Tag Archive: leadership

Women in Supply Chain (and Why Men Should Care)

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Whether you’re a man or woman, if you are in the end-to-end supply chain, you should be thinking about women in supply chain. We’re facing a serious skills gap in the next several years in manufacturing and supply chain circles. Although women make up 47% of the labor force, they compose only 27% of the manufacturing workforce. Thus, logic dictates that if we can raise that percentage, we’ll cover much of our skills gap! I spoke on “Women in Supply Chain” at the western district conference for APICS (#1 supply chain management association) this weekend. I also am a mentor…
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SIOP – How Collaboration & Judgment Can Achieve Wonders

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Earlier this week, I spoke to APICS Ventura County on the topic of SIOP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning). It was a great conversation because it was really interactive, with probing questions on not just the theory and concepts but how to “make it work.” Talking more about the secret recipe to achieving results. What became apparent during the discussion is that what we do truly boils down to much, much more than aligning demand with supply or any of the technical aspects of SIOP. Success results from collaboration and common sense with a dash of judgment thrown in at…
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Who Should You Follow? A Guide to Good Mentoring Relationships

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We recently took on one of our first consulting mentoring projects. Since our focus is on delivering growth and profitability for manufacturing and distribution companies, we work mainly with business-to-business. With that said, every consulting project involves some level of coaching – mentoring – to people working on those businesses to deliver results. And since we consider results to be the 80/20 of our business, we put a lot of attention on coaching the appropriate employees (from line supervision to the executive team) to achieve a desired outcome. So when a consulting mentorship opportunity arose with a mentee who was…
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Raising the Bar With Customer Service Through Internal Operations

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Could a simple solution of aligning Sales with Operations with Finance deliver the bottom line BIG win? Do your internal operations truly have a significant impact on your customer service levels? Yes, for every single client, they can have a dramatic effect! For example, we recently worked with a client that wanted to raise the bar when it came to customer service levels. Over time, product mix, distribution strategies and buffer capabilities changed which created a gap when compared to prior performance levels. The challenge was to improve customer service and the overall customer experience rapidly – and “make it…
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The Eagles & Apprenticeships

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Last weekend I went to Classic West – an amazing weekend of six classic bands at Dodger Stadium including The Doobie Brothers, Eagles, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan and Earth, Wind & Fire. What a lineup! Aside from amazing music and fabulous floor seats (we were two rows back from David Spade!), we were also able to meet up with family and friends. While I adore Journey, I have to admit the best act of the weekend was the Eagles. This was the Eagles first concert since Glenn Frey’s sudden passing in 2016, and they made it a tribute to him.…
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Is Supply Chain Top of Mind for Your Business?

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Earlier this week, I spoke on a panel at a ProVisors (a top notch group of trusted advisers) event about supply chain and its impact on the Southern California and Inland Empire economy. The event prompted me to think about whether we are keeping supply chain top of mind (from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing operations – insourced, outsourced or both – to your customers’ customers, inclusive of transportation and logistics networks, IT etc.). It will have a dramatic impact on your business success, and, in Southern California’s case, the economy. For example, is the Amazon Effect (the notion of 24/7,…
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Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?

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Employee engagement was a hot topic during the “Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage” panel at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum. Did you know that one of the most recent Gallup studies found that 67% of people are not engaged in the workplace? How horrifying is that? Worse yet, what makes up the 67%? 51% are not engaged but 16% are actively disengaged. What? Can you imagine the obstacles to overcome to be successful in an environment where 16% of your team is working against you? What can we do about employee engagement? 1. Involvement– Involve your people in their work. It sounds obvious…
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Do You Really Support Empowerment?

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The 80/20 of business success stems directly from leadership. The best leaders can make even the worst-performing teams excel and, unfortunately, the weakest leaders can drag down even the best of teams. A few questions to ponder include:  Does your culture encourage empowerment? Regardless of what you say, do people believe they will be rewarded for empowering employees?  Do your managers jump to answer questions or give their employees a chance to shine?  Do you communicate empowerment but would get upset if your employee made an empowered decision that created a month-end shipping crisis?  Do your employees understand the guidelines…
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Leadership – Making You Feel Important

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Of course we talk about leadership more than anything else as it is #1 to business success. Thus, we are always looking for strategies and tips for success. One of our clients clearly prioritizes us — it is clear we are one of her top priorities. How often do you feel that way? We happened to work with her in more than one company, and it was clear that her team appreciated her leadership style. People quite opposite in personality (who probably wouldn’t agree upon much) seemed to enjoy working with her. Of course, no one is perfect (including her)…
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Leadership Will Make or Break Success

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As my HR mentor used to say, “It begins and ends with leadership”. After a 25 year plus career with leadership positions in organizations, trade associations, non-profits and more, it is clear that leadership will make or break success.   It is interesting the difference leadership can make. We can go to 2 similar clients with similar products, services, systems and resources with the only difference being the leader, and we’ll see two vastly different environments. In one case, we will be wildly successful and, in the other, we’ll struggle. Even in the best of cases (when they are more…
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