Tag Archive: processes

A Systems Checkup

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Early in the year is the appropriate time for a systems audit. Do you and your have clarity on your current processes. Take the time to see how your processes interface with all areas of your organization.
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Case Study In Increasing On Time Delivery Performance

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Situation: Our client struggled with low customer service levels since they cut back with inventory on the ‘wrong’ items during a time of tight cash flow. Of course to add fuel to the fire, the customer also wanted product to be delivered at least 20% earlier, ideally 50% earlier. If our client didn’t find a way to respond quickly, they would risk losing key customers. Path Forward: Upon looking at the order fulfillment flow, there were countless areas of opportunity. However, simultaneously working on these solutions would tax already-maxed out resources (who also were frustrated by angry customers) and accomplish…
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Technical Innovation & Japan’s Bullet Train

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  While in Japan last week, I had the opportunity to ride the bullet train three times — and, even waited to go back to Tokyo from Mt. Fuji to see it whiz past since you cannot see it in action in Tokyo as a terminal station — simply amazing and FAST! The bullet train travels at over 300 kph. They always arrive on time and they are neat, organized, efficient, and safe. They account for potential earthquakes, etc. We can certainly learn something from this engineering and service feat. And if that wasn’t enough, I learned that they have been…
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Leadership during Busy Times

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Every week is busy, don’t you think? We always think next week will be better, but is it? Doubtful. Another corporate priority arises. A customer wants to tour your facility. An employee calls in sick. Month-end reports are due. We are bombarded with data. Who knows what else might happen! If this is the status quo, the key is how to lead effectively during these busy times. We have found that it is most effective to go against the tide. Haven’t you found that the most successful person is zigging when everyone else is zagging? Certainly in almost every stock…
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Why Customer Service Trumps All

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Although we work on many topics impacting manufacturers and distributors, we have found that the most popular — and vital — is customer service. Prior to the recession, most companies called for our inventory management expertise and how to understand and manage costs (and therefore strategically price); however, since the recession, almost everyone that calls has some element of the customer in their conversation. As our passion surrounds customer service which must start with your customers (your employees), we love this development. From a financial point-of-view, the customer has a profound impact on business performance. Clients call for every one…
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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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5P Accelerator to Fast-Track Growth and Profits

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Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners? They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How? Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and thinking…
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Why Care About Systems Transactions?

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As mundane as system transactions seem, I continually find that whether or not they are deemed a priority can make the difference between a successful operation or not. The bottom line is that my clients who make sure they design the optimal process, document the systems transaction steps and ensure the timely and accurate execution of transactions succeed.   If you think of it like building a house, system transactions are part of the foundation. If you have an unstable foundation, no matter how much money you put into your house, it will be unsteady. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this occur…
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The Impact of the Volatility

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Certainly, you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not have heard about the wild swings in the global stock markets lately. Although we’ve definitely become more comfortable with volatility, it still can cause executives to take a step back and think. What if China’s slowdown affects manufacturers in the U.S. more than we realize? Should I be thinking about pulling back vs. a full court press on growth? Should I continue investing? What can I do about this wild foreign exchange market if I have suppliers and customers using different currencies?  Those executives who find a way to be…
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