Tag Archive: manufacturing

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 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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U.S. #3 in Global Manufacturing Scorecard

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According to a new Brookings Institution report, the United States ranks near the top for overall manufacturing environment.  The report evaluated policies and regulations, taxes, costs, workforce quality and infrastructure and innovation.  The only two countries to rank higher are the United Kingdom (#1) and Switzerland (#2).  The high tax rate and healthcare costs and the lack of government grants/ loans kept the U.S. out of the top spot. The study also measured manufacturing output and manufacturing employment.  China ranked #1 in manufacturing output with the U.S. just behind in second place whereas Poland ranked #1 in manufacturing employment (with…
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What Should We Be Thinking for the 2nd Half of the Year?

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As hard as it is to believe, we are almost half-way through the year.  As a result, we should be thinking NOW about what to stop, start and continue for the second half of the year.  I learned this exercise from my HR mentor (a P&G-trained guru) as we performed it with our team with great results (thanks Debra!). Stop, Start, Continue Here are the questions to ask yourself and your team:  Stop – What should we stop doing?  This is actually the hardest. Not only do I find it hard to stop doing things I’ve included in my daily…
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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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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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Imports & Exports: Which Companies Dominate and What are the Related Impacts?

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According to the Journal of Commerce, the U.S. imported double the amount of its exports (measured in TEU). In 2017, imports increased 6% whereas exports increased 1%.  This is quite an accomplishment since China (the top market for U.S. exports) announced an importation ban last year that cut across the various types of the top U.S. export, waste.   So, who do you think was at the top of the import list?   Walmart! The Details The largest segment of import is retail at 3.5 million TEU.  The next largest segment is foodstuffs at 700,000 TEU.  This is quickly followed by…
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The Highest # of Factory Jobs Since 2008!

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According to Industry Week, we have the highest number of factory jobs since 2008!  We have reached over 12.6 million people employed by the sector. This is all the more impressive when we consider the significant rate of automation and deployment of technological advances occurring the last several years. In the era of the customer, executives are locating manufacturing in close proximity to their customers. Since customers expect rapid deliveries and high levels of customization, it is making more and more sense to locate manufacturing in Southern California and especially the Inland Empire with lower costs, extra space and access…
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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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