Tag Archive: operations strategy

Which Business Best Practices Do Top Notch Trusted Advisors See?

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In my ProVisors ODAM (Ontario-hosted Distributors and Manufacturers group – don’t you love the play on words?) meeting this month, we discussed business best practices we’ve seen with our manufacturing and distribution clients. It was a fascinating discussion as our group is diverse and consists of the most respected attorneys, CPAs, commercial insurance, business financial advisers, and consultants from around Southern California. Yet, we agreed rather quickly on core best practices. Thanks to Ron Penland for making the meetings engaging and trend-worthy. Here are some of the top themes surrounding best practices: Start by understanding financial statements and cost –…
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Even The Best System Will Fail Without Talent

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As an ERP expert, it is quite clear to me that even the best systems will fail miserably if they don’t possess talent. Don’t even bother to select and implement an ERP system if you don’t have the “right” people on the bus. Start with executive support and continue on down through every position – everything is a team effort. Since we’ve worked with many clients on ERP projects, it is crystal clear what impact people will have on your business’s success. Throw out the notion that ERP is a technical topic! Instead, start thinking of it as a transformation…
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Why Executives Should Care About ERP Strategy

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Lately, we’ve been called in by several clients with ERP challenges that directly impact business growth and success. Do you desire profitable growth? If so, add ERP into your strategic discussions. Would you delegate a decision that could literally make or break your customer service, profit margins (or lack thereof) and ability to grow? I think not! ERP Strategy Matters There has been a widespread need to consider ERP as a strategic topic. For example, these scenarios have arisen in just the last month: In one manufacturing company, the ERP system was holding them back from growing. For a family-owned…
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A Tour of Skechers and Jaw Dropping Savings (and Innovations)

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A Tour of Skechers & Jaw Dropping Savings Recently, I went on a tour of Skechers with my ProVisors group.  We had heard so much about the building and related innovations from the developer, Iddo Benzeevi, previously that we were really excited to see it in action.  There are truly jaw dropping savings – $25 million a year reduction in operating costs – from the total picture.  Who can argue with that?  Certainly not the environmentally-conscious people as it is also the largest LEED Gold Certified building of its kind to be awarded with this distinction by the U.S. Green…
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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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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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A Systems Transformation

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A systems transformation doesn’t necessarily relate to the computer system. Instead, a systems transformation relates to how the people, processes, systems, metrics, costs and more all come together to deliver profitable growth – or not! And, as one of my potential clients put it – dictates whether we are blind or able to see where we are going. Can you “see” where you are going? We have received an increasing number of these types of calls lately. Perhaps it is because it is harder than it sounds to achieve a systems transformation. If a ‘system’ isn’t in place to provide…
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Getting Out of the Weeds to See the Forest

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Turning Everyday Interactions into Profitable Opportunities I’ve been working with several clients recently who are interested in “getting out of the weeds” so that they can “see the forest”. In a few cases, we’ve talked about strategy and reviewed key information about customers, demand, supply and financials. Although there were benefits to each piece (including being able to make decisions such as in-sourcing/outsourcing, equipment purchases, lease renegotiation, and hiring), it was no comparison to the value of being able to see the BIG PICTURE. Similar to driving to work every day and not remembering how you got there, we are…
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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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Slashing Lead Times to Counter the ‘Amazon Effect’

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  My recent research report on the Amazon effect says that 67% of manufacturers and distributors feel customer service gaps when compared to Amazon-like offerings. One of those key areas is lead time. When looking across my clients, which resemble a well-diversified portfolio of manufacturing and distribution companies, customers are demanding a 20% decrease in lead time at minimum with expectations up to 50% reduction on average.   Time is one thing no one has! A few of my most successful and rapidly growing clients pride themselves on a 24-48 hour turnaround and prioritize their people, processes, systems, inventory strategy…
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