how well a particular department or team performs, it is largely useless if done in isolation. Just like a car won’t go if you press the accelerator and the engine isn’t connected properly, a company won’t achieve results if the units and people aren’t connected properly. Here are a few questions to ponder: On a cross-functional project with two department teams, can one team/department be viewed as successful if the other one isn’t? Do your teams attempt to talk in the other team’s preferred style or in their own? Do the…
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Thinking Long Term

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We all know we should think long term. And we talk about thinking long term. But, do we actually think long term — and live with our decisions even when it’s hard? Not nearly as often as we should! Since we work with already successful manufacturers and distributors that want to build upon and accelerate success, we have worked with many executives who think long term; however, it remains a rarity. Just think about those executives who make a great long-term decision but waver when the going gets tough. I imagine we all know too many! One client hired expensive…
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How to Keep Your Team’s Morale Up During Change

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How to Keep Your Team’s Morale Up During Change Dramatic growth is commonplace. Companies are looking for opportunities to improve margins, accelerate cash flow and cut costs. Only those companies that change will endure. And only those teams that embrace change, and the leaders who engage people around change initiatives will thrive. The others will be left in the dust. In order to create this type of engagement, leaders must support team morale during change. But if you think about it, why should this be an issue, if the change is presented properly from the outset? Who wouldn’t be excited about positive…
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Are You Stuck in Silo Thinking?

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We not only work across many manufacturing and distribution industries such as aerospace, building products and food but we also work across company-sizes ranging from small and medium size owner-operated companies to medium size private equity-backed firms to large, complex, global organizations. Thus, as we see trends across each of these segments, we pay attention. Unfortunately, silo thinking is commonplace. Traditionally, silo thinking refers to thinking from your department-perspective and not looking cross-functionally; however, we also see vast examples of silo thinking from the company perspective. In this case, the organization falls into the trap of thinking internally and not thinking…
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Outsourcing, Insourcing or Near-Sourcing?

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We are managing in an Amazon-impacted world. Customers expect rapid deliveries, 24/7 accessibility and products and services tailored to their needs. Customers are not willing to wait. In fact, they prefer same-day delivery. Our manufacturing clients are experiencing lead time reduction requests from their customers. Some are requests; many are required to maintain the business. It is wide spread. Building products that clients ship within a day. Food clients ship rapidly — within a day or a week at most. Optics, industrial equipment, consumer products — across-the-board requests for shorter lead times. And even clients such as aerospace with traditionally…
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Vision Backed by BIG Goals and Leadership

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SAP CEO Bill McDermott talked much more than just about data. One of his most compelling stories related to turning around Xerox’s lowest performing division and ending the year as #1. Who says success isn’t derived from leadership has his/her head buried in the sand. The keys Bill described were quite simple: 1) Listen. 2) Provide the vision and goals. 3) Lead. We believe this proves the premise behind our newsletter, Profit through People — people are any organization’s #1 assets! Do you treat your people like assets? Or costs? Bill said that the people at this division were quite disgruntled…
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Why Financial Acumen is Relevant to Operations

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As we brainstormed our unique value proposition with our advisory board and marketing team, the topic of financial acumen rose to the surface. Traditionally, we’ve talked about people, processes and systems and how our unique combination of these elements delivers superior business performance; however, this statement failed to include a vital element of our success — financial acumen. When I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain, we constantly were pursuing how to reduce costs while improving the performance of the product and service to our customers. Understanding how to get to true costs — not double or triple…
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Interest in Global Rises

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Since we are a more inter-connected world that ever before, the interest in global continues to rise. This does NOT mean that more manufacturers are outsourcing as the opposite is the current trend; however, companies need to be aware of the impacts of global – and so their interest in global is on the rise! There are also more terrorist attacks than ever before, and so of course, people are more interested in what’s going on in the world. To some degree, people are less likely to travel the world yet they are more interested in what’s going on around…
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